Sep. 29, 2017

AbSPORU supports research into chronic pain management in children & youth

Why are kids with chronic pain less likely to respond to treatment? This is one of the questions being asked by University of Calgary researcher Dr. Melanie Noel as she furthers research in post-traumatic stress and chronic pain in children and youth. “We’re looking at a number of mechanisms that may explain this co-occurance, from genetics to behavioural factors like memory and attention biases to understand these reasons,” says Dr. Noel. “Many kids with chronic pain often have mental health issues and are less likely to respond to treatment. My research aims to understand this so we can better target treatment and make kids healthier.”
To advance her research Dr. Noel, who is also a co-investigator with the SPOR Chronic Pain Network, often needs to apply for research grants that require letters of support along with research plans that have knowledge translation components. Accessing the advice and services of the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Knowledge Translation (KT) Platform has been instrumental in helping her further her knowledge of KT as well as obtain funding. “Working with AbSPORU has helped me to think about my work differently, not only about knowledge translation but how to promote my research more broadly,” says Noel. “The fact that there are PhD-level experts who can help you with grant applications and project planning is truly a gift to the research community”. You can learn more about the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit Knowledge Translation Platform and apply for services at

Dr. Melanie Noel (University of Calgary, Dept. of Psychology and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute) researcher is advancing pain management research in children.

AbSPORU helps Alberta researchers to do more patient-oriented research

In two years since the launch of research support services in Alberta, demand for AbSPORU support has increased more than two-fold. To meet the diverse needs and growing demand for patient-oriented research, we have recruited a team of more than 55 experts across seven platforms to help researchers do patient-oriented research and make it happen faster. Our support service team has expertise in knowledge translation (e.g., synthesis and implementation science), research methods (e.g., health economics and informatics), patient engagement (facilitation, training and evaluation) and data (analytics and access) plus many other services and expertise. Did you know that we are able to provide more timely access to health data for those eligible for support, on average within two days for most projects? Previously, accessing data took weeks, months, and even years. This is just one example of how AbSPORU can help researchers and how it’s helping enhance the environment for research and innovation in the province. Learn if you’re eligible for support.

AbSPORU is on LinkedIn

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit has joined LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with over 187 million members. AbSPORU is sharing information on training and events, job opportunities and has groups where researchers, patients, clinicians, students and others can share in a dialogue on patient-oriented research. Learn more and join us at AbSPORU LinkedIn.


AbSPORU Graduate Studentship in Patient-Oriented Research

The deadline for the AbSPORU Graduate Studentship in Patient-Oriented Research is Monday, October 2, 2017. The Alberta SPOR Graduate Studentship provides a one year award of $30,000 towards a thesis-based masters or doctoral degree, for students whose project demonstrates a patient-oriented research approach. Apply for the AbSPORU Studentship.

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