2022 Stroke Program in Neurorecovery (SPiN) Workshop

Open Call for Lab Participation

CPSR is inviting submissions to participate in the SPiN workshop, either as a “lab” or as a standalone single presentation.

Brief Description of SPiN Workshop: The SPiN workshop brings together young researchers to learn from expert faculty about basic science and clinical stroke recovery research. This multiple day workshop is targeted for trainees (primarily, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows) and is an excellent opportunity to network with other trainees and faculty in the field.

Lab Sessions: The aim for the “lab” sessions is to utilize the strengths and expertise of each research lab to showcase specific methodologies and techniques used in stroke recovery research (and by “lab”, we mean any PI’s research lab, not necessarily a basic science wet lab).

Each lab session is 90min and divided up into 2-3 mini rotations each focussing on a specific sub-topic. Ideally, sessions would be developed to make the experience as engaging and interactive as possible, similar to what might be experienced at an in-person session.

Benefits of Lab Participation:

–       Showcase your lab to potential new trainees

–       Share and disseminate expertise and knowledge

–       Free attendance for up to 6 trainees from your lab to participate in entire SPiN workshop

Deadline to apply: February 28, 2022

To Apply: Interested labs should email Farrell Leibovitch, CPSR Director Research & Training ( with a brief outline of what their lab would be willing to present in a 90 min lab session with 2-3 rotations, or if the PI would be interested in giving a talk. Please include names of lead PI (and/or key personnel from lab), and contact info.

More details about the workshop, including priority topic areas for a lab session or talk, can be found by clicking the following link: SPiN Lab Open Call


We are the global hub for virtual training and networking in stroke recovery.

Our National Trainee Association has more than 200 members who participate in workshops, mentorships, webinars, courses, lab exchanges, and more. Again this year, the pandemic forced all programs to pivot to a virtual format, which meant that more people than ever – from all parts of the globe – took part in our educational offerings.

Here’s a sampling of what took place over the past year:

  • About 400 stroke recovery researchers from across Canada and around the world came together on Dec. 2, 3 and 4, 2020 for the CPSR’s first Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), which included 20 sessions involving 32 experts in the field. In addition, a webinar on virtual care, organized in partnership with Heart & Stroke, attracted about 900 viewers. About 40 trainees from the CPSR National Trainee Association signed on for a pre-ASM education day devoted to research trainees.
  • The CPSR National Trainee Association held a career development event on May 7 to discuss experiential challenges in academia, and to provide opportunities for networking and mentorship.
  • A Grant Writing Workshop and Competition was held to enable mixed-level trainees to collaborate as a team and gain experience in conceptualizing, planning and writing an operating project grant focused on stroke recovery. Four teams completed the program between Sep to Dec 2020. Each team was composed of up to four trainees at varying stages of their career (e.g., PDF, PhD, MSc). All teams were paired with a senior researcher to help mentor them. Trainees were also invited to three separate presentations on grant design and writing by experts in the field over the three-month period. Each team submitted and presented a proposal describing their proposed research project along with a justified budget. Winners received research allowance prizes.
  • CPSR’s annual SPiN (Stroke Program in Neurorecovery) was held in July 2021 and involved more than 70 trainees from Canada, the US, Northern Ireland, Mexico and Australia. Over four days, trainees heard from people living with stroke, were updated on the latest research developments, tools and techniques and visited labs from across Canada and around the world – from Montreal, Quebec to Melbourne, Australia.
  • Monthly webinars allowed trainees to present their research work to the NTA community and virtual social events were held regularly to promote networking and collaboration.

More than 80% of the 200 who take part in National Training Association (NTA) activities each year stay in the field of stroke recovery. 

The NTA is led by an Executive Committee with four co-chairs — two representing basic research and two representing clinical research — who are selected each year by the trainees.

CPSR Staff Support:

Farrell Leibovitch, MSc, Director, Research and Training Programs, CPSR

To join the CPSR NTA (there’s no cost), please complete the following online survey, NTA Sign Up.

180 Pitch Competition

CPSR launched a new competition this year: the CPSR National Trainee Association’s very own 180 Pitch! The 180 Pitch is an opportunity to gain experience presenting research in a format that is both concise and engaging. 

CPSR Trainees Cristina Rubino, a PhD student at UBC, took home first place and Jasmine Aziz, a PhD student at Dalhousie, was runner-up in our 180 Pitch Competition, which was judged on Nov. 30. Cristina also won the ‘People’s Choice’ award selected by a broader audience of trainees. 

The competition provided CPSR trainees with an opportunity to present their research in three minutes in a concise and engaging format. Winners received cash prizes.

Watch Cristina’s 1st place pitch HERE.
Watch Jasmine’s runner-up pitch HERE.

Hear what two judges had to say:

“A power pitch can be the ultimate nerve-wracking experience. And yet each of the presenters came across as seasoned public speaking veterans. It is great that the trainees rose to the challenge and benefitted from the training platform that CPSR has created. Congrats to all. There was a lot of talent in that virtual room!”  — Dr. Brad MacIntosh, Sunnybrook Research Institute.

“All of the finalist contestants did a fantastic job! The winner and runner-up were especially engaging and able to convey their science in a way that anyone would not only understand, but would get excited about. It was a tough deliberation, however, as many of the finalists also did this, so it was the narrowest of margins that led to our decision. Great work, trainees!” — Dr. Nicole Anderson, Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest

Congratulations to all participants!

Ottawa Stroke Summit:

Co-chaired by Ottawa neurologist Dr. Grant Stotts and Pembroke, ON, physiatrist Dr. Debbie Timpson, the virtual Ottawa Stroke Summit drew participants from across Canada for a day of thoughtful presentations, lively debates, and insight into the best practices in stroke care and recovery.

There were 28 speakers, 444 registrants for the full conference and an additional 173 viewers for the Hnatyshyn and Nieboer lectures for a total of 645 participants – a record-breaker!

Dr. Stephen Phillips of Dalhousie University delivered the prestigious Hnatyshyn Lecture and patient advocate Jennifer Monaghan of Kelowna presented the inaugural Nieboer lecture, both of which can be viewed here at no cost:

Both lectures include perspectives on the evolution of stroke care, the role of champions, and the need to focus on recovery.

The next Summit is planned for Friday, November 18, 2022 at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.

The Future of Stroke Rehabilitation

In November, Dr. Janice Eng of the University of British Columbia was awarded an honorary doctorate in Rehabilitation Sciences from Laval University for her national and international leadership in the field of stroke recovery. As part of this award, she gave a presentation titled Changing Rehabilitation Practice : One step at a time.
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