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SPPH students receive prestigious CIHR Awards

Jun 08, 2020 |

Two members of the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH) community have received prestigious awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Jeffrey Morgan was awarded a Vanier Scholarship, given to highly qualified doctoral students, and Dr. Celestin Hategeka was granted a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, funding for top national or international postdoctoral applicants who will positively contribute to Canada’s economic, social and research-based growth.


Jeffrey Morgan

Jeffrey Morgan will investigate acute care utilization and health outcomes among sexual minorities with substance use disorder under the supervision of Dr. Kimberlyn McGrail and Dr. Seonaid Nolan.

“I hope that my research will advance our understanding of the unique health service needs of queer people who use drugs and draw attention to how intersecting forms of marginalization and oppression contribute to health inequities in our communities,” Jeffrey explains.

He has worked with his co-supervisor, Dr. Seonaid Nolan, for several years and looks forward to continuing their work together.

Jeffrey plans to use his research to improve outcomes for marginalized communities. “I am truly passionate about research, knowledge sharing, and working with communities on identifying and addressing issues that are important in their own lives and contexts.”

He also hopes to use the skills and experience he will gain at SPPH in his future career. “My long-term career goals are to lead a program of research, perhaps within the academy or non-profit sector,” Jeffrey says. “The skills I will learn during my PhD will provide me with the methodological and analytical skills needed to accomplish this work in a thoughtful and rigorous way.” You can read more about Jeffrey in his conversation with Graduate Studies here.


Dr. Celestin Hategeka

Dr. Celestin Hategeka, recipient of a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, is also a previous holder of the Vanier Scholarship. He recently defended his PhD, having completed his graduate work at SPPH under the supervision of Dr. Michael Law.

Dr. Hategeka came to SPPH as a physician with clinical experience and credits his graduate work with providing a complementary academic research skill set. “My experience at SPPH was fascinating, memorable and transformative in many ways. I learned to ask the right research questions and to design studies to best address the questions,” he explains.

His graduate work focused on studying health system performance and impact of quality improvement strategies in a low-resource African setting, where he found that low quality of care is currently a bigger obstacle to reducing mortality than suboptimal access to care.

“Celestin put together a very comprehensive and important set of studies on interventions to improve health care quality in Rwanda.” said his supervisor Dr. Law. “Our entire team is excited to watch Celestin move his career forward through his Banting Fellowship and beyond.”

Moving forward, Dr. Hategeka will be undertaking a project entitled “Improving Health System Quality Through Better Measurement and Service Delivery Redesign” at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“My graduate research training at UBC SPPH was outstanding and has prepared me to successfully pursue post-doctoral training.” Dr. Hategeka explains. In many ways, his project is a natural continuation of his graduate work. “The goal of my postdoctoral research program is to contribute to improve health system quality in sub-Saharan Africa through better measurement and tracking performance and service delivery redesign to ultimately maximize the health system impacts.”

Dr. Hategeka looks forward to pursuing his postdoctoral work at a new academic centre at Harvard. “The start of my postdoc coincides with the establishment of centers of Quality Evidence for Health System Transformation led by my postdoc supervisor, Professor Margaret Kruk, providing an unparalleled environment to conduct my postdoc research and training.”

Please join us in congratulating Jeffrey Morgan and Dr. Celestin Hategeka on their prestigious awards. Faculty, students and staff at SPPH look forward to seeing all that they accomplish in the years to come.