Understanding how a SUPPORT Unit can help BC

22 April 2013

In a parallel process to the consultation activities underway to support the BC health research strategy, MSFHR is facilitating the development of a support unit in BC —  called the Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit — that will make it easier for health-care providers, health-care decision-makers and researchers to conduct patient-oriented research. 

SUPPORT Units are a component of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and includes matching funding from CIHR to enable their operations. Jurisdictions that want to participate in SUPPORT Units need to submit a business plan to CIHR.

SUPPORT Units are intended to be regional centres of excellence that can stimulate, facilitate, support and enhance the conduct of patient-oriented research. Several units are planned across the country, including one that serves BC.
CIHR envisions six core functions for SUPPORT Units:

  1. Data platforms and services
  2. Consultation and research services
  3. Career development in methods and health services research
  4. Real-world clinical trials
  5. Health systems, knowledge translation and implementation
  6. Methods support and development

Members of the SPOR SUPPORT Unit planning team will be meeting with various stakeholders, including health system leaders, researchers, and patient group representatives to gain a better understanding of how a SUPPORT Unit would best enable more patient-oriented research in BC. Input from these discussions will inform a call for expressions of interest to identify teams who can help develop the SUPPORT Unit business plan.