Skip to main content

Prestigious Vanier Scholarship awarded to Maggie Woo Kinshella

The PRE-EMPT team is incredibly thrilled to announce that our very own Maggie Woo Kinshella has received the highly prestigious 2019-2020 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). As a Vanier Scholar, she is among a select group of accomplished doctoral students who have demonstrated strong leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement.

Maggie is a PhD student in the Reproductive and Developmental Sciences (RDS) program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Her current focus is on maternal nutrition and pregnancy hypertension driven by a passion to reduce disparities in health, especially among marginalized women. Her research is a part of the PRECISE network which plans to recruit a cohort of 10,000 women across Kenya, Mozambique, and the Gambia. Through the Vanier scholarship, Maggie will be working on mapping the pathways of risk between maternal dietary patterns and pregnancy hypertension for women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over the years, Maggie has been an integral part of the PRE-EMPT team. Starting out as a Research Assistant and successfully transitioning into her current role as a Global Health Research Coordinator, Maggie has shown unwavering passion for maternal health. From coordinating with in-country teams around community engagement and health care worker evaluations to understanding the complex circumstances surrounding maternal deaths, Maggie has been an inspiration to many.

She also became the coordinator for an International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) project in Malawi within the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative.

She partners with Malawian investigators to strengthen facility-based newborn care. Beyond expectations of a project coordinator, she has also taught research methodology workshops at the University of Malawi College of Medicine, has mentored two emerging researchers to write their own manuscripts and has led one of the IDRC Open Research Data Initiative to make their data publicly accessible. With a passion for public scholarship and knowledge translation, she is a leader of the organizing team for the “Impact Now: Improving maternal, newborn and child health in Africa through innovative solutions” meeting that was held in South Africa and gathered global leaders in maternal and child health to push for change and innovative solutions in health.

Our team takes great pride in Maggie’s success, particularly in light of the very competitive nature of the Vanier CGS selection process. We are positive that Maggie will strive to promote the development and application of leading-edge knowledge in her fellowship and change many lives in the realm of academia and beyond.

Learn more about the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships:

The list of Vanier CGS recipients is available at:

Want to learn more about pregnancy hypertension in Sub-Saharan Africa? Follow us on Twitter @UBCPREEMPT @PRECISE_network