As BC’s health research agency, Michael Smith Health Research BC enabled responsive, relevant research to support BC’s COVID-19 response and helped provide important resources that BC’s health research community needed to continue doing world-class research during a time of rapid change.

Since 2020, we have been working to provide programs and activities that will help to retain and support BC’s talent base and provide funding stability and continuity for BC researchers whose research has been disrupted by COVID-19. These efforts helped address immediate and emerging issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and have provided necessary evidence for decision-makers to support a comprehensive and coordinated response.

As part of this work, provided strategic and secretariat support to the BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC), and collaborated with partners nationally and internationally to increase research funding coming into BC, optimize research resources, coordinate research support, and reduce duplication of effort.

We know that a short-term response is insufficient given the long-term implications of the pandemic. As a data-informed organization, we mobilized to gather information that continues to inform additional strategic decisions and actions in response to COVID-19. We have conducted conversations, reviewed literature and collected data with our health research community to better understand how the pandemic has disrupted the BC health research system and those working within it.

Health Research BC recognizes that BC’s successful response to COVID-19 involved policy approaches anchored in science. We are using the information gathered through our extensive outreach to create programs and activities that will enable innovative, cross-disciplinary researchers and teams to produce the science and evidence British Columbians need to stay healthy.

BC COVID-19 Strategic Research Advisory Committee (SRAC)

SRAC serves as a bridge between the Provincial Health Officer, government decision-makers and the BC health research community with regard to COVID-19 research. Health Research BC provided strategic support and served as secretariat to the committee.

COVID-19 funding

Health Research BC provided funding specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also taken measures to support Health Research BC-funded researchers whose work has been disrupted or changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.