MSSU Student Awards

At the MSSU, we are committed to building capacity for patient-oriented research in the Maritimes. Since 2014, we have invested more than $3 million dollars to support the next generation of highly qualified health research leaders with expertise in patient-oriented research in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

A new funding opportunity coming soon

Early in 2022, we will be introducing a new funding program, the MSSU Maritime Scientist Studentship Awards.

This competition will be open to high-caliber trainees engaged in patient-oriented health research and entering or enrolled in a Master’s, Doctoral, or Postdoctoral Fellow program at universities in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.

This new award program replaces the NBHRF & CIHR-SPOR-MSSU Studentship/Fellowship and MSSU Student Awards. This new program will provide consistency in eligibility requirements, the application review process, and funding levels for trainees in all three Maritime provinces.

Important Changes

Competition dates
The new award program competition will open in early 2022, with funds being made available to successful applicants in September 2022.

More details will be added to this page once confirmed.

Eligibility requirements
Research team
As in the past, all trainees supported by this award must be supervised by an MSSU Scientist who has an academic appointment in the Maritimes.

The research team will also need to include:

  • Patient Partner(s) engaged throughout the project as a team member1
  • Health Care Knowledge User

This reflects the Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) definition of patient-oriented health research “as a continuum of research that engages patients as partners, focuses on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes. This research, conducted by multidisciplinary teams in partnership with relevant stakeholders, aims to apply the knowledge generated to improve healthcare systems and practice.”2

Additional requirements
Applicants will also be required to include a:

  • Plan to engage Health Care Knowledge User in the project
  • Patient Engagement Plan
    • Describes how patients will be engaged as partners in the project. Patients as partners is not the same as “patient subjects” for data collection.
  • Knowledge Translation Plan
  • Description of Sex and Gender considerations in the research proposal

More detail about eligibility requirements and the application process will be added to this page once available.

Funding Amounts and Duration
Non-renewable awards will be available in the following amounts:

  • Master’s Level – $10,000 for 1 year
  • Doctorate Level – $15,000/year for 2 years
  • Post Doctoral Level – $20,000/year for 2 years

These awards may be held concurrently with other funding (subject to any limitations set by other funders). A student’s total funding from all funding sources may not exceed the annual cap established by their institution.


Past Competitions

MSSU Student Awards

The MSSU Student Awards program ran between 2015 – 2021 and supported 61 graduate students pursuing patient-oriented health research, entering or enrolled in a Master’s or Doctoral program in Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island, and supervised by an MSSU Scientist.

NBHRF & CIHR-SPOR-MSSU Studentship/Fellowship

The NBHRF & CIHR-SPOR-MSSU Studentship/Fellowship program ran between 2014 – 2021 and supported 31 New Brunswick-based graduate students and postdoctoral fellows pursuing patient-oriented research under the supervision of an MSSU Scientist conducting research in New Brunswick at a university, college or institution (e.g. medical training programs, regional health authority hospitals).


1 Patient is an overarching term inclusive of individuals with personal experience of a health issue and informal caregivers, including family and friends. https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48413.html

2 Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research – Patient Engagement Framework: https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/48413.html