Scholarships and Award
Celebrating and supporting emerging researchers is an essential component of CIMVHR’s mission. Over the past decade, we have presented 26 scholarships and awards to master’s and doctoral students who demonstrate excellence, dedication, and promise within the field of military, Veteran, and family health research. In 2022, three exceptional researchers were honoured at CIMVHR’s Annual Forum.
The Dr. Mark Zamorski Award
This award honours the legacy of Dr. Mark Zamorski, a specialist in epidemiological and health services research on mental health problems in military personnel, and a steadfast CIMVHR supporter. Dr. Zamorski led the Research and Analysis Section of the Directorate of Mental Health for the Canadian Forces Health Services Group from 2002 until his passing in 2018. Before his death, Dr. Zamorski and his husband, Philip Edwards, set up a $5,000 annual award for post-graduate students researching epidemiological and mental health problems in military personnel, Veterans, and their families. In recent year’s Mr. Edwards increased the annual award $10,000.
Nabil Ali-Mohamad, BAScUniversity of British Columbia
The 2022 Dr. Mark Zamorski Award was presented to Nabil Ali-Mohamad, BASc, from the University of British Columbia, for the research Quantifying the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder following traumatic blunt or penetrating trauma to the torso area.
Lay Summary of the Research
This study aims to examine the effects of massive non-compressible torso bleeding due to penetrating and blunt mechanisms on developing a mental health disorder in both military and civilian populations six months post-injury.
Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship in Veteran Health Research
The Royal Canadian Legion launched its Scholarship in Veteran Health Research in 2014 to bolster support systems for returning CAF personnel through research from Canada’s top scholars. Many Veterans face a “new battlefield” of challenges at home, including physical and mental injuries, as well as social challenges as they reintegrate into family and community life. This scholarship helps to ensure soldiers have ample evidence-based support as they navigate this new terrain.
Martine Southall, BS (Hons)University of Manitoba
The 2022 Royal Canadian Legion Masters Scholarship was awarded to Martine Southall, BS (Hons) from the University of Manitoba, for the research, Understanding the Relationship between Cannabis Use and Psychotherapeutic Treatment in Canadian Veterans: A Mixed-Methods Study.
Lay Summary of the Research
Since many Veterans with PTSD choose to use cannabis, which can ultimately influence how they respond to psychological treatment, this research will study its effects. It will examine PTSD and mental health; cannabis use before, during, and after psychological treatment; and veterans’ own experiences to better understand how cannabis use affects therapy outcomes.
Wounded Warriors Doctoral Scholarship in Military and Veteran Health Research
Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC) is a national mental health service provider, offering a range of clinically facilitated programs specifically developed to support the unique needs of Veterans, first responders, and their families. In recognition of the importance of research, in 2013 Wounded Warriors made a 10-year, $400,000 commitment to CIMVHR to help increase research supporting the military and Veteran community. This annual scholarship is awarded to a PhD candidate who demonstrates excellence in research while exhibiting significant potential for a career in military, Veteran, and family health research.
Jordana Sommer, PhD (c)University of Manitoba
The 2022 Wounded Warriors Canada Doctoral Scholarship was awarded to Jordana Sommer, PhD (c), from the University of Manitoba, for the research Protective factors for mental health conditions among survivors of military sexual trauma: A Canadian population-based study.
Lay Summary of the Research
This research aims to identify whether social support, healthy coping strategies, and specific personal characteristics (e.g., being married) can help protect survivors of military sexual trauma from negative mental health impacts. This study will use data collected from nearly 3,000 Canadian military members and veterans over a 16-year period.
A special thank you to Wounded Warriors Canada (WWC)
WWC was the first organization to commit scholarship funds to encourage the next generation of researchers at an announcement on Queen’s University Campus in May 2013. Their commitment to CIMVHR and promoting the importance of education has not gone unnoticed over the years. As their final scholarship recipient from their 10-year commitment was announced at CIMVHR Forum 2022, we would like to extend a note of appreciation for the support they provided CIMVHR over the decade-long commitment. We look forward to working with you in the future.
CIMVHR STUDENT AND POSTDOCTORAL ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE (SPEC)
The CIMVHR Student and Postdoctoral Engagement Committee (SPEC) is a group of engaged student and trainee researchers dedicated to supporting the professional development of graduate and postdoctoral students working in military, Veteran, public safety personnel, and family health research. With the goal of maintaining and expanding this area of study, the committee provides support and encouragement to trainees and students both entering and currently involved in the field, all while supporting the entirety of their academic journey.
Co-chairs of the committee, Ashley Williams and Shannon Hill, have led the group of 12 in planning a series of events throughout the year.
September SPEC Presentation Practice
CIMVHR’s Student and Postdoctoral Engagement Committee hosted an event series that provided trainees whose abstracts were accepted to the CIMVHR Forum 2022, a chance to practice their podium and poster presentations and receive feedback from peers and mentors. The event was an excellent opportunity to network with fellow researchers before the CIMVHR Forum. Peers and mentors included Dr. Alyson Mahar, Dr. Stephanie Belanger, Dr. Dianne Groll, Dr. William Montelpare, Dr. Nicola Fear, and Dr. Kamaldeep Gill. Over 11 students participated in the event, presenting posters and podium talks while receiving invaluable feedback to enhance their work for the upcoming seminar.
March CIMVHR SPEC Career Development Workshop and Current Job Postings Available
SPEC hosted two virtual workshops on, Finding Opportunities: Connecting Students with Career Possibilities. Each session featured a lineup of prominent researchers who gave a presentation on the positions available in their labs, such as research assistants, teaching assistants, and postdoctoral fellowships. Following the presentation, the researchers divided into breakout rooms to network. Megan Wagstaff, Dr. Henry Bowen, Dr. Natalie Jones, and Dr. Rose Ricciardelli presented during the first workshop on March 1st. March 2nd featured researchers Drs. Heidi Cramm, Joy MacDermid, and Linna Tam-Seto. Both sessions were well received, and attendees enjoyed the chance to learn more about current opportunities in the research community.
April SPEC Abstract Submission Event
On April 3, 2023, SPEC hosted its annual Abstract Submission Event virtually. This event provided the opportunity for students interested in submitting abstracts for the CIMVHR Forum 2023 to receive various tips and tricks from specific CIMVHR experts. The event included presentations from Michelle Daigle who spoke regarding the application process and submission details. Dr. Joy MacDermid presented advice on quantitative abstracts, while Dr. Rose Ricciardelli discussed suggestions for the qualitative. Following the presentations, participants broke into breakout rooms to have an opportunity to ask questions directly to the panel of experts.