Scholarships awarded to Maritime students from IWK Research

Posted by

Three Maritime students have received a $2,500 scholarship from The IWK Future Health Research and Innovation Scholarship program. This scholarship is awarded annually through IWK Health Research and Innovation Services and strives to foster awareness of health research among youth.

Created in 2015, this competitive scholarship is given to three grade 12 students, each the highest ranked applicant from their Maritime province. The award supports their plan of continuing their education at a Maritime post-secondary institution in a field that will enhance health research or innovation. The 2020 winners are Nova Scotia’s Christelinda Laureijs, Prince Edward Island’s Hannah Lawlor and New Brunswick’s Sophie Gillis.

“This scholarship will have a great impact on my education,” says Gillis. “This contribution will be a huge help as I start my journey at Dalhousie University.” Gillis says that winning this scholarship will also help towards her long-term goals of going to medical school and one day becoming a neonatologist.

In applying for the scholarship, candidates are required to submit an essay explaining the specific area of health research and/or innovation they would like to pursue and how it could potentially contribute to the health and well-being of children, women and families in the Maritimes. The 2020 winners impressed the selection committee with their topics of mental health during pregnancy, early breast cancer gene testing, and the use of stem cells to treat mobility disorders.

“IWK Research and Innovation is thrilled to be able to offer this program to emerging health researchers as they pursue their academic goals,” says Kathleen Leadon, Director of Research Operations at IWK Health. “We hope to encourage and support creative thinking in future approaches to health research in the Maritimes. It’s exciting to have a glimpse at the wonderful talent in our communities, the future looks brighter already.”

While the upcoming university school year may look quite different due to COVID-19, these new high school graduates will still be pursuing their passions through post-secondary studies. All three students have been accepted into university programs within the Maritimes, with Laureijs and Lawlor majoring in biology and Gillis studying medical science.

This year’s winners give an exciting look at what’s to come in research and innovation in health care. As Lawlor states in her application letter, “research generates new knowledge and drives change. Without research, there would be no progress.”