Rural Research spotlight

The SRPC Research Committee is dedicated to improving the accessibility and awareness of Canadian and International rural health research to SRPC members at any stage in their career. This page outlines important aspects of current rural health research in Canada, including research opportunities, upcoming research events, and highlights of recent publications. 

research Opportunities

Sepsis Canada & LifTING Research Training Programs

Opportunity Type: Health Research Training Program

Where: Virtual (Sepsis Canada)

2022 Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

More Information: Canadian research on life-threatening illnesses has been incredibly productive, and yet the care and outcomes of patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses have not progressed as rapidly. Acutely ill Canadian patients also continue to experience important health inequalities related to socioeconomic status, racial or cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, and location. To overcome these barriers, the Life-Threatening Illness National Group (LifTING) Health Research Training Program was funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) to train future researchers on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to engage in interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and inclusive research, thus improving the care and outcomes of patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Who Should Apply: Research on life-threatening illnesses is complex and requires input from many stakeholders. The LifTING Health Research Training Program wants to attract various trainee candidates, including patient and family partners, early-career researchers, healthcare professionals, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, knowledge translators, and community members.


Master of Medical Studies program - Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Opportunity Type: Master of Medical Studies

Where: Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Posted on SRPC website: 26-Jul-2021

More Information: The Master of Medical Studies (MMS) program will provide foundational research skills for physicians who want to develop a robust approach to answering health care questions. The program will focus on developing the necessary skills to acquire grant funding, obtain ethics approval, develop a research question and appropriate methodology, complete the research study, and finally write and present the results at conferences and in publication. Our goal is for learners to focus on health care problems in the north to improve the health status of all people in northern, rural, and remote communities. The MMS uses an asynchronous model to deliver the course material, the courses will be available online. Students can complete this program remotely with a flexible schedule. There is no in person requirement for this program.


Funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research

NL SUPPORT and Quality of Care NL are excited to announce that funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research. At least one grant for each funding opportunity will be designated for research led by an Indigenous student/health professional or in partnership with an Indigenous community:


NL SUPPORT’s annual educational funding competition has reopened for new or current graduate students with an interest in translational, applied or other patient-oriented research. Funding is available for up to two years for an MSc and three years for a PhD student, beginning January 2022. The value of this award will be for a maximum of $14,000/year for Masters’ students and $18,000/year for PhDs. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit


NL SUPPORT invites health professionals working actively in a clinical role who would like to move into research or have a specific question with a patient-oriented research focus to apply to our annual health professional-led funding competition. Up to five grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit

Inquiries about these funding opportunities?

Contact: NL SUPPORT’s  Julia Elizabeth Burt

Would you like to promote a Canadian rural health research opportunity? We'd love to hear about it. Please connect with us at

Upcoming research Events

Hosting or aware of a rural health research event and would like to add it to our calendar?  Send us an email


Rural–Urban Differences in Suicide Mortality: An Observational Study in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Authors: Reccord C, Power N, Hatfield K, Karaivanov Y, Mulay S, Wilson M, Pollock N

Journal: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (2021)

Summary & Impact: Rates of suicide are higher in rural relative to urban Canadian communities. This study characterized differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between individuals who died by suicide in rural versus urban areas of Newfoundland and Labrador between 1997 and 2016. Relative to urban residents, rural residents who died by suicide tended to be younger, male, use a firearm as the method of suicide, have a higher blood alcohol content at the time of death, and were less likely to have a history of addiction or mental illness. These differences between individuals who died by suicide between rural and urban areas highlighted the need for regionally tailored suicide prevention strategies that fit with the unique contexts of rural and urban environments.


Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Pollock is an Epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and an Adjunct Professor with the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies with the Labrador Campus of Memorial University. He completed a Master of Social Work at Carleton University and a PhD in Community Health at Memorial University. Dr. Pollock uses a variety of health service research methods, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to study suicide prevention, mental health, and child and family health, with a particular focus on rural, northern, and Indigenous populations. Through his role in the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Dr. Pollock works collaboratively with Indigenous governments and health and social care agencies in Northern Canada to assist with community-based research and policy development. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health and the International Union of Circumpolar Health.

Question: Why is studying rural and remote health in Canada important to you? 

Dr. Pollock: I think studying rural and remote health is important because it provides an opportunity to have a tangible impact on peoples lives and on the health of communities. Rural research is commonly focused on the unique challenges and strengths that exist in a particular place. Doing so allows us to answer questions that are locally meaningful, and generate evidence that has practical and often immediate implications for how care is provided and programs are delivered.

Photo: Nathaniel Pollock

Check out past Research Features: Past Research Features.pdf

Canadian institutes focusing on rural health research

Centre for Rural Health Studies, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The CRHS directs, supports, and participates in local, provincial, and national research teams that aim to improve the accessibility and quality of primary healthcare for rural residents. Its 6for6 is a longitudinal faculty development program in research skills for rural physicians

Rural Coordination Centre of BC.

RCCbc supports rural healthcare by working directly with providers to improve service delivery to marginalized populations and communities in need.”


Centre for Rural Health Research. 

The Centre for Rural Health Research emerged in response to the need for an evidence base to inform the policy and planning of health services for rural residents of British Columbia, with a focus on maternity care.”


Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.

SLFNHA supports research and special projects that are relevant, meaningful and beneficial to First Nations in the Sioux Lookout area.”


Population Health Unit, Northern Saskatchewan.

The Population Health Unit monitors the health and living circumstances of the people of northern Saskatchewan. This includes changes in population and community characteristics, determinants of health, health service utilization, and the health status and well-being of northern Saskatchewan residents.”


British Columbia Academic Health Science Network .

“…initiated by the BC Ministry of Health as a strategic opportunity and a path to enable and embed research, teaching, and ongoing professional support across the continuum of health services in BC.”


Canadian Institute for Health Information .

“deliver[s] comparable and actionable information to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across the continuum of care.”


Statistics Canada.

“Statistics Canada is the national statistical office. The agency ensures Canadians have the key information on Canada's economy, society and environment that they require to function effectively as citizens and decision makers.”


The Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research.

“CRaNHR is an academic and applied research centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. CRaNHR's mandate is to conduct interdisciplinary research on rural health with a view to improving health services, access to health care, particularly in rural and northern communities, and enhancing our understanding of the health care system.

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