Catalyzing pathways from evidence to impact

12 December 2023

Health research teams across British Columbia are putting knowledge into action with funding awarded by Michael Smith Health Research BC.

The Convening & Collaborating (C2) and Reach funding programs are enabling health researchers to foster collaboration, disseminate and implement evidence, and increase the impact of their research — ultimately improving the health of people and communities in BC.

These team-based funding programs mobilize communities for research impact as well as build research talent for BC’s future. The programs support research collaborations and co-development between researchers and the people who will use the research. They also enable health researchers and professionals to develop skills and experience in knowledge translation. This translating of knowledge then plays a crucial role by accelerating the pathway from evidence to impact on policy and practice.

The awarded research teams span the province from northern BC and the Interior to Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver and address a wide range of health challenges.


Fostering meaningful collaboration to ensure relevancy

C2 awards support health researchers and research users to engage in meaningful collaboration to co-create relevant and impactful research for people such as patients, health practitioners and policymakers.

This year’s C2 recipients are investigating a diverse range of health topics including: research partnerships with Indigenous peoples on spinal cord injury; culturally resonant intervention to support South Asian men who use substances; multisectoral physical activity engagement strategy for youth in northern BC; and ethical and legal implications of screening for intimate partner violence-caused brain injury.

C2 awardee Dr. Catherine Costigan, based at the University of Victoria, is working to create and share innovative models for language interpreter services and cultural bridging in health care. “With this award, I will be able to help promote language interpretation and cultural brokering services within health care,” says Catherine. “This will ensure that newcomers’ health care needs are adequately addressed across primary care, urgent care, mental health care and acute care contexts.”


Reaching people impacted by health research

Reach awards support health researchers to disseminate research evidence by co-developing events, activities, and tools with research users. The funding helps research teams reach audiences who can use the knowledge to make an impact.

This year’s Reach award recipients are implementing knowledge generated from research including: a symposium to build equity in research; an online mental health peer-support platform for older adults; dementia-inclusive community spaces; and an extreme heat podcast.

Based at Thompson Rivers University, award recipient Dr. Wendy Hulko will use the funding to advance her research on aging. “This Reach award will enable me to work in collaboration with older adults to showcase their voices and experiences of interacting with the BC health care system from small cities and rural towns to large urban areas and engage knowledge users in mobilizing the results of aging in place research across health regions,” says Wendy. “It also provides me with the opportunity to learn about digital storytelling, which is a visual and creative means of sharing research findings in a greater number and variety of sites and settings of health and social care in BC.”


Building capacity in health research in BC

Strong partnerships are integral to helping develop BC’s health research talent and allow us to fund more researchers while helping partners optimize their research dollars to advance their research priorities. Health Research BC thanks the partners that co-funded eight of the 2023 C2 and Reach awards:

  • Alzheimer Society of BC
  • BC Nurses Union
  • Tai Hung Fai Charitable Foundation with Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Aging

Learn more about partnerships.


Congratulations to all the funding recipients. See the full list of awardees:

Stay tuned for details of our 2024 C2 and Reach competitions coming in April 2024.