Propel Centre for Population Health Impact (Propel)

The Propel Centre for Population Health Impact is a CCS-funded research centre that works to stop cancer before it starts and from progressing. Propel’s ability to influence population health in Canada relies on meaningful relationships with individuals and organizations. Propel works with advocates, policy makers, program delivery staff and other researchers to jointly plan, do and act on studies that will improve the health of people and places in Canada. Founded by the Canadian Cancer Society and the University of Waterloo, Propel's focus is on using research to help prevent cancers, especially by reducing the burden from tobacco, improving health behaviours and environments, and building a new solution-oriented science.
Propel has three inter-dependent programs: (1) Tobacco Control, which focuses on supporting advocacy and improving policy and cessation interventions; (2) Healthy Living, which focuses on the implementation and spread of population interventions, especially those that promote healthy eating and physical activity; and (3) Capacity Development, which includes scientific innovations, training and learning opportunities for students, sparking and supporting new collaborations across policy, practice and research sectors, and strengthening the environment within Canada for applied prevention science. Propel is comprised of eight in-house research scientists, over 35 experienced staff and over 400 research, policy and practice collaborators across Canada and beyond. Propel is committed to moving evidence into action to foster healthier populations in Canada and around the world.
Engagement in Prevention Network activities:

Propel can offer Network members:

  • In-house expertise in: tobacco cessation and policy (specializing in economics of tobacco control; social media, mobile health and other technologies for health behaviour change; indoor and outdoor smoke-free policy; smoking quitlines; integrated cessation services); healthy school community environments (especially for nutrition, physical activity and UV exposure); multi-sector partnerships; implementation and intervention research; health evaluation; knowledge to action; research and evaluation capacity building
  • Research and project management infrastructure to support prevention studies, including large multi-site, multi-sector and multi-year projects, with team members from multiple institutions and organizations
  • Knowledge exchange events that build new collaborations and focus priorities (recent examples include a national workshop on shaping an agenda for improving the performance of interorganizational partnerships; a national workshop on accelerating tobacco control through linking evidence and action; national forums on building policy, practice and research collaborations for strengthening healthy school communities)
  • Exchange and visiting / internship opportunities for faculty, students and policy and practice colleagues (including international visitors)
  • Access to high quality data sets for secondary analyses, especially in tobacco control
  • Seed funding and networking opportunities to catalyze high priority prevention research, jointly identified by policy, practice and research interests
  • Assist in making policy, practice and research connections within and across Canadian provinces and territories
  • Lead a real-time study to optimize performance of the Prevention Network


Director / Leader

Dr Barbara Riley - Executive Director


Lyle S. Hallman Institute, University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L3G1
Telephone: 519-888-4520