Researchers and patients together will EMPOWER

Know a researcher with a great patient-oriented research project that could improve health in Ontario? Do they need additional support to promote the research to the right audiences?

A unique knowledge mobilization end-of-grant project may be able to help. Since 2019, OSSU’s EMPOWER Projects have provided $600,000 in funding to 24 diverse patient-partnered projects, and a call for proposals is coming this fall.

Funded projects will receive $25,000 plus a policy course from McMaster University’s Dr. John Lavis to guide them in creating a policy brief for enhancing and broadening the uptake and impact of the projects to inform healthcare policy and decision making.

From long COVID to caring for people ageing with HIV, improving pregnancy care for people with disabilities, priorities in venous thromboembolism, patient tools for diabetes care, health literacy for mental health created by youth for youth, virtual care for chronic pain patients and more, funded projects have encompassed a wide range of topics from across the province.

What sets this end-of-grant project apart is that patient and caregiver partners have the final say on which projects will be funded, after an initial review by a scientific panel.


Projects must be co-designed with patient/caregiver partners and address one of three OSSU priorities:

  1. Equity, with a focus on improving health equity
  2. Mobilizing knowledge with patient partners, diverse populations and linguistic groups for health decision-making and policy
  3. System improvement – demonstrating the 5-part aim of improved patient/provider experience; improved population health; lower health care costs; and advancing health equity

A key to success? Researchers must show that the patient partner perspective is fully integrated into the project and that patient views are key to the success of the mobilization strategy for broadening the use and uptake of the research projects findings.

Watch this fall for the EMPOWER VII Project call for proposals.