CIHR Knowledge Translation Newsletter - June 2011

In this issue:

  1. Knowledge To Action: Profile from the Community
  2. News from Ian Graham, Vice-President, CIHR
  3. KT Funding News
  4. KT Learning Resources and Opportunities
  5. KT Events
  6. KT Community News

1. Knowledge To Action: Profiles from the Community

Sometimes complex problems need to be viewed in simple terms. Dr. Tofy Mussivand, winner of the 2010 CIHR Knowledge Translation Award, took a very complex problem - heart failure - and reduced it to simple mechanical roots.

"I saw many people, young and old, who die from heart failure. When doctors say you have heart failure, it's very bad news - if you don't do anything, within several years you will die," says Dr. Mussivand. "I became very absorbed in and focused on the problem."

He began his work on this issue at the Cleveland Clinic, but was eventually persuaded to return to Canada and join the University of Ottawa Heart Institute by Dr. Wilbert Keon. There Dr. Mussivand began to explore new approaches to treating heart failure.

"I love to take complex issues and simplify them," says Dr. Mussivand. "That's the way I understand it and that's the way I enjoy it. I simplified heart failure as essentially a problem with a pump."

Having reframed the problem, Dr. Mussivand was able to combine his backgrounds in engineering and medicine and assemble a multidisciplinary team from universities and hospitals in Canada and abroad to develop and test an implantable artificial heart and associated enabling technologies.

Dr. Mussivand's work on the artificial heart led to much more than a promising new treatment for people who suffer from heart failure. His work led to the creation of a successful global medical device company that continues to save lives around the globe. And in Canada, he continues to conduct groundbreaking research and develop novel medical devices for a range of health-care applications.

"We have also established the Medical Devices Innovation Institute (MDI2), which is focused on advancing new innovative medical devices from concept to clinical use and working to advance Canada's standing in the global medical devices sector through enhanced collaboration and knowledge sharing."

A strong believer and advocate for multidisciplinary collaboration, Dr. Mussivand feels that knowledge sharing is the key to global competitiveness for Canada.

"Without effective knowledge exchange, mankind will stagnate" says Dr. Mussivand. "Through greater collaboration we will enhance opportunities to reduce suffering and treat disease."

Dr. Tofy Mussivand, FRSC, PhD, Deng. is Director & CEO, Medical Devices Innovation Institute (MDI2) and Director, Cardiovascular Devices Division, University of Ottawa/University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The CIHR Knowledge Translation Award honours and supports the exemplary knowledge translation efforts and activities of an exceptional individual, team or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to increasing the application of research findings, improving the health of Canadians, health services and products, or strengthening the health-care system.

2. News from Ian Graham, Vice-President, CIHR

At CIHR we recognize the need to forge much needed relationships between decision-makers and health researchers in order for healthcare and service decisions to be based on the best evidence available. The Best Brains Exchange program can foster these relationships. By working with decision-makers to identify healthcare issues that are relevant to their current needs, CIHR then introduces leading experts who can speak to these issues in one-day, in-camera workshops.

What is the Best Brains Exchange Program?
The Best Brains Exchange Program was created as part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Evidence on Tap initiative, in an effort to increase capacity to engage with provincial and territorial ministries of health, as well as Health Canada, to produce research that responds to their priorities. The specific objective of the Best Brains Exchange Program is to produce high-quality, timely, and accessible evidence that is of immediate interest and use to senior government policy makers.

What does a Best Brains Exchange look like?
The Best Brains Exchanges are one-day, in-camera meetings for decision makers and researchers with expertise on a topic deemed high priority by the province. Specifically, it is a forum to highlight existing and relevant research evidence on the topic (and where the gaps in evidence lie); to outline best practices that may be important for consideration; to bring together both decision maker and researcher expertise on the issue; and to candidly discuss the applicability of the research for the province. The Best Brains Exchange is an informal forum for interaction, exchange and mutual learning between researchers and decision makers in order to support and facilitate the sharing and use of information on a high priority topic.

For more information on the Best Brains Exchange program contact Jennifer Campbell ( or Meghan Baker ( ).

3. KT Funding News

a) IMPORTANT NOTICE Regarding the Open Operating Grants Program

With the launch of the 2011-12 OOGP funding opportunity, CIHR will be updating the Open Operating Grants Program to allow knowledge users to apply as co-applicants and submit knowledge-user CVs.

b) CIHR Roadmap Signature Initiative in Evidence-informed Healthcare Renewal

Evidence-informed Healthcare Renewal (EIHR) is a CIHR initiative that supports research, capacity building, and knowledge translation in the priority areas of healthcare financing and funding, sustainability, and governance and accountability. The EIHR initiative provides a unique opportunity for researchers and decision makers from a variety of disciplines (e.g., economics, political science, ethics, medicine, epidemiology, etc.) and sectors (e.g., health, finance, social services) to work together to advance the current state of knowledge, generate novel and creative solutions, and contribute to evidence-informed decision-making about healthcare renewal in Canada.

Stay tuned for information about EIHR funding opportunities, which will be available on ResearchNet this June:

  • Knowledge Synthesis grants
  • Partnerships for Health System Improvement grants
  • Doctoral Research Awards
  • Fellowship Awards
  • Advancing Theories and Methodological Innovations

For more information about the EIHR initiative or its upcoming funding opportunities, please contact Meghan McMahon at or Michael Rajendram at Stay informed and sign up for the CIHR-IHSPR eBulletin to receive updates about EIHR funding launches and other important news.

c) Notice regarding CIHR's Meetings, Planning and Dissemination (MPD) Grant Program

Effective June 2011, CIHR's Meetings, Planning and Dissemination (MPD) Grant Program will be separated into three distinct programs as follows:

Planning Grants
Dissemination Events
Knowledge Translation Supplement

These funding opportunities will no longer be listed together under the umbrella "MPD" heading in CIHR's Funding Opportunities Database. Instead, they will each be listed separately under their own title headings as noted above. The "MPD" heading will no longer appear.

Please note that all other aspects of these funding opportunities will remain unchanged.

If you have any questions, please contact Yumna Choudhry, Senior Knowledge Translation Specialist at 613-954-1944 or

d) Journalism Award (2011-2012)

The purpose of these awards is to support Canadian journalists so they can report in depth on health research issues of interest to the Canadian public.

The maximum amount is $20,000 for up to 1 year.

Application deadline: October 5, 2011
Funding start date: March 1, 2012

For more information, please contact Michael Dwyer, Public Affairs and Ministerial Liaison Officer at 613-941-0688 or by e-mail at

e) APPLY NOW! 26 Planning Grants Available for CIHR's Roadmap Signature Initiative in Community-Based Primary Healthcare

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR) and the Office for Patient-Oriented Research, and Canada Health Infoway are pleased to make 26 Planning Grants available as part of a major ten-year initiative to fund research that supports the delivery of high-quality community-based primary healthcare (CBPHC) across Canada. A strong foundation of research evidence in CBPHC - the first and most frequent point of contact with the healthcare system - is key in helping to achieve better health outcomes, improved equity, an overall enhanced patient experience, and other system-wide benefits.

These $25,000 Planning Grants will support researchers to come together to build active and meaningful collaborations and to understand the existing CBPHC research landscape, including needs and priorities, before embarking on a full CBPHC Team Grant application in fall 2011. (Note: Teams who plan to apply for a CBPHC Team Grant are not required to apply for a CBPHC Planning Grant).

Furthermore, to build upon important cross jurisdictional research, the Health Research Council of New Zealand will be funding a team of New Zealand-based researchers in conjunction with the CIHR Roadmap Strategic Initiative in Community-Based Primary Healthcare. As a condition of funding, the New Zealand-based team would be required to collaborate with one of the 8 CIHR- funded teams and submit a joint application. In an effort to expedite the relationship building process, the Health Research Council of New Zealand has set up a researcher directory to help broker partnerships in Community- Based Primary Healthcare.
Canadian researchers interested in accessing the portal and in forging a research partnership with a team from New Zealand are encouraged to download the Research Directory Form and send it to Luke Garland () and to Erik Landriault ( Once filled-in, the information will be loaded on the secure portal and allow researchers to access the directory and browse common interests to being to explore collaborations. As part of the Initiative, both countries will be offering Planning Grants, which are designed to foster relationships between potential partners and teams of researchers.

For more information please visit the CBPHC Initiative, or email Erik Landriault (

f) Institute of Gender & Health (IGH) Gender, Sex and Health Knowledge Translation (KT) Supplement

The aim of the Gender, Sex and Health Trainee KT Supplement is to support graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to engage in the KT of gender, sex and health research from their postgraduate thesis or post-doctoral project. KT activities may either foster the engagement of knowledge users in the research process (integrated KT) or communicate findings from a completed research project to knowledge users (end-of-grant KT). Fees for publication in open access journals is eligible for this supplement given that access to research findings is a critical component of bridging knowledge-to-action gaps (see CIHR Open Access Policy). This supplement is worth up to $5,000. The next deadline for applications is October 1, 2011.

KT initiatives eligible for this opportunity must directly advance the translation of research that is trainee-led in a postgraduate thesis or post-doctoral project and that has a substantive focus on gender and/or sex and health. "Substantive" means that gender and/or sex are an integral aspect of the applicant's the research question(s) and research design. For information on integrating gender and/or sex into research designs, please refer to the CIHR Gender, Sex and Health Research Guide.

For more information, please refer to the IGH Gender, Sex and Health Trainee KT Supplement.

4. KT Learning Resources and Opportunities

a) KT Canada is pleased to offer a one day workshop on "End of Grant KT" at St Michael's hospital on August 15, 2011

The course objectives are:

  • To provide an approach to end of grant KT
  • To provide a framework for writing your 'end of grant' KT section
  • To understand the difference between end of grant KT and integrated KT

This workshop is open to trainees and researchers interested in learning how to incorporate KT into their grants. You will be expected to bring a summary of a project with you in order to develop your own end of grant KT plan.

Course instructor: Dr Sharon Straus

Course fee: $50 for trainees and $150 for others. Payment must be a cheque, payable to St Michael's Hospital. Registration fee covers cost of a course syllabus and a copy of "Knowledge Translation in Healthcare: Moving from Evidence to Practice" by Straus, Tetroe and Graham.

Registration deadline: August 1, 2011. To register or if you have any questions, please contact Gail Klein (

    b) Knowledge Translation in Health Care: Moving from Evidence to Practice Slideshows

    CIHR has compiled a series of PowerPoint presentations that were prepared by the authors of the primer, based on their chapter(s). The content of these slides is meant to complement, rather than replace the original chapters. We invite you to use these slides for your learning and/or training activities. If you would like additional information on the content of the slides, please refer to the Knowledge Translation in Health Care book.

    5. KT Events

    a) 4e colloque international des PLRS

    The movement to promote local and regional health programs in French-speaking countries originated at a conference held in Amiens, France in October 2001. At this conference, some 600 participants discussed their common concerns regarding the development, implementation, operation, maintenance, and evaluation of local and regional health programs.

    This year, the 4e colloque international des PLRS (4th international conference on local and regional health programs in French-speaking countries) will be held in Canada's national capital region. This conference will provide an ideal forum for discussions that will enhance knowledge of and provide insight into the roles of local and community stakeholders in the context of the changes that all health care systems throughout the world are experiencing to varying extents.

    Dates: June 27 to June 30, 2011.

    For more details, visit the conference site (French only).

    6. KT Community News

    a) New website seeks healthy debate on health care

    Public opinion surveys consistently rank the health care as a top issue for Canadians. Concerned citizens want to add their voices to policy debates on how well the health care system is performing, and where it needs improvement. These citizens have a new resource,, which is designed to provide factual, unbiased, easy to understand information on health policy, in an engaging format. was designed by a team of physicians, policy advisors and researchers based at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. "We created the website to help foster informed public debate," says Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. "We firmly believe the health care system will benefit from informed input from citizens."

    The site is financed in part by grants from CIHR.

    b) - Non-partisan policy experts and evidence is a non-partisan web-based project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Manitoba Health Research Council to make the latest evidence on controversial health policy issues available to the media. This site links journalists with health policy experts to provide access to credible, evidence-based information.

    If you would like to advertise your event or activity in this e-newsletter, please contact