EMPOWER Awards phase III

The vital role that research evidence and data plays in supporting health system decision making has been amplified during the recent COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Knowledge users have collaborated closely with researchers to make the most informed policy decisions, relying heavily on scientific expertise and research evidence to shape policy decisions under tight timelines. Patient-oriented research is more important than ever in these times, as it has the power to align the needs of patients and the public with responses from individuals, the health system and health policy.

The Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit (OSSU) is inviting proposals from qualified groups for additional knowledge translation and implementation funding to empower patient oriented research projects to achieve broader impacts on health, health policy and health system for Ontario. The EMPOWER Awards (Engaging Multi-stakeholders for Patient Oriented research Wider Effects & Reach) provide a structure (integrating the Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit and its Research Centres) and funding (up to $25,000) to allow existing patient-oriented research projects that require additional support to have impacts. Applications are invited from research teams that have completed or are completing patient-oriented research studies that have demonstrable patient partnership. EMPOWER Awardees will be expected to also build patient partnership into their EMPOWER Award. EMPOWER Awards are for a maximum duration of six months.

In the EMPOWER Awards III, OSSU is soliciting proposals that relate patient-partnered and citizen/public engaged research that has the capacity to deliver impacts related to COVID-19 challenges in Ontario. The original patient partnered research need not be on the subject of COVID-19 itself, but the application and impact of the work should be relevant to the needs of stakeholders in the province (from patients, to healthcare practitioners, to health policy and the health system). The RFP and related documents are below.

Proposals are to be submitted electronically to OSSU via email to by 5:00 pm eastern on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020. Please include “RFP – EMPOWER Awards III” in the subject line. Questions regarding this RFP should be submitted to Eddy Nason (