Strengthen Research Capacity in Northern Ontario

Lake Superior

To strengthen research capacity in Northern Ontario by aligning with health-research partners to improve performance and measurable outcomes in health services, quality health care, health and biomedical research and knowledge translation. 

NOSM University is the connective tissue between research entities, Northern Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), research institutes and hospitals. 

Promoting and supporting faculty research is critical to keeping NOSM University’s curriculum up-to-date, and to gathering the data we need to inform decision making more broadly. Leveraging and strengthening existing research networks and improved collaboration with partner institution researchers ensures that ongoing research asks questions that are relevant to Northern communities. 

Creating opportunities for learners and faculty to learn how to conduct research will enable it to become part of their professional lives. 

Dr. David Marsh is the Vice Dean, Research, Innovation and International Relations. He says a considerable area of focus under this strategic direction has been coming to better understand and describe the research that’s being done in Northern Ontario. 

He says before becoming an independent University, NOSM University did not have a system in place to keep track of what researchers across the region were working on, or how they were funded. However, now that NOSM University is standalone, it has ethical liability, regulatory compliance and government reporting to consider. Dr. Marsh says a new system called the ROMEO Research Portal has been rolled out to address those needs. It is an online database for the management and reporting of research funding at NOSM University.

Because research is typically not funded by a university, Dr. Marsh says an important step has been to facilitate access to research funding, which includes the creation of a research newsletter with a list of grant opportunities, including eligibility criteria and deadlines. 

Another important part of the work involves actively seeking out research collaborations across multiple educational institutions. Dr. Marsh characterizes medical research as a ‘team sport,’ and says collaborative work is more likely to be funded. 

To that end, Dr. Marsh says NOSM University has also negotiated agreements with Lakehead University and is negotiating with Laurentian University to ensure that ongoing collaborative research projects continue. 

Strategic partnerships are key to changing population health outcomes in Northern Ontario. NOSM University collaborates with research entities, institutes, hospitals and Northern Ontario Health Teams to improve health in our region. 

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