Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) offered Karen Chung, BHSc (Hon), MD, MSc (student) and Stephen Mac, BSc, MBiotech, PhD (Candidate) a Canada Graduate Scholarships - Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) award to continue her research in conjunction with her international partners.

The CGS-MSFSS award provides additional salary support for Karen’s work on health-related quality of life of cleft lip and/or palate in Ethiopia. In this multi-center cross-sectional study in partnership with Addis Ababa University, Karen and her colleagues will collect utilities (standardized measurements for health-related quality of life used for economic evaluation) from patients and the lay public to assesses the burden of cleft lip and/or palate before and after primary repair.

The CGS-MSFSS award provides funding support for Stephen’s study on comparing the use of early health technology assessment (HTA) economic evidence in the vaccine decision-making process between Thailand and Canada, two nations with universal health coverage. This study will be conducted in collaboration with Health Intervention Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), at the Ministry of Public Health, Nonathaburi, Thailand. Stephen and colleagues will use a mixed-methods approach (semi-structured interviews and surveys) to compare important factors in vaccine decision-making processes, attitudes and knowledge surrounding early HTA, challenges in vaccine decision-making, and explore international and national policy context on the adoption of vaccination policy. This work is being completed in collaboration with Beate Sander and Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai.

The Government of Canada launched CGS-MSFSS program in 2008 to support high-calibre graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences at research institutions outside of Canada. By accessing international scientific research and training, CGS-MSFSS recipients will contribute to strengthening the potential for collaboration between Canadian and international universities and affiliated research institutions.

Congratulations to Karen and Stephen to have their work supported by the Institute!


Beate Sander, RN MBA MEcDev PhD, is Director of Population Health Economics Research (PHER) at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Director of Health Modeling & Health Economics at the Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment collaborative (THETA). She provides scientific advice to decision makers and serves on scientific working groups and advisory bodies, including Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), where she also chairs the Economics Task Group. She is a Scientific Co-Chair of the Canadian Lyme Disease Research Network. Dr. Sander is Vice President of the Society of Medical Decision Making and an editorial board member of the Medical Decision Making journal.

Dr. Wanrudee Isaranuwatchai is a Scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital. She is an Interim Director and a Health Economist at the Centre for Excellence in Economic Analysis Research (CLEAR), a part of the HUB Health Research Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto.

Posted on August 20, 2019