Studies in Recruitment

Studies in Recruitment

Research is key to transforming heart failure care and empowering patients and their caregivers to live better. 

We can’t do it without you. Consider joining a research team or participating in a study underway.

Testimonial from Bill and Sue Fitzpatrick

“It’s all volunteer. You give a little bit of time, a little bit of information. Then, you learn from it, you make more connections. It even went as far as getting family involved and having them more educated. And you know and trust that everything proposed is evidence-based, and you are part of it.”  

Bill Fitzpatrick


Please note: Each study has its own set of criteria to determine who can participate. This depends on the research question being asked and may include restrictions based on age, behaviours, health status, location, or other traits.

Before enrolling in a study, researchers may ask questions to determine if you are eligible to participate. In some cases, you may have to undergo specific testing, like a blood test or physical exam, to determine whether you can participate.

UNEARTH CVD and Patient Advisory Council

Project description and the ask: 

UNEARTH CVD is made up of more than 50 researchers across Canada dedicated to understanding and addressing the ongoing challenges of heart disease, transient ischemic attacks, and stroke. This three-year research study explores the intersections of heart failure, cerebrovascular disease and cognitive impairment, looking for new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat people living with these conditions. UNEARTH CVD also seeks to address inequities in care and access. 

Patient partners are key as we begin to execute our vision! We’re looking for individuals to join the UNEARTH CVD Patient Advisory Council and contribute to the research teams and many research projects. If you are living with, or caring for someone with heart disease, TIA, stroke or cognitive impairment, your input is welcome.  

What will I be expected to do?

As a member of the UNEARTH CVD Patient Advisory Council, we will try to match your interests and experience to the project. You will typically be expected to: 

  1. Attend monthly meetings with a module team with researchers and other team members (usually 1-2 hours/month). 
  1. Engage in discussions related to the projects’ approaches, patient recruitment, methods, analysis and findings. You may be asked to review materials, reflect on proposed tools, give a lived experience perspective on how the team is approaching the research question to complement other perspectives.  
  1. Time commitment may be short-term or longer-term: We welcome patient partners who wish to stay for the duration of the study and contribute to all stages of the research from design to findings and impact as well as those who only wish to contribute a few hours to a specific task.  

What research is UNEARTH CVD exploring?

Our research spans all pillars of research and is organized into five modules. The graphic illustrates each module and highlights its objectives: 

Will I be compensated?

Yes, members of the Patient Advisory Council receive an honorarium for their time.  


If you’re interested in participating in our Patient Advisory Council UNEARTH CVD, please contact our research associate, Joann Varickanickal at If you have a preference to be a part of a specific module, please let me know in your email. We look forward to working with you! 

To learn more about UNEARTH CVD, read the grant announcement or check out this video. 

From the Heart: Canadian women’s lived experiences of heart failure
SPOR Patient and Public Topic Suggestions

SPOR Evidence Alliance

At the SPOR Evidence Alliance, we value the importance of patient identified priorities in shaping the health research landscape, and ultimately informing changes across the health system that address patient needs.

If you are interested in a health topic that you feel is important in improving patient health outcomes and the health system, we would like to hear about it.

Who can submit a health topic?
We welcome all interested patients and members of the public to propose topics for future SPOR Evidence Alliance projects.

What topics are appropriate?

We would like to hear about health topics that identify an opportunity to improve health outcomes, medical or public health practice, and health systems in Canada.

Please note that it is not necessary to submit your topic as a structured research question. If your topic is selected for further study, we will work with you to develop the question.

Submit a topic here

TRANSFORM HF Peer Review Panels

Dr. Heather Ross and Dr. Craig Simmons

TRANSFORM HF funds research and trainees focused on digital technologies for equitable access to high-quality personalized heart failure care. Our mission is also to enable patients to become more active in their own health and engage them in all of our programs. 

Competitions are described at: Patients, caregivers and family members living with heart failure are integral members of our review panel to select funded projects and trainees. If you are interested in joining a panel, email

TRUE HF – Ted Rogers Understanding Exacerbations of Heart Failure (Apple CPET study)

Dr. Heather Ross, PMCC at UHN

The cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) is key to determining the likely course of heart failure (HF). This three-month study evaluates whether biometric data from the Apple Watch combined with demographic information, cardiac and blood test results can improve our ability to predict heart failure outcomes among a diverse ambulatory HF population. Patients wear an Apple Watch, use a phone-based app as well as complete daily and monthly tasks to participate. Research equipment is provided for the duration of the research study


  • > 22 years of age, male or female
  • NYHA functional class I-IV, heart failure with reduced or preserved ejection fraction
  • Diverse races/ethnicities
  • Current UHN Patient


  • Physical disability that prevents exercise testing.