Patient is used as an overarching term that includes individuals who have or have had cancer and informal caregivers, including family and friends, who have cared or are caring for a cancer patient. Patient engagement is defined in the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Patient Engagement Framework as meaningful and active collaboration with patients in governance, priority setting, conducting research and knowledge translation. Effective patient engagement occurs throughout the research process and improves the relevance of the research and its translation into policy and practice.
Since 2017, the CCRA has offered the Patient Involvement in Cancer Research Program (PIP) as part of the biennial Canadian Cancer Research Conference (CCRC). PIP provides patient partners with an opportunity to learn about leading-edge science from Canada’s cancer researchers and trainees and to, likewise, offer the scientific community an opportunity to learn from and interact with patient partners keen on building their knowledge of cancer research and demonstrating the value that engaged patients can bring to the cancer research process.
Planning for our 2023 PIP, which will be offered in a hybrid format alongside the 2023 CCRC, is underway. The 2023 PIP Working Committee is being chaired by Dr. Don Desserud, patient partner on the CCRA Advisory Board. Other members include Ms. Ruth Ackerman, Ms. Melissa Coombs, and Dr. Rosilene Kraft.
Evaluations of our previous programs can be found here.
What’s PIP? Find out from Patient Partner Ms. Nathalie Baudais.
Learn more about PIP from Patient Partner Dr. Don Desserud.
The PIP Experience from Patient Partner Ms. Debi Lascelle.
CCRA Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer Research
Since 2017, CCRA has, as part of its awards program, recognized individuals who have made exceptional contributions to fostering patient involvement in cancer research in Canada. This individual may be a patient research advocate, a researcher, and/or a care provider or clinician. The awardee for the 2023 CCRA award for Exceptional Leadership in Patient Involvement in Cancer Research will be announced later this year.
2023 PIP Research Grant Competition for Postdoctoral Fellows
As part of its commitment to patient engagement in cancer research, the CCRA is releasing its second funding opportunity as part of PIP. Integrated with the biennial Canadian Cancer Research Conference (CCRC), PIP provides patient partners with an opportunity to learn about leading-edge science from Canada’s cancer researchers and trainees and to, likewise, offer the scientific community an opportunity to learn from and interact with patient partners keen on building their knowledge of cancer research and demonstrating the value that engaged patients can bring to the cancer research process.
One grant of up to $15,000 will be issued. This competition is open to postdoctoral-level trainees at Canadian institutions/organizations. Applicants from all research pillars are welcomed (the successful applicant will be announced at the CCRC). Applicants with the highest rated proposals, as determined by patient partners, will provide a brief presentation to a panel of patients, who will ask questions and provide feedback. An evaluation of these sessions will form the basis of the final grant decision. The winner will be provided with CCRC registration and have their travel and accommodation covered.
Grant guidelines are available here and the application form can be downloaded here. The grant deadline is July 17, 2023. An information webinar was held on April 17, 2023. The slide deck from the webinar is available here. If you require further information about this opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The winner of the inaugural competition in 2021 was Dr. Stéphanie Bernard, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation for her project, “Exploring gynecologic cancer survivorship needs, barriers and facilitators to virtual pelvic health care: a patient-centred multi-methods study.” For more information, see https://youtu.be/2TY305YwJbU. An article about the 2021 PIP Grant adjudication process is available here: https://doi.org/10.1177/23743735221123424.
Resources for Patient Research Advocate
To support patients in their learning journey, CCRA has developed a series of digests on research advocacy as well as different topics within cancer science. A searchable glossary is also available. PIP participants may also elect to be part of an online group within the MS Teams environment, which provides additional opportunities to keep abreast of developments in the field of patient engagement and stay connected with other patient research advocates.
CCRA has also supported PIP participants interested in utilizing the Canadian Cancer Research Survey (CCRS) to explore research investments made in specific cancer research areas. Two of our PIP participants published an article in Archives of Breast Cancer (July 2021) looking at the research investment in metastatic breast cancer research and how it aligned with research priorities generated through a priority setting partnership of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and researchers.