A University of Northern British Columbia postdoctoral researcher is the recipient of a national fellowship.
Dr. Alison Gerlach received a 2016-17 Banting Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
“Postdoctoral fellowships, including the Banting Fellowship, allow UNBC to enhance the University’s research culture by attracting and developing outstanding researchers,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “Dr. Gerlach’s ongoing work with Indigenous communities in Northern B.C. is another example of UNBC research creating local solutions with national and global impact.”
Gerlach’s research project Rethinking Early Intervention Therapy with Indigenous Communities and Families in Northern British Columbia: A Critical Inquiry centres on understanding how early intervention therapy services and programs, that is children’s occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and physiotherapy, can be provided in ways that are responsive, culturally safe, and effective with Indigenous communities and families in Northern B.C.
First Nations Studies and Education Professor Dr. Margo Greenwood will supervise Gerlach’s fellowship. Greenwood is also the Academic Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (NCCAH), hosted by UNBC. Being able to collaborate with Greenwood helped Gerlach secure the fellowship.
“The Banting Fellowship looks at the synergy between the fellow, the supervisor and the research environment,” Dr. Gerlach says. “The NCCAH is an international leader in informing Indigenous public health issues. There is also a clear, strategic priority at UNBC to do research with Indigenous communities that benefits Indigenous communities. There’s also lot of really exciting work underway in the North in terms of innovative, community-driven approaches to improving Indigenous people’s health. I think the North is leading the way in that area and this is a great opportunity to contribute to this work.”
Banting Fellowships are worth $70,000 a year for up to two years of research.
Gerlach is the second UNBC researcher to receive a Banting Fellowship. Dr. Maya Gislason was the first, receiving a fellowship in 2013 to work with Health Sciences Associate Professor Dr. Margot Parkes.