In Canada, there is a pressing need for Clinician-Scientists with knowledge and skill in the field of addiction medicine to lead development and implementation of evidence-based prevention and treatment modalities for substance use disorders.

In response, the Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship (CAMRF) was created in 2013 to develop the skills required for a career in addiction research. The Fellowship is a US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded research training fellowship offered in partnership with the BC Centre on Substance Use, St. Paul’s Hospital, the University of British Columbia, and the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.




The Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship trains Clinician-Scientists to develop the skills required for careers in addiction research. The program runs from July 1 to June 30 (one year).

Fellowship Overview

  • The Fellowship provides $50,000 in funding for health care providers who are involved in the care of patients with drug and/or alcohol use disorders.
  • Four positions are available each year for competitive candidates.
  • The training involves a flexible part-time (0.5 FTE) commitment allowing trainees to pursue independent activities, including clinical care.

The Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship accepts applications from health care providers who are involved in the care of patients with drug and/or alcohol use disorders. Exceptional candidates with a doctoral background will also be considered. Four positions are available for competitive candidates.

Fellowship Curriculum
Upon admission into the Program, Fellows meet with Faculty Mentors to undertake planning in advance of the Research Fellowship commencing in July.

The overall structure of the half-day curriculum involves: addiction research immersion training, longitudinal research methods, scholarly activity, and career development.

Training in longitudinal research includes:
  • Didactic lectures that provide an introduction to research methods,
  • Ethics teaching activities to prepare Fellows for navigating ethical challenges in addiction research,
  • Monthly journal club meetings to critically review addiction medicine literature,
  • Peer-review teaching, and
  • Academic presentation skills development, which culminates in an opportunity to present at the annual BC Addiction Conference and Research Day at St. Paul’s Hospital.
Activities in these areas may include:
  • Developing first-author articles, including original research, systematic reviews, commentaries, and case reports, and
  • Teaching academic seminars.
  • Each trainee is paired up with two mentors: an addiction medicine clinician-scientist mentor and a PhD scientist mentor, and
  • These mentors will supervise scholarly activity and provide guidance in career development.


Training opportunities are available in a variety of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)-funded addiction research programs, including:

VIDUS is one of the world’s longest and most active studies of over 1,500 adults who use intravenous drugs. VIDUS has made a number of important contributions to the field of addiction research, including being the basis for the evaluation of North America’s first medically supervised safer injecting facility.
The ACCESS study follows a prospective cohort of HIV-positive people who use drugs (PWUD) to determine how social, economic, physical, policy, and individual factors impact the health and well-being of HIV-positive PWUD.
ARYS is one of the few studies globally to prospectively follow more than 800 street-involved, high-risk, drug-using youth to examine factors associated with initiation into drug use and a range of other related topics, from prescription opioid use to homelessness to experiences in foster care.
Detailed training opportunities are available in an array of innovative ethnographic, epidemiological, spatial, and qualitative research initiatives, including Geographic Information Systems and qualitative mapping.
The AESHA study has built upon long-term community partnerships with local sex work organizations and developed into a longitudinal prospective cohort study of substance-using female sex workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the Metro Vancouver area.
The STOP HIV/AIDS research platform marshals epidemiological, clinical, geographical, and viral phylogenetic approaches to critically inform efforts to respond to HIV transmission and pathogenesis among HIV-positive people who inject drugs.
We have a robust addiction clinical trials environment through the BC Centre on Substance Use and the BC node of the Canadian Research Initiative on Substance Misuse. The Centre is also a participating site of the Western States Node of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. Our site provides a rich environment for learning about addiction medicine clinical trials through several interventional and randomized control trials that explore pharmacological approaches to substance use treatment.
With prior approval, Fellows may choose to substitute any one of the above research training experiences with an addiction research education experience with our collaborating US partners at Boston University or at the University of California San Diego.


Application Timeline for the 2018-2019 Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship:

  • October 30, 2017: Application process opens
  • December 4, 2017: Application deadline
  • December 11, 2017 to January 12, 2018: Interview period
  • January 22, 2018: Acceptance notification
  • January 29, 2018: Deadline for acceptance
  • July 3, 2018: Fellowship begins

Application Details

Interested candidates must submit a copy of the following documentation:

  1. Two letters of reference (referees to email letters directly to the Addictions Fellowship Coordinator)
  2. A one-page letter of intent
  3. A curriculum vitae
  4. Research survey and informed consent form (optional)

This research training fellowship was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to evaluate how research training impacts the research productivity of Addiction Medicine Physicians. Should you consent to participate, as part of your application you are asked to print and submit this research survey and informed consent form with your application. While we would encourage you to participate in the study, it will have no bearing on your application to the Program.

Those interested in applying are encouraged to send an initial note of intention to the Addictions Fellowship Coordinator:
Liz Yue, Addiction Fellowships Coordinator
Phone: (604) 682-2344 ext. 66373

The electronic application is required. If you wish to submit an additional hard copy, you may do so to the following address (doing so is not required):
Canadian Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship
Attn: Dr. Nadia Fairbairn
c/o Liz Yue
608 - 1081 Burrard St
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Interviews may be conducted with top candidates shortly after the application deadline. Interviews may be in person, over the phone, or via Skype.

General Inquiries
For further information about this fellowship program, please email


Dr. Nadia Fairbairn, Director, BCCSU Canadian Addiction Medicine Research Fellowship


View a list of current Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellows here.

Past Canada Addiction Medicine Research Fellows are below.








nidaThe US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is part of the US National Institutes of Health. NIDA’s mission is to bring the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. To do this NIDA provides strategic support and conducts research across a broad range of disciplines, and ensures the rapid and effective dissemination and use of research results to significantly improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy. For more information about NIDA, please click here.

providence-healthcare-logoSt. Paul’s Hospital at Providence Health Care is an acute care, academic, and research hospital located in downtown Vancouver. With over 500 acute care beds in use and home to many world-leading medical and surgical programs, the hospital serves both the local community and patients from across BC. Its downtown location brings many of Vancouver’s tourists and visitors to its doors. St. Paul’s also has a longstanding history of providing care to disadvantaged populations. For more information about St. Paul’s Hospital, please click here.

unc-division-aidsFrom its inception in 2007, the Division of AIDS at the University of British Columbia has worked collaboratively with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (est. 1992) and the AIDS Research Program at St. Paul’s Hospital / UBC (est. 1988). Our divisional members are involved in various areas of research in the area of HIV treatment and prevention. The Division places considerable emphasis on treating and preventing HIV infection among intravenous drug users. For more information about the UBC Division of AIDS, please click here.

logo-webThe BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is a provincially networked resource with a mandate to develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to substance use and addiction. The BCCSU focuses on three strategic areas: research and evaluation, education and training, and clinical care guidance. With the support of the province of British Columbia, the BCCSU hosts the largest interdisciplinary addiction medicine training program in North America, building capacity in the healthcare system in BC to improve access to evidence-based care. Although physically located in Vancouver, the BCCSU is a provincially networked resource for researchers, educators, and care providers, as well as people who use substances, family advocates, support groups, and the recovery community. It is hosted at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Providence Health Care. For more information about the BCCSU, please click here.

ubc-logo-fullThe University of British Columbia (UBC), established in 1908, is one of Canada’s leading research universities, consistently ranked among the top 40 in the world. The university attracts 54,000 students from across Canada and 140 countries around the world to two major campuses. For more information about UBC, please click here.

vch-logoVancouver Coastal Health is a regional health authority providing direct and contracted health services including primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care; home and community care; mental health services; population and preventive health; and addictions services in part of Greater Vancouver and the Coast Garibaldi area. For more information, please click here.

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