What is it?

The BC Cancer Practice-Based Research Challenge is an innovative approach that bridges the gap between clinical practice and research by empowering teams of point-of-care clinical staff to identify challenging clinical issues and find evidence-based answers through research.

Practice-based research is a systematic approach oriented to finding answers to everyday problems of clinical practice with the purpose of improving the work of practitioners for the benefit of patients. PBR links relevant research questions of practicing clinicians with different research methods to produce research results that are more easily assimilated into everyday practice and to support practice and policy change that directly impact quality of care.

The Practice-based Research Challenge is an annual competition that offers BC Cancer employees with limited or no research experience the opportunity to learn basic research skills and work with a mentor to develop a small research project that has potential to improve clinical practice and patient care.

How can I participate?

  1. Review the Research Challenge timeline.
  2. Form a team of two or more people. At least one member has to be a point-of-care staff. The Research Challenge is open to non-physician employees of BC Cancer who have little or no research experience, and have limited opportunities to get funding and training to lead research projects.
  3. The Research Challenge is open to non-physician employees of BC Cancer who have little or no research experience, and have limited opportunities to get funding and training to lead research projects. Teams can be inter-professional. All team leaders must be 0.5 FTE or greater for at least 1 year (full-time or part-time).
  4. Designate a team leader (must be full/part time, employed at BC Cancer for a minimum of one year).
  5. Complete and submit the letter of intent after the yearly competition has been announced.


I want to be involved, but do not know much about research – can I still participate?

The Research Challenge is perfect for you! It has been designed to teach beginners the basics of research.

Who can apply to participate in the Challenge?

The challenge is designed to provide a team-based experience to support point-of-care staff who have little or no research experience (e.g. conducting research is not part of your job description). To be eligible, teams must:

  • Include at least one point-of-care staff member (i.e. maintains a clinical practice and is not purely managerial or in an education/research role).
  • Be a minimum of two people per team (but we recommend 3+ people to better share the workload and coordinate attendance to workshops).
  • Designate a team leader (must be full/part time, employed at BC Cancer for a minimum of one year).

How much research award money is available for teams who win the challenge?

Successful teams will receive a maximum of $5,000 in award funding.

What will be expected of participants?

Applicants will find team members and submit the Letter of Intent (LOI). Teams who’s LOI are accepted are expected to complete the online curriculum and participate in the interactive webinars. At least one team member should attend the webinars. Each session builds upon the other; we recommend that teams work in their research proposals in between sessions to bring questions and maximize the benefits of the webinars. The time spent on the project will need to be negotiated between staff applying for the Research Challenge and their manager. It is expected teams develop and submit a research proposal (with support from their mentor). Teams whose projects are selected will be supported with funds and a mentor (if not already identified) to conduct their research project over an 18-month period.

Including a patient/family partner is encouraged but not mandatory. It will give you an additional edge as a mentor from BC Support Unit will provide additional guidance and mentorship to your project.

What will the Research Challenge funding cover?

Funds are available for use after the ethics application has been approved (if required). Eligible expenses include: staff time to work on the project, salaries for research assistants, transcription costs, consultant fees for data analysis, purchase of small equipment (less than $100 usually), office supplies, conference fees (only if presenting), software and survey licenses.

What are the expected outputs of the challenge?

Funded teams are expected to submit three quarterly progress reports over the period of the study and one final report. In addition, all participants are required to participate in the online surveys to enable us to improve the process.

What can be the role of patient partners in research?

Patient partners could partner in the research study in multiple ways. For example, prioritizing research questions, identifying select patient oriented outcomes, co-applicant in funding applications, assist in interpreting study results etc. Active collaboration between researchers and members of the public and patients is now recognized as best applied clinical research practice.

How do I know if my project is better suited for the KT Challenge vs the Practice-Based Research Challenge?

If you are unsure which challenge is the best fit for your project, check out the RC vs KTC Decision Tree. If you still have questions please email research.kt@bccancer.bc.ca


Email Maria Torrejon, coordinator research & evaluation.

Jun 21, 2021

2021 Cohort

The Practice-based Research Challenge is an annual program that provides training, mentorship, and funding to help clinicians develop and conduct research projects inspired by their practice and the desire to improve patient care. Five teams have been awarded funding to conduct small-scale research projects in their own clinical settings.​ One of the teams is led by Hilary Cochrane, a speech language pathologist from BC Cancer - Victoria:

Jun 17, 2021

2019 Cohort

On behalf of the Research Challenge Advisory Council, funding for five teams has been announced. Award recipients will conduct small-scale research projects that have potential to positively impact clinical practice and improve patient care.

Congratulations to the funded teams and thanks to their mentors!

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