Government of Canada creates national training platform for patient-oriented research

News release

June 23, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Through patient-oriented research (POR), patients, their families and caregivers become actively engaged in health research, adding their own living experience to the process, alongside that of researchers, health care professionals and health system decision-makers. Patients, caregivers, and their families have an opportunity to play leadership roles as members of research teams, shaping which health topics are investigated, how research studies are conducted, and how the results are shared. This inclusive approach helps improve health outcomes for patients and strengthens health systems in Canada.

To strengthen the environment for POR in Canada, today, the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced a new investment of $5.25 million over six years. The funding is being provided under Canada’s Strategy’s for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) and will support a new national training platform based at the Université Laval that will focus on enhancing the way the science of POR is taught and conducted in Canada.

The platform, known as the SPOR National Training Entity, will be led by Annie LeBlanc, a professor at the Université Laval and a health services researcher at VITAM Research Center on Sustainable Health. Professor LeBlanc will work with collaborators across Canada, including researchers, patients, trainees, health professionals, and decision-makers. Together they will centralize and streamline training activities to minimize redundancies. They will also generate new ideas and innovative ways of teaching POR and provide coaching and mentoring opportunities to the next generation of researchers.

SPOR is a pan-Canadian initiative dedicated to integrating the voices of patients in research and health care. It is led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research with support from partners across the country.  


“The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research is a true collaboration between the federal government and the provinces and territories, with the shared goal of better listening to the voices of patients, families and caregivers and including them as active participants in the research process. This new investment will allow us to continue to build capacity in the science of patient engagement and patient-oriented research.” 

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health 

“When it comes to their health care, patients, their families and caregivers often know best. Today’s investment reaffirms our commitment to empowering patients, to addressing gaps in patient-oriented research training and to ensuring greater access to mentoring and coaching for all partners involved. Once again, we can commend the Quebec City region’s growing positioning in the steadily developing life science field, in which the Université Laval occupies a central role.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, President of the Treasury Board

“Our investment today will help ensure that all those involved in patient-oriented research, including patients, families and caregivers, in communities across the country, have the skills, knowledge and training they need to participate meaningfully in research that affects them. I am pleased to see that the new hub for patient-oriented research training will be based at the Université Laval, which has such a strong track record in health research.”

Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert

“Thanks to over a decade of investment in this country through the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, patients and their families are becoming increasingly engaged in the research process, and researchers, medical professionals and policy-makers are more attuned to the perspectives of patients than ever before. This new national platform will allow us to continue to grow our capacity for POR by integrating the knowledge and cultural perspectives from diverse stakeholders and community members from across the country.” 

Dr. Michael Strong, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick facts

  • SPOR is a pan-Canadian coalition of the federal government, provinces, territories, philanthropic organizations, academic institutions and health charities with the goal of achieving better patient outcomes.

  • The SPOR National Training Entity announced today will increase capacity in patient-oriented research by bringing together patients, researchers, mentors, trainees, Indigenous communities, health care professionals, and health system administrators to advance the way patient-oriented research training and mentoring is done in Canada. 

  • Activities will be conducted in both French and English, in an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and culturally safe manner, while respecting of the rights of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous self-determination.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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