Northwest Territories SPOR SUPPORT Unit



SUPPORT Units (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials Units) are a core element of Canada's national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

SUPPORT Units are locally accessible, multidisciplinary clusters of specialized research resources, policy knowledge, and patient perspectives.

SUPPORT Units provide the necessary expertise to pursue patient-oriented research and help lead reforms in response to locally driven health care needs. They also lead and facilitate decision-making within the health services setting, foster the implementation of best practices, and promote collaboration among researchers engaged in patient-oriented research.

Specific objectives:

  • Identify and address the needs of patients and knowledge users by facilitating patient-oriented research
  • Provide specialized and multidisciplinary methodological expertise in patient-oriented research and its application
  • Assist decision makers and researchers to identify and design research studies, conduct bio-statistical analyses, manage data, provide and teach project management skills, and ensure studies meet regulatory standards
  • Advance methods and training in comparative effectiveness research and develop the next generation of methodologists
  • Provide timely access to data including linked datasets and integrate existing or new databases

NWT SUPPORT Unit – Advancing Patient-Oriented Research

Funding and In-Kind Support

  • Government of Canada funding: $8.1 million
  • Northwest Territories partner funding: $16.8 million
  • Total funding: $24.9 million, over five years


The NWT SUPPORT Unit is made possible through a broad collaboration of partners:

Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Government of the Northwest Territories
Aurora Research Institute
Dehcho First Nations
Délı̨nę Got’ı̨nę Government
Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services
FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth)
Gwich'in Social and Cultural Institute
Gwich'in Tribal Council
Gwichya Gwich'in Council
Indigenous and Global Health Research Group
Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Tetlit Gwich'in Council
Tides Canada
Tłįchǫ Government

Structure  and Operations

The NWT SUPPORT Unit (the Unit) is a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout the Northwest Territories.

We define patient-oriented research as research that engages patients as partners and focuses on patient-identified priorities with the goals of improving patient experiences, health outcomes and the health system.

The Unit is one of several SUPPORT Units established across the country as part of Canada's Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The Unit has two main roles: providing services to researchers, patients, health care providers and health system decision makers, and facilitating initiatives identified as territorial priorities.

NWT SUPPORT Unit Mission

To support the conduct and implementation of high-quality patient-oriented research to improve the health of people living in the Northwest Territories.

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