Government of Canada invests in research to transform health systems

News release

Funding of $9.6 million to embed researchers in health system organizations across the country

March 26, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Government of Canada is supporting researchers across the country who are collaborating with health system organizations to make meaningful contributions towards improving Canada’s health care system and ensuring that Canadians receive high-quality health care. By embedding researchers in health system organizations, they can help in finding and implementing solutions to the challenges facing health systems in this country.

To address health system priorities and build valuable research capacity, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, today announced that 12 early career researchers will receive the first Health System Impact Embedded Early Career Researcher Awards with the support of $9.6 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and partners. These researchers will be embedded within health system organizations where they will develop research programs to address the evidence needs of their host organizations and use the evidence they gather to help transform Canada’s health care systems.

The researchers will tackle priorities such as:

  • increasing equitable access to kidney transplantation;
  • transforming cardiovascular care for underserved communities in Ontario;
  • improving perinatal and neonatal health care in rural Nova Scotia;
  • strengthening the health system response to violence against women in Eastern Canada;
  • improving chronic pain management in Alberta with virtual care;
  • addressing the social determinants of health in cancer outcomes; and
  • transforming autism research and policy at the national level, among other topics.

These awards are part of the Health System Impact (HSI) program, which was created by the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research. The program is made possible thanks to funding and support from partners such as Michael Smith Health Research BC, ResearchNB, the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé, and Mitacs.


“We are proud to support a new generation of health researchers. These researchers are making a positive difference in the lives of people in Canada and are influencing health care and service delivery in real-time, making a huge difference in our health systems.”

The Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

“As we face major challenges to our health care systems, innovation, evidence, and a shared commitment to improvement are essential for transformation towards better care for all. The Health System Impact Embedded Early Career Researcher program will support a fresh wave of brilliant scientists, equipping them with the skills and partnerships to drive meaningful research programs that address pressing health system needs. It's an exciting and important addition to CIHR's Health System Impact program, reflecting our commitment to nurturing embedded research career pathways and building a research workforce equipped to lead evidence-informed system improvement.”

Dr. Rick Glazier
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research

Quick facts

  • Since 2017, CIHR and its funding partners have been embedding PhD and postdoctoral fellows directly in health systems organizations to strengthen health care in Canada through the HSI program.

  • To date, the HSI program has supported 283 fellows, embedded within 128 health systems organizations across Canada and internationally to accelerate evidence-informed health system improvements.

  • This year, the HSI program was expanded to include a new stream for early career researchers, providing funding to support them in developing cutting-edge research programs that advance the evidence needs and priorities of health system organizations. An early career researcher is a researcher within five years of the date of their first independent research-related appointment.

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Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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