In 2017, MSFHR made a decision to put its Health Policy Fellowship Program on hold and partner with CIHR on the new Health System Impact Fellowship. By partnering with CIHR, the aim was to meet the goals of the Health Policy Fellowship while leveraging federal funds to BC to support the development of health policy research talent and the uptake of evidence to inform planning, policy, and practice.
The MSFHR Health Policy Fellowship is a salary award for post-doctoral fellows involved in health research who are interested in preparing for careers in a variety of health research and research user roles. Fellows undertake short-term (six to 12 months) policy assignments via placements within the BC Ministry of Health (MoH) or at one of the province’s health authorities. These placements may be separate from or complementary to a fellow’s current academic research.
The Health Policy Fellowship Program is designed to foster positive and constructive exchanges between health researchers and health system decision-makers in order to bridge the gap between the worlds of academic research and health policy. It provides a unique training opportunity for candidates to learn about, and contribute to, the policy making process through the application of their health research knowledge, expertise and analytical skills as part of a policy team. Equally, health system decision-makers gain access to individuals trained in health research to work on the scientific and technical aspects of health policy. Fostering collaborations between researchers and research users is a KT strategy intended to increase the uptake of research evidence. This approach increases the likelihood that research findings will be both relevant and applicable to research users. The MSFHR Health Policy Fellowship is designed to create opportunities for health system decision-makers to work alongside researchers to promote the uptake of evidence-informed policy work as well as policy-relevant research. It is anticipated that this funding opportunity will help foster and maintain ongoing relationships and collaborations between health researchers and decision-makers.
The budget envelope for this funding opportunity is $450,000, enough to fund at least nine fellowships. One fellowship will be assigned to each of the seven BC health authorities, and two fellowships will be assigned to BC MoH. The health policy fellowship consists of a salary stipend and a relocation/travel allowance. The fellowship provides up to one year of salary support at $45,000 per annum, prorated as required depending on the length of the policy assignment. Benefits are not included in the salary stipend. If not already provided by the award recipient’s academic host institution, it is the responsibility of award recipients to purchase their own health and/or other extended benefits. A one-time allowance of up to $5,000 is available to help defray the costs of relocation, and, if permitted by the policy assignment supervisor (see section 6), to defray costs for attendance at science or health policy conferences or meetings, such as the annual CAHSPR Conference or Canadian Science Policy Conference either during or up to three months following the end of the fellowship. For complete information on eligible expenses, please refer to the Award Management & Eligible Expenses document on MSFHR’s website. Stipends and the research/travel allowance are valued in Canadian dollars and are taxable.
The intent of the Health Policy Fellowship program is to provide highly qualified candidates at the post-doctoral level with a unique opportunity to learn about and participate in the health policy-making process at the provincial government or health authority level. The budget envelope for this funding opportunity is $450,000, enough to fund at least nine (9) fellowships.