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Clinical Research Services

SickKids is Canada’s largest and most research intensive paediatric hospital. Our cutting-edge research influences the way healthcare is delivered to children both here and around the world. 

One third of the research conducted at SickKids is clinical research. The number of scientists, publications, and grants dedicated to clinical research continues to grow and reflects our commitment to achieving excellence in this field. 

Clinical Research Services supports study teams and helps ensure quality clinical research by providing tools, templates, education, research facilities and services, and oversees regulatory and ethical compliance.

What we do

Clinical Research Services supports research teams throughout their studies, providing: 

  • Clinical Research Centre 
  • Study Coordinator Service 
  • REDCap Setup 
  • Research Design/Analysis 
  • Biobanking 
  • Research Ethics Approvals 
  • Regulatory Approvals 
  • Study Conduct Guidance 
  • Education & Training 
  • Tools & Templates 

We work with the SickKids research community to continuously evaluate our services, processes, and educational courses to ensure a high standard of service both through our user feedback committee, and the Clinical Research Secretariat (a group of physicians, scientists, staff, patients/families, and allied health professionals who help drive our many projects). 

Some of our recent initiatives include the streamlining of approval processes (SPRINT), the launch of the Office of Clinical Research Professionals (OCRP), a new competency based educational curriculum, a centralized SickKids Biobank, the establishment of the Research Family Advisory Committee, the implementation of Research Epic, a centralized helpdesk to support clinical research staff, and an improved communication and service delivery model.


Research Ethics and Regulatory Compliance (RERC)

RERC is responsible for managing the ethical and regulatory approvals required for clinical research projects. RERC works with researchers to prepare study materials for review by the SickKids Research Ethics Board (REB) and Health Canada. All research conducted under SickKids and involving humans, and their personal information or biological samples, must be approved by the REB. 

Clinical Research and Quality Education (CRQE) 

CRQE is responsible for executing SickKids Quality Management Program (QMP) and providing education and training to the clinical research community. CRQE staff are responsible for clinical trial monitoring and auditing, as well as development and delivery of a competency-based educational curriculum. 

The Office of Clinical Research Professionals 

In 2020, Clinical Research Services launched the Office of Clinical Research Professionals (OCRP), representing the institutional home for all clinical research staff at SickKids. By coordinating and providing professional development, mentoring, networking and staff engagement opportunities, the OCRP promotes accountability, excellence and collaboration across the entire clinical research community of practice. 

Streamlined Pathway for Research Initiation (SPRINT) 

SickKids’ Streamlined Pathway for Research Initiation (SPRINT) helps study teams identify and connect with all the institutional resources necessary to design a clinical research study and get it up and running. The overall goal of SPRINT is to ensure quality research while getting to ‘first patient in’ more quickly and efficiently.

Clinical Research Core Facilities

The Clinical Research Core Facilities operate on a cost recovery basis and are available to internal and external researchers.

  • The Clinical Research Centre (CRC) includes a fully equipped hospital research unit and trained clinical research staff to support all types of clinical research.   
  • SickKids’ Central Biobank offers sample processing, storage and state-of-the-art database management. 
  • Biostatistics, Design and Analysis (BDA) offers consultation in study design and methodology, statistical analyses, exploratory analyses, and data management. 
  • The Behavioural Assessment Unit (BAU) includes modern observational labs for conducting behavioural and cognitive assessments.

Interested in conducting your clinical research study at a SickKids core facility in Canada? Connect with CRS for more information. 

Contact CRS

Collaborations and opportunities

We collaborate and work with a number of external researchers worldwide to facilitate important studies. If you are interested in conducting research in the SickKids’ Clinical Research Centre, Central Biobank, or looking for a collaborator, get in touch with CRS today.  

Collaborate with CRS

CRS Staff

Headshot of Entela Zaffino

Entela Zaffino

Director, Clinical Research Services Transformation

David Kenney

Manager, Clinical Research Services

Shauna Kirk

Clinical Trial Navigator

Treacey Sheehan

Manager, Clinical Research Services

Aaron Mulivor, PhD

Operations Manager, Clinical Research Core Facilities

Working in clinical research at SickKids

The Office of Clinical Research Professionals (OCRP) is the institutional home and voice of clinical research at SickKids - a hub for the support, networking, education and resources clinical research professionals need to elevate research at SickKids. The OCRP helps staff access the best tools, education, and any other resources they require to continue pursuing cutting-edge research. 

All new clinical research staff are supported through an onboarding process which includes an introductory email highlighting important resources, an onboarding manual, and enrolment in a three-hour workshop on how to conduct clinical research at SickKids.

The OCRP supports Clinical Research Project Coordinators, Clinical Research Project Managers, Clinical Research Project Assistants, Clinical Research Nurse Coordinators, Clinical Research Nurse Specialists, among others. 

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Contact CRS

Contact CRS

Have a question about our services or initiatives? Get in touch with us today!

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Participate in clinical research

Participate in clinical research

Study participants like you allow us to advance our groundbreaking studies. Learn how you can get involved in the next SickKids discovery.

Research Ethics Board

Research Ethics Board

The Research Ethics Board is an independent body established by SickKids to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants.

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