Request for Proposal

Evaluation of the SPOR Evidence Alliance

At a Glance

Application opens: January 30, 2023

Application closes: March 6, 2023

Funding Available: $70,000.00 CAD


The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Evidence Alliance invites proposals from organizations or individuals with demonstrated experience and knowledge of learning health systems and related areas to undertake an evaluation of its approaches and activities from January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023.

Application Details:


The SPOR Evidence Alliance is a Canada-wide partnership between researchers, research trainees, patients and public, healthcare providers, policy makers and other health system decision-makers. In 2017, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) awarded a 5-year grant to the SPOR Evidence Alliance to address disparities in the production of decision-maker driven knowledge synthesis, as well as in the development, dissemination, and uptake of guidelines. The grant from CIHR was renewed in 2022 for another 18 months.

The SPOR Evidence Alliance is grounded in the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusivity, as well as transparency and collaboration. The principles are conceptualized with a focus on an integrated knowledge translation approach [1], whereby decision-makers are equal members of the research team, as well as the SPOR Patient Engagement Framework (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) [2], which fosters a climate where patients are meaningfully engaged in all SPOR-related activities. These principles are embedded in all activities that are conducted by the SPOR Evidence Alliance, such as selecting members for committees within our governance structure, identifying members for peer-review panels for our annual seed grant competition, our query services model, and priority setting of patient-identified research topics. The SPOR Evidence Alliance leadership operationalizes these principles by always using a growth mindset (i.e., continuous learning) and abundance mindset (i.e., distributing funding and projects in an equitable manner) for all activities.

The specific goals of the SPOR Evidence Alliance are to:

  1. Provide timely responses to the evidence needs of decision-makers (including patients and public) to inform important health policy and practice changes.
  2. Strengthen partnerships with organizations and individuals who use research by meaningfully involving them in governance, priority setting, the conduct of research and the uptake of research findings.
  3. Improve Canada-wide collaboration and coordination of health research to avoid duplication of research efforts.
  4. Support new researchers and trainees by offering more collaboration, training, and mentorship opportunities.
  5. Create meaningful partnerships with national and international organizations to increase the visibility and uptake of Canadian research.
  6. Make research findings more easily accessible by publishing findings with open access.
  7. Advance the science of four core research methods (knowledge synthesis, knowledge translation, guidelines, patient-oriented research).
  8. Support and strengthen partnerships within the SPOR enterprise.

For more information about the SPOR Evidence Alliance and its activities, please refer to our website at

[1] Kothari A, McCutcheon C, and Graham ID. 2017. Defining integrated knowledge translation and moving forward: a response to recent commentaries. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 6(5): 299–300.

[2] Canadian Institutes of Health Research. n.d.-h. Strategy for patient-oriented research – patient engagement framework [online]: Available from:

Scope of Work

The SPOR Evidence Alliance is seeking an external organization or individual to undertake an evaluation of its approaches and activities from January 1, 2018 to March 31, 2023. This evaluation is expected to be a summative evaluation that can identify the progress the SPOR Evidence Alliance has made towards its goals. The main focus of the evaluation will be to describe the approach and activities led or supported by the SPOR Evidence Alliance across the following core functions of the SPOR Evidence Alliance:

  1. Governance and Administration
  2. Research Query Services
  3. Training and Capacity Development
  4. Advancing Science
  5. Patient and Public Engagement

The evaluation will gather information from activities across the SPOR Evidence Alliance including from all partners, working groups, committees, research teams. The evaluation team is expected to engage with relevant partners of the SPOR Evidence Alliance in a collaborative way.

The evaluation is also expected to assess response to knowledge user needs, including findings that are relevant to patient and public partners, the research community, and identify impact specific to health system decision-makers.

The successful bidder must deliver an evaluation report over a six-month timeframe. There is no fixed approach to the evaluation, but we will work with the selected bidder to determine appropriate approaches. The criteria should align with the key performance indicators of the SPOR Evidence Alliance (Appendix A).


Proposals must provide the following information (evaluation weighting shown in brackets):

  1. Proposal (50%): Develop a tailored evaluation framework and work plan for the SPOR Evidence Alliance:
    • The proposed evaluation framework and work plan aligns closely with the goals and performance indicators outlined in Appendix A.
    • Propose methods to capture both qualitative and quantitative evaluation data.
    • Propose an approach to synthesize information and provide meaningful insights on the impacts of SPOR Evidence Alliance and the activities it has led or supported, including developing impact stories from SPOR Evidence Alliance activities.
    • Clearly outline a plan to connect with key SPOR Evidence Alliance partners engaged in our activities.
    • Identify impacts specific to health system decision-makers at the local/municipal, provincial, federal, and international level.
  2. Curriculum Vitae/Resume (40%): Demonstrate a strong knowledge and understanding of summative evaluation of health research:
    • Demonstrated knowledge of the CIHR SPOR enterprise.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of the Canadian health research landscape, health system, health policy, and patient-oriented research.
    • Demonstrated knowledge with the SPOR Evidence Alliance.
    • Demonstrated experience in health research program evaluation.
    • Awareness of social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion principles, including accessibility, and awareness of Indigenous ways of knowing.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of the research priority-setting process.
    • Experience with engaging and including diverse knowledge users’ including patients and members of the public in the evaluation process.
  3. Budget and Timeline (10%): Develop an anticipated budget and timeline for the proposed work:
    • Identify available capacity and resources to undertake the outlined work.
    • Prepare an itemized budget (maximum CAD $70,000.00) of undertaking the proposed evaluation work.
    • Prepare a detailed timeline with key milestones of the proposed evaluation work

Key Dates

  • January 30, 2023 – Request for Proposal (RFP) opens.
  • February 13, 2023 – Deadline for questions about the RFP to be submitted to the SPOR Evidence Alliance. 
  • March 6, 2023 – RFP application closes.
  • March 9, 2023 – Internal review process begins.
  • March 30, 2023 – All RFP applicants will be contacted about decisions by the end of the day.
  • April 10-12, 2023 (if applicable) – Top three selected proposals invited to give a 20-minute presentation to the evaluation review panel (with an extra 30 minutes for questions).
  • April 17, 2023 – Successful applicant will be identified.
  • May 1, 2023 – Evaluation phase begins.
  • October 31, 2023 – Evaluation report to be submitted to the SPOR Evidence Alliance Nominated Principal Investigator. 

Application closed on March 6, 2023.