About Us

Who We Are

The BC SUPPORT (SUpport for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit is a multi-partner organization created to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout British Columbia.

The Unit has two main roles:

  • Providing services to our stakeholders: patients, researchers, health care providers and health system decision makers
  • Facilitating initiatives identified as provincial priorities

There’s a Provincial Hub located in Vancouver which coordinates activities across BC and provides services to the Vancouver region. There are also four additional regional centres located in other regional health authority areas (Fraser, Interior, Northern, and Vancouver Island). The Unit is part of the BC Academic Health Science Network (BC AHSN).

The Unit is one of 11 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)

Photos from the 2017 Putting Patients First conference
    Photos from our annual Putting Patients First conference (2017)

What’s Health Research?

An organized way of collecting and analyzing information to understand and improve our health.

We’re changing health research to become more patient-oriented.

What’s Patient-Oriented Research?

Patient-oriented research (POR) is research done in partnership with patients, that answers research questions that matter to patients and aims to improve health care.

If you’d like to learn about the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) definitions, please click here.

For a PDF version of our patient-oriented research definition, please click here.

Are you a researcher interested in conducting patient-oriented research? Check out our document, How Patient-Oriented is Your Research to determine how well you're already doing and see where you can grow!

Mission, Goals and Objectives

See our Mission, Goals and Objectives here

Our Services

Current services include patient engagement, research methods support, data access & use, knowledge translation, and training & capacity development through webinarsonline resourcestraining through workshops and an annual conference. To inquire about our services, you can fill out our form.

Leadership Team

To read more about our leadership team, click here.

Demonstration Projects

We are increasing the quality and impact of patient-oriented research across BC by facilitating and studying two initial demonstration projects: the BC Health Research Connection Project and the BC Emergency Medicine Network.

Advisory Groups, Councils, and Boards

The BC Support Unit is governed by the BC AHSN Board of Directors, which represents wide-ranging expertise to enable us to fulfill our mandate.

The BC SUPPORT Unit Advisory Council launched in November 2019. The Advisory Council serves as a source of expert advice to support the successful achievement of the Unit’s strategic priorities.

We also have a province-wide Patient Council, which provides input on issues pertaining to the governance of the BC SUPPORT Unit and support BC SUPPORT Unit personnel related to the Unit's operations.  

Methods Clusters

The Unit also created Methods Clusters (methodological communities of practice) to improve the science of patient-oriented research methods.

Data Initiatives

The Unit has contributed to several provincial data initiatives.

BC SUPPORT Unit Visual Structure

Interested in an overall look at the BC SUPPORT Unit model?  Check out the poster we displayed at the SPOR Summit in October, 2016. Or check out a slide deck that highlights developments in data access for researchers.


Want to work for the BC SUPPORT Unit? To see current opportunities, please see our Careers page

Contact Us

To contact us, please see our Contact Page

Stakeholder Report

We’re excited to share the 2019-2020 BC SUPPORT Unit Stakeholder Report with you, highlighting the work of the Unit and our partners to support, streamline and increase patient-oriented research throughout British Columbia. This document reports on our activities up to March 31st, 2020 View the report here