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. Skye Stephens
Assistant Professor, Psychology

Project: The Feasibility of a Program for the Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a universal public health problem impacting 18% of girls and 8% of boys worldwide. Children are over represented as victims of sexual abuse, as 56% of police-reported sexual assaults in Nova Scotia involved victims under 18. Rates of sexual abuse in Nova Scotia are above the national Canadian average. CSA contributes to significant disease burden, as it is connected to a wide range of adverse mental and physical health outcomes. Effective prevention programs could stop CSA from occurring in the first place and prevent adverse health outcomes. In Nova Scotia, a significant gap in prevention programming is the delivery of comprehensive mental health services to individuals who may be at risk of CSA perpetration. Previous research has suggested that there are individuals who have not offended but struggle to stay offence free and experience mental health challenges. Through her research, Dr. Skye Stephens and team aim to enhance capacity to provide CSA prevention programming in Nova Scotia by exploring barriers to development. Knowledge gained during this study will lay the groundwork for the development and evaluation of a prevention program that could reduce the occurrence of CSA and associated negative health outcomes. Overall, the project could increase the health and safety of Nova Scotians by proactively addressing risk factors for CSA perpetration.

Funding amount: $77,303

Team members: Dr. Etta Brodersen, Loren Klein, Dr. Ainslie Heasman, Dr. Ian McPhail, Dr. Angela Connors, Christina Shaffer, Amy Ornstein, Ray MacNeil & Dr. Jamie Livingston