Stem Cell Network and Heart & Stroke partner to launch National Fellowship Program for Women’s Heart and Brain Health

June 28, 2023 (Ottawa/Toronto) Canada’s Stem Cell Network and Heart & Stroke are pleased to announce the Stem Cell Network – Heart & Stroke Postdoctoral Fellowship for Women’s Heart and Brain Health, a new opportunity for high caliber postdoctoral scientists to pursue stem cell and regenerative medicine research with the goal of accelerating advances to drive new knowledge and innovation in women’s heart and brain health.

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of premature death for women in Canada and claim the lives of more than 30,000 women each year. A new report by Heart & Stroke underscores the urgency to close knowledge gaps in research, diagnosis, and care to ensure all women across Canada get the care they need when it comes to their heart and brain health.

Heart disease is any condition that affects the structure or function of the heart and has many root causes. Some forms of heart disease are present at birth (congenital heart disease), while others develop as we age. A stroke happens when blood stops flowing to any part of the brain, damaging brain cells, with varying effects. Stem cell and regenerative medicine research focuses on replacing, repairing, or regenerating human cells, tissues and organs, and Canadian researchers are working avidly to develop treatments and therapies that can halt or reverse disease – including in the areas of heart and brain health.

The new Stem Cell Network ­– Heart & Stroke Postdoctoral Fellowship for Women’s Heart and Brain Health aims to attract promising postdoctoral researchers to help accelerate Canadian research, develop talent, and enhance Canada’s global leadership in women’s heart and/or brain health, stem cell science, and regenerative medicine.

With the application process officially launching today, the program is anticipated to run for two years, commencing by March 1, 2024 and ending by March 1, 2026. The value of the award is $120,000 ($60,000 per year for two years). Stem Cell Network (SCN) will also provide the Fellow with a registration and travel support to attend SCN’s annual scientific meeting, the Till & McCulloch Meetings (TMM), at least once during the award term.

Anticipated timeline:

  • Launch of request for applications: June 28, 2023
  • Application deadline: September 8, 2023, at 17:00 ET
  • Notice of decision: October 2023
  • Funding start date: January 1, 2024 (award must be started on or before March 1, 2024)


“SCN is excited to partner with Heart & Stroke on this new National Fellowship Program targeting both heart and brain research and the health of Canadian women. The SCN research community has been working to better understand and treat heart and brain conditions and diseases since our inception. Today, our researchers are making great strides in developing regenerative medicine solutions that have the potential to repair, replace or restore damaged heart tissue and function, regenerate brain tissue, recover function, and overall improve quality of life.”

– Cate Murray, President and CEO, Stem Cell Network

“I am thrilled to launch this new research program together with SCN. Heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of premature death for women in Canada. This fellowship will help the next generation of regenerative medicine researchers make improvements to our understanding of the heart and brain. This Postdoctoral Fellowship Award will complement new Heart & Stroke investments to support research dedicated to women’s heart and brain health.”

– Doug Roth, CEO, Heart & Stroke

For more details on the Fellowship Program, please contact: research@heartandstroke.ca or Ellie Arnold, Training Specialist, Stem Cell Network at TrainingSCN@stemcellnetwork.ca.


About the Stem Cell Network: The Stem Cell Network (SCN) is a Canadian not-for-profit that supports stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and knowledge mobilization and transfer of stem cell and regenerative medicine research. From the lab to the clinic, SCN’s goal is to power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine research for the benefit of all. Created in 2001, with support from the Government of Canada, the Network has grown from a few dozen labs to more than 270 world-class research groups, supporting over 250 research projects and 30 clinical trials. Since its inception, over 25 biotech companies have been catalyzed or enhanced and more than 6,400 highly qualified personnel have been trained. In 2021, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continuing trust and support in SCN with an investment of $45 million for the 2022–2025 period.

About Heart & Stroke:
Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke has been leading the fight to beat heart disease and stroke for 70 years. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to prevent disease, promote health, save lives and promote recovery through research, health promotion and public policy. Heartandstroke.ca @HeartandStroke