Rural Research spotlight

The SRPC Research Committee is dedicated to improving the accessibility and awareness of Canadian and International rural health research to SRPC members at any stage in their career. This page outlines important aspects of current rural health research in Canada, including research opportunities, upcoming research events, and highlights of recent publications. 

research Opportunities

Sepsis Canada & LifTING Research Training Programs

Opportunity Type: Health Research Training Program

Where: Virtual (Sepsis Canada)

2022 Application Deadline: June 1, 2022

More Information: Canadian research on life-threatening illnesses has been incredibly productive, and yet the care and outcomes of patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses have not progressed as rapidly. Acutely ill Canadian patients also continue to experience important health inequalities related to socioeconomic status, racial or cultural background, gender, sexual orientation, and location. To overcome these barriers, the Life-Threatening Illness National Group (LifTING) Health Research Training Program was funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) to train future researchers on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to engage in interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and inclusive research, thus improving the care and outcomes of patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Who Should Apply: Research on life-threatening illnesses is complex and requires input from many stakeholders. The LifTING Health Research Training Program wants to attract various trainee candidates, including patient and family partners, early-career researchers, healthcare professionals, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff, knowledge translators, and community members.


Master of Medical Studies program - Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Opportunity Type: Master of Medical Studies

Where: Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Posted on SRPC website: 26-Jul-2021

More Information: The Master of Medical Studies (MMS) program will provide foundational research skills for physicians who want to develop a robust approach to answering health care questions. The program will focus on developing the necessary skills to acquire grant funding, obtain ethics approval, develop a research question and appropriate methodology, complete the research study, and finally write and present the results at conferences and in publication. Our goal is for learners to focus on health care problems in the north to improve the health status of all people in northern, rural, and remote communities. The MMS uses an asynchronous model to deliver the course material, the courses will be available online. Students can complete this program remotely with a flexible schedule. There is no in person requirement for this program.


Funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research

NL SUPPORT and Quality of Care NL are excited to announce that funding is available for graduate students and health professionals who are interested in conducting patient-oriented research. At least one grant for each funding opportunity will be designated for research led by an Indigenous student/health professional or in partnership with an Indigenous community:


NL SUPPORT’s annual educational funding competition has reopened for new or current graduate students with an interest in translational, applied or other patient-oriented research. Funding is available for up to two years for an MSc and three years for a PhD student, beginning January 2022. The value of this award will be for a maximum of $14,000/year for Masters’ students and $18,000/year for PhDs. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit


NL SUPPORT invites health professionals working actively in a clinical role who would like to move into research or have a specific question with a patient-oriented research focus to apply to our annual health professional-led funding competition. Up to five grants of up to $10,000 each will be awarded. For details, guidelines and application materials, visit

Inquiries about these funding opportunities?

Contact: NL SUPPORT’s  Julia Elizabeth Burt

Would you like to promote a Canadian rural health research opportunity? We'd love to hear about it. Please connect with us at

Upcoming research Events

    • 01-Feb-2021
    • 31-Dec-2022

    Program Description

    The SRPC mentorship program is a pilot program that aims to connect medical students to rural physicians and residents from across the country to allow career exploration, guidance and increased understanding of the scope of rural practice.


    • Connecting students to rural physicians across Canada
    • Career exploration and guidance
    • Increase understanding of the scope of rural practice
    • Provide learning opportunities outside of the formal academic environment
    • Contribute to the current and growing need of rural physicians in Canada

    Your Role As a Mentor

    As a mentor with SRPC, medical students will connect with you through the SRPC office manager. Once you are connected, there will be flexibility in how you set up your mentor-mentee relationships, which can be tailored on an individual basis. This may include answering a few quick questions, setting up a longitudinal mentorship plan, or organizing shadowing experiences (public health guidelines permitting).

    Expectations in your role as a mentor may include:

    • Sharing experiences of rural practice with mentees for the purpose of career exploration and guidance
    • Being honest and open regarding the rewards/challenges to rural medicine
    • Forming a plan and setting expectations with your mentee regarding frequency of meetings and meeting platform to be used
    • Sharing appropriate resources
    • Recognizing that advice given, while extremely valuable, does not substitute for MD program-specific mentorship and supports

    * By registering as a mentor for this program, you consent to allowing the SRPC to share the information you have provided to mentees that register for the program.  As a mentor, you may contact the SRPC at any time and have your name removed.

    ** Mentors must be SRPC members to participate in this program.


    If you are looking for a Rural Mentor. Please ensure your SRPC membership is up to date. Send your email request to Louise for a list of mentors and instructions. (

    Mentees Must be SRPC members to participate in this program. (Join here)

    • 02-Mar-2022
    • 01-Mar-2023
    • Online

    SRPC’s Rural Research Peer Support Group

    Struggling with writer’s block? Trying to meet a deadline? Questioning your methods? Getting stymied by bias? Does frantic typing lead to nostalgia for your days as an undergraduate?

    If so, join us for a sociable discussion in a supportive environment to share strategies for success in conducting rural health research and academic writing.

    The SRPC Rural Research Committee is hosting a monthly Zoom meet up to support members who are conducting and writing up research. 

    Join the conversation the First Wednesday of the month
    08:00 PM Eastern Time via Zoom .

    Click Here to Register Now / RSVP


    • Mar 2, 2022  
    • Apr 6, 2022  
    • May 4, 2022 
    • Jun 1, 2022 
    • Jul 6, 2022 
    • Aug 3, 2022 
    • Sep 7, 2022 
    • Oct 5, 2022  
    • Nov 2, 2022 
    • Dec 7, 2022
    • Jan 4, 2023

    Print the Poster

    For more info, email Jenna at

    • 22-Apr-2022
    • 31-Dec-2022

    Call for Research Abstracts - Rural & Remote 2023

    Date: April 20 - 22, 2023 in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario.

    Theme: "Continuing Excellence in the Next Generation"

    The 30th Annual Rural & Remote Medicine Course Planning Committee is currently accepting two types of research abstracts related to any aspect of health and healthcare in a rural and remote setting.

    • Research Oral Presentation
    • Research Poster Presentation

    All research abstract submissions will undergo peer review by the Planning Committee and/or SRPC Research Committee.


    Research Oral Presentation – September 30th, 2022
    Research Poster Presentation – December 31st, 2022

    Submissions must include a clear research purpose, objective, methodology, summary of the research results, and conclusion.


    Additional Information

    Research Oral Presentation: Share information or results from a proposed, ongoing, or completed research project. Oral presentations will include 10 minutes to present and 5 minutes for Q&A.

    Research Poster Presentation: Share information or results from a proposed, ongoing, or completed research project. Posters will be on display for two day and there will be a dedicated time for attendees to view the posters.

    Prefer to Email Your Submission?

    Research abstracts may be submitted via email to using the following guidelines.

    • Abstracts are limited to one page (maximum 300 words) not including title, author names and affiliations, or key words and the required information is listed below.

    • Must include introduction, methods, results and discussion.
    • The name of the presenting author should be asterisked (*).

    • All co-authors and primary affiliations should be listed.

    • The SRPC encourages speakers to consider a student or resident to co-present.

    • Abstracts must be submitted in a Word document.

    • Abstracts must disclose any conflicts of interest.

    We will not be contacting individuals whose proposals are not selected.
    • 01-May-2022
    • 01-Dec-2022

    Call for Abstracts - Rural & Remote 2023

    The 30th Annual Rural & Remote Medicine Course Planning Committee is currently accepting abstracts for presentations. 

    Rural & Remote 2023 will take place April 20 - 22 in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario.

    Theme: "Continuing Excellence in the Next Generation"

    The committee is accepting abstracts for two types of presentations related to any aspect of health and healthcare in a rural and remote setting.

    • Session Lectures (Breakout Sessions)
    • Hands-on Workshop

    All abstract submissions will undergo peer review by the R&R Planning Committee.


    September 30th, 2022


    Additional Information

    Session / Workshop: These sessions should focus on clinical skills and knowledge development related to rural practice. Sessions / Workshops will be 60 minutes in duration and should be interactive and engaging.

    Prefer to Email Your Submission?

    Abstracts may be submitted via email to using the following guidelines.

    Session / Workshop Presentation (300 words maximum)

    Must include: title, presenter(s) and contact information (email, phone number), learning objectives, description of the talk.

    • 20-Apr-2023
    • 22-Apr-2023
    • Niagara Falls, ON

    Continuing Excellence in the Next Generation

    Save the Date -  April 20 - 22, 2023.
    Niagara Falls Convention Centre

    Call for Abstracts

    Are you interested in presenting at R&R 2023?
    Register your abstract now, suggest a topic, refer a colleague or friend. The planning committee is currently accepting abstracts 

    The deadline to submit is Friday September 30th, 2022.

    Hotel - Travel - Tourism

    The SRPC has arranged discounted hotel room rates at Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa. Please note the cut-off date. If you need to reserve a room after, you'll need to call the hotel directly, and the group rate will not be guaranteed.

    Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa
    169 CAD - 209 CAD per night
    Last Day to Book: Friday, March 17, 2023
    [Book Online] OR call the hotel directly at 1-877-353-2557 and request the special group rate for Society of Rural Physicians of Canada.


    Book online and use our discount code.  QC4GKC41

    • The booking is to be made to the following city: Toronto, YYZ (ON)
    • The travel period begins Wednesday, April 12, 2023 and ends Sunday, April 30, 2023.
    • For North America 5% applies on standard fares, 10% on flex fares & higher. For International Travel 10% on standard fares & higher.

    Airport Shuttle

    From Toronto International Airport to Niagara Falls.
    Details coming soon. ($)

    Niagara Falls TOURISM

    Are you making R&R a family trip or a couples getaway? Start planning now. Plan your trip with the Visitor’s Guide, Coupon Book and Map.  Digital Booklet Online Here.

    Niagara Falls Tourism also offers everything you need to plan your trip. Find attractions, restaurants and events to fill your itinerary.

Hosting or aware of a rural health research event and would like to add it to our calendar?  Send us an email


Northern Ontario's Obstetrical Services in 2020: A developing rural maternity care desert

Authors: Eliseo Orrantia, MD, Peter Hutten-Czapski, MD, Mathieu Mercier, BScN, Samarth Fageria, MMASc

Journal: Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine (2022)

Summary & Impact: Rural and remote maternity services are an indispensable component in the care of expectant mothers and their families. This study was conducted to survey the state of obstetrical services in Northern Ontario and compare them with a similar study done in 1999. The population included all 40 Northern Ontario hospital communities and 16 midwife practices in the area. Results showed that there was a 22.5% decrease in obstetrical care among surveyed communities. Even though the number of general physicians providing care in these areas has remained the same, there has been a 65% drop in how many of these doctors offer intrapartum care. As services to these communities continue to decline, the average travel times for patients to receive care have therefore increased. This study provides information on a common trend also found within rural communities in the US. Based on these findings, government policies and procedures need to be implemented to increase these essential services.

DOI: 10.4103/cjrm.cjrm_4_21

Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Orrantia has a BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Guelph and a Masters degree in Human Genetics from McMaster University. His MD degree was completed at McMaster University and he completed his Family Medicine Residency with McMaster University's previous Northern Ontario Medical Program (NOMP) out of Thunder Bay. Dr. Orrantia is currently a Professor in the Division of Clinical Sciences at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Question: Why is studying rural and remote health in Canada important to you?

Dr. Orrantia: Rural and remote health research is critical in helping us to explore, understand and develop solutions to the many issues that challenge rural communities and their clinicians. This applied research can create innovations that work in these low resource environments, are often transferable to others, and can provide the knowledge to enable effective advocacy for these disadvantaged populations.