Patient-centered research for better health and healthcare


  • We have 2 full-time researchers, over 20 clinician and hospital-based investigators, core research support staff (administration, project coordinators, research assistants, and statisticians), and several graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.
  • The McGill Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine is based at St. Mary's. We are currently recruiting a McGill Chair in Community Oncology at St. Mary's
  • Our main areas of research expertise: mental health, primary health care and family medicine, bio-medical informatics, clinical research, emergency services, health experiences, and quality improvement.
  • Main sources of funding: St. Mary's Hospital Center Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Canada Health Infoway, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
  • The C.A.R.E. (Competition Attracting Research Excellence) program supports small projects that contribute to the development of research capacity amongst staff and clinicians at St. Mary's. This program is intended to enhance engagement in research, and increase the quality and quantity of external research funding and peer-reviewed publications.
  • We have a fully accredited research ethics committee.
  • Our senior investigators participate in national and international committees, organizations and other research activities related to health services and primary care research.
  • Our research collaborations involve international partners, including USA, United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia and Kazakhstan.
  • Over 40 new studies are registered and reviewed each year by the Research Ethics Committee. On average, there are over 100 active projects at St. Mary's.

1993-2000: Hopeful beginnings

  • 1993: Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Community Studies established; linked to McGill Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • 1993: Scientific Research Committee established
  • 1994: Biostatistician joins Department
  • 1994: First Manual of Research Policies and Procedures.
  • 1994: Bi-weekly seminar series begins
  • 1994: Research consultation services established
  • 1994: Foundation-funded small internal grants program established
  • 1994: Participation in provincial research network on anxiety disorders
  • 1995: Major provincially-funded research program on emergency department for seniors begins. 
  • 1996: Retreat to establish a 4-year strategic plan (1997-2001)
  • 1996: Major federally-funded delirium research in older medical inpatients begins
  • 1996: First provincially-funded research infrastructure grant in geriatric and mental health services research
  • 1999: New Quality Management structure incorporating research; Head of DCECS becomes Head of Quality Assessment unit
  • 1999:  Major federally-funded depression research in older medical inpatients begins
  • 2000: First Annual Symposium on Research and Quality of Care
  • 2000: Statistical analysis support for hospital administrative data

2001-2009: Consolidation and growth

  • 2002: Major provincially-funded priority research team grant in management of depression in elderly
  • 2002: Participation in provincial research network on emergency departments (GIRU)
  • 2009: Regulatory Framework approved by Board of Directors
  • 2004: Strategic plan for research approved by Board of Directors and Foundation (2004-2009)
  • 2004: Research unit moves to Annex (Hayes Pavilion)
  • 2008: CHAU status granted by MSSS, with conditions
  • 2008: Strategic planning for research development; development of research themes and business plan for research.
  • 2008: Competition Attracting Research Excellence (CARE) established
  • 2009: REC receives formal designation under Article 21 of Civil Code of Quebec: right to approve projects involving minors and incompetent
  • 2009: Major FRSQ mental health team grant on management of depression in population with chronic physical illnesses

2010 - present: Taking it to the next level

  • 2010: First McGill Research Chair in Family and Community Medicine appointed
  • 2010: Vice President of Academic Affairs appointed
  • 2010: Chair in Community Cancer Care funded by Hospital Foundation
  • 2010: Health informatics in primary care group joins Research Centre
  • 2010: Second strategic plan approved by Board of Directors and Foundation
  • 2010: First research colloquium on innovations in community-based care. Topic: virtual wards
  • 2010: Health experiences research group established
  • 2011: New employment contract for research staff
  • 2012: First annual staff retreat  
  • 2012: First meeting of the St. Mary’s Research Council
  • 2012: Two new Research Associates appointed