Drs. Beverly Holmes and Roderick McInnes dedicated their time and expertise as external reviewers of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and Keenan Research Centre of Unity Health Toronto in December 2019. Both scholars generously chose to donate their honoraria to support research training at Unity Health Toronto. In recognition of this, a graduate student award has been established to acknowledge outstanding contributions by graduate students who have had significant impacts, beyond their academic and research achievements, in supporting other research trainees and/or our local research community.

Dr. Beverly Holmes, MA, PhD, is the President and CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Vice President of the Friends of CIHR and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Dr. Holmes is an active and respected member of the health research community and publishes and presents internationally on the topic of health research funding, and how best to support the translation of research evidence into policy and practice. Her research interests include knowledge translation, discourse analysis, health communication, risk communication, and public involvement in health research.

Dr. Roderick McInnes, CM, OOnt, MD, PhD, FRSC, FCAHS, is the Director of the Lady David Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, and Professor of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at McGill University. Dr. McInnes has long been recognized for his leadership in Canadian basic and applied biomedical research. He is internationally renowned for his contributions to the understanding of the molecular genetics of inherited metabolic disorders, and eye development, and the genetic basis of retinal degenerative diseases.


The award is intended to recognize a graduate student, who demonstrates both academic and professional excellence, leadership and outstanding contribution(s) to supporting other research trainees and/or our research community within our Institute. The recipient of this yearly award will be a graduate (MSc or PhD) student engaged in thesis-related research at Unity Health during the academic year when a trainee is nominated. Awardees are to be nominated by members of the research community of St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto. The award is in the amount of $200 per recipient annually and it can be received only once by a given trainee while studying at UHT. To be considered for this award, the student must meet the criteria below.


The award will be evaluated using the following criteria: academic excellence, active participation and leadership in trainee community building; contribution to trainee wellness and equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives. To be considered for this award, the student must meet the following criteria, as described by the nominating person:

Award Criteria

  • Excellence in research. The committee will review the CV of the candidate to evaluate this aspect; special consideration will be given to those who presented and/or facilitated at local seminar series.
  • Leadership with respect to the trainee community and proven record of providing support to trainees and promoting trainee well-being.
    Examples: nominee had leading and initiating role(s) in organizing events for students; helped students to have better access to information, resources and services; contributed towards peer services, such as mentoring, internal peer review etc.
  • Proven record of original ideas for trainee community building.
  • Participation in various aspects of SMH student life.
  • Demonstration of exceptional and creative contribution toward advancing equity, diversity and/or inclusion (EDI) within the Institute.
    Examples: nominee helped promote a welcoming, respectful and inclusive learning environment; demonstrated the impact and advantages of fostering inclusiveness in research and training; improved research about EDI and implementation of EDI initiatives.

Nomination process

Nominations will be solicited annually by the Research Training Centre (RTC) from members of the Research Institute. All members of the Research Institute (students, staff, investigators) can nominate trainee for consideration. Self-nominations will NOT be accepted. Nominators should consider the award criteria and describe the contributions that the trainee has made to supporting trainees and our research community using the nomination form. The nominator should not submit the CV of the nominee. Eligible nominees will be contacted by the RTC to request further information, including CV. The nominations will be evaluated by the Holmes-McInnes Award Committee.

The process of nomination and the deadline of nomination will be announced each year. The award can be received only once by a given trainee while studying at Unity Health Toronto.

Holmes-McInnes award committee

Nominations will be considered by a committee consisting of 2 current trainees, 2 PIs, 1 research staff and the RTC Director. Committee members should have no conflicts of interest regarding the nomination.

Deadline for Nominations:

April 4, 2024 at 5:00 PM

Please use 2024 Holmes-McInnes Award Research Student Award Nomination Form to nominate a trainee.

Process of Evaluation:

April 5 – April 9, 2024: RTC contacts nominated trainees that they have been nominated and requests further information including a CV.

April 10 – March 26, 2024: Award review process.

May 3, 2024: RTC informs the winner of the award. The award winner is announced by RTC and VPRI.

May 8, 2024: Formal award presentation ceremony.

We are committed to recognizing that diversity is essential for a strong, vibrant research environment, and we encourage nominations of those who identify as racialized persons/persons of color, women, Indigenous, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ persons, and others who are underrepresented in scientific research.

For questions please contact Sofiia Ivantsiv (