AbSPORU Graduate Studentship in Patient-Oriented Research

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) Graduate Studentship provides opportunities for individuals enrolled in any year of a thesis-based Master’s or PhD program at one of Alberta’s four comprehensive academic research universities (CARU) to undertake research that both meaningfully engages patients and addresses their priorities.

Recipients will have the opportunity to attain the knowledge and experience they need to build exciting careers that leverage their unique training and expertise in patient-oriented research.

Since 2015, AbSPORU has awarded over $3 million to 100 graduate students, to support their patient-oriented research. Participants in the program have gone on to win 87 academic awards in the form of student funding, fellowships, research project funding, salary support, and professional development opportunities worth a combined total of over $5 million.

How the program works


The program provides 12 months of funding support towards a thesis-based Master’s or Doctoral degree, consisting of a stipend of $30,000.

The program also provides a range of patient-oriented research training and competency development activities to build the interdisciplinary and collaborative skills required of Alberta’s next generation of researchers, clinicians and health services professionals.

Congratulations to the 2024 Studentship Cohort

Arielle Perrotta - University of Calgary

Project: Indigenous Maternal-Child Wellness: Understanding Urban Indigenous Families’ Experiences of Pregnancy and Birth in Calgary, Alberta

Donald Golden - University of Calgary

Project: Menstrual cycle effects on knee laxity and structure in females with Hypermobile Spectrum Disorders and hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Elizabeth Kusi-Appiah - University of Alberta

Project: Intersectional exploration of psychological distress experiences among women in critical care

Erynne Sjoblom - University of Alberta

Project: Reclaiming traditional Wahkotowin (kinship) support systems: Measuring the impact of community-driven and culturally-rooted strategies to promote mental wellness

Fernanda Dal Pizzol - University of Alberta

Project: Preparedness of Informal Caregivers of an Older Adult after a Stroke: Developing the Concept and an Intervention Program

Garazi Casillas Martinez - University of Calgary

Project: Investigating structural and functional properties of the brain in children with severe behaviors

Hailey Zwicker - University of Calgary

Project: Investigating the impact of cerebrovascular injury and sociocultural factors on social function in children and adolescents with sickle cell disease in Canada

Ishnoor Kaur Nahal - University of Calgary

Project: Co-designing a Sleep Education Intervention to Improve Behaviors of Concern Amongst Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Javiera Navarrete - University of Alberta

Project: Exploring the role of pharmacy staff in the care of people who use drugs: patient, provider, and decision-maker perspectives

Jessica Haight - University of Alberta

Project: Exploring a Model of Integrated Patient-Centered Care for Addressing Refugee Health

Kaeleigh Brown - University of Alberta

Project: Trauma-informed research: exploring pelvic health conditions in northern Canada and circumpolar regions

Megan MacNeil - University of Alberta

Project: Co-designing Equitable Solutions for Pediatric Chronic Pain in Primary Care: An Integrated Knowledge Mobilization Approach