Research Centre
Research Data Management
Research Data Management

Background, Purpose, and Values:

Tri-agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) launched Research Data Management policy in March 2021, with three overarching requirements:

  • Institutional Strategies are publicly posted March 1, 2023;
  • Data Management Plans will be required to support research applications for Tri-agency funding (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC); and
  • Data Deposit will be required in line with data management plans.

Covenant Health is a CIHR-eligible institution and has been so since 2013. A recent survey by the CHRC (2022 September) identified that ongoing CIHR-eligibility is desired by 87% of responding constituents.

Covenant Health’s role for RDM relates primarily to the initial requirement for Institutional Strategy (e.g., identifying rules and requirements, wayfinding, and education); while Data Management Plans, and Data Deposit are recognized as falling under the responsibility of the Principal Investigator.

Promoting and supporting research broadly, and RDM specifically, is an expression of our organization’s values: Compassion, Respect, Collaboration, Social Justice, Integrity, and Stewardship.

Strategy and Roadmap:

1. Raise Awareness

Covenant is a health-system partner in Alberta and is comprised of health-care service providers, while other RDM-required organizations are primarily based in post-secondary education. A substantial proportion of the research conducted by Covenant facilities is in partnership with post-secondary education institutions. Our endeavours towards tri-agency eligibility are not to supplant this partnership and research of those institutions, rather it is to ensure that Covenant-driven research interests and initiatives are enabled, particularly for our areas of focus and vulnerable populations regardless of whether there is university-based interest or capacity.

Our clinicians / practitioners / staff are interested in forwarding innovation and conducting research to “…transform the health system through innovation, collaboration, growth, and sharing learnings to respond to the strengths and needs of our communities, especially those most vulnerable[1]. Consequently, we expect that our approach to RDM will differ from other strategies. We will continue to participate with our partners to share common resources and will further identify resources that we can contribute. We will raise awareness, identify champions (leaders and staff), and engage clinician-researchers, teams, and others, as part of this important work.

2. Assess Institutional Readiness, and define the ideal state for RDM

Using the Maturity Assessment Model in Canada (MAMIC) model template, we will conduct a full review, including interviews with relevant departments to complete information required in areas of: Institutional Policies and Processes; IT Infrastructure; Support Services; and Financial Support. As a health system partner / provider, we can leverage robust structures already in place. Resources originating outside of Covenant can be curated to meet Covenant researcher needs.

Using the MAMIC outcomes: identified issues, gaps, and resources; barriers and enablers; and potential opportunities will be utilized to inform a workplan.

3. Formalize RDM Practices

We anticipate that in our case, a formalized RDM strategy will derive from a combination of internal and external resources intended to support best practices to provide a comprehensive suite to support researchers at all points of the research continuum. This will be accessible to all Covenant staff and physicians as well as partner-principals and researchers. This approach encompasses the Covenant values of collaboration, integrity, and stewardship.


Acronyms, Definitions, and Resources: