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Recent memos from the president: 

Appointment of Alice Aiken as Vice-President Research

August 17, 2017: 

After an intense and competitive international search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Alice Aiken as Dalhousie University Vice-President Research for a five-year term commencing September 1, 2017.

Dr. Aiken is currently Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health. A proud Dal alumna (BSc’94 in Physiotherapy), she is past President of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and spent 10 years as a faculty member in the School of Rehabilitation Therapy at Queens University. A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces (serving first as a ship’s navigator in the Royal Canadian Navy, then as a physiotherapist), her research in health services and health policy has a unique focus on veterans and their families. She is co-founder and former Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research, a consortium of over 40 Canadian and seven international universities, and her awards and honours include the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and induction into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.  

As Dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health, Dr. Aiken has led the development of a visionary strategic plan set to position the Faculty as a national leader in health research and education. She is an exceptional team-builder, passionate about university research and has a strong understanding of Canada’s broader research landscape. Her ability to engage across disciplines and build strategic partnerships will serve her well in helping Dalhousie expand its reach and impact as one of Canada’s leading research institutions.

A search will be undertaken for a new Dean of the Faculty of Health in the coming months. In the interim, Dr. Brenda Merritt has agreed to serve as Acting Dean. A faculty member in the School of Occupational Therapy since 2005, Dr. Merritt is a past recipient of the Faculty of Health Teaching Excellence Award, with a research program focusing on the impact of chronic health conditions, injury and/or key determinants of health on people’s ability to participate in daily life activities.

Thank you to the members of the search committee for their thoughtful and diligent work over the past several months. I also want to acknowledge Dr. John Newhook for his service as Acting Vice-President Research. Dr. Newhook’s knowledge, insight and experience have been invaluable in helping ensure continued success of Dalhousie’s research operations over the past several months. My thanks to Dr. Newhook for his continued, steadfast support of research and innovation at Dalhousie.

In today’s world of change, challenge and opportunity, the research mission of the university is as important as ever. As Atlantic Canada’s leading research university and a member of the U15, Dalhousie is both proud and especially obliged to advance that mission. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Aiken on this important appointment, as we work together to advance knowledge and innovation for Dalhousie, Nova Scotia, Canada and our world.