Record-setting year for Trainee Support Program

Program opened in January to Master's, Doctoral, or Postdoctoral Fellows pursuing patient-oriented research in the Maritimes. Results will be available in June.

We are thrilled to announce that this year, the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU) received its highest number of applications ever. This remarkable milestone speaks volumes about the growing recognition and appeal of the MSSU.


Patient/Public Partners have been integral to this initiative from start to finish, from rebuilding the program in 2021 to reviewing and selecting successful candidates. Donna Rubenstein, a committee member for the past two years, said, "It is wonderful to see the impact of improvements made and the overall increase in awareness, interest, and quality."


What does this mean for our MSSU community? It signifies a significant surge in potential for diversity, talent, and innovation in our Maritime Universities. With a larger pool of applicants, we have the opportunity to welcome a broader range of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences into our community, enriching the academic and social fabric of our universities. This achievement also reflects positively on our commitment to excellence in patient-oriented research education and trainee support.

Learn more about our Trainee Program

Beyond the lab: A journey into patient-oriented research

Jamie Thomas' journey began at Saint Francis Xavier University (StFX), Nova Scotia, with a single class, igniting a passion that would shape her career and redefine her approach to health research. A fourth-year health innovation student specializing in biomedical sciences and health equity, Jamie took on a capstone project proposed by the Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit (MSSU). The MSSU, among various organizations invited to suggest project ideas, sought ways to enhance patient-oriented research training in undergraduate curricula. For Jamie, this was her introduction to the transformative concept of patient-oriented research and it profoundly shifted her perspective moving forward. Keeping reading to learn more about this initiative and its impact on young health researchers.

Jamie Thomas will attend Dalhousie Medical School this fall and plans to incorporate patient-oriented research in her future as a physician.

Read the full story

New resource easily explains health data

What is health data? And, how can health data improve patient care and health systems?

In this new resource co-developed with four Patient/Public Partners, our Health Data Basics guide explores how health data can help us understand people's health and improve care. Using a made-up example of a visit to a doctor’s office, readers learn about the ways we can learn from health data and how it is safeguarded.

View our Health Data Basics guide

Are bots sabotaging your research?

We are excited to share a new internal resource aimed at addressing a growing concern in research methodology: combatting bots in survey data collection – something MSSU researchers recently experienced.


MSSU Nova Scotia staff Amy Grant and Kristy Hancock developed a comprehensive guide to help researchers identify and mitigate the impact of bots. This resource provides practical strategies, best practices, and technical solutions to safeguard the integrity of survey data collection processes.

View our Tip Sheet


Celebrating International Women's Day: An Interview with Dr. Natalie Rosen | March 6, 2024


Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Youth Mental Health Research: A Visual Summary

Last fall, the MSSU partnered with the pan-Canadian Digital, Inclusive, Virtual, and Equitable Research Training in Mental Health Platform (DIVERT Mental Health) and the IWK Mental Health and Addictions Program (IWK MHA) to host a knowledge exchange event designed to support dialogue about equity, diversity and inclusion in digital mental health research and services for youth. The team has released a visual summary of the event, which was the first in a series of such events across the country, and will be presenting their findings from the event at the Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference (CCMHC) on June 13-15.

Learn more

Patients’ Den  | Call for Patient Panelists in New Brunswick

Exploring the use of social media for caregivers of children with cancer  | Call for Patient/Public Partners with a child in remission from cancer in Atlantic provinces

Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia | Advisory Group Recruitment

View all our current Patient Engagement Opportunities on our website or follow our Facebook Page!  


June 6, 2024 | 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. AT


In this webinar learn more about the comprehensive database of top-tier Nova Scotian primary care data available to researchers through the Maritime Research Network of Family Practice (MaRNet-FB) with network director Dr. Grandy. Dr. Grandy will share how he collaborates with a dedicated group of community-based physicians to drive research projects and enhance quality improvement initiatives. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about MaRNet-FP and how it’s shaping the future of primary care in Nova Scotia.

Register now

June 14, 2024 | 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. AT


The MSSU Patient-Oriented Research Training Practicum builds on the on the modules of the CIHR-IMHA’s e-learning: A How-to-Guide to Patient Engagement. In our free, 2.5-hour workshop, you will put the theory from the CIHR e-learning modules into practice. This workshop is co-led by a Patient/Public Partner who shares valuable insight into the evolution and practice of patient engagement in research.

Email now to register

Watch Keeping up with KT online

Watch recordings from this year’s Keeping Up with Knowledge Translation (KT) spotlight on Learning Health Systems (LHSs) on the MSSU YouTube channel. 

Showcasing health System Impact Fellows Support for Learning Health Systems | April 2024

Supporting Maritime Learning Health Systems | December 2023

Watch the YouTube playlist 


Co-authored by MSSU staff Amy Grant and former staff Elizabeth Jeffers, Leah Boulos, Amy Mireault

Barriers and enablers to implementing interprofessional primary care teams | January 12, 2024

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Co-authored by MSSU Patient/Public Partner Donna Rubenstein

Patient Advisors Network: Reimagining the research landscape | March 2024

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Co-authored by MSSU staff Amy Grant, Rachel Giacomantonio, Elizabeth Lappin and former staff Julia Kontak, Alice Bruce, Amy Mireault

Identifying strategies to support implementation of interprofessional primary care teams in Nova Scotia | May 10, 2024

Read the paper

Authored by MSSU Indigenous Allyship and Engagement Science Lead Neil Forbes

Kiskisom: Can a plastic brain be decolonized through stories | May 2024

Read the article

If we've supported your research and/or you've published your findings, let us know by emailing to include in our next newsletter.

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