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

    Save the date: April 20 - 22, 2023 in beautiful Niagara Falls, Ontario.

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

    Save The Date -  April 20 - 22, 2023.

    Niagara Falls Convention Centre

    Are you interested in presenting at R&R 2023?
    Register your abstract, suggest a topic, refer a colleague or friend.

    Submit a Research Abstract

    Submit a Presentation/Workshop Abstract

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


    • 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.

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


Rural–Urban Differences in Suicide Mortality: An Observational Study in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Authors: Reccord C, Power N, Hatfield K, Karaivanov Y, Mulay S, Wilson M, Pollock N

Journal: Canadian Journal of Psychiatry (2021)

Summary & Impact: Rates of suicide are higher in rural relative to urban Canadian communities. This study characterized differences in demographic and clinical characteristics between individuals who died by suicide in rural versus urban areas of Newfoundland and Labrador between 1997 and 2016. Relative to urban residents, rural residents who died by suicide tended to be younger, male, use a firearm as the method of suicide, have a higher blood alcohol content at the time of death, and were less likely to have a history of addiction or mental illness. These differences between individuals who died by suicide between rural and urban areas highlighted the need for regionally tailored suicide prevention strategies that fit with the unique contexts of rural and urban environments.


Meet the Corresponding Author

Dr. Pollock is an Epidemiologist with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and an Adjunct Professor with the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies with the Labrador Campus of Memorial University. He completed a Master of Social Work at Carleton University and a PhD in Community Health at Memorial University. Dr. Pollock uses a variety of health service research methods, including both qualitative and quantitative approaches, to study suicide prevention, mental health, and child and family health, with a particular focus on rural, northern, and Indigenous populations. Through his role in the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Dr. Pollock works collaboratively with Indigenous governments and health and social care agencies in Northern Canada to assist with community-based research and policy development. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Canadian Society for Circumpolar Health and the International Union of Circumpolar Health.

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

Dr. Pollock: I think studying rural and remote health is important because it provides an opportunity to have a tangible impact on peoples lives and on the health of communities. Rural research is commonly focused on the unique challenges and strengths that exist in a particular place. Doing so allows us to answer questions that are locally meaningful, and generate evidence that has practical and often immediate implications for how care is provided and programs are delivered.

Photo: Nathaniel Pollock

Check out past Research Features: Past Research Features.pdf

Canadian institutes focusing on rural health research

Centre for Rural Health Studies, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The CRHS directs, supports, and participates in local, provincial, and national research teams that aim to improve the accessibility and quality of primary healthcare for rural residents. Its 6for6 is a longitudinal faculty development program in research skills for rural physicians

Rural Coordination Centre of BC.

RCCbc supports rural healthcare by working directly with providers to improve service delivery to marginalized populations and communities in need.”


Centre for Rural Health Research. 

The Centre for Rural Health Research emerged in response to the need for an evidence base to inform the policy and planning of health services for rural residents of British Columbia, with a focus on maternity care.”


Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority.

SLFNHA supports research and special projects that are relevant, meaningful and beneficial to First Nations in the Sioux Lookout area.”


Population Health Unit, Northern Saskatchewan.

The Population Health Unit monitors the health and living circumstances of the people of northern Saskatchewan. This includes changes in population and community characteristics, determinants of health, health service utilization, and the health status and well-being of northern Saskatchewan residents.”


British Columbia Academic Health Science Network .

“…initiated by the BC Ministry of Health as a strategic opportunity and a path to enable and embed research, teaching, and ongoing professional support across the continuum of health services in BC.”


Canadian Institute for Health Information .

“deliver[s] comparable and actionable information to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across the continuum of care.”


Statistics Canada.

“Statistics Canada is the national statistical office. The agency ensures Canadians have the key information on Canada's economy, society and environment that they require to function effectively as citizens and decision makers.”


The Centre for Rural and Northern Health Research.

“CRaNHR is an academic and applied research centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. CRaNHR's mandate is to conduct interdisciplinary research on rural health with a view to improving health services, access to health care, particularly in rural and northern communities, and enhancing our understanding of the health care system.

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