What's New

The theme of this year’s report is A Solid Foundation. Inside, we illustrate the importance of Nova Scotia’s health research enterprise, and the  ways in which the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation supports it. On the cover are five emerging leaders we think exemplify the legacy NSHRF is leaving for the future. Each has chosen a different way to improve the health of Nova Scotians but together they represent the hundreds of talented trainees and young researchers NSHRF has invested in over the past 18 years. Read the Annual Report.

The Knowledge Sharing Support Award (KSSA) was created so essential research could be disseminated to decision makers who can influence change and make an immediate impact. Funding is available up to a maximum of $10,000 per award. To learn more visit: www.nshrf.ca/kssa


Reporting to the Executive Director, the Manager, Finance is responsible for ensuring that accurate and timley financial information is available for the management of NSHRF. 

Primary responsibilities include providing sound and timely monthly financial reporting including variance analyses, financial managment of the Foundation's Business Unit, regular liason with the investment firm and preparation of regular reports on the state of investments, annual audit preparations, and assistance with the annual budget process. For more information about this opportunity including application details please visit Career Beacon.

Mount Saint Vincent University applied human nutrition graduate student, Ksenia Kholina, is the first Mount student to win the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation’s (NSHRF) prestigious Quest Award. 

Ksenia, of Saint Petersburg, Russia is the 2018 recipient of The Quest - John Ruedy Award, which is presented annually to the graduate student researcher who demonstrates the greatest promise and potential for excellence in health research. She was chosen from among applicants with the highest standing in NSHRF’s Scotia ScholarsOM Award competition. The competition is open to graduate and doctoral students from across Nova Scotia universities. 

The Quest honours Dr. John Ruedy, former Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Capital District Health Authority. Dr. Ruedy founded the first academic Division of Clinical Pharmacology in Canada and conducted one of the first studies in Canada exploring the adverse effects of hospitalization. Heis an outstanding example of leadership in health and health research in Nova Scotia and was a key supporter of the establishment of NSHRF.

“It is always exciting when we identify the Quest winner, but this year it is doubly so,” says NSHRF CEO, Krista Connell. “This is the first time the recipient is from the Mount, which highlights the excellence of the Mount’s research programs and that research excellence in Nova Scotia is spread across all our post-secondary institutions.”

Ksenia’s research is examining the role of early infant feeding practices in chronic disease prevention. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Kyly Whitfield, an assistant professor for the Department of Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University.

“I am so pleased that NSHRF also recognized what I see in Ksenia,” says Dr. Whitfield.  “She took three of my undergraduate nutrition courses and was always a pleasure to teach. Ksenia doesn’t spit out textbook-style answers — she takes the knowledge at hand and combines it with real-world challenges and realities to tackle problems more holistically.”

Before coming to Halifax to study at the Mount, Ksenia studied medicine and worked in a clinical research setting in Russia. “To start a new path in a different country and be recognized like this is mind blowing,” she says. “I’m extremely flattered.”   

Ksenia says she was inspired to study nutrition after working with chronic disease patients in Russia. “I decided I wanted a career that focused on prevention as opposed to treatment, because that’s how we can make the greatest impact in terms of public health.”

According to Ksenia, she will be working with Dr. Whitfield on projects that have the potential to generate new knowledge to guide infant feeding best practices.  

“I will be following Haligonian infants who are exclusively consuming human milk (both from the breast and a bottle) over the first six months, measuring milk intake and tracking their growth trajectories,” she says. “Dr. Whitfield and I hope this work will help to better understand how babies here in Nova Scotia are actually fed, and whether how infants are fed (breast vs. bottle), and not just what they are fed, can influence growth and development.” 

“I’m grateful to NSHRF for this opportunity. The award will allow me to focus on my research. I’ll be able to spend all of my efforts on my work and not have to worry about everyday living expenses,” Ksenia adds.

Ksenia is excited to continue her research at the Mount, a place she says she’s felt supported by from the start. “The Mount has an atmosphere that really facilitates growth. The people here are tremendous. They make a real effort to get to know you and help you. You can tell they want you to reach your full potential.”

Looking to the future, Ksenia says she plans to continue her work and education in chronic disease prevention. “For now, I plan to continue on the academic path. I want to get my master’s and hopefully my PhD so I can further my research. There are a lot of different lenses you can apply to chronic disease prevention and management. Going forward, chronic disease will continue to be my focus and prevention my passion, but there is more I’d like to learn about the social, political and scientific lenses through which you can view my studies.”  


Media contacts:

Gillian Batten
Mount Saint Vincent University

Emily Faulkner
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation



As you may know, NSHRF has been busy preparing for the transition to Research Nova Scotia (RNS). The transition has been scheduled for completion by the end of this fiscal year, March 31, 2019. We’ve been working closely with government to ensure that support for the health research community is not interrupted during the changeover to RNS. It is our pleasure to inform you that all NSHRF programs and services will remain business as usual for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, under the new organization.

To clarify, this means the following NSHRF programs and services will continue during Research Nova Scotia’s first year of operation:

Funding competitions:

Establishment Grant
Development/Innovative Grant
Knowledge Sharing Support Award
Scotia ScholarsOM Award

Programs and Services:

NSHRF Business Unit
REAL Knowledge Program
REAL Evaluation Services
Peer Review Services
The Success Program 

These are exciting times for researchers in the province, as Nova Scotia begins its evolution into the next stage of research support. Rest assured that NSHRF is working hard to ensure a smooth transition.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

NSHRF would like to announce that George Collier is leaving his position as Manager, REAL Knowledge Program, effective August 3, 2018. His strong leadership skills and sense of humor will be missed. However, it is with pride that we share George has been offered, and accepted, a position with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as Senior Partnership Lead. 

Over the past eight years, George has spearheaded the development of NSHRF’s REAL Knowledge Program. His pragmatic approach and reputation for excellence has made him a valuable asset to both his colleagues and clients.

Following George’s departure, NSHRF CEO, Krista Connell, will assume responsibility for the REAL Knowledge Program.

It is with the warmest personal regards that we wish George success as he begins his new position with CIHR. We know he will tackle this new venture with the same passion and dedication he displayed as part of our team.


The latest edition of NSHRF's E-News is available. In this month's, The REAL Issue, we asked Dorian to reflect on her experience as a REAL Evaluation Fellow. Continue reading to find out what she had to say about her time at NSHRF. 

This fall, a queer-health researcher at Dalhousie University will share the results of her work in the form of a theatrical production, thanks to support from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF).  

In her project “Birthing Relationships and Rural Health Practices: The Experiences of Queer Women and Their Perinatal Care Providers,” Dr. Lisa Goldberg, an associate professor in the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University examined how heteronormative practices in healthcare institutions may impact the birthing process for queer identifying women. 

Dr. Goldberg and her colleagues Dr. Megan Aston, Dalhousie University; Dr. Sylvia Burrow, Cape Breton University; and incoming PhD student Jennifer Searle of Dalhousie University interviewed women across the province from LGBQ2S+ communities about their birthing experiences. According to Goldberg, she was motivated to undertake this work because existing research illustrated that “the health outcomes of these communities don’t often compare to their heterosexual counterparts.” 

Dr. Goldberg believes there is lots of potential for health care providers to create environments in their institutions that are more supportive of LGBTQ2S+ needs. “But it takes knowledge of underrepresented communities, and the historical harms that they have experienced, and an understanding of what that entails for your practices moving forward” stated Goldberg.  

NSHRF supports health researchers across Nova Scotia by funding projects that reflect contemporary standards of excellence. Its mission is to contribute to a vibrant, well-balanced health research community that helps to improve health outcomes for Nova Scotians. In the past NSHRF has supported LGBTQ2S+ health research examining barriers to primary care and the importance of patient engagement. In recognition of Pride Week in Halifax, NSHRF is featuring Dr. Goldberg in the latest segment of #ResearchersMatter, a campaign highlighting the work of its funded researchers.

In 2017, Dr. Goldberg was awarded a Knowledge Sharing Support Award (KSSA) to enable her to share her findings with the public. She and her team partnered with local playwright Annie Valentine to create a play which she hopes to stage across the province. 

“We felt it (the play) would reach a broader audience and make research not so esoteric and dry,” explained Goldberg. “We’re really excited about this; when research is made accessible amazing things can happen.” The play will also feature actors who identify as LGBTQ2S+. “It was very important that all actors be a member of queer communities, because this is queer work.” 

The play is scheduled to debut in Halifax this fall. 

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Media Contact: Emily Faulkner,Communications Officer, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Tel: 902-497-2699, Emily.Faulkner@novascotia.ca


About Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
To learn more about NSHRF visit: https://www.nshrf.ca.
More information about the #ResearchersMatter campaign can be found at: https://www.nshrf.ca/ResearchersMatter

About Dr. Lisa Goldberg
To learn more about Dr. Goldberg’s work visit: qrbnsandbeyond.ca