Lab Canada

$2.3M awards programs support research into gender and health

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Women’s Health Council (OWHC) has funded three new awards programs in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Institute of Gender and Health (IGH). These new awards programs build on the OWHC’s established relationship with IGH to fund new and emerging researchers in women’s health.

“The partnership that we have with IGH enables us to fund women’s health researchers at different stages of their careers, and to legitimize women’s health as an important area of research,” says Jane Pepino, chair of the OWHC.

The three new awards are master’s, doctoral, and new investigator. The master’s awards target students in the first or second years of their master’s programs, and the doctoral awards target PhD students. The new investigator awards fund researchers who are within their first five years of becoming independent investigators.

“The partnership between the OWHC and IGH is a precedent-setting example of how organizations committed to building research capacity can cooperate to help make gender, sex, and health research a national priority,” said Dr Miriam Stewart, IGH scientific director.

In additional efforts to build capacity in women’s health research in Ontario, the OWHC is working on a new initiative with the Ontario Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research (OTC) by funding student stipends and the development of a course in women’s health services and policy research, and sponsoring a women’s-health-themed summer institute. The OTC is a consortium of six Ontario universities that offers a graduate training program and is primarily funded by CIHR and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation.

Other awards that the OWHC currently funds in partnership with IGH include fellowship awards and mid-career awards. The OWHC also funds awards programs with the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies and the Research Unit of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more information on the awards, visit

The Ontario Women’s Health Council was established by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in 1998. It provides the minister with expert advice on women’s health matters and acts as an advocate for change in the health-care system. Council members have a wide range of expertise in fields such as research, public and community health, and corporate and consumer issues as they relate to women.