While clinical research is often conducted in large academic centres, there remains tremendous opportunity and need for clinical research conducted at emerging health research institutes, research hospitals and health authorities.
When these emerging research institutes are supported and allowed to flourish, significant benefits accrue to the community, patients, staff, and the institution itself.
When large and small research institutes work in unison, their collective interests are amplified and the entire national health research ecosystem is strengthened.
How do Emerging Health Research Institutes benefit their communities?
Address knowledge gaps and provide specialized health services for local populations and communities, such as those in rural and northern communities, who may not otherwise be in reach of a larger academic centre.
Serve population groups that may experience poorer health outcomes due to linguistic barriers or sociodemographic factors, such as individuals from linguistic minorities, Indigenous peoples, seniors, and other marginalized or vulnerable populations.
Focus on the specific needs and health issues of regional communities and priority populations, collectively offering patients from all regions, provinces and territories the opportunity to engage and participate in research within close proximity to their homes.
Partner with academic researchers to ensure research is bringing better value (i.e. outcomes) and is in line with patient, caregiver, community and government priorities. [Value = Outcomes/Cost]
Accelerate knowledge translation by embedding health system leaders, front-line workers and clinicians into research teams
Collaborate with large research institutes as participating sites or nodes to enable strong, pan-Canadian and geographically diverse initiatives.
What are the unique challenges faced by Emerging Health Research Institutes?
With healthcare organizations struggling for funding and resources, emerging health research institutes face the twofold challenge of increasing competitiveness against large, established research institutes to bring in external grant funding and sustainable operational funding for infrastructure from the organization.
The federal and provincial grants competition regulations (e.g. high matching funds and number of senior investigators requirement) create inequities in access to research funding.
Funding to emerging health research institutes from external sources is limited and not self-sustaining.
Emerging health research institutes face the challenge of building sustainability and growth under uncertain conditions and share, with large research hospitals, the challenge of not being able to receive the stabilizing benefits of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to develop and support research infrastructure.
Capacity & Resources
Emerging health research institutes face significant challenges recruiting, supporting and retaining clinician and health services researchers.
Specialized research support roles such as biostatisticians, methodologists and legal resources are also more challenging to recruit or access.
Emerging health research institutes must combat the stigma and belief that high-quality, impactful and innovative research that improves patient care and the health system exclusively takes place in large and established research institutes.