Developing Capacity in Patient-Oriented Research

Capacity for patient-oriented research means all partners – patients, researchers, health system professionals, policymakers, and more – are trained and working collaboratively towards the common goal of high quality health care and improved patient outcomes within an integrated learning health system.

In line with CIHR’s Capacity Development Framework, AbSPORU offers diverse, responsive and integrated training opportunities designed to create a culture of learning and collaboration within Alberta’s health system and research communities. Our training environment includes a suite of eLearning modules, certificate courses, graduate studentships, an annual conference, and more.

eLearning Modules and Videos

AbSPORU’s collection of eLearning modules and videos provide introductory literacy, skills and knowledge on key topics in patient-oriented research.

Patient-Oriented Research Institute (Annual Conference)

Our annual Institute is a signature conference event to bring together patient-oriented research communities, celebrate our successes, and collaborate on new ideas. Offering in-person and virtual training workshops, keynote presentations, panel discussions, poster contests, and more, this event provides opportunities for learning, sharing, and networking.

AbSPORU Graduate Studentship in Patient-Oriented Research

The highly competitive AbSPORU Graduate Studentship funds Master’s and PhD students to train in patient-oriented research. The program provides an award of $30,000 towards a thesis-based degree, along with a comprehensive year-long training component. Through embedded learning and mentorship, recipients gain the knowledge, experience, and connections needed to build exciting careers that leverage their expertise in patient-oriented research.

Certificate Courses and Patient-Oriented Research Microcredential

Our certificate courses provide a deeper dive into patient-oriented research topics and approaches. Delivered primarily online, each course concentrates on a specific content area and offers practical and applied learning for you to advance patient-oriented research in practice. Participants benefit from opportunities for networking, mentoring and connecting with others across the research and health system community. Courses are offered annually and vary in length from 2 to 6 months.

Receive a Certificate of Completion for each course you successfully complete. Complete all of our certificate courses to earn the AbSPORU Leadership in Patient-Oriented Research Microcredential.

AbSPORU Foundations of Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Certificate


Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Principles and Practices Certificate


Patient Engagement in Research Certificate

Implementation Science in Patient-Oriented Research Certificate

Pragmatic Clinical Trials and Patient-Oriented Research Certificate

Data for Health Analytics Certificate

SPH 566: Fundamentals of Patient-Oriented Research Graduate Course

This 3-credit graduate course is offered each Spring/Summer semester by the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. The course is open to graduate students outside the School of Public Health. Students not enrolled at the University of Alberta may register for this course through the Western Deans’ Agreement.

SPH 566 provides a critical bridge between general research skills and the challenges of patient-oriented research. Explore theoretical foundations and practical implications, as well as research design principles, concepts, methods and applications of patient-oriented research. Learning content includes weekly synchronous (i.e., live) live webinars and asynchronous activities (e.g., eLearning modules, journal assignments).

NOTE: This course aligns in part with the AbSPORU Foundations of Patient-Oriented Research Certificate course. If you complete SPH 566, you are automatically eligible to request and receive the AbSPORU Foundations of Patient-Oriented Research Certificate of Completion.

Annual Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Webinar Series

Each year our webinar series focuses on a priority area in POR. We collaborate with researchers, health-system stakeholders, patient partners, and POR experts across Canada to explore emerging topics and advance POR principles and practices through our webinars.

For 2021 and 2022 our webinar series focus is Shaping POR Research Environments Through Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Shaping Patient-Oriented Research Environments through Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
AbSPORU Impact for All_ EDI and KT in POR Webinar
(Episode 3) EDI, Two Eyed Seeing & Strengths based Indigenous Patient-Oriented Research
Equity in Kidney Health_ What Does This Mean and How Do We Get There​

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