DEVOTION has integrated strengths and infrastructure of two accomplished research teams within the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM) and partnered with existing knowledge users and policy makers, to create a new research cluster focused on the developmental origins of chronic diseases in youth. A key novel aspect of this approach is the extensive phenotyping of the epigenetic and microbiota profiles within stored biological samples, permitting unprecedented insight into (1) novel biomarkers for disease risk and (2) mechanisms to explain the programming of chronic disease early in life.


Finally, we have included community stakeholders and policy makers to guide research projects and share data from existing population-health interventions delivered in early childhood.

Guiding Principles

  1. Committing to research excellence. Scientifically sound research and rigorous methodologies will be prioritized.

  2. Stakeholders* will be engaged throughout the research process to incorporate findings into policy and practice.

  3. Facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, decision making will be shared and cross pillar perspectives considered.

  4. Supporting a wellness focus, a strengths-based approach will be utilized.

  5. Ensuring that individuals with lived experience have a voice in research that affects them, stakeholders will be engaged throughout the research process.

  6. Acknowledging the intergenerational impact* on health outcomes, the developmental period (-200 years to + 5 years) will be given   consideration).

*Stakeholders within DEVOTION include: women, children, and families; members of indigenous communities and organizations dedicated to health equity; community leaders; health care providers and administrators; policy makers; and researchers.


DEVOTION research focuses on the developmental period from -1 year to +5 years (i.e., from one year prior to birth to five years of age), but also gives consideration to the intergenerational effects on health outcomes, thereby effectively making the period of study -200 years to +5 years.

Strategic Priorities

  1. Scientific Capacity
    Aligning learning opportunities for researchers and trainees. Coordinated learning opportunities for researchers and trainees, including but not limited to research rounds, invited speakers, curriculum development, summer schools for trainees, and supporting trainee attendance at conferences will strengthen the Network’s scientific capacity.

  2. Stakeholder Engagement
    Stakeholders are integral to our research.Stakeholder integration includes identifying research questions within projects, knowledge exchange as well as implementation and integration into practice and policy. This engagement is necessary to successfully achieve DEVOTION’s desired long-term impact.  

  3. Sustainable Operational Model
    An operational model that clearly outlines the Network composition and structure, what the Network offers, and how to Network's efforts lead to impacts.