Funding at a glance


Centre for Bioengineering and Biotechnology was awarded an NSERC grant for the CREATE program in 2019.

CREATE is the first “needs-first” graduate program in Canada, in which trainees learn to directly interact with end-users and stakeholders in the patient, medical, and biotechnology industry communities to co-discover technology problems and solutions. The program's long-term objective is to produce high-quality personnel capable of thriving in a biomedical technology career.

The project was awarded $1.65m by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

CBB logo with text 'University of Waterloo'


Presentations provided by GRH:

  • “Regulatory Aspect and Standards within Healthcare Institutions.”
  • “Ethics and Regulations, Conducting Research in Clinical Settings: A Focus on Specific Cases.”
  • “Knowledge Translation: Bridging the Gap from Research to Practice”
  • “Introduction to the Interdisciplinary Environment of Hospitals”


  • The 3-day event, held June 2019, provided students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams, interact with healthcare professionals to identify unmet needs and ideate a solution to tackle a specific problem through design thinking.
  • Nurse Practitioners Hannah Stracey and Margaret Mayer provided clinical expertise as panel members during the need’s identification portion of the event.
  • Carla Girolametto, Manager Research (position at time of the event) participated as a judge.

Student projects

Fall Prevention

  • There are a number of safety devices in the marketplace to provide protection from a fall off of a motorcycle, horse, or even a fall as a result of a stunt for a movie. At GRH, the team will explore whether these types of fall safety devices could be used within a hospital setting to provide additional safety to patients and cushion any potential falls. A safe fall not only contributes to successful recovery but also supplies patients with more peace of mind should a fall occur.
  • With support from CREATE, trainee Nargess Heydari Beni, PhD Candidate, has been matched with the GRH care team to conduct an environmental scan to analyze fall safety devices in the non-traditional marketplace (meaning not marketed for healthcare) and determine their applicability for possible use in a healthcare setting.

Cancer Rehabilitation

  • PhD Candidate Cristina Herrera, a CREATE trainee, is actively engage with clinical team members at GRH to design a research project focused on addressing the effective rehabilitation of post-treatment breast cancer patient functional capacity.
  • The CREATE student will receive mentorship on project design and implementation by a GRH Oncologist, Medical Physicist, Nurse Practitioner, and Project Coordinator to facilitate learning in all aspects of interdisciplinary hospital research. Having completed study design and received ethics clearance, patient recruitment for the study will begin in 2022.