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SEARCH Canada - What We Do

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What We Do

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SEARCH provides a mechanism to bring together and benefit the diverse communities of medical and health research, health service delivery, and higher education. Through its programs, SEARCH Canada advocates for research by providing tools and support to build network capacity, and developing innovative academic relationships. It also contributes to the research agenda through the design and delivery of on-the-ground projects, focused on local issues, priorities and decisions.

SEARCH provides a resource to the health sector by addressing all the building blocks of a system that can effectively and efficiently create and/or use the best available evidence to inform decisions for better health outcomes. There is no program in Alberta, in Canada, or elsewhere, that delivers the mixture of features and benefits that are offered by SEARCH to build the foundation for future health system analysis and improvement.

Key Elements of SEARCH Canada

Applied Research Project Support

SEARCH Classic Projects: As part of SEARCH Classic, participants over the past decade have undertaken more than 25 provincial (group) projects relevant to a number of organizations and more than 150 local (individual) projects relevant to a participant’s organization. SEARCH Canada provides a priority setting mechanism for identifying these agency-driven, collaborative projects in applied research or research application.

SEARCH Classic

SEARCH Custom: SEARCH Canada offers customized programs and services through Research Development Advisors. RDAs work with health regions to give health practitioners access to just-in-time academic mentorship to support in-house research and evaluation projects, and provide a toolkit of resources to individuals and groups working on projects.


SEARCH Faculty Team: SEARCH Canada’s faculty involves a multidisciplinary team from five institutions across Alberta, who coach, facilitate and collaborate in applied research projects. Academic institutions use SEARCH to support new faculty roles in knowledge transfer and build capacity.

SEARCH Classic – SEARCH faculty

Applied Learning Opportunities

SEARCH Classic Residential Modules: Over two years, participants take part in seven residential learning sessions held at sites throughout the province, each consisting of five days of intensive instruction, learning, academic mentorship, team work and applied projects.

SEARCH Classic

SEARCH Curriculum: the capabilities gained through SEARCH are based on a unique, cross-disciplinary, integrated curriculum building capacities in the areas of ‘Creating Evidence’, ‘Choosing Evidence’, and ‘Using Evidence’, all within the context of the working environment. The program also focuses on information management, network participation, and being a change agent as foundational competencies.

SEARCH Classic – Curriculum

Custom Learning: SEARCH Custom’s learning strategy involves building core knowledge and skills through locally delivered in-person workshops, self-guided learning modules and learning tools.


Network Development

SEARCH Network: SEARCHers create a vibrant Alberta-wide network of talented individuals who champion the cause of applied research and evaluation, conducted on a regional basis, and its application in health care organizations. They remain connected and continue to collaborate within the health system.

SEARCH network

SEARCH Managers: the immediate managers of SEARCH participants are involved in identifying and selecting project priorities, and are provided with opportunities to discuss the challenges of building organizational capacity through individual development.

SEARCH Classic

Knowledge Access

SEARCH Desktop: the SEARCH virtual learning and research community is supported by online environments that provide a single point of access to a wide variety of information resources and collaboration tools to support evidence-informed practice. The SEARCH ‘Desktop' provides a sophisticated on-line common ‘workspace’ with state-of-the-art electronic knowledge and communication resources for curriculum delivery, project collaboration and information access.

Knowledge Services