SNMHS PhD student and team receives award at the International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN)

Friday, September 17, 2021

Congratulations to School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems PhD student Rachel Howe and her research team who have been awarded a gold medal at the The International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN) for her PhD Research Plan 'CAAI: Codesign of an Animal Assisted Intervention by Young People for Children in Hospital'.

The International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCAN) – Toronto, Canada is in it’s sixth year.  It is organized by Toronto International Society of Innovation & Advanced Skills (TISIAS). In 2013 TISIAS was established to provide opportunities for delegates to share and promote their ideas and inventions on a world platform.

Students, professors, researchers, and anyone with innovative ideas are eligible to apply. 650 participants from 70 countries applied this year. To apply you need to complete an application form which is entered into the preliminaries whereby the judging panel award; Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards.  This year 130 entries proceeded in to the finals.

Rachel Howe, a part-time graduate student in year two of the PhD, entered an abstract on her proposed research methods.  Her supervisor Prof Thilo Kroll, and Research Studies Panel: Attracta Lafferty, Carmel Davies, and Sandra Nicholson were all listed as co-authors as they supported and guided Rachel over the past two years in the research design.  The co-design of an animal-assisted intervention protocol by children and young people for trial in a children’s hospital was the innovative abstract submitted to the iCAN competition.

Creative methods of engaging children and young people through participatory research methods were described in the application.  Techniques involving, ‘draw and tell’ approaches to help illuminate the child’s view are planned for face-to-face workshops.  If the pandemic forces online workshops to take place then interactive tools such as the whiteboard or Jamboard tool hosted by Google will be considered.  Samples of these approaches were attached to the submission and subsequently presented in the final oral presentation.

Rachel and her research team won a Gold Medal and certificate in the Preliminaries. The team proceeded into the Finals with a short oral presentation where it won a special award medal and certificate from Toronto International Society of Innovation & Advanced Skills (TISAS). They also won the Organiser's Choice Award and crystal trophy.