What is SPOR?

NL SUPPORT is one of 11 SPOR SUPPORT Units across Canada that provide specialized services to researchers, patients, clinicians, policy makers and SPOR-funded entities to conduct patient-oriented research.

SUPPORT units were established in response to the launch of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR). 

Check out this list of just a few of the great resources available from other SUPPORT units and SPOR entities across Canada.

History of SPOR

The vision of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, Improving Health Outcomes Through Evidence Informed Care, is to noticeably improve health outcomes and enhance patients’ health care experience by integrating evidence at all levels in the health care system. Launched in 2011, the goal of patient-oriented research is to better ensure the use of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in patient care, as well as to help the provinces and territories meet the challenge of delivering high quality, cost-effective health care. It involves ensuring that the right patient receives the right clinical intervention at the right time, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.

Following the launch of SPOR, SUPPORT Units were established across the country, with the NL SUPPORT Unit beginning operations in May 2014. Initially, funding was provided for a five year period. A second funding opportunity was announced in 2019 through which NL SUPPORT has successfully secured funding until March 2026.

This second phase will continue the momentum for patient-oriented health research in Canada and refocus the strategy to build on the work completed over the previous five years. Work will focus on the four key components shown here and the development of closer working with other SUPPORT Units and SPOR entities.

Working with CIHR

It is a requirement of ongoing phase II funding that NL SUPPORT submits annual progress and financial reports and biennial performance monitoring reports to CIHR. Additionally, CIHR attends NL SUPPORT’s Governance Committee meetings in an observer role.

Working with SUPPORT Units

NL SUPPORT works with other SUPPORT Units through the SPOR SUPPORT Unit Council which meets monthly. This council allows Units to share learning and good practice and, where appropriate, facilitates national projects.

The Units also work together through newly established Communities of Practice on specific core areas including, research with Indigenous people, patient engagement, capacity building, learning health systems, data platforms and services, communications and impact measurement.

Following the transition to phase II of SPOR (April 2021), there has been a requirement for Units to allocate dedicated resources for participation on cross SUPPORT Unit projects approved by the SPOR SUPPORT Unit Council.

Working with Other SPOR Entities

Since April 2021, there has been a requirement for SUPPORT Units to allocate at least 50% of their annual CIHR funding to support service needs of other SPOR-funded entities including but not limited to: SPOR Canadian Data Platform, SPOR Networks, SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials grantees and the SPOR Evidence Alliance, the SPOR National Training Entity and SPOR Collaboration Grantees.

Joint Work with Other SPOR Entities

NL SUPPORT welcomes requests from other SPOR entities to work on joint initiatives. Please complete the SPOR Entities’ Support Request form or email NL SUPPORT’s Director, Catherine Street, to discuss your request.