Research Nova Scotia is pleased to announce more than $2 million in funding for 21 research projects at eight Nova Scotia universities and healthcare centers through its New Health Investigator Grant.

The New Health Investigator Grant supports early-career health researchers who are engaged in work that aligns with the province’s health research priorities.  The grant aims to provide two years of support of up to $100,000 for researchers who are within the first five years of their academic appointment in Nova Scotia or who are new to the field of health research. Funding provided will support the establishment of independent programs of research, support and expand the research productivity necessary for obtaining long term funding from national and external agencies and expand the potential for early career investigators to make significant contributions in their field.  For the 2020-21 academic year, funding for this grant is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.


In Funding





New Health Investigator Grant Recipients

Dr. Tanya Surette
Assistant Professor, Counselling, School of Education

Project: Resilience and Impairment: A Study of Factors Supporting Counsellor Development and Career Longevity

Nova Scotia has one of the highest lifetime prevalence rates of mental health disorders in the country. Current literature suggests up to 60% of counselling professionals experience occupational health concerns due to compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue refers to the significant negative emotional and psychological impacts that stem from supporting others through trauma and emotional distress. High levels of compassion fatigue are associated with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety and can impact a counsellors ability to provide the most effective and therapeutic services possible to their clients. There are few studies that investigate factors that promote counsellor resilience. Through her research, Dr. Tanya Surette seeks to address this gap by following counselling graduate students from preservice, through their education, internship, and early careers, capturing their developmental journey through video journal diaries, narrative interviews, artistic exploration, and mental health screening assessments. This comprehensive data generation will provide valuable theoretical and practical direction to clinical supervisors, employers, public health authorities, and individual practitioners including intentional practices and initiatives that enhance the resilience and longevity of counselling professionals. In the face of ever-growing demands on mental health practitioners, compounded by insufficient service capacity and shortages of workers, Nova Scotia will benefit from a deepened understanding of how to support the preparation, education, and sustainability of counsellors.

Funding amount: $99,909.56

Team members: Dr. Micheal Shier, Dr. Kelly Brenton & Dr. Michael Corbett