MSFHR announces 2015 Trainee award recipients

Forty-eight* exceptional young investigators will receive Trainee awards from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research to support post-doctoral study at BC institutions.

The award recipients, selected from a highly competitive pool of 231 applications, represent a bright future for health research in British Columbia. Their innovative projects span a broad range of disciplines and will help to address important health challenges for the benefit of all British Columbians.

Thirteen of this year’s awards will be jointly funded in partnership with BC-based health charities, health authorities, and not-for-profit organizations. MSFHR is pleased to partner with the following organizations to support research directly relevant to their respective mandates:

  • AllerGen
  • BC Cancer Foundation
  • Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation
  • Pacific Alzheimer Research Foundation
  • Rick Hansen Institute/International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

With a maximum term of three years, MSFHR Trainee Awards support highly qualified researchers at the post-PhD and post-health professional degree stages to prepare for careers as independent investigators. By supporting the training of these researchers, BC is well positioned to retain them as future health research leaders.

Since 2001, MSFHR has invested more than $38 million in funding more than 1,200 Trainee awards that build on Dr. Michael Smith’s legacy of support for up-and-coming scientists.

*Number updated August 31, 2015

Connecting the dots on health research in BC: Knowledge translation

This article is the first in a series designed to help readers “connect the dots” on various initiatives underway in the province that support and advance the actions outlined in Directions for Health Research in BC.

Key stakeholders involved in the consultation process to develop a health research strategy for BC identified nearly a dozen actions that they felt would help create a more vibrant, thriving health research community in the province.

Compiled in the document Directions for Health Research in BC, some of these actions reflect work that still needs to be done in the province, others, activities that are already well underway.

Knowledge translation, captured in action 2b, falls into the latter category. While hardly exhaustive, even a quick survey of KT activity in BC uncovers an impressive list. To begin with, each of the regional health authorities has its own set of internal activities underway designed to increase capacity for health research and its translation into the organization. The health authorities are well positioned to take on this work, operating at the intersection of academic research and health care delivery.

On a provincial scale, the BC KT Community of Practice (CoP) recently launched a new website designed to support collaboration among and increase engagement between KT researchers, practitioners, and others with an interest in KT in BC. Members are able to add and update content and share it with other members. The volunteer member-driven CoP relies on in-kind contributions from members and their organizations. MSFHR and the Rick Hansen Institute are in-kind supporters of the CoP.

MSFHR also plays a key role in leading KT in BC.  Our work is focused in five areas: funding, building capacity, managing projects, advancing KT science and advocacy.  Among our activities, we have been providing support to Island Health and Interior Health as they advance their health research and knowledge translation agendas and we have supported the BC KT CoP since its inception in 2011.