What is Translational Research?

Science-based problem solving

“A field of investigation focused on understanding the practices and principles underlying the processes of turning knowledge, observations and discoveries into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.” 

Jaspreet Randhawa at the 2022 LMPRC

Let’s say you’ve discovered a healthcare intervention

You think could transform patients’ quality of care. You want to ensure that this intervention reaches as many people as possible. It can be anything from a drug, device, policy or even a change of practice.  

There are many barriers to cross before this intervention reaches the patients who need it.  

What we study in the TRP is the different types of barriers we must get through to develop your intervention so that can be integrated into society.

Some of the barriers you may face in developing your intervention are:

Passing testing and regulation

Testing for harm and effectiveness. You must also meet certain standards to pass FDA and health Canada approval, and clinical trials and testing is incredibly expensive and time-consuming.

Securing Funding

There are many ways to get funding:

  • Investors
  • Grants
  • Partnerships with companies
  • Competitions/hackathons

Getting your intervention on the market

Who is your target population? If you want your intervention to reach patients, you might want to consider putting it in hospitals, however, you’ll need to convince different healthcare professionals to adopt or endorse it. To do this, you’ll have to come up with different implementation strategies.


That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll face many other challenges when trying to make a change within any healthcare system. In real life each of the barriers are very complicated and ambiguous. This is why translational research is important. Translational research is about overcoming these barriers and making sure that your innovation creates impactful benefits for human health.   

Why join the Translational Research Program?

Research in the health sciences is advancing at a rate never seen in human history. Despite this, too much promising research is not translated into innovations that improve people’s lives. Our mission is to challenge people to think differently, so they will be inspired to lead and drive change in their communities.

Build on your own experiences

At the Translational Research Program (TRP), use your experiences and build on expertise across disciplines to develop health innovations. You’ll collaborate with learners from varied backgrounds that are passionate about improving health. For example, meet Janine – a TRP student who came from a music background with an interest in helping homelessness.

TRP student Janine Noorloos