Graduate Studentship Program

Graduate Studentship awards are offered by the Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) in partnership with Alberta Innovates.  

Studentships come with a number of unique benefits, including:

  • Receiving a one-year award of $30,000 towards a thesis-based masters or doctoral degree, for students whose project demonstrates a patient-oriented approach.
  • Participating in the Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Training Program and additional AbSPORU activities throughout the year. 
  • Awardees presenting their work at the annual AbSPORU Summer Institute. This enhances learning through: 
    • furthering theoretical and practical knowledge of patient-oriented research
    • providing opportunities to network with leading patient-oriented researchers and thought leaders.

Application Process

Online applications are accepted annually from August-September. The process changes slightly from year to year, so an example of what is required is provided before the actual competition opens.

Applicants are notified in December, with studentships being awarded in January of the following year.

One key aspect to writing winning proposals is the clear description of why the project is “patient-oriented research”.

See Application Example

Awardees come from diverse backgrounds and propose a variety of interesting topics in patient-oriented research.
The number of awards per year depends on available funding. Over the past 5 years, 10 scholarships were awarded per year. The exception was 13 awards in 2015.


Congratulations to the 2019 Studentship Awardees:

To learn more about the Awardees click on the project summary link below their name

Christy Chong – University of Calgary

Project: Understanding the perceptions of acute care service avoidability among patients with chronic kidney disease

Project Summary

Adrijana D’Silva – University of Calgary

Project: Mind and yoga for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (MY-IBS) Study

Project Summary

Kelsey Ellis – University of Calgary

Project: Exploring children, parent, healthcare providers and instructors’ experiences with an individualized yoga intervention for hospitalized children receiving intensive treatments

Project Summary

Danielle Fox – University of Calgary

Project: Urgent start peritoneal dialysis: The implementation of an enhanced program

Project Summary

Matheus Gonçalves Mussi – University of Alberta

Project: User-centred design of brain-computer Interface systems for children with disabilities

Project Summary

Pamela Klassen – University of Alberta

Project: Improving patient outcomes in non-small cell lung cancer with nutrient supplementation

Project Summary

Alyson Kwok – University of Alberta

Project: Maximizing patient engagement through collaborative outcome measure selection and tracking: patients’ perceptions of the use of physical therapy outcome measures post-stroke

Project Summary

Ryan Mallard – University of Calgary

Project: Working with communities to bring healthcare and social services to places where it’s needed the most

Project Summary

Anika Sehgal – University of Calgary

Project: Complexity among Indigenous patients: Developing and validating a clinical assessment tool to address the broader determinants of health

Project Summary

Trina Thorne – University of Alberta

Project: Developing a trauma informed intervention to reduce responsive behaviours in persons with moderate to severe dementia

Project Summary

Billy Wang – University of Alberta

Project: Implementation and evaluation of novel patient-centered initiatives in a multidisciplinary Heart Function Clinic

Project Summary

The Studentship and Training Program inspired me to make my PhD thesis more patient-oriented.

- Chelsia Gillis, 2016 Studentship Awardee

Previous Competitions: Awardee Archives