The CANOC SCHOLARSHIP Awards Program

The Canadian HIV Observational Cohort (CANOC) Collaborative Research Centre is pleased to announce a joint scholarship program with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN). This team approach to training and knowledge translation creates unique opportunities for advanced multi-site and multi-investigator training. Funds will be offered for scholarships at Master, PhD, and Post-Doc levels for 2016-2017.

Launch Date: February 15th, 2016
Application Deadline: April 1st, 2016
Start date: September 1st, 2016

CANOC Scholarship Application 2016-2017

CANOC Scholar Guidelines 2016

Canadian HIV Observational Cohort (CANOC) Collaborative Research Centre

CANOC is Canada’s first integrated network of HIV treatment information from ten cohort databases across British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, and Newfoundland. This collaboration gives researchers the opportunity to conduct large scale and detailed analyses of treatment outcomes and to assess variations across regions and provinces.

The CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN)

The CTN is a nationally funded partnership committed to developing treatments, vaccines and a cure for HIV diseases and related conditions through scientifically rigorous and ethical research.

The Program

The CANOC Scholarship Awards Program offers training opportunities to outstanding young researchers at major Canadian centres. The goals of the program are:

  • To help meet the need for trained investigators of HIV projects in Canada
  • To foster a dynamic research environment at Canadian HIV care centres and institutions
  • To promote research in health services and cost-effectiveness related to HIV/AIDS

Awards

New scholarships are awarded each year. Scholarships are provided on behalf of the CANOC Centre.

Amount

Each awardee receives funding, at the CIHR level, based on the degree being sought: Master’s –$17,500; PhD—$21,500; or Postdoctoral—$55,000. An additional travel allowance of up to $2,500 may be available for travel costs. If a scholarship is not held for the full year, the scholar must immediately notify the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network. A prorated reduction in funds will then be made.

Eligibility

Applicants must be accepted to or currently enrolled in a full time graduate level academic program at a recognized Canadian university. Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or have landed immigrant status. Current CANOC co-investigators are not eligible for this scholarship.

Supervisor

The supervisor must be an affiliate investigator of the CANOC Centre, and be willing to direct the scholar in an experiential learning program. A list of all potential CANOC supervisors can be found at: www.canoc.ca/about-us/principal-investigators/

Sponsoring Institution

Each scholar must develop and run their research work at a recognized Canadian institution. The sponsoring institution must be prepared to provide suitable space and research facilities.

Transfer

If a scholar transfers to another institution, the award terminates. However, he/she may apply to have the unspent portion allocated for use at the new institution. Such a request must be supported by a revised application plus a letter of undertaking from the supervisor at the new institution in Canada, similar in content to the letter required from the supervisor in the initial application.

Tenure

The application should describe a yearly training program. All awards are approved on a year-by-year basis, with a starting date of September 1st. Alternate starting dates may be considered upon request. The maximum tenure for an awardee is two years. To be considered for the second year, the scholar must submit a progress report after the first seven months, as outlined in the section entitled “Request for Renewal.”

Research Project Protocol

During the course of the scholarship, each scholar is required to develop a research protocol and submit it to a supervisor for support. The research project must make use of the CANOC data that addresses one of CANOC’s key research themes.

Earnings from Other Sources

During the tenure of this award the scholar must devote the majority of his/her research time to the CANOC project. The recipient may earn additional awards and remuneration at the discretion of the sponsoring institution.

Payment

The award is paid to the scholar’s sponsoring institution in a lump sum instalment. The institution in turn, pays the scholar in accordance with its payroll procedures, making the appropriate deductions. The institution will apply policies regarding medical benefits, vacation, leave of absence, etc. according to their internal processes.

Reports

At the end of the scholarship period, the scholar must provide a written report detailing the achievement of his/her training objectives as listed in his/her application. This will include presentations, publications, the yearly presentation at CAHR, as well as an indication according of his/her future plans. The report should include a list of the projects that he/she was involved with and any publications and/or presentations that resulted.

Publications

Scholars are required to acknowledge the assistance given by CANOC and the CTN and the sponsors of the award in any publications or presentations.

Training Objective

The training program contemplated by the applicant and supervisor should supplement the applicant’s present training and experience in the specialized field of HIV/AIDS.

Initial Application

A complete application must contain:

  1. A cover letter from the applicant, which must include (max: 2 pages):
    • A summary of training and experience to-date (particularly as they pertain to HIV research);
    • A description of what he/she is currently doing and plans to be doing in the future;
    • How the scholarship would fit into his/her long-term career plans; and
    • How CANOC will play a role in his/her research.
  2. A letter of undertaking from the supervisor, which must include (max: 2 pages):
    • The nature and content of the research project arranged for the candidate (Include all relevant training activities—formal and informal—and the supervision that would be provided);
    • A description of how the proposed training program would supplement the candidate’s present training;
    • A description of the supervisor’s recent and current research work in research projects and how the candidate’s career track fits into that work;
    • Additional information about the supervisor’s current position and background, including relevant supervisory experience and publications; and
    • Information regarding additional remuneration of the scholar.
  3. A completed, signed application form
  4. Letters from at least two references assessing the applicant’s qualifications as a scholarship candidate
  5. Any other documents the applicant feels are pertinent to the application

Request for Renewal

To be approved for the second year, the scholar must submit a progress report at the end of the first six months. It must include:

  • A description of progress to-date in the training program outlined in the initial application;
  • A description of any progress made towards the development of a research protocol;
  • A detailed outline of the proposed activities during year two;
  • A performance assessment from the supervisor;
  • Any supporting documents thought to be pertinent; and
  • A statement regarding additional remuneration received by the scholar during the first year of the award.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS IS APRIL 1st, 2016.

Complete applications and requests for renewal must contain all the required information as listed in the section above and be sent to:

Katelyn Merritt, CANOC Research Coordinator
Epidemiology & Population Health
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
1026 Nelson Street, Vancouver BC, V6E 4S7
Email: kmerritt@cfenet.ubc.ca Tel: 604-558-6685

Late or incomplete applications cannot be considered.
More information may be obtained by sending an email to the CANOC coordinator at kmerritt@cfenet.ubc.ca or Ms. Jacqueline Sas (jsas@hivnet.ubc.ca) at the CTN’s National Centre.

Adjudication Process

The Adjudication Committee operates under the policies of the CTN and CIHR. Its members serve without remuneration. Composed chiefly of distinguished clinical researchers, the Adjudication Committee relies heavily on the peer review process. The adjudication process favours applicants with high potential who are working with an affiliate investigator of CANOC that can channel their potential into broad experience in the formulation and execution of research projects, including: scientific methodology, epidemiology and data management.

All factors are considered, including:

  • The applicant’s ability, educational background and career plans;
  • The proposed program of training and supervision; and
  • The research activities to be undertaken.

Privacy Statement
According to the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, applicants must be aware of the use and disclosure of the information contained in their application. This information will not be released without the candidate’s consent.

Announcements of Winners
The recipients of the CANOC-CTN Scholarship awards will be announced by letter in June 2016.

The CANOC COMMUNITY INVESTIGATOR Program is currently CLOSED. We look forward to launching this program again in 2016.

Launch Date: To be confirmed

CANOC will be seeking qualified individuals to join the team as Community Investigators. Selected Community Investigators are compensated for their time. The appointment is for one year, with possibility of renewal.

Roles for Community Investigators include:

1) Research Project Development and Completion

  • Work on a particular research question with the mentorship of one of the CANOC Principal Investigators;
  • Gain skills in research question development, abstract and manuscript writing, and conference preparation and presentation

2) Knowledge Translation Activities

  • Advise on and help build community partnerships;
  • Assist with knowledge translation, by participating in the CANOC Knowledge Translation working group teleconferences and other relevant meetings/workshops.

We aim to reflect Canada’s HIV-positive population and therefore seek applications from a diverse population of individuals living with HIV, particularly from key affected populations (persons of Indigenous ancestry, people who inject drugs, transgender individuals, and men who have sex with men).

Prospective applicants should have:

  • Basic knowledge and understanding of HIV, current treatments, and epidemiology;
  • An awareness of the issues of importance to people living with HIV in Canada;
  • An interest in clinical HIV research.The CANOC Mentorship Committee will select the new investigators.

Before applying, interested individuals should attempt to seek support from one of the CANOC Centre Principal Investigators (a list of these investigators is provided at the end of this document*), as this investigator will serve as their key contact for the duration of their contract. If not able to connect with a CANOC Principal Investigator prior to the application deadline, the applicant may suggest the name of a Principal Investigator they are interested in working with. In this case, the individual will be matched with a mentor after the application deadline.

For any questions about this program, please contact:

Katelyn Merritt, CANOC Research Coordinator
Epidemiology & Population Health
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
1026 Nelson Street, Vancouver BC, V6E 4S7
Email: kmerritt@cfenet.ubc.ca Tel: 604-558-6685

Scholar and Community Investigators

  • Aranka Anema (2008-2009) was a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Julio Montaner. Her research examined the impact of food insecurity on HIV clinical outcomes among individuals receiving ART in CANOC-affiliated cohorts.
  • Tony Antoniou (2008-2010) was a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Mona Loutfy. His area of study was population-based health services research and pharmacoepidemiology in the field of HIV.
  • Joseph Eibl (2015-2016) is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Northern Ontario School of Medicine, working with Dr. David Marsh. Joseph is evaluating the impact of coordinated model of care for HIV-patients with co-occurring opioid-dependence.
  • Niamh Higgins (2010-2011) was an MSc student at McGill University, working with Dr. Marina Klein. Niamh completed a research project investigating medication errors within the Description of Factors Associated with Medication Errors in an HIV Ambulatory Care Setting (DEFEAT Study).
  • Kevin Johns (2010-2012) was a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Marianne Harris. His work focused on determining the metabolic profile time course among HIV-positive individuals initiating ART in Canada.
  • Lauren MacKenzie (2016-2017) has an MD from the University of Calgary and is completing an HIV Clinical Fellowship at the BC-CfE under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hull. Her research examines the impact of geographic location on outcomes within the Canadian HIV care cascade.
  • Rachel McGovern (2009-2010) is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Richard Harrigan. Her primary research focus is the application of genotyping methods for characterizing HIV-1 with particular interest in viral tropism, and response to CCR5 antagonists in various patient groups.
  • Taylor McLinden (2015-2017) is a PhD candidate at McGill University working with Dr. Joe Cox. Taylor’s research focuses on the association of injection drug use and food insecurity in HIV-HCV co-infected individuals in Canada.
  • Patricia Ndumbi (2010-2012) was a PhD student at McGill University, working with Dr. Christos Tsoukas. She studied the impact of long-term successful ART on altered T-cell homeostasis and T-cell ratio dysregulation among treated CANOC participants.
  • Dr. Tyler O’Neill (2015-2017) is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, working with Dr. Ann Burchell. Tyler’s research focuses on gender differences in HIV-positive patients on antiretroviral therapy co-infected with Hepatitis C virus.
  • Alexis Palmer (2011-2012) was a PhD student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, working with Dr. Robert Hogg. Alexis’ primary research interest within CANOC is to evaluate late initiation of antiretroviral therapy among youth living with HIV in Canada.
  • Urvi Rana (2016-2017) is an MSc student at the University of Ottawa, working with Dr. Curtis Cooper. Her research focuses on Hepatitis B characteristics and clinical outcomes in HIV co-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy.
  • Hasina Samji (2014-2015) was a PhD candidate at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research examined social and structural barriers to the initiation and continuation of HIV treatment and the impact of each on HIV disease progression.
  • Dr. Phan Sok (2010-2011) is a PhD student at the University of Toronto, working with Drs. Sean Rourke and Ann Burchell. He is examining the influence of aging on treatment outcomes within the CANOC cohort.
  • Luke Swenson (2008-2009) was a PhD student at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Richard Harrigan. His primary study area is the utility (sensitivity/specificity/negative and positive predictive values) of a weighted mutation list for predicting risk for abacavir hypersensivity (HLA-B*5701 positive).
  • Betty Yazdani (2015-2016) is an MSc candidate at Simon Fraser University, working with Dr. Bodhan Nosyk. Betty’s research focuses on the distribution and determinants of hospital readmission among people living with HIV/AIDS in British Columbia.
  • Man Wah Yeung (2011-2013) was an MSc student at McGill University, working with Dr. Marina Klein. Her research focuses on liver disease-related outcomes of antiretroviral therapy treatment interruptions among HCV/HIV co-infected adults in CANOC.

Partners

BC-CfE
CAAN
CAS
CATIE
CHIWOS
CTAC
CWGHR
CTN
Living with HIV Innovations Team
PHAC
NAACCORD
REACH

Funders

CIHR
CTN
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