Primary Care Trials Group


UTOPIAN is a primary care practice-based research network (PBRN) that engages over 400 family physicians serving over 600,000 patients in the GTA and beyond. This includes 13 of 14 academic units affiliated with the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, but also includes a number of community sites across Ontario. UTOPIAN brings together researchers, primary care clinicians and practices to answer important healthcare questions and translate findings into practice.

UTOPIAN can support investigators:

  • UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven offers a secure researchable database of de-identified patient records which are extracted from EMRs in participating primary care practices, cleaned, and coded periodically. This can assist with estimates for sample size calculations and to demonstrate feasible recruitment.
  • Practice facilitators can assist with REB applications and contracts, and advise on recruitment strategies.
  • Data analysts can help with the processing and analysis of EMR data, including for sample size calculations and to help with recruitment timelines.

We are maintaining a list of primary care clinicians and clinician-investigators who can act as site co-investigators for studies.

Researchers must budget the appropriate amount in grants to engage UTOPIAN in study-related activities (i.e. run search queries on the database to identify potential participants, REB applications, practice and patient recruitment, data collection etc.). Estimates of costs from our fee schedule can be found here

If you are applying for a grant and would like UTOPIAN to be included in the proposal (e.g. planning to conduct a study in multiple UTOPIAN sites) you must contact us early.

Please contact UTOPIAN Research Officer (, if you are proposing or leading a COVID-19 trial, OR if you are interested in being a site investigator for a COVID-19 trial.


Primary Care Trials Group, led by Dr. Andrew Pinto, meets once a month with our core 14 teaching sites and increasing number of community sites. The goal of this group is to build capacity in the DFCM to design and conduct high quality trials. 

Each meeting covers:

  1. Topic related to trial methods, with a reading precirculated
  2. Disucss projects/grants and identify sites/co-investigators
  3. Updates on existing proposals and projects

Please contact Aashka Bhatt, UTOPIAN Research officer, at for inquires related to Primary Care Trials Group and invitation to monthly meeting. 



Date: Wedneday, January 27th, 2021

Please find teleconference details below: