Announcements Newsletter

Network Newsletter: Summer/Fall 2023

We are pleased to share the latest edition of the MSK Rehab Research Network Newsletter. It has been a busy and productive year for the Network and our researchers and we are excited to share the news with the rehabilitation research community.

Included in this edition:

  • Trainee Summer School Recap
  • Recent and Upcoming Events
  • Trainee Opportunities at UBC
  • Network News
  • Recent Publications, Presentations & Awards
  • …and much more!

Click to download: Newsletter Summer-Fall 2023


Newsletter Opportunities

Training Opportunity with Dr. Michael Hunt (UBC)

Dr. Michael Hunt and the Motion Analysis and Biofeedback Laboratory at the University of British Columbia is looking for a PhD student to undertake studies in the areas of clinical biomechanics or musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Possible topics include rehabilitative approaches to manage knee osteoarthritis, running injury research, and movement and activity measurement with wearable sensors. Funding is available for qualified applicants.

To register your interest, please complete an online form found on this webpage.

Newsletter Opportunities

Multiple Training Opportunities with Dr. Jackie Whittaker

Dr. Jackie Whittaker (UBC) is currently seeking two qualified trainees to join her prestigious lab. Please see below for details:

  1. Fully funded 4-year PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of British Columbia working with Dr. Jackie Whittaker (Musculoskeletal Health, Sport and Exercise Lab and Arthritis Research Canada) for a project that intersects sport-related Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears, osteoarthritis prevention (education and exercise therapy), knee injury rehabilitation, clinical trials, implementation science, and female health. For more information and to apply, go to
  2. Fully funded 2-year post-doctoral scholar at the University of British Columbia working with Dr. Jackie Whittaker (Musculoskeletal Health, Sport and Exercise Lab and Arthritis Research Canada) for a project that intersects sport-related Anterior Cruciate Ligament tears, osteoarthritis prevention (education and exercise therapy), knee injury rehabilitation, clinical trials, implementation science, and female health. For more information and to apply, go to
Newsletter Research

Update: Sociodemographic variable collection in MSK health research in Canada

Dr. David Walton (Western University) has shared an update regarding his recent polling of Network researchers and the collection of sociodemographic data in their studies:

Earlier this year I invited members of the MSK RNN to share examples of recent data collection forms on which questions related to participant characteristics (e.g., demographics, social data) were posed. I received 18 such forms from across the country, and thank those who took the time to share. I extracted all questions verbatim, including response options/structures, and thematically grouped them to better understand a) what types of participant characteristics were being asked and b) how we were asking them. I was able to identify 26 different constructs collected across the 18 forms. Importantly, I did not collect names of who submitted so the findings are anonymous. Amongst the findings were:

1. Only one construct was collected across all 18 forms: age. And where it was collected, only twice was it collected using the exact same wording (i.e.,: “Age: ____”). Others were various forms of “What is your age in years?” or “What is your birthdate” to varying levels of precision (year, month/year, day/month/year). While the differences may be subtle, they are not likely completely benign. Sex was the next most frequent question, showing up on 75% of forms, and 6 constructs (ages, sex, gender, race/ethnicity, employment, education) were collected on at least half. Across forms, it was very rare that any question was asked the exact same way twice;

2. There appears to be confusion around some terms, most commonly related to sex v gender and race v ethnicity, revealed through response options that did not always align with the question being asked. We also seem to remain committed to use of ‘other’ in our response options for many intersectional identity questions, despite a growing number of EDI offices encouraging a move away from non-inclusive language;

3. Interesting was the rarity with which questions or phrasing were aligned with those used in existing large-scale databases (e.g., StatsCan, CLSA) or guidance documents from groups like CIHI or the Federal Government of Canada. Importantly, this is not some kind of admonishment – I very much include myself in each of these findings. Rather it begs a larger question in my mind – do many of us in the MSK health research field not align with existing guidance because we’re unaware of them, or because we do not believe they adequately align with important participant characteristics or not at the level needed in our field?

Armed with this (and much more from other sources) information, I am pleased that a number of RNN members were adequately interested in this topic to join me as co-Investigators or trainees on a proposal submitted to the CIHR Fall 2023 Project Grant round titled “Rigorous Partner-Informed Creation of a ‘Core Set’ of Social Variables for Musculoskeletal Health Research in Adults to Enable Data Linkage and Optimize Exploration of Social Determinants of Health”. Co-Investigators are J. MacDermid, A. Rushton, A. Zajacova, J-S. Roy, and trainees E. Ekediegwu, M. Farzad, and A. Lawan. This is a very different type of study than I have submitted previously so will be interesting to see how it is reviewed, but success in that competition or no I still believe this is a worthy project and will seek ways to move towards standardizing a core set of sociodemographic questions for MSK health research and invite all interested to join me. Watch for future updates.

Announcements Newsletter Research

Western University Trainee Summer School

MSK Rehab Research Network – Trainee Summer School

July 31 – August 4 | Western University

The MSK Rehab Research Network is excited to host an interactive trainee summer school on outcome measurement and patient engagement.

Participants will gain hands-on experience at the state-of-the-art Wolf Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab (WOBL) and the Roth McFarlane Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC).

Speakers include: Dr. Trevor Birmingham, Dr. Pavlos Bobos, Dr. Lisa Carlesso, Dr. Joy MacDermid, Dr. Tara Packham, Dr. Tina Ziebart as well as patient partners.

Schedule (click below to download)

RehabNet Summer School Program Final

Key Concepts Covered:

  • Pain
  • Muscle Strength and Endurance
  • Joint Motion and Kinematics
  • Balance
  • Gait
  • Sensibility
  • Patient-reported Outcomes
  • Performance-based functional tests

Expected Trainee Outputs:

  • Develop an outcome measurement strategy for your own research program
  • A plan for partnering with patients/persons with lived experience in your research

Travel & Accommodations:

On-campus accommodations are available for non-Western students at Ontario Hall Residence. This residence is located directly across from Elborn College, where most sessions will be taking place. Accommodation costs will be covered and include hot breakfast. Daily lunches will be provided for all participants.

Details on bookings will be provided following your acceptance into the summer school.

Non-local participants will be required to arrange their own travel to London and local transport to/from Western University. Following the event, the Network will reimburse up to $500 in CIHR-eligible travel expenses per person.

Some walking or local transit may be required between classrooms and lab locations on and near campus. Please make note of any mobility challenges you may have so we can accommodate as best as possible.

Any questions can be directed to Ryan Power (


Network Newsletter: Winter/Spring 2023

We are pleased to share our latest edition of the MSK Rehab Research Network Newsletter.

Included in this jam-packed newsletter:

  • Multiple 2023 Trainee Summer Schools
  • Trainee Travel Award Recipients
  • Upcoming Events & Highlights
  • Network Member News: publications & awards
  • Opportunities
  • …and much more

Click below to download:

MSK Rehab Network Newsletter Spring 2023


The Hands I’ve Been Dealt

Catherine Hofstetter (Network Principal Knowledge User) recently published a thoughtful and insightful article from a patient’s perspective in the Journal of Hand Therapy:

“In life, you get the ‘hands’ you are dealt, and my ‘hand’ resulted in my being the third generation on my father’s side of the family to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), all of us around the age of 36. I had an acute onset that had the immediate effect of throwing my life and work into chaos.”

Download the full PDF text here

Newsletter Research

BJI Showcase February 24

The Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network was proud to co-host Western University’s BJI Showcase Series on February 24th.

The showcase included presentations from two Network trainees, Dr. Harvi Hart (Western) and Dr. Jesse Charlton (UBC). You can now view the full session available below.

Newsletter Opportunities

Job Opportunity: Assistant Professor (tenure track) – Implementation Science at UBCO

The Division of Social Medicine, Department of Medicine, at The University of British Columbia (UBC) invites applications for a full-time faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the area of Implementation Science.

They are seeking an Implementation Scientist who studies the implementation of virtual health innovations to improve healthcare and disease prevention in rural, remote, and other isolated communities.

The position will be located at UBC’s Okanagan Campus.

Posting End Date: March 31, 2023

Full details available here:–Tenure-track-_JR11668

Announcements Grants Newsletter Opportunities Research

Funding Opportunity: 2023 Trainee Travel Awards

UPDATE MARCH 1O, 2023: due to the overwhelming response to this opportunity, application intake is currently closed as we assess available funds. Thank you for your interest in this competition!

We are pleased to announce the return of our annual Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network Trainee Travel Awards. 2023 will mark our fifth Trainee Awards competition and up to $20,000 in total funding is available to:

  • foster the development of future leaders in MSK health rehabilitation research;
  • enhance the number of trainees involved in transdisciplinary musculoskeletal health rehabilitation research;
  • support the career advancement of trainees; and
  • support each trainee financially

Call for Applications: February 15th, 2023

Funds Available

In 2023 the Network will be offering a total of up to $20,000 in three tiers of stipends based on travel distance:

Within Province or Virtual Presentation – up to $500 per award

Neighbouring Province (ex. Ontario to Quebec, Alberta to BC) – up to $1,500 per award

National or International Travel – up to $2,000 per award

These awards are intended to cover conference travel and registration expenses to attend a conference at which the trainee has been invited to present their research. Applicants will submit expenses or a proposed budget of CIHR-eligible costs and awarded funds will be given based on incurred expenses up to the maximum of each funding tier above. Applicants will be eligible for a maximum of one (1) award per calendar year.


The purpose of the award is to assist with travel expenses for trainees to present their research at a conference related to MSK rehabilitation research (via poster, oral or other form of presentation). Note that funding will be subject to abstract submission and approval at the conference you plan to attend. Oral/podium presentation invitations may be given preference over poster presentations.

This form of awards allows the Network to fund a much larger number of trainees this year than traditional awards and provide additional professional development opportunities not covered by their current funding. Please note that additional funding and experiential opportunities will be launched by the MSK Rehab Research Network throughout 2023.


Rolling applications through September 1st, 2023 or until a total of $20,000 has been awarded. First funding decisions will be made by March 15th, 2023 and subsequent decisions will be made within two weeks of receiving application. Please note that due to high demand in 2022, all available funds were awarded within two months of launching – be sure to apply early!

Eligibility Criteria

  • outstanding potential to contribute to MSK health rehabilitation research;
  • registered as a full-time graduate student, postdoctoral fellow or clinician scientist in training;
  • accepted to an accredited program;
  • supervised (mentored) by a current Network Member;
  • engaged in research that is clearly relevant to MSK health rehabilitation


  • indicate which conference(s) at which you will be presenting, including travel distance. Please indicate whether you have been invited for a podium or poster presentation
  • include a proposed budget and justification of funds for travel to a national or international conference specific to MSK rehabilitation research
  • provide details on the research topic for the conference at which you will attend and present your project
  • submit reporting, as requested by network training and mentoring group

How to Apply

Applications currently closed

Any questions can be directed to Ryan Power (Network Coordinator) at