Interprofessional Practice Based Research

Practice nurses and health discipline clinicians have a unique perspective for recognizing clinically relevant research questions. However, they may not have the time and/or expertise to undertake these research initiatives. The IPBR program aims to provide our frontline clinicians with tools, resources, and guidance to pursue a research question that will generate evidence to improve their practice.

Jane Topolovec-Vranic, Director of IPBR

Dr. Topolovec-Vranic is an accomplished neuroscientist with more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and numerous published abstracts and conference presentations. As director of IPBR she is focused in building infrastructure, tools and resource to enable our nursing and health disciplines clinicians to carry out practice-based research. Find Dr. Topolovec-Vranic’s full researcher profile here.

Daniela Bellicoso, Research Manager of IPBR

Dr. Bellicoso has a PhD in Psychology, and has examined various topics, including factors that influence patients’ and caregivers’ ability to cope with chronic disease, and interprofessional education and practice. She continues to study burnout among clinicians. In her role as research manager for the IPBR program, she provides support and education to health care professionals to help develop their clinically based research questions into studies that support the improvement of health care.

Melanie Dissanayake, Research Coordinator III

Melanie will be assisting the IPBR team with research coordination. She completed her Masters of Health Sciences degree, which focused on palliative and oncological care. Currently, she is completing her PhD. at Western University, with a research focus on interprofessional models of care and chronic disease management. Melanie has a keen passion for healthcare research and looks forward to working with all our clinical healthcare teams.

Maaha Farrukh, Research Coordinator III

Maaha is a psychological/sociological researcher and will be working with the IPBR team to assist in research coordination with health care professionals. She is experienced in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies in academic, institutional and community settings. Maaha completed her MSc in Forensic Psychology and has supported research in several areas, including wrongful convictions/exonerees, impacts of education to reduce stigma, perceptions of criminality, as well as research around various areas of youth homelessness. Maaha is looking forward to working with health care professionals, while supporting clinicians in conducting practiced based research and contributing to the continuous advancement of health care.

Natalie Weiser, Research Coordinator III

Natalie is a sociological researcher with over 10 years of experience in qualitative research and methodologies.  Her expertise includes interview and focus group design, qualitative data collection and analysis, and clinical research.  Natalie has supported a variety of research studies such as online peer mentoring support, resilience factors in youth with chronic disease, and parental experiences of caregiving for children with medical complexity. Natalie is looking forward to working with health discipline clinicians as they engage with practice-based research questions and projects.

Unity Health recognizes that our frontline clinicians are best able to identify knowledge gaps and opportunities to advance clinical practice. Through various initiatives, the IPBR program is helping to empower our clinicians to carry out research projects relevant to their practice.

  • IBPR Small Grants. Through a competitive selection process, the IPBR Small Grants ($5,000) are awarded annually to interprofessional teams to carry out a practice-based research project over a two-year period. Teams are linked with mentors and provided with guidance for each step along the way.
  • CHART-IPBR Fellowship. In collaboration with the Li Ka Shing Centre for Healthcare Analytics Research and Training (LKS-CHART) we offer clinicians six month competitive research fellowships to carry out a data-driven study of relevance to their clinical units.
  • Manuscript Writing Bootcamp. The boot camp is a peer-support forum designed to help our clinicians publish the results of their research and quality improvement initiatives in peer-reviewed journals. These regularly held three-hour sessions are intended to provide members with dedicated time and guidance to write up their work.
  • IPBR Research Skills Workshop Series. The Research Skills Workshops series prepare nursing and health disciplines clinicians to engage in practice based research and generate evidence for evidence based practice by providing strategies to devise a sound question, and create a study plan. Key topics include understanding different research methods, building a research question, searching for and organizing relevant literature, and preparing a research protocol and ethics submission.
  • Research Consultation Services. The IPBR Consultation Service is available to nurses and health disciplines professionals at St. Michael’s. Our office is available to provide informational and methodological support related to research process, research resources (internal and external) and research services (internal and external).
  • Practice Based Researcher (Status Only) Li Ka Shing Appointments. The PBR Li Ka Shing appointments are a formalized research appointments process for our clinicians who are engaged in research. This appointment process aims to help integrate research and clinical practice, recognize our clinicians engaged in research activity, and reduce barriers to supporting our nursing and health disciplines in research.
  • Rapid Review Initiative. This initiative provides nursing and health disciplines clinicians an opportunity to learn about the process of conducting a rapid review and go through the steps with the support of trained researchers. Topics relate to various broad issues within healthcare that are relevant to clinicians and can affect patient care. This initiative typically runs for approximately 3-4 months.

IPBR-AFP Annual Showcase

Held each year in November, the IPBR-AFP Showcase is our opportunity to share and celebrate the wonderful research, clinical and education projects carried out by our nursing and health disciplines professionals across the hospital. This forum also provides IPBR Small Grant awardees an opportunity to share the progress of their research.

Research Month

November is Research Month at Unity Health Toronto. To celebrate the impact that research makes on policy, practice and, most importantly, patients, several activities are taking place throughout the month that staff are invited to attend. These include unique rounds, lectureships, workshops and networking opportunities.

Impact Report

Practicing frontline staff are well suited to identify the phenomena and issues that are clinically relevant and appropriate for research. In fact, there are a number of clinicians who are undertaking research. One of IPBR’s goals is to recognize these research efforts, look for opportunities and foster a culture of discovery amongst our clinicians.

Your financial donations will enable clinicians to carry out practice based research that improves patient care.

  • Sponsor a small grant. Support a team of clinicians to lead a research project. ($5,000/grant).
  • Contribute to our fellowship program. Give our clinicians the protected time to innovate. ($6,000/team).
  • Champion our mentorship program. Help our clinicians develop their research skills ($50-$600/workshop).
  • Celebrate research excellence. Acknowledge the scholarly achievements by supporting the IBPR research awards program.
  • Spread the word. Follow us on twitter @UHT_IPBR. Promote practice based research highlights. Celebrate discoveries.

Phone: 416-360-4000 ext. 77194
Twitter: @UHT_IPBR
Instagram: @uht_ipbr

Last updated October 12, 2023