Fueling discovery: Health Research BC funds 23 researchers to improve health outcomes

13 September 2023

Research is foundational for new treatments, cures, practices and solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. Michael Smith Health Research BC’s funding for 23 researchers through the 2023 Scholar competition will help develop, attract and retain BC’s best and brightest health researchers and support the advancement of world-class health research in the province.

Our Scholar Program supports early-career health researchers who are building leading-edge health research programs and expanding their potential to make significant contributions to their field. This program is foundational to our commitment to building research talent for BC’s future. To date, more than 85 per cent of Scholars are employed across BC where they train an average of 12 next generation researchers.

From innovating health promotion efforts in response to tobacco use in youths, to transforming health services following traumatic brain injury through peer support, and developing physical activity interventions with and for young people diagnosed with cancer, this year’s Scholars are trailblazing health research that aims to improve health outcomes for British Columbians.

The award recipients are conducting research at many institutions across BC including University of Victoria, UBC Okanagan, Island Health, Vancouver Island University, and University of the Fraser Valley.

“This Health Research BC award will allow me to focus on developing my program of research. It will also allow me to more meaningfully engage with parents to develop and evaluate a program that is driven by parent input,” says Dr. Elizabeth Keys, a 2023 Scholar awardee. Her research will help families optimize infant mental health by supporting sleep health in early childhood.

Strong partnerships are integral to helping develop BC’s health research talent. These partnerships enable us to fund more researchers while helping partners optimize their research dollars to advance their research priorities. This year, we have partnered with six organizations to co-fund four Scholar awards.

Thank you to the 2023 Scholar award partners:

Our 2024 Scholar competition will be open to applicants next month. Stay tuned for details.

Learn more about Health Research BC funding programs.