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Posted on June 24, 2020 at 8:12 AM

Here some funded LLM Positions in Health Law, Ethics and Policy starting September 2020 or January 2021. Professors Jennifer Chandler, Vanessa Gruben, Colleen Flood, and Marie-Eve Sylvestre are recruiting Centre Fellows who would like to complete their LLM with the Centre on topics associated with the Centre’s funded research programs.

Legal Definition of Death in an Age of Techno-Scientific Change – As we learn more about the physiology of the dying process (cessation of circulatory and brain function), and as resuscitation and life-sustaining technologies change, do legal definitions of death need to change? The successful LLM candidate will work on a Canadian funded project examining the pattern of brain activity at the time of withdrawal of ventilation and cessation of cardiocirculatory activity, and consider its legal significance. Supervisor: Professor Jennifer Chandler.

Presumed Consent (Opt-Out) Systems for Organ Donation – Nova Scotia recently amended its law on organ donation to adopt a presumed consent system. Other provinces have discussed the possibility. The successful LLM candidate will work within a large multi-disciplinary group of social scientists, lawyers, doctors, and health policy specialists that is comprehensively studying the impact of the Nova Scotia changes, and will specifically work on legal questions related to presumed consent for organ donation. Supervisor: Professor Jennifer Chandler

Harm Reduction – The harm reduction approach seeks to minimize death, disease and injury associated with higher risk behaviours, such as drug addiction, alcohol and tobacco use. Strategies may include safe injection sites, opioid replacement therapy, heroin maintenance programs, legalization of cannabis, managed alcohol programs, and e-cigarettes. The successful LLM candidate will work on a project which seeks to develop a shared understanding of harm reduction which will ultimately serve to create a stronger foundation for effective policies and laws. Supervisor: Professor Vanessa Gruben

Health Technology Assessment & Law – Various bodies across Canada are charged with assessing the merits of including new technologies, particularly drugs and devices, into publicly-funded plans. These bodies include ethical assessment into their assessments but far less frequently include a legal analysis; for example, whether there are human rights implications in deciding not to fund a particular treatment or whether there are privacy laws implicated with (for example) a machine learning device. The successful LLM candidate will work on a Canadian-funded project (from CIHR) examining whether decisions presently made by HTA bodies have to date sufficiently included legal considerations and what can be done to improve their capacity to undertake this kind of analysis. Supervisor: Professor Colleen M. Flood

Reform of Long-Term Care Post COVID-19 – In the wake of COVID-19, many are calling for reform of long-term care including the setting of national standards. What should those standards be and how would this be achieved in Canada’s disaggregated federation? The successful LLM candidate will work on a Canadian-funded project (from CIHR) to look at how to expand financing for long-term care (LTC) needs, what national standards there should be in LTC and how to achieve cross-Canadians standards. Supervisor: Professor Colleen M. Flood

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & the Law — AI is portended to transform the delivery of health care,radically improving safety, quality and efficiency. The successful LLM candidate will work on a Canadian-funded project examining whether existing regulation at national, provincial and subnational level (aka regulatory professional colleges) may impede uptake of beneficial innovation and whether existing regulation sufficiently protects against harmful innovation. Supervisor: Professor Colleen M. Flood

Harm Reduction and the Criminalization of Marginalized People who Use Drugs – The successful candidate will work on the regulation and criminalization of drug users and their possessions (including for instance the possession, seizure and destruction of harm reduction material and drug ‘paraphernalia’), and their disparate impact on marginalized and racialised individuals (the homeless and street-involved individuals, as well as racialized and Indigenous populations). The project will be conducted from the perspective of critical legal geography. The student will be involved in a multi-year project with empirical components in Ottawa and Vancouver. Supervisor : Professor and Dean Marie-Eve Sylvestre.

The Research Fellow will be a full-time student enrolled in the University of Ottawa LLM
(research paper or thesis) program. She or he will join the research team, participate in research projects and pursue a graduate research project in the area specified under the  supervision of the project leader, in partial completion of an LLM at the University of Ottawa.

CHLPE Research Fellows will be integrated within their supervisor’s research teams and will begin to work on their projects early. LLM students work full time on their research and complete their major research papers during the summer term, so those starting January 2021 will need to begin their research projects immediately, for completion during the summer term, prior to completing their degree in the Autumn 2021.

The Research Fellow will receive a bursary valued as follows:
LLM (thesis or research paper): $25,000 (which includes $15,000 from the uOttawa graduate admissions scholarship, which is given to eligible candidates as part of the standard admission process, and a $10,000 research bursary from the supervisor’s project).

The Fellowship is for a single year. Thereafter, candidates remain eligible for the regular
University of Ottawa graduate scholarships.
Eligibility Criteria
• Minimum qualifications are a Bachelor’s degree and a law degree.
• Strong English and/or French language skills (spoken and written).
• Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
• Record of exceptional academic achievement with a law degree GPA (on the uOttawa scale) of 8.0 (A-) or higher.
• Demonstrated interest or background in health law, and/or the subject matter of one of the topic areas.

Application process
• Applicants must apply to the uOttawa LLM program, pursuant to the instructions on the
faculty website.
o If you wish to apply to the general LLM program in addition to the CHLPE Fellow
positions, you should provide the required thesis or research paper proposal described in the instructions, in addition to the other requirement documents.
o If you wish to apply solely to the CHLPE Fellow program, you do not need to provide the thesis or research paper proposal. You should indicate that instead of providing the thesis or research paper proposal, you are applying to the CHLPE
Fellow program.
• Students who are interested in applying to the CHLPE Fellow program should also send a
letter to the Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at This letter should indicate the funded positions for which they would like to be considered, and describe their background and interests in the relevant area.
• Applications for the graduate programs are accepted on a rolling basis starting immediately.
• We will begin to evaluate applications on August 1, 2020, and will continue until the
positions are filled.
• We anticipate filling the positions for enrollment in either September 2020 or January 2021.

More Information
• Information on admission to (and scholarships in) the graduate program may be found at All questions on graduate admissions and scholarships should be directed to officers in Graduate Studies, pursuant to instructions on that website.
• Specific questions about the Centre, the research topic areas, and the $10,000 research
bursary should be directed to the Centre Coordinator, Giles Holland, at

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