Research Services

AbSPORU offers a wide range of services to support every step of your patient-oriented research journey. We can help you build relationships and engage patient partners, as well as formulate your research with Alberta’s learning health systems in mind. Our experts can also provide you with all the tools you need to design and execute your study, including accessing and analyzing the wealth of Alberta patient data available. We also can advise on accessing external services offered by other health partners across Canada.

To access these supports at any stage of your research, complete our service request form.

AbSPORU Services

Patient Engagement

Patient engagement plans

Developing a comprehensive patient engagement plan from the start is essential to ensuring patient-oriented research is executed effectively. Our team can help you:

  • Develop an effective plan including establishing a realistic budget for patient partners
  • Build effective engagement strategies
  • Establish realistic timelines

Patient partners

Engaging an inclusive and representative group of patient partners will ensure your research is generalizable and applicable to all Albertans. The Patient Engagement team can work with you to:

  • Identify the right patient partners
  • Establish a representative patient advisory group
  • Develop strategies for engaging the community groups you need to access

Training and mentorship

Patient-oriented research is a relatively new approach. Both researchers and patient partners often need to learn how to work together effectively. AbSPORU provides a range of services to help you build your team’s capacity for patient orientated research, including:

  • Training
  • Coaching
  • Mentorship

Evaluation and certification

Throughout your research, our team can help you evaluate your patient engagement experience to ensure continuous improvement and the best patient outcomes. We can also help you secure a letter of support from AbSPORU.

Learning Health Systems

Making lasting and effective change takes more than just good ideas, based on good research. It requires understanding the theory behind change and the ‘why’ behind the way things currently are. The Learning Health Systems team works with researchers to ensure implementation is built in from the very beginning.

Knowledge translation

AbSPORU’s knowledge translation experts know how to translate knowledge into action. Before you even begin your research, they can help you build out your plan with implementation in mind. They offer support with:

  • Developing end-of-plan or end-of-grant knowledge translation plans
  • Creating integrated knowledge translation proposals
  • Identifying and developing knowledge translation products


Our Learning Health Systems team is also here to help you create the best possible approach for implementing your findings within a health system. With their knowledge of change management and best practices they can help:

  • Assess implementation readiness
  • Understand barriers and facilitators to implementation
  • Develop an implementation plan
  • Identify appropriate implementation strategies
  • Map key stakeholders
  • Build sustainability plans
  • Evaluate implementation and progress

Data & Research Services

AbSPORU’s Data & Research Services team of experts can help you achieve your research goals by helping you plan and execute your study effectively. We can also connect you with other services offered by our provincial and national partners.

Research design

Designing an effective research question and approach is the foundation of a successful study. Our team can help:

  • Conduct feasibility assessments for secondary data use
  • Consult on method, design and research questions
  • Develop an analytical plan
  • Consult of sample size
  • Determine the right preliminary cohort to analyse
  • Review and support grant applications

Data extraction and linkages

We can help you access most health databases across Alberta and advise where to find the data you need. This includes:

  • Extracting data from multiple databases and linking them to answer your research question
  • Connect Care integration
  • Research Electronic Database Capture (REDCap) integration with secondary data

Data management

Using the right data management tools sets your study up for success. Our experts can help with:

  • Database development and maintenance
  • Research tool development and automation

Data analysis

AbSPORU’s Data Services team are experts at every aspect of patient data analysis, including:

  • Data science and statistical analysis
  • ICD coding algorithm
  • Algorithm validation
  • Clinical event adjudication

Who is eligible for AbSPORU services and resources?

Researchers who want to:

  • learn or request assistance on including patients and patient partners in their research, or
  • enhance their patient-oriented research

Patients and patient partners who want to:

  • help researchers by becoming team members and/or partners with research teams, or
  • become involved in research studies.

The research must:

  • be conducted in Alberta or the Northwest Territories and seek to impact patients and/or the healthcare system.
  • have a patient-oriented focus, which AbSPORU can help researchers identify.

Review our service descriptions and request a service or letter of support by completing the forms below:

  • Service Descriptions– people with expertise in many research service areas are available to assist in your Patient-Oriented Research.
  • Service Application – complete the application form to access services. Ensure all mandatory fields are complete to avoid delay.
  • Letter of Support – can be provided to confirm the feasibility of a planned project and included with a grant application.  This usually occurs after AbSPORU has been involved in one of the services listed above.

Questions? Contact AbSPORU at