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The Unit is a joint financial initiative between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Quebec government. It supports and catalyzes implementation of a Learning Health System based on patient-oriented research.

Our ability to offer structured programming for Quebec in the coming years is mainly due to recent investments by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS) for clinical and organizational data valorization and a generous fellowship program from the Fonds de recherche du Québec for POR succession training.


Structuring partnerships

Toward a Québec Ecosystem

The Unit plans to help build a true province-wide ecosystem with its partners and collaborating organizations that will establish connections between:

  1. The health care network
  2. The research network
  3. Various organizations dedicated to spreading knowledge
  4. Other provincial SPOR entities

The Unit’s expertise specifically helps promote collaboration between the four Réseaux universitaires de santé et de services sociaux (RUISSSs), their faculties of medicine (Université Laval, McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université de Sherbrooke) along with their research teams.

“The connection between these traditionally highly competitive institutions is a notable success in and of itself and can be attributed to the Unit’s establishment and operations.”

Dr. Alain Vanasse, Scientific Director from 2019 to 2021


Who are our partners?

The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)’s mission is to maintain, improve and restore the health and well-being of Quebecers by providing high-quality, integrated health care and social services, thereby contributing to Quebec’s social and economic development.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research. Composed of 13 Institutes, the CIHR collaborates with partners and researchers to support discoveries and innovations that improve Canadians’ health and improve the health care system.

“To implement POR in Canada, the CIHR has concluded funding partnerships with the provinces and territories, philanthropic organizations, teaching institutions and health charities. The result: Canada’s Strategy for Patient-oriented Research (SPOR).”

Reporting to the Minister of Economy and Innovation, the mission of the Fonds de recherche du Québec is to ensure the strategic and coherent development of Quebec research and support it financially, support the training of researchers, establish the necessary partnerships for these researchers to carry out their mission, and promote and support the mobilization of knowledge.

The RUISSS are the territories associated with Quebec’s four faculties of medicine (McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université Laval and Université de Sherbrooke). They were created to promote the co-development, complementarity and integration of care missions, along with teaching and research at health care establishments with university designations and at universities with which these establishments are affiliated.

The réseaux universitaires intégrés de santé (RUIS) were created in 2003; social services (RUISSS) were integrated in 2005, and their mission was defined in the Act respecting health services and social services.

Réseau-1 Québec is a primary care knowledge network based on an infrastructure of member clinics attached to one of four practice-based research networks (PBRN) which cover all of Quebec. Each PBRN is under the responsibility of a department of family medicine and emergency medicine at Université Laval, McGill University, Université de Montréal or Université de Sherbrooke.

Oncopole is a Quebec research, development and investment hub advancing the fight against cancer. Created in February 2017, Oncopole is the result of a unique co-creation effort by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS). Oncopole’s mission is to act as a catalyst for actions rolled out by Quebec’s oncological research and innovation ecosystem and to position the province as a leader in the field. Its priorities—research, entrepreneurship, promoting and integrating innovations, and clinical relevance—are carried out to mobilize stakeholders, find innovative ways to fight cancer, and ultimately, to benefit patients.


  • ACCESS Open Minds
  • Diabetes Action Canada (DAC)
  • Association pour la santé publique du Québec (ASPQ)
  • Centre Déclic
  • Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP)
  • Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations (CIRANO)
  • Centre interuniversitaire québécois de statistiques sociales (CIQSS)
  • Interdisciplinary Research Group in Health Informatics (GRIIS)
  • Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)
  • Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ)
  • Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ)
  • Institut universitaire de première ligne en santé et services sociaux CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS
  • Institut universitaire de première ligne en santé et services sociaux CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale
  • Quebec Network for Research on Aging (RQRV)
  • SPOR units in Canada

Do you have an idea for collaboration? Contact us