Congratulations to Dr. Kristin Connor, who recently received grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)!

Dr. Connor’s NSERC grant aims to understand how poor nutrition and infection during pregnancy impact growth of the offspring and the development of defences that protect it against inflammation and infection. It will also test an intervention of pre- and probiotics to optimise growth, immune system development, and communication between the gut and brain.

The CIHR grant aims to build capacity for research and training across countries and disciplines. It will help to bring together a group of international, multidisciplinary health scientists, clinicians, and stakeholders to better understand the impact of HIV infection and treatment, and exposure in the womb, on the health and well-being of mothers and infants. It will also allow these stakeholders to identify new opportunities for intervention to prevent adverse health outcomes in HIV-infected women and their uninfected infants.

To learn more about Dr. Connor’s research and join her team, visit her Developmental Origins of Health and Disease website.

Students interested in working with Dr. Connor on her NSERC grant should contact her at with all of the following information in a single pdf document:

  1. Title your email “Prospective graduate student”
  2. A cover letter that includes:
  • A description of why you are interested specifically in Dr. Connor’s research programme
  • A description of your research interests, professional and academic goals, and how you believe the Connor Lab will help you to achieve your goals
  • Indicate at what level of graduate studies you are interested (MSc, PhD) and when you plan to start your programme (note: the Department of Health Sciences MSc and PhD programme start dates are September, January, and May of each year)
  1. An up-to-date CV that includes details of:
  • Your previous education, overall GPA for each programme of study, and any relevant certifications obtained outside of your primary degree(s)
  • Previous research experience, including
    • Details of specific laboratory and/or data handling and analysis skills/experience and your level of mastery (e.g.: extensive experience/some experience/some familiarity, etc.)
    • Details of previous research theses or research projects and the name and contact information of the thesis/project supervisor
    • A list of previous publications (peer-reviewed journal articles, conference abstracts, etc.), if applicable
  • A full example of your research, which could include a peer-reviewed journal article, conference abstract or poster, undergraduate thesis or research project report, or in the absence of these, another written example of your work
  1. Academic transcripts for all degrees completed and in progress

Students interested in undertaking an MSc in Health Sciences with Dr. Connor must hold an Honours BSc in a relevant field (e.g.: biomedical, life, or health sciences; molecular biology; genetics; data science, to name a few) from a recognised university, and have a minimum overall A- (80%) GPA. Students interested in undertaking a PhD in Health Sciences must hold a research-based MSc in a relevant field from a recognised university, and have a minimum overall A- (80%) GPA. There may be additional requirements and minimums for international students.

Note the deadlines for applying to graduate programmes in the Department of Health Sciences are:

February 1 (to be considered for funding) for September start

February 1 (to be considered for funding) for May start

October 1 (to be considered for funding) for January start

Image credit: Flaticon