Business Plan

In December 2015, CIHR approved the BC SUPPORT Unit business plan. A summary of the plan is also available. Please note: Some changes in our planning have occurred, e.g., changes regarding governance, etc. For background on the development of the business plan, see Who Was Involved, Consultation, and Expressions of Interest.

The Unit’s&business plan outlines a model for operations that includes governance, provincial office/hub, regional centres and methods clusters (methodological communities of practice). The model also includes a link to the developing provincial data platform that is separate but integral to the Unit.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is one of the Unit’s key funders. As part of our relationship with CIHR, we were& required to reach a number of milestones in advance of regular operations:

Business plan approvalDecember 2015
Signing of grant agreementMarch 2016
Submission of information about implementation and operations planSeptember 2016

With the final milestone behind us, we offer services through the Provincial Hub. Regional centres will begin to offer initial services soon. To start, focused on serving members of research teams who are applying for SPOR funding competitions. Since 2017, we've expanded our focus to serve a broader group.

Unit services now span patient engagement, research navigation, data access and use, knowledge translation, and training and capacity development.

Who Was Involved

Expressions of Interest

In July 2013, the BC Ministry of Health and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) issued a call for expressions of interest (EOI) from individuals and teams interested in participating in the development and operation of a BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit.

The deadline for submissions was September 30, 2013. Applications from respondents indicating interest in leading development of a SUPPORT Unit business plan were reviewed by MSFHR and BC Ministry of Health representatives, as well as members of an external expert group. Shortlisted candidates were interviewed by the review team and recommendations were submitted to the SPOR Interim Governing Council for approval. The recommendations were approved unanimously, and the business plan writing team was announced in mid-November 2013.


The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the BC Ministry of Health were responsible for conducting business plan consultations. In doing so, they were committed to ensuring the BC SUPPORT Unit would build on the province’s existing strengths, address gaps related to patient-oriented research, and reflect the diverse needs of stakeholders across the province.

To achieve this, the business plan project team undertook consultations with a broad cross-section of stakeholders from 2013 through business plan approval in December 2015.

  • Senior leadership of the BC health system
  • Health care providers
  • Health researchers
  • Experts on patient perspectives
  • Patient partners