Current Funding Criteria

Awards for Graduate Level Students in Aboriginal Peoples' Health Research


The primary objective of the Alberta NEAHR is to stimulate Aboriginal peoples' health research through building and enhancing the capacity of Aboriginal communities to identify and address their local health priorities. The objective of this graduate level awards program is to build capacity in research training that will benefit Aboriginal communities. AB NEAHR research initiatives are grounded in relationships of mutual respect, integrate Aboriginal ways of knowing, link expertise, and strengthen the capacity of academic, government, and community institutions to support Aboriginal peoples' health.

The Network operates as a responsive model for research with Aboriginal communities. NEAHR activities promote research themes oriented to Aboriginal community health and research capacity, building:

  • Traditional knowledge in relation to healing practices, mentoring, community health
  • Knowledge translation and knowledge exchange in relation to research and practice
  • Increased access to health for Aboriginal communities and people
  • Primary Health Care research in Aboriginal communities
  • Enhancement of distinct and parallel systems of health knowledge and practice
  • Environmental and community health
  • Social determinants of health research: intervention/prevention/promotion in areas such asincarceration, children/youth in state-operated systems of care, traditional healers/healing
  • Mentorship models and practices, including Elders/youth, peers, researchers/graduate students, healers/apprentices


This award is open to graduate level students who are:

  • Registered in full-time or part-time graduate level degree programs at an accredited institution in which a thesis/dissertation or research project is part of the degree requirements
  • Proposing to carry out research with holistic perspectives in a health-related discipline
  • Residents of Alberta or registered at an accredited Alberta-based academic institution
  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal (Aboriginal as defined in the Constitution Act, 1982)

In keeping with the overall objectives of the program, priority will be given to those applicants who are full-time Aboriginal students proposing or involved with community based research.


A limited amount of funding is available for 2013-2014 awards. Maximum funding is $17,000/year for PhD level students and $14,500/year for Master's level students. Students applying for renewal or a second award must provide a letter of support from their program supervisor outlining significant progress in their program. Tuition costs will be included as part of the award. Budgeted expenses cannot include administrative, overhead or operating costs of research projects. Students are encouraged to secure additional funding to top up their stipends with support from their supervisor or external funding opportunities. Funding decisions are made competitively on the basis of merit, need and availability of funds; thus awards may be prorated.

Review Process and Criteria:

A panel of community and academic representatives will review applications following the deadline. Funding decisions are made on the basis of merit, need, and availability of funds; partial awards may be given. Selection of successful recipients is based on the following criteria:

1. Abilities of Candidate as shown in:

  • University academic record, including course grades and completions
  • Length of time for program completions, i.e. undergraduate or masters degree
  • Coursework (total credit, relevancy to proposed program)
  • Relevancy of research background, including health related experience
  • Demonstrated research abilities
  • Evidence of originality and creativity
  • Writing sample
  • Quality of proposal
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Annual progress reports (program supervisor)
  • Other awards
  • Community engagement

2. Quality of the Training Environment

  • Candidate’s academic program
  • Research activity of supervisor
  • Research resources and support available
  • Training record of supervisor
  • Formal and informal community links/partnerships
  • Support from Indigenous knowledge holders and Elders

3. Nature of Proposed Research Program (as demonstrated in research proposal and genuine community support)

  • Responds and contributes to community identified/approved Aboriginal peoples' health priorities
  • Demonstrates collaboration and/or relevant connections with Aboriginal communities
  • Supports or involves community learning environments or opportunities that enhance Aboriginal community capacity to identify and address related local health issues
  • Respects Aboriginal and other ways of knowing as these apply to capacity building, training and Aboriginal health research partnerships
  • As required, must indicate ethics approval process, addressing protocols, timelines and required research agreements, and have these in place within 6 months of award start date, or as dictated by the academic institution.


The onus for submitting ALL required forms and supporting documents by the deadline is upon the applicant; incomplete applications will not be considered for review. Students who successfully obtain an AB NEAHR Graduate Student Award will be asked to submit a final report.

Emergency Funding Availability for Graduate Students
On an ad hoc basis, students are able to apply for emergency funding. We prefer that students not get into the situation of needing emergency funding but we realize from time to time this happens.

Applications are made directly to the Nominated Principal Investigator, Dr. Cora Weber-Pillwax, and are adjudicated by AB NEAHR investigators and community members. Depending on the amount of money needed, there may be a mandatory pay-back period. However this will be assessed with individual requests.

The guidelines, as stated, are in place to assist students and the Alberta NEAHR adjudication committee in preparing for and reviewing of applications for research funding. We understand that there may be exceptional circumstances that do not necessarily fit the criteria, or that disadvantage a student according to the stated criteria. Students, therefore, are encouraged to present their cases and situations in ways that most accurately express their research interests, context and capability to carry out Aboriginal health research.