Team selected to write SPOR business plan

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An expert team that will help develop the business plan for BC’s SPOR SUPPORT Unit has been selected following a rigorous review and interview process.

The business plan writing team is composed of Stirling Bryan, Heather Harris, Scott Lear, and Sonia Singh  (click for bios and affiliations), each of whom possesses multiple strengths that span the functional areas of the SUPPORT Unit – data platforms, real-world clinical trials, and knowledge translation/implementation science. The team’s composition was approved unanimously Nov. 8 by the SPOR initiative’s Interim Governing Council.

To ensure the team has access to the broadest range of expertise and experience in the multi-faceted clinical trials area, Heather Harris will work with a sub-committee consisting of Aslam Anis, Bruce Carleton, and Stuart Turvey. Similarly, to ensure the team benefits from appropriate expertise and experience with data platforms, Stirling Bryan will work with Kim McGrail of Population Data BC. Patient representatives from the Interim Governing Council will work with the team to help determine a mechanism for patient engagement in the development of the business plan.

The team will work with lead writer Steven Lewis to develop a business plan for submission to CIHR in early 2014. BC’S SUPPORT Unit is being developed as part of CIHR’s national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and will function as a provincial service centre offering specialized expertise and infrastructure for patient-oriented research in BC. Development of the SUPPORT Unit will take into account the needs of stakeholders across the province and will be aligned with work on the emerging BC health research strategy.

Review process

Nineteen applications were received by the Sept. 30 deadline from researchers or research teams interested in taking a leadership role in the development of BC's SPOR SUPPORT Unit business plan.

Applications were evaluated by a review team consisting of representatives of MSFHR and the BC Ministry of Health and members of an external expert group. A team of recommended candidates was submitted to the Interim Governing Council for approval.

Applicants who were not selected to serve on the team will have the opportunity to participate in consultation on the SUPPORT Unit’s development. Consultation opportunities with other applicants, including those who expressed interest in providing services through the completed SUPPORT Unit, will be determined with the business plan writing team.