Proposed Clinical Trials Strategy for Canada
Message from the President

July 5, 2023

Dear colleagues,

When CIHR held its Strategic Plan consultations several years ago, the research community expressed an urgent need to bolster clinical trials in Canada.

Since then, the Government of Canada has invested $250 million to support the Clinical Trials Fund – an initiative designed to build clinical trials capacity and advance Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. As well, CIHR has built on past successes by supporting the SPOR Innovative Clinical Trials Initiative – an effort to strengthen clinical trials by reducing the complexity of the process, streamlining approvals, and including the voices of patient partners.

Today, with the help of these initiatives, CIHR is supporting ground-breaking research that is allowing us to move scientific advances and evidence through the research pipeline for the benefit of patients. This support also sends a message to the global clinical trials community: Canada is open for business and ready to contribute.

CIHR has already begun to lay the groundwork for the next phase of clinical trials support in Canada. Once again, this included consultations with the research community and other stakeholders and partners to seek feedback on the current state of affairs and how best to proceed in the years ahead. Those consultations provided invaluable advice that will guide our future direction in this area, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who contributed to the discussions.

Notably, we heard that clinical trials researchers must work hand-in-hand with patients and their health care professionals – those individuals who are most impacted by clinical trials and who use the results of clinical trials to directly improve the health of Canadians.

We also heard that the complexity of the clinical trials ecosystem and administrative processes can create delays in starting trials, slowing down the creation of new knowledge.

Perhaps most importantly, we heard that researchers want stability in this space. They want long-term, predictable funding that will make Canada an international leader in clinical trials.

At CIHR, we share these goals and will continue to work hard to achieve them. A link to the proposed elements that will comprise CIHR’s clinical trials strategy is listed below, and I encourage researchers and stakeholders to continue sharing their thoughts on this iterative process.  Together, we will advance a strategy that builds on our recent successes, while further increasing capacity and improving processes that will benefit Canada’s clinical trials community and patients throughout the world.

Proposed Clinical Trials Strategy for Canada


Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP, FCAHS, FAAN
President, CIHR

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