Michael Smith Health Research BC is British Columbia’s health research agency. We are working toward a future where BC is recognized worldwide for its vibrant, coherent, inclusive and globally competitive health research system that improves the health of British Columbians, the health system and the economy.
To achieve this, we support BC’s top health researchers through various funding programs designed to build the province’s research capacity and address health system priorities. We also enable research through programs and resources in the areas of patient-oriented research, clinical trials, research ethics and knowledge translation. We further increase our impact through active partnerships with many other provincial, national and international organizations who collaborate with us on funding, training, and other initiatives.
Our three-year (2022 – 2025) strategy, which is based on our strong 20+ year track record as BC’s health research agency, guides us in co-creating the future we envision. We are focused on improving the health of British Columbians, the health system and the economy through three interconnected strategic directions that reflect our niche in BC’s health research system.
Download our full strategy here:PDF
Indigenous cultural safety
We are on a learning journey to enact our organizational commitments to Indigenous cultural safety and Indigenous-led health research. These commitments build on key relationships, including with the BC Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research (BC NEIHR) and the First Nations Health Authority.
Across the organization, our work is grounded in respect for Indigenous self-determination and awareness of reconciliation as an active and ongoing process. One example of our priorities is to grow capacity for culturally safe ethics review. We have hosted several Indigenous cultural safety and humility events, including an Indigenous-led workshop for our research ethics staff and board members.
We recognize that we are still learning how to respectfully support reconciliation efforts and develop meaningful relationships and partnerships with the Indigenous peoples in British Columbia. We continue to be guided by our Indigenous partners.
Equity, diversity and inclusion
We are committed to addressing systemic inequities in the health research system by cultivating a diverse, inclusive and equitable health research system. Data from Canada and around the world show a lack of diversity in the research system, as well as systemic inequities in access to research jobs, funding and other resources. These inequities disproportionately impact people who have been historically underrepresented among researchers and in academia, including those who are Indigenous, Black, of colour, LGBTQ2S+ or those with disabilities.
As BC’s health research agency, we have an essential role in leading and supporting efforts to address systemic racism and other forms of bias and discrimination that create and exacerbate inequities in the health research system. We are doing this in a few ways, including:
- Continuing to seek ways to improve the design and implementation of our funding programs and peer review processes.
- Requiring all Health Research BC’s peer reviewers to participate in unconscious bias training.
- Being a strategic partner on an international consortium undertaking empirical research studies to advance evidence-informed research funding.
We recognize that we have a responsibility to continually listen and learn with our stakeholders and national and international partners.
Dr. Michael Smith
Michael Smith Health Research BC was created in 2001 in honour of BC’s first Nobel Laureate Dr. Michael Smith. A pre-eminent chemist and molecular biologist, Michael was dedicated to building BC’s health research capacity and nurturing the next generation of research innovators. His distinguished career and longstanding commitment to supporting emerging scientific talent helped establish BC as a hub of world-class health research. Health Research BC continues this important work in BC and beyond as a member of NAPHRO, the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations.
Health Research BC's audited annual financial statements are available for download.