BRIC NS—an acronym for Building Research for Integrated Primary Care in Nova Scotia—is a research network that seeks to improve primary health care and integrated services for people with—or at risk of developing—complex health care needs. It is part of a Canada-wide “network of networks” that shares the same overarching goal.

BRIC NS’ objectives include:

  • building capacity for conduction and application of patient-oriented research with patients, communities, researchers, policymakers and other professionals in Nova Scotia
  • mobilizing research efforts and encouraging investigators to apply for funding through CIHR and other granting organizations available to network members.
  • creating partnerships within and across various sectors of the health care system—including public health and primary health care, as well as secondary, tertiary, home and long-term care
  • looking outside the health sector to forge new connections with such important services as education, housing and social services
  • developing connections with counterpart networks in other provinces to leverage knowledge translation tools developed
  • leading the way to more comprehensive approaches to improving individual and population health, health equity and health system outcomes.

BRIC NS was funded in 2015 and is run from offices in Dalhousie University’s Department of Family Medicine in Halifax, NS. BRIC NS evolved from Collaborative Research in Primary Health Care, or CoR-PHC.

Origins of the Canadian Primary Care Research Network (CPCRN)


BRIC NS is one of 11 Canadian Primary Care Research Networks (previously known as Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovation Networks (PIHI)) across the country under the Strategies for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) umbrella. In 2022, the PIHI Network changed its name to “Canadian Primary Care Research Network”. Each network unit has a supporting unit, for a total of 22 networks/supporting units across the country.

These networks work together, in order to learn from each other by:

  • exploring and comparing innovations across provinces
  • determining how innovations that are successful in one province could be scaled and/or adapted in another province
  • evaluating, refining and promoting successful innovations more broadly across the country

This “network of networks” approach is to ensure the efficient use of health research resources, to produce meaningful and cost-effective improvements in health care and population health nationwide.

To learn about other Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovation Networks: