2020 Leong Centre Catalyst Grant Competition Award Announcement

Mar 31, 2021

Four teams of researchers from across the University of Toronto have been awarded catalyst grant funding from The Leong Centre to investigate child health equity in the context of COVID-19.

This inaugural competition invited applicants to submit unique concepts, approaches or methodologies that have the potential to meaningfully improve outcomes and address inequities for children and their families as a result of the pandemic. To support the vision and mission of the Leong Centre, applicants were required to take a collaborative approach to their research, with multi-disciplinary investigators engaged in the work.

After an incredible response from 52 applicants across the University of Toronto community, the Leong Centre has successfully funded three projects, and a fourth in partnership with the Fraser Mustard Policy Bench, for a total value of approximately $285,000.

Congratulations to the following grant recipients:

Coping with COVID: A quasi-experimental, longitudinal study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income children and their families ($74,900)

Awarded in partnership with the Fraser Mustard Policy Bench

Principal Investigator (PI): Michal Perlman, Applied Psychology and Human Development, OISE, University of Toronto

Co-Investigators: Jennifer Jenkins, University of Toronto; Michael Baker, University of Toronto; Olesya Falenchuk, University of Toronto.

Developing a community-informed intervention to lesson the impact of COVID-19 on families of children with developmental disorders in Toronto's inner-city ($60,000)

PI: Shazeen Suleman, Paediatrics, St. Michael's Hospital – Unity Health Toronto

Co-Investigators: Ripudaman Minhas, University of Toronto; Jennifer Blunt, Regent Park Community Health Centre; Mark Osler, College-Montrose Children's Place; Clara Juando-Prats, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Unity Health Toronto.

Trainees: Tali Filler, University of Toronto; Usamah Mohammed, University of Toronto; Pardeep Kaur, Unity Health Toronto.

Exploring inequities in adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic ($74,984)

PI: Ashley Vandermorris, Adolescent Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Co-Investigators: Stephanie Begun, University of Toronto; Hilary Brown, University of Toronto Scarborough, ICES; Megan Harrison, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario; Britt McKinnon, University of Toronto; Alene Toulany, SickKids, ICES; Jannah Wigle, University of Toronto.

Learning models during COVID-19 and school outcomes in children ($74,909)

PI: Catherine Birken, Paediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)

Co-Investigators: Jonathon Maguire, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute - Unity Health Toronto; Jessica Omand, SickKids; Magdalena Janus, McMaster University; Laura Anderson, McMaster University; Barbara Fallon, University of Toronto.

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