Early Career Investigator Award

2024 Early Career Investigator Award Recipient: Dr. Gilla Shapiro

Dr. Gilla Shapiro is a Psychologist and Clinician Scientist at the Department of Supportive Care, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and an Assistant Professor (Status-Only) at the Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Medical Science, and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge and her dual-degree Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Hertie School of Governance. After completing a PhD in Clinical and Health Psychology at McGill University, she pursued a clinical research fellowship in Psychosocial Oncology at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Over the past decade, Dr. Shapiro’s research has focused on cancer prevention, health decision making, and supporting diverse patients with cancer. Dr. Shapiro’s research incorporates a health equity lens, and she investigates factors that contribute to making important health decisions (such as HPV vaccination), developing evidence-based interventions in diverse patients with cancer, improving health services, and enhancing patients’ experience. Her scholarly work has resulted in over 60 publications as well as several book chapters, commissioned reports, op-ed pieces, and patient education booklets.

Dr. Shapiro’s work has been recognized through awards including CIHR’s Institute of Health Sciences and Policy Research Rising Star Award, the Royal Society of Canada’s Alice Wilson Award, and the CPA’s Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Section's Early Career Award. Her research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Immunization Research Network, and the Canadian Cancer Society.

2024 call for nominations is now closed.

This award, supported by CIHR – Institute of Cancer Research, honours a new investigator for outstanding contributions to research in the field of psychosocial oncology. Candidates must be within seven years of completing their postgraduate, fellowship or equivalent specialist training (defined as a PhD or MD or equivalent). Please note times of prolonged leave (e.g. medical leave, maternity leave, compassionate leave) should not be counted towards the seven years.

Recipients are distinguished by the level and quality of research output at this early career stage.


  • The nominee must be within seven years of completing his or her highest level of training (e.g., graduate training, medical or postdoctoral fellowship, or equivalent specialist training).
  • Eligibility is limited to members in good standing of CAPO (for at least one year prior to the nomination).
  • Award recipients must register and attend the annual CAPO conference (in person or virtually) in order to be eligible.

Application Criteria

  • Nominator must be a CAPO Member (Regular, Affiliate, Retired) in good standing.
  • Application for the award will consist of:
    • A confidential letter of nomination from the nominator.
    • One letter of support from other individuals to whom the nominee is known, also specifying why the nominee meets the award description above (supporters need not be CAPO members).
    • Complete curriculum vitae, with details of specific termination dates of degrees and post-graduate training.
    • Statement from the nominee, not to exceed 500 words, highlighting significant research accomplishments in the area of psychosocial oncology.

Application Process

  • Complete nomination packages must be submitted ONLINE to the Chair(s) of the Awards Committee (c/o the CAPO office) by no later than April 12, 2024
    • Nominations and supporting documentation can be submitted in either French or English.
    • The Awards Committee will invite members of the CAPO Board (barring those with real or perceived conflicts of interest) to review the nominations and vote for a recipient of the award. In the event of a tie vote, the last three CAPO past presidents, excluding the immediate past president (who are clear of any conflict of interest) will review the tied nominations and vote amongst themselves to select a winner.
    • If no suitable recipients are nominated, no award will be given.
    • There is no monetary value to this award.

    Past Winners

    • 2023 – Dr. Nicole Alberts (QC)
    • 2022 - Dr. Amanda Wurz (BC)
    • 2021 – Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Bender (ON)
    • 2020 – Dr. Jennifer Bell (ON)
    • 2019 – Dr. Sheila Garland (NL)
    • 2018 – Dr. Sylvie Lambert (QC)
    • 2017 – Dr. Shane Sinclair (AB)
    • 2016 – Dr. Jennifer Brunet (ON)
    • 2015 – Dr. Sophie Lebel (ON)

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    Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

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