Leong Scholars

In partnership with the SickKids Research Training Centre(RTC), the Leong Centre awards scholarships to eligible MSc. and PhD student trainees through the following mechanisms:

  1. Restracomp. The SickKids Research Institute's graduate scholarship and fellowship program, funding basic, clinical and/or applied health science researchers working under the supervision of a SickKids scientist.  Two competitions annually, in April and October.
  2. Clinician Scientist Training Program (CSTP). The SickKids Research Institute's scholarship and fellowship program for doctors, nurses and other health professionals, funding exceptional clinician researchers working under the supervision of a SickKids scientist.  Two competitions annually, in February and September. 

If your research aligns with Child Health Equity, please check the corresponding box on the online RTC application. The next deadline for Restracomp applications is Friday April 14, 2023.

For more information, visit the SickKids Research Training Centre or email us at leong.centre@sickkids.ca.

Akshat Pai

Akshat Pai, PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Nomazulu Dlamini, Neuroscience & Mental Health, SickKids

Project Title: Role of Health Inequities in Childhood Stroke Care and Outcomes: A Multi-Centre Retrospective Cohort Study in Ontario.

Akshat Pai is a PhD candidate in the Institute of Medical Science. His study is the first in Canada that utilizes nearly two decades of data on childhood stroke to gain a holistic understanding of demographic factors and access to stroke care along with developing a validated evidence-based tool predicting post-stroke outcomes. His passion lies in addressing and helping alleviate barriers to healthcare for marginalized children and their families. He hopes to achieve this goal by advocating for inclusive and patient-centric healthcare practices across Canada. He also volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House and is a member of the IMS equity, diversity, and inclusion committee.

Emily Haimovich

Emily Hamovitch, PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Natasha Saunders, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, SickKids

Project Title: An equity-based examination of access to F/U care before and after the introduction of Ontario’s new billing policies for virtual care

Emily Hamovitch is a PhD candidate in the Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation. Emily graduated with an MPH and MSW from New York University. Since then, she has held research and managerial positions within the child mental health system. As Research Project Manager at the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, she managed a multisite NIMH-funded study examining an intervention for children with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). This project provided a much-needed evidence-based treatment for ODD while improving access for low-income children. She also coordinated a study on cognitive-behavioral equine therapy for youth with anxiety disorders. Emily has disseminated findings from her graduate work and from these studies through numerous peer-reviewed publications, a book chapter and several conference presentations. Upon her return to Toronto, Emily worked as the Manager of Implementation and Training at the Child Development Institute, where she managed the implementation of another evidence-based program for children with behavioural difficulties, and supervised a team of consultants who worked with over 100 schools and agencies to implement the program globally. Emily has also held leadership and volunteer roles that center around helping children and youth. In her doctoral work, she will use a mixed methods approach to examine changes in the provision of virtual follow-up care, before and after the formalization of virtual care use. The research will characterize hospital-level and community-level factors regarding the provision of follow-up care and examine reasons for these differences from the perspective of healthcare personnel. . The study will provide evidence on how virtual care impacts the provision of follow-up care and whether it is delivered equitably.

Kate Braddon

Kate Braddon, MSc. Student

Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Birken, Leong Centre Research Chair and Senior Scientist at Child Health Evaluative Sciences, SickKids

Project Title: The Association Between Maternal Preconception BMI and Early Childhood Nutrition

Kate Braddon is a Registered Dietitian and Master's student from the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. Her research project aims to determine whether maternal preconception BMI is associated with nutritional risk in toddler and preschool aged children. Her project is a longitudinal cohort study working with The Applied Research Group for Kids, TARGetKids!, a primary care practice-based research network enrolling healthy children and their parents in Ontario. 


David D’Arienzo, MSc. Student

Supervisor: Dr. Astrid Guttmann, ICES Chief Science Officer & Co-Director Leong Centre for Healthy Children, SickKids

Project Title: The Impact of Virtual Care Delivery on Pediatric Primary Care Safety, Effectiveness, and Equity

David D’Arienzo is a Master's student at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluations, and a fellow in Academic General Pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children. He completed his medical school and pediatric residency at McGill University. His clinical interests lie in complex care and inpatient general pediatrics, and his academic interests are in healthcare delivery and health equity.

David hopes to explore new healthcare delivery means and optimize current models, to improve healthcare accessibility. His project will focus on examining the impact that the shift to virtual care has had on the pediatric population, specifically in the realm of patient safety and effectiveness, through an equity lens.