Policy-Maker and Healthcare Provider Research Query

Submit Your Request

Are you looking for up to date and high quality scientific evidence to inform a health policy or a practice decision?

The SPOR Evidence Alliance has researchers located across Canada with expertise in a range of health topics who may be able to help address your priorities and needs using the following approaches: knowledge synthesis, guidelines development, and knowledge translation.

You can learn more about the types of requests the SPOR Evidence Alliance investigators have addressed or are currently responding by visiting Our Projects page.

You can tell us about your research needs by completing a set of questions using the English or French form. Feel free to skip any of the questions you are unable to answer at this time.

Note: As a research network we can only support requests for specific research needs. We do not have the expertise or the resources needed to make referrals for clinical services or community programs. We are also not able to provide any medical advice or opinions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a research query?

A research query is a focused and clearly defined research question seeking to find scientific evidence for a gap in knowledge that can help inform health policy or practice decision.

What types of research queries are accepted?

The SPOR Evidence Alliance responds to requests that can be addressed using one the following approaches:

Guideline: A statement that includes recommendations intended to optimize patient outcomes, informed by a systematic assessment of scientific evidence and professional opinions. They offer an evaluation of available scientific information and an assessment of the likely benefits and harms of a particular intervention to inform decision-makers of the optimal option.

Example: Recommendations on behavioural interventions for the prevention and treatment of cigarette smoking among school-aged children and youth (Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. CMAJ. 2017; 189 (8):E310-E316)

Knowledge Synthesis: A research process that systematically summarizes and synthesizes all important studies on a specific research question to help make sense of the diverse evidence on the topic.

Example: Comparisons of Interventions for Preventing Falls in Older Adults:  A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis (Tricco et al. JAMA. 2017; 318(17):1687-99)

Knowledge Translation: A process of summarizing, distributing, sharing, and applying the scientific knowledge uncovered from research into practice.

Example: Outcomes of Mobilisation of Vulnerable Elders in Ontario (MOVE ON): a multisite interrupted time series evaluation of an implementation intervention to increase patient mobilisation. (MOVE ON Collaboration. Age Ageing. 2018; 47(1):112-119.)

NOTE: Research queries seeking to advance/ improve the science of a research approach are not accepted here. For example: What are the optimal strategies, barriers and facilitators in engaging knowledge users in the conduct of health research?

Who can submit a research query?

Policy makers, health system managers, healthcare providers, researchers on behalf of a decision-maker organization across Canada are all eligible to submit research queries using the Policy-Maker and Healthcare Provider Research Query Intake Form.

Individual patients, caregivers, and members of the public are eligible to submit research queries using the Patient and Public Topic Suggestion Form.

The following are not eligible to submit a query:

  • Trainees – the SPOR Evidence Alliance will not conduct projects to support trainee’s academic training
  • Researchers – those not submitting a research query on behalf of a decision-maker
  • For-profit organizations – including drug/device manufacturers, private insurance providers, etc.
Must patient partners be included as part of the research project?

We strongly encourage patient engagement on all research projects. Patients are able to provide valuable insight in refining a research question, ensuring outcomes of importance to patients are being included, contextualizing the research findings, sharing research results etc.

Can the SPOR Evidence Alliance help me to identify and include patient partners?

The SPOR Evidence Alliance membership consists of many patient partners who have lived experience with a variety of health topics. We are able to connect you with a patient partner who has relevant lived experience.

How quickly can I expect to have my research request completed?

We can respond to requests with an urgent timeline using our rapid response approach, whereby information is provided within 3 months (from the time the protocol is developed by the research team and approved by you, as the primary knowledge user).

All other requests are addressed using our standard response approach, whereby information is provided in 12 months (from the time the protocol is developed by the research team and approved by you, as the primary knowledge user).

How can I learn about the status of my research query?

Regular updates on the status of your submission will be provided by the SPOR Evidence Alliance via email. Please ensure you have entered the correct email address when completing the query intake form.

If you need to contact the SPOR Evidence Alliance to make a change to your form, or to update your email address, please email us at SPOREA@smh.ca.

How will you disseminate the findings from your work?

Strategies for dissemination will be discussed with you at the time of developing the workplan, and will be tailored to your needs (e.g., report, plain language summary). To reach a broader audience and add to the scientific body of literature, we encourage our research teams to publish the final product in a peer-reviewed journal. In some cases, we may be able to support your organization with disseminating the results further (e.g., creation of knowledge translation tool).

Who will provide funding for the research query?

At this time, the SPOR Evidence Alliance requires the commissioning organization to cover the full cost of the research services requested.

Overview of Query Response Process: