Health Research BC is committed to creating a more equitable, diverse and inclusive health research system. We know that EDI in research is important to cultivating talent and promoting inclusive excellence, which in turn drives discovery and helps build a more equitable health research system.  


Data from Canada and around the world show a lack of diversity in the health research system, as well as inequities in accessing research jobs, funding, and other resources. Racism exists in our health research system. In BC and in Canada, people continue to be denied representation throughout the health research system; while not exhaustive, they include those who are Indigenous, Black, racialized, LGBTQ2S+ and people with disabilities. 


As BC’s health research agency, Health Research BC has an important role to play in leading and supporting the Tri-Agency Statement on EDI, their EDI action plan (2018-2025), and CIHR’s Accessibility Action plan to build meaningful change with lasting impact in the health research system.


We envision a health research system that: advances equity by recognizing and removing barriers to access and participation; promotes diversity paying special attention to the historically underserved and equity-denied; and enables inclusion by tending to the conditions required for cultural change that allows for meaningful inclusion for all peoples.


To that end, we have created commitments to EDI, building on our existing work, to guide us in fulfilling our role and responsibilities as Health Research BC in addressing systemic racism and other forms of bias and discrimination in the health research system.


Our commitments are grouped into three areas:



We will build and support EDI across our staff, leadership, Board and advisory structures, enabling a culture and environment where all feel a sense of belonging, are treated with respect and can participate fully as their authentic selves. One immediate step is to conduct an EDI audit of our organization. Reviewing all internal policies, processes, and communications will inform an action plan that better integrates EDI principles into all our business operations.



We will advance EDI throughout our programs. We will ensure those we fund, support and collaborate with reflect the diversity of BC to the extent possible. This involves addressing barriers to accessing our funding, resources and opportunities in peer and/or ethics review, clinical trials, patient-oriented research and knowledge translation. Our funding team will continue to gather and analyze EDI information about applicants, supervisors, collaborators, and peer reviewers to inform change and enhance EDI in our research programs.


External relations and partnerships

We will continue to partner with provincial, national and international research institutions and agencies on initiatives aimed at addressing systemic inequities. We will use our position to promote and support EDI within the health research system.


These commitments are a work in progress. We recognize we have a responsibility to continually listen, learn and share our progress and our challenges.


For more information, please contact:
Gillian Corless, Senior Manager, Indigenous Partnerships at gcorless@healthresearchbc.ca.