Laurie J. Hendren Opal Scholarship

The goal of the Laurie J. Hendren Opal scholarship is to provide financial support to promising undergraduate students to undertake patient-centered summer research projects with the Opal Health Informatics Group at the Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC). One or two scholarships are awarded annually.

The application for the 2024 scholarship will be announced soon.

Please, come back later to see a description of the projects available.

Prof. Laurie Hendren was a renowned professor of Computer Science at McGill who died from metastatic breast cancer in 2019. As both a breast cancer patient and a computer scientist, Laurie worked tirelessly to improve the Quebec healthcare system by fighting for patients to have full and immediate access to their health data. Through Laurie’s collaboration with Dr. John Kildea (medical physicist) and Dr. Tarek Hijal (radiation oncologist), the Opal patient portal was born. As of February 2022, Opal provides patients with access to some of their health data at the MUHC and it is being continuously developed by the Opal Health Informatics group at the RI-MUHC, that Drs Kildea and Hijal continue to lead.

Each year, the Opal Health Informatics Group will create a list of patient-centered research projects involving the Opal patient portal that undergraduate students can apply to participate in.

In summer 2024, the following projects are proposed:

Coming soon...

Applications are accepted from strong undergraduate students in any field of study. Students can participate in the design, analysis, programming, project management or any other aspect of the project that fits their experience and interest.

Applications will be judged by a committee of MUHC cancer patients organized by the Cancer Care Mission Patients’ Committee of the MUHC that Laurie was a member of. Members of Laurie’s family and the Opal Health Informatics Group leadership may participate as observers.

Review criteria include:

  • Academic excellence as evidenced by grades and letter of recommendation.
  • Experience or interest in patient-centered care evidenced by CV and statement of interest.

An individual is limited to one Laurie J. Hendren scholarship during their studies.

You will need to provide 4 things:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Curriculum Vitae – Include information on experience with software design, software development, informatics, clinical research, data analysis, and/or the care of cancer patients (personal experience with cancer or caregiving for a cancer patient is valid).
  3. University transcript showing classes taken and grades – unofficial transcript is acceptable.
  4. A 1/2-page statement of interest explaining your interest in one or more of the listed research projects and how you are suited to participating in the project. Valid experience includes but is not limited to: classes taken, software development experience, data analysis experience, volunteering experience, previous projects you have been involved in, personal experience as a cancer patient or caregiver, general interest in the subject.

All candidates will be notified of the decision.