PRIHS 2019/2020

Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System

Program Overview

Maintaining the quality and accessibility of health care in the face of rising costs and demand is a major challenge facing governments and health care organizations around the world. Alberta Innovates (AI) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) co-launched the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System (PRIHS) program out of a shared commitment to developing research and innovation (R&I) activities that contribute to health system sustainability in Alberta.

Building on the momentum of previous competitions, PRIHS V provides a streamlined process for connecting Alberta’s academic institutions with Strategic Clinical Networks™ (SCNs), patients, providers and leaders in AHS to:

  • Translate research evidence into testable solutions that address priority health system challenges in Alberta as articulated by the SCNs; and
  • Generate the evidence needed to identify and accelerate the spread and/or scale of solutions that foster more efficient and/or effective use of health care resources.

The PRIHS Challenge

PRIHS is designed to align the knowledge production efforts of researchers with the evidence needs of the health system. This is achieved by providing opportunities for researchers to propose solutions to priority health system challenges and access support from SCNs and other expertise within AHS to administer implementation studies. These implementation studies will help AHS identify and advance solutions that improve health care quality, health outcomes and value for Albertans.

PRIHS Road Map

Key Details

Value & term

Combined pool of funds available: $7 million. No maximum value is set for each proposal. Individual award’s period of support: up to three years (2020-2023).

Competition Process

Applicants contact the Scientific Director (SD) or Assistant Scientific Director (ASD) of the appropriate SCN to discuss potential ideas or solutions. Contact information is available on the PRIHS 2019-20 website. Please refer to the Program Guide for additional details.

Summary of Key Dates

June 30, 2019: SCNs select up to 3 projects for submission to PRIHS
September 27th, 2019: Stage 1 application deadline at 4:00 p.m.
October 25th, 2019: Stage 1 review and recommendations
November-January 2020: Co-design of full proposal for top 10 applications
January 31th, 2020: Stage 2 application deadline
February 17-21, 2020: Stage 2 review (in-person) and recommendations
Early March, 2020: Conditional approval
March 2020: Funding announcement and initial disbursement of funds

Read the Program Guide for more detailed information on the PRIHS 2019/20.

Documents and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main objectives of PRIHS 2019/20?

The overall goal of PRIHS is to support research and innovation activities that will contribute to achieving a sustainable health system.
PRIHS V provides a streamlined process for connecting Alberta’s academic institutions with Strategic Clinical Networks™ (SCNs), patients, providers and leaders in AHS to:

  • Translate research evidence into testable solutions that address priority health system challenges in Alberta as articulated by the SCNs; and
  • Generate the evidence needed to identify and accelerate the spread and/or scale of solutions that foster more efficient and/or effective use of health care resources.

2. What are Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs)?

Please see the Alberta Health Services website for information about the SCNs.

3. Who is eligible to apply?

Only proposals that are developed in collaboration with one or more SCN and consist of an implementation study in the Alberta health system will be considered for funding. All PRIHS V applications must include:

  • At least one lead applicant who holds an academic or research appointment at an Alberta-based Institution.
  • SCN Scientific Directors (SDs) and Assistant Scientific Directors (ASDs) are eligible to apply as a lead or co-lead. SD’s and ASD’s are exempt from all involvement in PRIHS Stage 1 and Stage 2 process review, evaluation and selection processes and panels.
  • SCN staff as part of the implementation study team or if applicable a co-lead.
  • Other collaborators and/or knowledge users from the broader SCN network, including operational leaders, are encouraged.

4. Why do projects need to be developed in collaboration with SCNs?

SCNs consist of networks of patients and families, academic partners, clinical leaders, and other stakeholders who are knowledgeable about specific areas of health and serve as enduring structures for setting Research & Innovation priorities and driving clinical innovation within AHS. SCNs are key to the success of PRIHS. Developing PRIHS applications in collaboration with SCNs ensures that:

  • Project teams have access to key health system expertise, stakeholders, and leadership as early as possible in the PRIHS lifecycle; and
  • Only those projects with the appropriate line of sight to health system priorities and sustainability are developed into full applications.

5. How do I apply?

Would-be applicants should contact the Scientific Director (SD) or Assistant Scientific Director (ASD) of the appropriate SCN to discuss potential ideas or solutions. During this initial discussion, the SD/ASD will ascertain if the idea:

  • Addresses a priority as outlined in the SCN Transformational Roadmaps or emerging priorities approved by the SCN; (accessible here)
  • Consists of one or more evidence-based solution(s) that can be formulated into an implementation study;
  • Can be accomplishable within the timeframe of a PRIHS grant; and
  • Has the potential to deliver significant, measurable impact to health system performance.

Prospective applicants whose solutions align with the above criteria will be asked to complete an intake form by June 15th, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

6. Can an applicant be a lead or co/lead on more than one application?

There is no limit to the number of applications an applicant can be a lead or co/lead on.

7. Can applications include organizations that are not Alberta-based?

Applicants can partner with organizations outside Alberta however the grant and allocation of funds would need to stay in Alberta, be used for Alberta based activities and be administered by an individual that meets the applicant eligibility criteria.

8. Can a non-academic be the lead?

Only if they are acting as a co-lead as each application must have at least one lead applicant who holds an academic or research appointment at an Alberta-based Institution.

9. Is there a preference for a certain type of evidence the application is looking for (e.g., published studies vs anecdotal information)?

We are not prescriptive about the evidence that should be included but it should be factual information, relevant to Alberta populations.

10. What criteria will be used to evaluate the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Review?

Refer to the Program Guide.

11. How have the criteria changed from the previous PRIHS cycle?

There is an increased emphasis on implementation science including the risks, barriers and facilitators to implementation and the evaluation of implementation metrics; impact of the proposed solution will be measured using the benefits realization model.

12. Why are we asking for quantitative impact forecasts for PRIHS 5?

AHS faces the challenge of investing our limited resources to achieve as much progress as possible towards our Quadruple Aim goals (patient and population health outcomes, patient and family experience, experience and/or safety of the workforce, and resource utilization/cost). In the context of PRIHS, this requires us to understand the value proposition that each proposal offers to the organization: what will be the quantitative magnitude of the outcomes achieved, and for what investment of resources we can achieve those outcomes? We will use the information in these forecasts to ensure that we’re investing in the most promising proposals to achieve the greatest possible improvements in the healthcare system.

Setting clear quantitative goals in advance also allows the organization to review projects in the future and determine whether they’ve achieved their expected impact. This is critical information when deciding whether to continue a project, and whether it should be spread and scaled across the organization if applicable.

13. Why are we asking for detailed implementation strategies in PRIHS 5?

PRIHS 5 contributes foundational knowledge to improving health, healthcare, healthcare services and systems across Alberta. As PRIHS 5 research is implemented and assessed, AHS and other stakeholders, need to learn about if, how and why PRIHS innovations work (or not), for whom, when, and under which circumstances.
The quality and depth of this knowledge will help inform the extent to which AHS and other stakeholders can subsequently turn a PRIHS innovation into systems-level improvements that span the province and benefit Albertans. As such, PRIHS teams may be strengthened and have higher likelihood for implementation success if they consider key implementation components, including (but not limited to):

  • who they are co-designing the research with (e.g., patients, families, healthcare providers, and those who are directly and indirectly affected by implementation);
  • known and/or anticipated factors that may help (or hinder) implementation;
  • key features about the proposed research context(s);
  • ways of monitoring and assessing implementation so that the nature and magnitude of implementation can be quantified.

Generating robust and detailed research knowledge about the implementation process and its outcomes can help determine whether or not an innovation has had the intended impact, and can facilitate planning for spread and scale.

14. How many applications will each SCN advance?

Each SCN will review their relevant intake forms and select up to three solutions to co-develop into a Stage 1 application. SCN’s may work together to support applications that address cross-cutting challenges / pan SCN priorities. Note, Pan-SCN projects will need to identify a lead SCN who will submit the proposal as one of their three submissions. Each SCN will inform prospective applicants of its desire to move forward on a Stage 1 application by June 30th, 2019.

15. Is there a limit on the number of full proposals?

Up to 10 solutions from Stage 1 that meet the Evaluation Criteria will advance to Stage 2 – Full Proposal.

16. What are the funding details?

The maximum amount of PRIHS Program funding for the 2019/2020 competition is $7 million. No maximum budget amount is set for each proposal. The term is up to three years (2019/2020 to 2022/2023), budgets must be structured to achieve the deliverables in the timeframes proposed

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the PRIHS Program please contact:

Sean DeWitt
Program Manager, Health
780-429-7660
sean.dewitt@albertainnovates.ca