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How SHRF Builds Meaningful Partnerships to Benefit the Saskatchewan Health Research Community

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

Partnerships are about working together to accomplish common goals. By developing collaborative relationships, we can strengthen Saskatchewan’s health research ecosystem with the intent to do more with the resources we have. SHRF seeks out partnerships that increase the investment in research and innovation in Saskatchewan to augment researchers’ capacity and competitiveness while aligning with the unique needs of the province.

SHRF works with other funding agencies, non-profit organizations, industry leaders and other health research supporters who help us accomplish our goals. We work with these partners to benefit the Saskatchewan health research community in the following ways:

SHRF invites partners to provide support through our existing suite of funding programs

SHRF holds three core competitions each year. These programs aim to establish new or newly resident researchers in their Saskatchewan research careers (Establishment grant); support the next generation of researchers (Research Fellowships); and provide teams with seed money to foster new ideas (Collaborative Innovation Development grant).

When partners contribute to our current suite of programs, SHRF can invest in a greater number of researchers and teams. Partners also benefit from SHRF’s knowledge and processes, ensuring that research dollars are invested and aligned to partner needs (i.e. peer review), are accountable and well used (i.e. reporting structures), and the impact of that investment is evaluated. SHRF is also able to help partners communicate this impact and tell the story of how research is benefitting the health of Saskatchewan citizens. 

SHRF and partners combine resources to offer new or targeted opportunities

Sometimes there is demand for research funding to investigate a specific disease or targeted population facing a unique health challenge. This is when SHRF can come together with partners to hold targeted funding competitions aimed at increasing research activity in a specific area.

SHRF is currently involved in supporting Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research by working with the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) by funding this area of research with the Sprout and Leadership grants.

Earlier in the year, SHRF partnered with the Lung Association, Saskatchewan, to run a competition in support of the new Respiratory Research Centre (RRC) with the shared goal of “discovery for healthy breathing”.

SHRF works with the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation and MS Society of Canada, with the support of the University of Saskatchewan, to fund three Saskatchewan Research Chairs in Alzheimer’s and related dementia, clinical stroke research and Multiple Sclerosis.

When SHRF works with partners, we can respond to specific needs and offer targeted programs. This helps find Saskatchewan solutions to Saskatchewan challenges, while being leaders in influencing local and global health.

SHRF contributes to required matching dollars on partner-led opportunities

The innovative work happening in the province can have a big impact when properly supported. SHRF works with individual researchers and partners to provide matching funding support to strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of Saskatchewan researchers. This matching support helps connect Saskatchewan researchers to national and international networks in important areas and increase success in further funding.

While SHRF’s mandate and role in the health research ecosystem is large and broad, it is a reality that resources dedicated to health research are limited. To accomplish our goal of increasing the investment in research and innovation in our province, SHRF seeks meaningful partnerships that strengthen the capacity and competitiveness of our researchers, aligning with Saskatchewan-focused health challenges.

Saskatchewan has the expertise to be leaders in Indigenous health and patient-oriented research; we have the research infrastructure and technology to drive innovative health discoveries; and we bring passion and hope to the challenges that mean the most to Saskatchewan people. By partnering with stakeholders from the community to provincial to national level, we are contributing to a stronger health research and innovation ecosystem, a high performing health system, and most importantly improved health of Saskatchewan citizens.

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