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.

$2,032,284

In Funding

21

Projects

8

Institutions

New Health Investigator Grant Recipients

Dr. Phillip Joy
Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition

Project: Exploring Current Nutritional Knowledge and Resources Available to People Living With HIV-AIDS in Nova Scotia: A Comprehensive Needs Assessment

People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Nova Scotia face barriers to meeting their healthcare needs, including nutritional needs. Optimal nutrition is critical to the health and wellbeing of PLWHA in maintaining their immune system and preventing disease progression. It is important that PLWHA receive nutrition knowledge and foods skills, programming, and support to sustain and improve their health and quality of life. Despite this, there is a lack of knowledge and resources in Nova Scotia on the impact of stigma, homophobia, and food security on nutritional programming. Additionally, there is a lack of knowledge about community wants and needs for nutritional programming. Moreover, PLWHA now face novel challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Service providers are operating remotely and, as a result, community-based offerings have been postponed or moved online. The impact of the pandemic on this community, especially in relation to nutrition, isolation, access to support systems, financial burden and food security, has not yet been quantified, nor described. Through his research, Dr. Phillip Joy and team hope to gain an understanding of the nutrition and food needs of PLWHA in Nova Scotia through a comprehensive community-informed needs assessment. The research will take a community-based approach, engaging healthcare workers, service providers, and PLWHA in Nova Scotia. Community partners will include several HIV/AIDS service providers in the province, such as AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia, Healing Our Nations, AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton, ALLY, and Community-based Research Centre.

Funding amount: $99,785.60

Team members: Dr. Shannan Grant, Patricia Williams, Dr. Lisa Goldberg, Dr. Mary Lynch, Dr. Barb Hamilton-Hinch, Dr. Peter Stilwell, Michell Proctor-Simms, Larry Baxter, Marg Dwyer, & Ken McKenzie