Funding Opportunities

Collaboration for Health Research in Northern BC Seed Grant Program



The goal of the Seed Grant Program is to enable collaborators at PHSA, NH and UNBC to work in partnership and initiate new research projects that focus on improving the quality of health services and improving the health of the population in northern BC.

Award Amount and Duration

 The maximum amount for each award is $10,000 for a 12-month period.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. A new research team (3 or more applicants) led in partnership by individuals from UNBC, NH, and PHSA
  • The nominated Co-Principal Investigator Iin role of Researcher) must hold an academic appointment at UNBC and be eligible to hold research funding.
  • One Co-Principal Investigator (in role of Researcher and/or a Knowledge User) from PHSA. Eligible PHSA applicants will be primarily affiliated with a PHSA agency. Please see the PDF for a list of eligible PHSA agencies.
  • One Co-Principal Investigator (in role of Research and/or a Knowledge User) from NH. Eligible applicants will be primarily affiliated with NH.
  1. Northern/Rural/remote Health Focus
  • The proposed team and research activity/plan must address a health challenge identified in northern BC.

Key Competition Dates

  • RFA Closing Date | February 19th, 2021
  • Anticipated Notice of Funding Decision | April 1, 2021
  • Funding Term | May 1, 2021 - April 30, 2022 (12-Months)

Please see the following PDF for more information on the award and on how to apply:


Team Proposal Development Resources

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), Northern Health (NH) and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) are excited to release a Request for Applications for a new Seed Grant Program. The goal of this program is to enable researchers and knowledge users at PHSA, NH and UNBC to work in partnership and initiate new research projects that focus on improving the quality of health services and improving population health in northern BC.

The Seed Grant Program, developed as a result of PHSA, NH and UNBC entering into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 to establish a mutually beneficial research partnership for northern BC, is guided by the following principles:

  • A collaborative relationship between researchers and knowledge users for the purposes of improving the quality of health services and the health of northern populations;
  • Mutual respect and acknowledgement of the skills and expertise each organization brings to the partnership;
  • Attends to the needs and realities of northern BC in the overall context of BC;
  • Builds capacity for partnered research and leaves a legacy of capacity across all three organizations;
  • Builds research capacity in the North for the North; and,
  • Creates a culture of learning.

This tripartite partnership will also support activities that promot​e networking and knowledge translation events between PHSA, NH and UNBC. The UNBC Health Research Institute will act as the Secretariat to support the work involved for all partnered initiatives and activities.

Conference Travel Bursary | BC SUPPORT Unit, Northern Centre



The BC SUPPORT Unit is hosting the 3rd annual Putting Patients First: Partnerships for Better Health Research provincial conference on November 20th, 2019 in Vancouver, BC. This conference is designed to encourage learning and collaboration of patients interested in patient-oriented research (POR), health researchers, health care providers, and health care decision makers.

The BC SUPPORT Unit Northern Centre is offering travel bursaries for northern BC based researchers, health care providers, health care decision makers, patients1, and graduate students who are either currently actively engaged or looking to be engaged in patient-oriented research. Priority will be given to applicants who submitted an abstract to present at the Conference.

The Northern Centre is offering reimbursement up to a maximum of $1500.00 based the budget estimate that you provide on the attached application form.

Award Conditions

Applicants must be:
  1. Actively engaged in or planning to be engaged in patient-oriented research
  2. Based in northern BC
Allowable expenses under this bursary include airfare, accommodation, meal per diem, and transportation. Funds will be reimbursed after the conference, and only upon submission of original receipts and (if applicable) airline boarding passes.

For more information on how to apply, please see the following PDF form.

Submission Information

Application Deadline:

Applications should be sent via email to: BC SUPPORT Unit Northern Centre:

Graduate Studentship | BC SUPPORT Unit, Northern Centre

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has developed provincial partnerships to support patient-oriented research with expertise, resources, and knowledge. In British Columbia (BC), the BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit is a multi-partner organization dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of patient-oriented research. It is one of 10 SUPPORT UNITs across Canada. Within the BC SUPPORT Unit, there is a provincial hub located in Vancouver, and four regional centres.

The Northern Centre is one of the BC SUPPORT Units four regional centres. Its goal is to build capacity and provide support for collaborative research in the area served by Northern Health that focuses on a common goal of increased access to high quality health care and improved patient outcomes. The Northern Centre operates as a partnership between Northern Health (NH) and the University of Northern BC (UNBC) and aligns with the existing NH-UNBC partnered goals and objectives.

Patient oriented research is defined as research that is done in partnership with patients, answers research questions that matter to patients, and aims to improve health care. The term patient is overarching and is inclusive of individuals with personal experience of a health issues and informal caregivers, including family and friends.


Currently Funded Students:

Term: April 1, 2020 - March 31, 2021

Title: Effectiveness of an Intervention: Impact of the British Columbia Emergency Health Services Community Paramedicine Program on Chronic Condition Management in Rural and Remote British Columbia

UNBC Graduate Student: Andrew Schulz, Health Sciences

Title: The Impact of Structures and Systems Present in Everyday Home Care Nursing Work on the Nurse-Patient Relationship in Northern British Columbia

UNBC Graduate Student: Rebecca Stent, Nursing

Term: June 1, 2019 - May 31, 2020

Title: The Rehabilitative Effects of Vodder’s Manual Lymphatic Drainage on Patients Experiences with Concussions

UNBC Graduate Student: Alex Douglas

Title: Community Pharmacy Providers’ Experiences of Over the Counter Codeine Product Sales in British Columbia

UNBC Graduate Student: Erika Belanger


The Graduate Studentship Program is designed for candidates who are enrolled in a full-time thesis-based Masters or PhD program at the University of Northern BC (UNBC) who are interested in undertaking patient-oriented research.
The objectives of the studentship are to:
  • Support and train thesis-based graduate students in the principles and practice of patient-oriented research;
  • Provide patient-oriented training activities to develop capacity through an interdisciplinary approach that fosters collaboration between research partners (e.g., applicants, thesis supervisors, clinicians, patient partners, and community team members);
  • Create opportunities for research partners to work together, from conceptualization of the research question through to dissemination and implementation of results; and
  • Demonstrate the impact of the studentship for graduate students and their research.

Funds Available and Duration

The competition provides funding for up to one $10,000 (MSc/MA) and one $15,000 (PhD) one-year studentship.

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicants must be enrolled in, or accepted to, a graduate program at UNBC and be undertaking or planning to undertake health-related thesis research.
  • Applicants must be in a full-time, regular (not on-leave) graduate program (MSc or PhD) during the 1-year award period.  
  • Applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.8
  • Applicant’s supervisor(s) must be an established researcher who has agreed to be their supervisor and who accepts the conditions of the award outlined below.  
  • International students are eligible for this studentship

Studentship Conditions and Responsibilities

Submitting an application implies that both the applicant and their supervisor accept the following conditions:
  • Protected time: Be enrolled full time at UNBC in a thesis-based Masters or PhD program.
  • Letter of Agreement: Sign a letter of agreement, along with their supervisor, accepting the Conditions and Responsibilities of the award before the award will be given.
  • Acknowledge the Northern Centre: Acknowledge the BC SUPPORT Unit Northern Centre’s support during any formal presentation (e.g., poster, oral paper), publication, or thesis resulting from the studentship.
  • Training: Participate in CIHR’s National Curriculum for Patient Oriented Research training modules during the term of the studentship.
  • Presentation: Present a summary of his/her research activities at one of the Northern Centre’s knowledge sharing events
  • Final Report: Provide a brief summary of the activities and accomplishments achieved during the Studentship within 6 weeks of the end of the funding year.

Components of the Application

A complete application should include:
  1. Studentship Award Application Form
  2. Applicant Statement (0.5 page): Describe why you are interested in pursuing a studentship in patient-oriented research
  3. Patient-Oriented Research Project Plan (2 pages): Provide an overview of your patient-oriented research plan. This includes a background on the topic, specific project aims, and the proposed partnership engagement and methodology.
  4. Knowledge Translation Plan (0.5 page): Describe how you will share, implement, and/or create impact with your proposed project
  5. A copy of the applicant’s current CV
  6. A copy of the applicant’s current transcript
  7. A copy of the proposed primary supervisor(s) current CV
  8. Supervisor Letter of Support (1 page):
    1. Describe the applicant’s suitability for this studentship
    2. Describe how the applicant will benefit from the studentship and training in patient-oriented research
    3. Demonstrate commitment to support the applicant's patient-oriented research project (funding, facilities, equipment, etc.)
Applications must use a minimum of 12 point size Arial (regular), single spaced, and 1-inch margins for all submitted material.
Patient Oriented research resources to help with the Application can be found on the BC SUPPORT Unit Resources Page.

Application Submission

Please note that this application period is currently closed.

Selection Process

The BC SUPPORT Unit Northern Centre Awards Adjudication Committee will follow a formal selection process and will evaluate each of the submissions on the quality and potential of the following four areas:
  1. The quality and potential of the candidate is assessed in the applicant’s CV and Transcript.
  2. Quality and clarity of the proposed patient oriented research project plan.
  3. Research environment is assessed on how the applicant is supported by their supervisor and expects to engage with the Northern Centre for patient-oriented research training.
  4. Knowledge Translation plan is assessed on how the applicant expects to share, implement, and/or create impact with your proposed project.
Rating system: The four evaluation criteria categories (candidate, research plan, research environment, and impact) will have equal weight (25%) in scoring.

Application Checklist

Please check that each of the following items are completed:
  • Studentship Award Application Form
  • Applicant statement (0.5 page)
  • Patient Oriented Project Plan (2 page maximum)
  • Knowledge Translation Plan (0.5 page)
  • Applicant’s current CV and Transcript
  • Primary supervisor’s CV
  • Letter from Primary Supervisor (1 page)

Developing Northern Research Collaborations Award | BC SUPPORT Unit, Northern Centre


The BC SUPPORT Unit, Northern Centre has dedicated funding to provide the opportunity for researchers, health care providers, decision makers, and patient partners to develop collaborations for person, family, and community centred research. The Developing Northern Research Collaboration Awards are expected to catalyze patient-oriented research that alogns with CIHR's SPOR Capacity Development Framework and the SPOR Patient Engagement Framework.

Applications that address one of the BC SUPPORT Unit, Northern Centre's priority areas are encouraged. Examples of activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Planning or team-building activities that assist teams in working together to:
         - Identify research questions or emerging issues and priorities
         - Design a project or study which includes meaningful roles for all team members, including patients; and/or
         - Identify and address the learning needs of team members (e.g., patient engagement training at CIHR)
  • Enhancing existing research projects to become patient-oriented in nature
Please see the following PDF for more information on the award and on how to apply:

Funding Resources

The BC SUPPORT Unit Northern Centre would like to share the Webex recording for the Developing Northern Research Collaboration Orientation that was held on May 10 2018. The webex reviews the award application, eligibility, how to apply, evaluation criteria, and aligning applications with SPOR Capacity Development and Patient Engagement Frameworks.


Current Fund Holders:

Term: April 1, 2020 - November 30, 2021

Title: Understanding engagement in care by patients who access opioid agonist therapy

UNBC Researcher: Erin Wilson
Health System Partners: Kristine Roswell, Healen Bourque, & Jennifer Hawkes
Patient/Community Partner: George Sears

Term: April 1, 2020 - November 30, 2021

Title: Exploring Children's Independent Mobility in Northern BC

UNBC Researchers: Chelsea Pelletier & Caroline Sanders
Health System Partners: Gloria Fox
Patient/Community Partners: Stacey Pickering, Jenessa Ellis & Erica McLean

Term: September 2018 - November 30, 2021

Title: Preventing RhD Alloimmunization in Northern BC

UNBC Researcher: Trina Fyfe
Health System Partner: Christorina Taruc
Patient/Community Partner: Jennifer Hawkes

Past Fund Holders:

Term: March 2018 - August 2019

Title: Access to Care for Women with Complex Pregnancies in Northern BC: Patient Partner Capacity-Building

UNBC Researcher: Sheona Mitchell-Foster
Health System Partner: Denise Jaworsky
Patient/Community Partner: Trina Fyfe

Term: March 2018 - March 2020

Title: Industry and Health in Northern BC Communities

UNBC Researcher: Margot Parkes
Health System Partner: Sandra Allison
Patient/Community Partner: Garry Thiessen

Term: March 1, 2018 - February 28, 2019

Title: Improving health outcomes for persons in long-term care facilities in northern British Columbia: Development of an intervention study aimed to improve quality of life by enhancing accessibility to the natural environment and horticulture therapy

UNBC Researcher: Shannon Freeman
Health System Partner: Kelly Gunn
Patient/Community Partner: Carolyn Hilbert

Term: March 2018 - August 31, 2019

Title: Building a Patient-Oriented Physical Activity Research Framework for Northern BC

UNBC Researcher: Chelsea Pelletier
Health System Partner: Kelsey Yarmish
Patient/Community Partner: Anne Pousette

Term: September 2018 - March 2020

Title: How Can Stories of Stroke Lead to Actionable Health Research and Improve Health Care Servies

UNBC Researcher: Davina Banner-Lukaris
Health System Partner: Haidar Hadi
Patient/Community Partner: Barbara Croome

Term: September 2018 - December 15, 2019

Title: Improving Mental Health Service User's Experiences of Cancer Care via Patient Engagement

UNBC Researcher: Roseann Larstone
Health System Partner: Robert Olson
Patient/Community Partner: Carrie McLeod / Linda Hoeppner

Term: September 2018 - September 2019

Title: Cardiac Rehabilitation in Northwestern BC: Developing Capacity for a Patient-Oriented Research Project

UNBC Researcher: Chelsea Pelletier
Health System Partner: Denise Jaworsky
Patient/Community Partner: Liane Busse

Collaborative Team Building Award, RHSRNbc


Deadline for the 2020-21 Team Building Awards: May 31, 2020.

Purpose: To provide an opportunity for researchers to apply for up to $2500 in funding to support the development of a research team in the time of a pandemic constraint. Although priority will be given to projects with a focus on engaging community response to COVID-19 and/ or climate change issues in rural settings, we will review proposals if it has a potential contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field of rural health and, any anticipated outcomes.

Goal: To promote and support the development of new multidisciplinary research teams focused on an issue of current importance to rural and remote health services and whose main goal is to apply for research funding.

Use of Funds: Funds can be used for activities, resources and expenses related to building research teams and identifying research themes and questions. We are open to new innovative strategies for virtual team building that aides in scholarly output. Eligible expenses include (but are not limited to): activities involved with recruiting team members; facilitation of group meetings (face-to-face, videoconference, teleconference, WebEx); conducting a preliminary literature review; resources required to apply for a grant; team-building exercises; etc.)

Conditions: The team building funding is allocated for a one-year period after which a final report must be submitted to RHSRNbc within 2 weeks. Final report templates will be distributed to award recipients; deliverables include a complete financial statement of team building activities, progress report during the award period and proof that a funding application was submitted.

Application Form: Click Here

For more information and eligibility requirements, please contact the RHSRNbc Coordinator