March 13, 2019

Immigrant Insight Scholars Initiative

The Immigrant Insight Scholars (IIS) initiative is a mentored paid fellowship program for un/underemployed internationally educated researchers/analysts (e.g., epidemiologists, qualitative researchers, statisticians, evaluation experts) to utilize and strengthen their skills, and develop the local experience, track record, and professional network needed to transition to a successful career as a researcher/analyst in Canada. We partner with research institutes and academics to create these fellowships.

IIS Fellows work on one or more research/KTE projects under mentored supervision and support from sector leaders and established researchers. Fellowships are usually one year long and a full-time fellowship receives $30K fellowship stipend. They also receive professional development, networking opportunities and career transition support as part of the fellowship. See below for a list of current fellowship opportunities.

Click here this link to read success story about our first IIS Fellow, Momtaz Begum. Momtaz worked with Dr Stephanie Premji at McMaster University and with Dr Agnieszka Kosny at the Institute of Work and Health. Due to their accomplishments as an IIS Fellow, Momtaz has secured employment at the Institute of Work and Health.

Meet our IIS Fellows for 2018-2019 cohort:

In addition to the IIS Fellowship, we have also created the Immigrant Researchers Support Network (IRSN) to promote professional networking and peer support platform for internationally educated researchers. We have developed an online IRSN portal for this. Please click here to join the online social networking web portal. We also organize in-person IRSN professional networking meeting in Toronto on a quarterly basis. The IRSN web portal and in-person meetings provide opportunities to share helpful resources, job postings, professional development opportunities, as well as a platform for internationally educated researchers to share experiences and organize collective actions.

For more information about the Immigrant Insight Scholar fellowships and the IRSN, contact Emal Stanizai,

Project Team Members:
This initiative is guided by an interdisciplinary advisory committee comprised of academics, community agency partners, and government representatives. Our advisory Committee members include:

The project is led by Axelle Janczur (ED, Access Alliance) and Dr Yogendra Shakya (Senior Research Scientist) with strategic support from consultant advisor, Ted Richmond.

Current Fellowships:

Past Fellowships:

  • A full-time equivalent IIS fellowship focused on Work and Health
    Created in partnership with the Institute for Work and Health and McMaster University’s School of Labour Studies and Department of Health, Aging & Society.
  • A part-time IIS fellowship focused on Refugee Maternal Health
    Created in partnership with the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital.
  • A full-time equivalent IIS fellowship focused on Health Equity
    Created in partnership with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, Centre Francophone, Planned Parenthood Toronto, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC)

Our Funders:
McClean Foundation & Ontario Trillium Fund (Seed Grant).

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