Canadian Obesity Fellowship Program2023-06-06T11:57:19-04:00

Obesity Canada is Canada’s only registered health charity focusing on obesity research, education and advocacy. Obesity Canada leads action teams to support the development of an Obesity National Care Framework in Canada focussing on four areas; research, education, policy and community. Obesity Canada’s mission is to improve the lives of Canadians living with obesity through identified areas by working with Canadian obesity experts, patient advocates, policy makers and private – and public-sector partner organizations. 

The Canadian Obesity Fellowship Program was created by Obesity Canada in 2023 with a purpose to advance obesity research in Canada. The program and associated award criteria’s have been developed to connect and engage new and emerging academic researchers with an opportunity to conduct obesity-related research to support the development of a national obesity care framework. 

Obesity Canada will be supporting researchers with a focus on providing advancement to evidence-based obesity management. This includes environmental and socio-cultural determinants; behavioral and biological determinants; secondary prevention, management and rehabilitation; and health economics and policy. Individual award criteria may differ. 

Funding for the Canadian Obesity Fellowship Program is obtained by various methods, including industry. Any industry partners associated will not have any influence or say on the decision-making process. 

If you have any questions regarding this call for applications, please contact us

Canadian Obesity Fellowship Award Winners 2023

Dr. Soren Harnois-Leblanc and Dr. Kristine Godziuk will be presenting their research projects at the 8th Canadian Obesity Summit on May 17 at 12:30pm.

Soren Harnois-Leblanc, RD, PhD

Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University, Research Center of Sainte-Justine Hospital University Center

During Dr. Soren Harnois-Leblanc’s postdoctoral fellowship under the supervision of Dr Dimitra Panagiotoglou (McGill University) and Mélanie Henderson (CHU Sainte-Justine), Soren will model adiposity trajectories from childhood to early adulthood in a Quebec population-based cohort and perform simulations to see how these trajectories evolve 10, 25, and 40 years in the future. Using administrative health data, she will estimate the long-term cost of pediatric obesity to the Québec health care based on the high-risk trajectories. She will then conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis to compare the impact of a pediatric obesity management programs to standard treatment from the health care system’s perspective. The work during Soren’s fellowship is crucial and perfectly aligned with Obesity Canada mission, as it will provide governmental agencies and policymakers with the needed evidence to prioritize childhood obesity early treatment programs.

Kristine Godziuk, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences

University of Alberta, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University and Boston University

Dr. Kristine Godziuk is a postdoctoral fellow and rehabilitation scientist at the University of Alberta. Her research aims to improve osteoarthritis (OA) management for individuals living with obesity. In two aligned projects, she will critically examine the relevance of body mass index (BMI) for access to surgical OA treatment (i.e. joint replacement/total joint arthroplasty), and explore body composition as a tool to provide more targeted and appropriate non-surgical OA management strategies. In project A, Kristine will identify steps and solutions to reduce the use of maximum BMI thresholds by orthopedic surgeons, and engage patients and surgeons in co-designing approaches to improve surgical risk assessment. In project B, she will explore strategies to prevent muscle loss and sarcopenic obesity development in individuals with advanced knee OA. Both projects will contribute to ensuring that individuals with obesity can receive appropriate, unbiased treatment for their knee or hip OA. Timely and effective OA management is critical to prevent the development or worsening of other serious health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, and management of diabetes and hypertension. This research aligns with Obesity Canada’s mission to improve the lives of individuals living with obesity through the development and delivery of more appropriate, integrated OA treatment approaches. This includes non-surgical OA interventions targeted to patient needs, and equitable access to life-enhancing joint replacement surgery when indicated.

A special thank you to Eli Lilly for contributing funding to the Canadian Obesity Fellowship Award program.

Call for applications: 

Application closed.

Obesity Canada provided funding for 2 (two) $30,000 CAD postdoctoral fellowship awards (to be matched by the university/supervisor for a total of $60,000).

These awards are intended for individuals who are currently a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with Canadian Universities who are undertaking obesity research and supervised by a full-time faculty member employed at a Canadian University. Funding must be used to match Canadian institutional funding for $30,000 per award. A minimum of 50% of the Canadian Obesity postdoctoral fellowship award must be dedicated directly to salary support directed by the university with the remaining funds to be available to the postdoctoral fellow for research related expenses. Existing agreements for the postdoctoral fellow through employment at their university would qualify as matched funding. 

Funding is available for a one year period effective May 1, 2023.

Research proposals may include, but are not limited to: obesity burden and related complications, impact of weight loss on obesity complications, secondary prevention, management and rehabilitation; and health economics and policy.

All applicants are reminded that to be successful for the award, they must be available to attend, in-person, the Canadian Obesity Summit, May 14-17, 2023. The successful applicant will give a presentation on their research project proposal at the Canadian Obesity Summit. Meeting registration, travel, hotel accommodations, and incidental expenses are the responsibility of the participant.

Application Requirements

  • Individuals must have completed their PhD and/or MD
  • Individuals must be affiliated with a Canadian University
  • Institutional matched-funding (letter of verification on institution letterhead)
  • A letter of support from your current supervisor
  • Full curriculum vitae (a CIHR formatted bio-sketch is also acceptable)
  • A four (4) page summary of research project including background, rational, method, and the anticipated impact on obesity care 
    • Font size to be no smaller than 12 with 1-inch margins
    • References and figures are not included in the four page count and attachments are possible

*All of your application documentation must be submitted in ONE PDF file. Your file should be renamed in the following format: [lastname][firstname][today’sdate]. Any files uploaded not in this format will NOT be accepted or kept on file.

Launch date: January  25, 2023

All applications due April 1, 2023 – Applications have now closed. 

All applicants will be notified of the decision no later than April 15, 2023 

Funding will be available effective May 1, 2023

Presentation of the fellows program of research or research project: May 14-17, 2023

Applications have now closed.

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