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 almost $2 million to 64 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.

Now Accepting Applications!

We are currently accepting applications for the 2024 AbSPORU Graduate Studentship competition.

All applications will undergo a comprehensive review and final selection process involving an external review panel convened by AbSPORU. The review panel will include patient-partner reviewers. The panel’s ranking will help inform AbSPORU’s final selection of applications for funding.

Please note: clicking “Apply Now” will bring you to our award application program.

Applications close December 8, 2023.

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 2023 Studentship Cohort

Amber Ruben - University of Alberta

Project: Alexander First Nation members' views of their relationships with community pharmacists: a conversation and interpretive description study

Angela Senevirathna - University of Calgary

Project: Co-designing Policy Recommendations to Improve Realized Access to Services in Transition from Paediatric to Adult Services for Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in Alberta by Integrating Patients’ Lived Experiences

Kevin Wang - University of Alberta

Project: Evaluating and Treating Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Adults Treated with Dialysis

Lisa Vaughn - University of Alberta

Project: Understanding Métis Peoples' Experiences with a Life-Limiting Illness in Alberta through Two-Eyed Seeing Community Engaged Research

Mary Olukotun - University of Alberta

Project: Access to health services and supports for Black preterm infants in Alberta: A longitudinal case study

Matt Larsen - University of Calgary

Project: Learning to Cope: An Exploration of Coping Strategies Used by People with Lived Experience of Homelessness and Diabetes

Megan Patton - University of Calgary

Project: What matters to you(th) preparing for adult health care: A mixed-methods approach to improving readiness assessments

Mica Marbil - University of Calgary

Project: Choosing the right model of care together: Informing an equitable, patient-oriented decision aid for in-person vs virtual care of pediatric chronic pain

Queenie Li - University of Calgary

Project: Validation and Diagnostic Uncertainty in Pediatric Chronic Pain

Rashmin Hira - University of Calgary

Project: Assessment of Autonomic Nervous System Function in Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) and Characterization of the Patient Experience

Stefanie Desrochers - University of Calgary

Project: Exploring 2SLGBTQ+ experiences in the context of psychedelic medicines

Tanya Cherppukaran - University of Calgary

Project: Development of a Screening Tool for Identifying Perpetrators of Violence in Cast and Hand Clinics

Victoria Riehl-Tonn - University of Calgary

Project: Sex and gender differences in patient outcomes in individuals living with chronic kidney disease

Stay connected with AbSPORU and our research by signing up for our emails.


University of Calgary Foothills Campus
3330 Hospital Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1


College Plaza
1702, 8215 112 St NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8

Land Acknowledgment

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit operates on and acknowledges the lands that are the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Blackfoot Confederacy – Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika – the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Stoney Nakoda, and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations. We make this acknowledgment as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment towards reconciliation, and as part of AbSPORU’s mandate towards fostering health system transformation.

Application Instructions

  1. Create an Award Spring account using your school email address
  2. Login using your email and password
  3. Click on “Application” on the left hand side of the screen (Note: changes will be auto-saved and you may return at any time to complete your application.)
  4. Fill out all of the information in each section
  5. Click “next step” (Note: you may return to previous sections using the navigation on the left side of the form.)
  6. The “secondary supervisor” section is optional; if you do not have a secondary supervisor you may skip this section and proceed to “academic record”.