How the CTN can help

Planning can help prevent challenges and delays. Dedicate significant time to designing and project managing your study: clearly articulate your objectives, hypothesis, and how you will meet these objectives. Seeking expert advice on the activities listed will prevent your project from facing costly delays.

Only CTN Investigators, Postdoctoral fellows, and their research staff can access the CTN’s Scientific Core and National Centre research services. For information about the requirements to join the CTN, click here.

Project Development

The next four sections apply to anyone developing a research project. The CTN can be consulted for advice and provide services to our investigators.

Step #2

Refine Idea

If your research question is too broad, you will have difficulty designing a focused study to answer your hypothesis. If it’s too narrow, you will have difficulty finding appropriate participants.

Engaging your research population during grant or project development is now required by most funders. Refining your idea with the community will give you a pragmatic view on the applicability and feasibility of your research. The Community Engaged Research Practice can help researchers successfully engage with community members.

Step #3

Create a Proposal

Seek experts who will provide you with advice and review your proposal. Find out if your institution will assist with project/grant development.

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Step #4

Secure Funding

CIHR is the primary source of federal funds for health research in Canada.

Other suggestions for funding are:

  • Provincial and institutional funding competitions.
  • Disease-related foundations (e.g. CANFAR, Heart and Stroke Foundation).
  • Industry partners. A pharmaceutical or medical device company may provide direct funding for a project via their established investigator-initiated study funding mechanism, or they may consider donating the study intervention (e.g. drug or device).
  • Hospital Foundations.

CTN Review Phase

The CTN holds in-person meetings twice a year. Applicants who are invited to submit to the CTN via the regular study or pilot funding programs will be invited to attend and present an overview of their study with the opportunity to seek advice from the Core Leads, Committees, and National Centre personnel.

Step #1

Contact Core Lead 30 days before LOI deadline

Not sure which Core Lead to contact? Click here to see descriptions of each core.

Step #2

Letter of Intent/Concept Review

CTN investigators are invited to submit a Letter of Intent for studies that align with our scientific priorities, or innovative proposals that will advance research and health care.

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Step #3

Regular Study Submission

If you are successful in the LOI application, you will proceed to a full submission. The email invitation will include information about the CTN meeting where your submission will undergo peer review by the Scientific Review Committee (SRC), if required, and the Community Advisory Committee (CAC).

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Step #4

Pilot Study Submission

The CTN Pilot Study Funding Program provides funding for pilot or proof-of-concept studies. These studies are required to determine the feasibility, acceptability, sample size, and/or otherwise inform the development of an adequately statistically powered, larger study. 

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Step #5

Post-Review Process

All applicants will be notified regarding the success of their application. Successful applicants will receive confirmation of the award amount and the in-kind services to be provided along with the study lead’s responsibilities and reporting requirements.

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Project Setup

Depending on the complexity, an estimated timeline for project set-up is 6 to 12 months. Health Canada applications, ethics, contract review, and administrative approvals can often be simultaneous.

Step #1

Finalize or Update Protocol

While you can use your proposal as a template for your protocol, a proposal is only written to obtain funding for your study. A study protocol contains detailed instructions on how the study will be conducted, and includes information to meet regulatory requirements (if applicable). CTN provides a protocol template for use in interventional and non-interventional clinical studies.

Step #2

CTN Research Services

The CTN National Centre has in-kind services available for request:

  • Protocol Development
  • Communications and Knowledge Translation 
  • Data Management services
  • Statistical and Methodological consultation
  • Health Economics analysis
  • Regulatory Affairs services
  • Monitoring services
  • Project Management services
  • Data Safety and Monitoring Committee (DSMC): interventional studies require unbiased review of safety and efficacy of new trial interventions or trials in progress.

For more information, contact

Step #3

Obtain Ethics, Contracts & Organizational Approval

Before starting any type of research study, you must obtain approval from your local ethics committee, obtain organizational/institutional approval, and fully execute any required contracts or agreements. This includes finalizing the CTN Affiliation Agreement and the Agreement between PHC/UBC and local site institution.

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Step #4

Submit Clinical Trial Application

If your study is testing a new drug, or an approved drug outside of its approved use, then you will have to submit a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) to Health Canada.

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Step #5

Study Documentation and Training

All Health Canada-regulated clinical trials require maintenance of essential documents. Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is an international standard for the design, conduct, performance, recording, analyzing, and reporting of research that involves human participants.

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Project Execution

Is your study ready to get up and running? From management to monitoring, here are the steps you'll need to take.

Step #1

Conduct the Study or Project

The CTN provides support in clinical trial/project management and monitoring. The CTN can also support your study with data management from data collection worksheets design to reports generation. 

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Step #2

Analyze Data

After you've finalized the Statistical Analysis Plan and programmed the data summaries and analyses, you can analyze. After that, you will prepare data summaries, tables, and plots for abstracts, presentations, or manuscripts and assist with drafting text for methods sections

Step #3

Disseminate the Results/Publish the Data

The CTN Knowledge Translation department shares plain language results via website, social media, e-newsletter, and community outreach. Help us promote your work, please acknowledge CTN support on papers, posters, and presentations and inform the CTN of any publications and presentations resulting from your CTN supported studies.

Step #4

Study Closing and Archiving

For clinical trials regulated by Health Canada, you are required to retain study documents for 25 years after trial completion. If your study is not a regulated clinical trial, you should retain your records per institutional requirements. Don’t forget to close the study with your local Ethics Board, and with any funding agencies.

Download a Close-out Visit Report and a Close-out Letter.

Further Information:
Network of Networks
Health Canada Clinical Trials
Common clinical research terminology