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University of Victoria and Ministry of Health - Seed Grant Program

May 15, 2022

Seed Grants provide funding for critical research that responds to the government's research questions to support key decision making and policy development. The program is a collaboration between UVic and the Ministry of Health.


Program Goals:

  1. Generate new research that responds to the Ministry's current evidence needs
  2. Produce research proposals informed by policy decision-makers and end-users
  3. Build a knowledge transfer pathway directly from expert researchers to knowledge users
  4. Build relationships between Ministry staff and UVic researchers and between UVic and the Ministry
  5. Support and make progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Good Health and Wellbeing (Goal 3)

The Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation distributes the funds annually, supporting key Ministry areas of interest.

2021/22 Projects

Building capacity in BC small water systems (SWS)

Principle Investigator: Caetano Dorea, Professor, UVic, Department of Civil Engineering
Kelsey Shaw, PhD researcher, UVic
Partner: Christoph Moch, Capital Regional District (CRD)

This study's overall objective is to understand the relationship between SWS owner/operator capacity and water quality notifications. In general, the frequency, duration, and distribution of these notifications can be due to various factors, including deficiencies in water quality, system maintenance or training. This project will highlight strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats with regard to capacity and improve the overall performance of these essential but often overlooked systems while bolstering, empowering and engaging the important folks responsible for their operation.

Understanding the needs of individuals living with drug-induced anoxic brain injury

Co-Principle Investigators:
Colette Smart, Associate Professor, UVic, Department of Psychology
Brian Christie, Professor, UVic, Division of Medical Sciences
Jodie Gawryluk, Associate Professor, UVic, Department of Psychology

This qualitative research study (interviews/focus groups) involves people living with acquired brain injury (ABI) associated with opioid overdose, and their families/caregivers, to understand their needs, experience accessing care, and opportunities for future improvement. The team will conduct interviews with relevant healthcare stakeholders to identify opportunities and barriers to serving this population. The project takes a patient-oriented approach to this research; specifically, the team will identify several advisors (who may be family members of people who have experienced opioid-related ABI). The primary objective is to identify barriers and opportunities directly from persons with lived experience, and give a voice to those likely marginalized within healthcare.

Evaluating policies for addictive substances and behaviours

Principle Investigator: Tim Naimi, Professor, UVic, School of Public Health and Social Policy; Director, CISUR

This project evaluates the coherence and consistency of policies and regulatory frameworks in BC for three legal but addictive substances/behaviours whose markets are shaped by the BC government: alcohol, cannabis, and gambling. The project's overall goal is to identify opportunities, both within and across the three policy areas, to inform the development of health-specific strategic policy to reduce the substantial burden of these domains on BC's health system.

Public health reporting and the Indigenous Two-Spirit community

Principle Investigator: Nathan Lachowsky, Associate Professor, UVic, School of Public Health & Social Policy
Partners: Jessy Dame and Martin Morberg, Two-Spirit team at Community Based Research Centre

This community-based project is focused on Indigenous Two-Spirit people, and will identify and explore gaps in the recommendations derived from two provincial health reports—'In Plain Sight' focused on Indigenous people and 'Believe Me' focused on 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. The project team will take a multi-step approach, including analysis of CBRC's Two-Spirit survey data with new community consultations focusing on what the Indigenous Two-Spirit community have to say about the gaps in key information and the contrasts between the two reports. Short-term outcomes of the project will be to recognize the harm caused by Two-Spirit erasure in the 'In Plain Sight' report, and to address and reconcile the gaps and contrasts between 'In Plain Sight' and 'Believe Me'.