NL SUPPORT Awards Guide

NL SUPPORT Awards Guide: General Information

This Awards Guide outlines the objectives, policies, and procedures governing the Patient-Oriented Research Grants program administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit (NL SUPPORT). It applies to all applicants and award recipients unless specifically amended or declared void by both bodies.

This information is reviewed annually. Eligibility for these grants is consistent with the policies and definitions set out by CIHR; eligibility criteria are indicated below and should be reviewed prior to submission of applications. A more detailed description of the eligibility criteria can be found on the Tri-Council Agencies’ Website.

All applicants should carefully read the information in the latest version of this Awards Guide before preparing applications. Because it is not possible to anticipate every contingency, situations may occur from time to time that are not addressed in the Awards Guide. Prospective applicants who desire clarification regarding these programs are urged to contact NL SUPPORT [by telephone (864-6277) or e-mail to].

Funding for these grants is made available through SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit funding via CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) initiative, in order to encourage the growth of patient-oriented research in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada. More information about SUPPORT Units, SPOR and patient-oriented research is available through CIHR, and more information about NL SUPPORT specifically is available through the NL SUPPORT website.


Housed within the new Craig L. Dobbin Research Centre at the Faculty of Medicine, the Newfoundland and Labrador SUPPORT Unit (NL SUPPORT) is a multi-agency partnership between IBM, the CIHR, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University, and other agencies across the jurisdiction with a focus on applied health research and patient data. Instead of simply pursuing its own programme of research, NL SUPPORT offers access to a pool of resources available to any researcher in the jurisdiction whose interests fall under the mandate of SPOR. These resources can include: database linkages and data analysis, biostatistical and epidemiological support, project management support, assistance with study design, change policy analysis and more; resources will be allocated according to jurisdictional priority areas identified in close collaboration with policymakers and researchers, as well as patients, caregivers and other healthcare system users.

NL SUPPORT’s research support and training, can be broadly divided into six linked core functions:

Data Platforms and Services

  • Database linkages and data analysis for jurisdictional de-identified patient data sets through the Centre for Health Informatics and Analytics and the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information.

Methods Support and Services

  • Providing methodological support services and research methods development in areas such as biostatistics and Health Services Research

Applied Health Systems Research, Knowledge Translation and Implementation

  • Expanding jurisdictional capacity for Applied Health Services Research, Knowledge Translation and policy implementation

Real World Clinical Trials

  • Expanding jurisdictional capacity for running comparative effectiveness trials, clinical trials, and making those trials more efficient for the parties involved

Career Development and Training in Methods and Health Systems Research

  • Training in patient-oriented research methods for researchers and students, including new career development and graduate programs

Consultation and Research Services

  • Providing other research support services for patient-oriented research such as study design, policy change analysis, and project management

Objectives of the NL SUPPORT Patient-Oriented Research Grants Program

NL SUPPORT has a mandate to support applied health research and training in the province, both directly through the allocation of grants and funding for trainees, and indirectly by attracting funding from external granting agencies. This program is aimed primarily at research activity initiated by investigators resident in Newfoundland and Labrador, though non-resident researchers may apply if their proposed projects include patient-oriented research with a focus on Newfoundland and Labrador. Partnership with co-investigators based elsewhere is also encouraged and supported, particularly partnerships among SPOR disease-focused Networks and other jurisdictional SUPPORT Units.

The specific objectives of this funding program are:

  • To support patient-oriented research that has the potential to improve the health of individuals, families and communities
  • To build and sustain a full range of applied health research including the development and utilization of evidence-based decision making in health care, health education, and health policy and administration in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • To support the training and development of new health researchers in the province
  • To assist researchers in establishing their research programs and applying for external funding
  • To encourage partnerships between researchers across faculties, schools and disciplines, and collaboration among academic researchers, community-based researchers, and decision-makers
  • To enhance the role of patients/citizens in all levels of the research process from start to implementation of findings

Objectives for this funding program will be reflected in the Priority Research Themes, which may change annually under the direction of the NL SUPPORT Steering Committee, and are decided in a collaborative process between patients, the federal government, the provincial government and researchers. Applications addressing at least some aspect of the Priority Themes will be given preference. If no Priority Themes have been established by the Steering Committee at the time the competition opens, applicants are encouraged to review CIHR’s SPOR founding documents as a guideline. In 2015, the Priority Research themes are:

  • Early recovery after surgery – Eastern Health
  • Test ordering patterns for Diagnostic Imaging – Eastern Health
  • Appropriateness of choice of surgical procedure, was the least invasive method employed?- Eastern Health
  • Bonavista peninsula primary health care redesign evaluation – Eastern Health
  • Information management system for diabetes for Labrador -Grenfell Health
  • Information management system to enhance response in cases of suicidal risk in Labrador-Grenfell Health
  • Tracking system for management of TB in Labrador-Grenfell Health

However, the POR Grants Competition is open to any and all patient-oriented research projects, no matter the field or focus: applicants are not required to address one or more of the above in their proposals, though such projects may be given priority.

Applicants who do wish to address the above research priorities are strongly encouraged to communicate with the following individuals in the respective regional health authorities:

For more information regarding Labrador- Grenfell Health projects contact:

Donnie Sampson
VP Nursing / Chief Nurse
Labrador - Grenfell Health
709 897 2273


Use and Disclosure of Information Provided

As part of the peer-review process, applications will be disclosed to review panels composed of experts in applied health issues. Applications may also be transmitted to external referees. All participants in these review activities are informed of their obligations with regard to the confidentiality of information entrusted to them.

The external reviews and review panel comments about a proposal may be provided to the Principal Applicant. The Principal Applicant is expected to share this information with Co-Applicants.

NL SUPPORT may publish certain details about successful grant applications, including the name of the applicant, amount awarded, title of the project, and a summary of the research proposal as part of annual reporting to funders or other reasons. Successful Applicants will be requested to participate in NL SUPPORT’s annual Research Day, and to provide information summarizing their research.

All information will be used solely for the administration and management of the awards program and is collected under the general authority of the Memorial University Act (RSNL 1990 Chapter 7). Questions about this collection and use of personal information may be directed to NLCAHR at (709) 777-6993.

Contact Information

Newfoundland and Labrador SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Unit
Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre, Suite 3M114
Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University
St. John’s, NL | A1B 3V6

For NL SUPPORT Policy, Additional Information:
Dr. Brendan Barrett, Scientific Lead
Phone: (709) 864-6660
Catherine Street, NL SUPPORT Director
Phone: (709) 864-6432

For Eligibility Criteria and Guidelines, Application Forms, General Inquiries, and Technical Assistance:
Dale Humphries, Research Officer
Phone: (709) 864-6277



Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000