Sept. 12, 2023

UCalgary postdoc receives esteemed Royal Society of Canada Alice Wilson Award

Perri Tutelman recognized for outstanding academic achievement
Headshot of Dr. Perri Tutelman
Perri Tutelman received the Royal Society of Canada's Alice Wilson Award. Applehead Studio

Dr. Perri Tutelman, postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, has been awarded the prestigious Alice Wilson Award by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

This annual honour, limited to just three exceptional women, recognizes outstanding academic accomplishments in social science, arts and humanities, or science. The namesake of this award, Dr. Alice Wilson (1881-1964), was a world-renowned paleontologist and the first woman elected to the RSC in 1938.

“Receiving this recognition in the name of an inspiring female trailblazer in science is an incredible honour,” says Tutelman, PhD. “I am humbled to be joining the impressive list of winners who have come before me, many of whom I have looked up to throughout my academic career.”

As a clinician-scientist in the Department of Oncology at the Cumming School of Medicine, Tutelman works directly with children, adolescents and young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer, providing support throughout their cancer journey. Through research, she works together with patients to understand their priorities and develop psychosocial interventions to improve their overall well-being.

Award recipients are chosen from women who received postdoctoral fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) that year.

The CIHR chose Tutelman for consideration after she succeeded as one of the top-ranked candidates during the 2022-2023 CIHR Fellowship competition. Tutelman will join other inspiring women who have been awarded this honour since 1991, underscoring the remarkable contributions of women in academia and research.

“Receiving this award in recognition of my patient-oriented research in psychosocial oncology shines a light on the vital role of psychology in health, and the importance of partnering with patients in research to ensure that what is being conducted is meaningful, relevant and impactful,” says Tutelman.

Tutelman’s co-supervisors, Dr. Fiona Schulte, PhD, and Dr. Melanie Noel, PhD, have worked closely with her during her award-winning postdoctoral work. The co-supervisors have also witnessed her exceptional leadership in forging strong partnerships with adolescents and young adults across Canada.

Headshot of Dr. Fiona Schulte

Fiona Schulte, one of Alice Wilson Award-recipient Perri Tutelman's co-supervisors.

Brandon Coelho

“Dr. Tutelman is certainly a rising star in terms of a clinician-scientist,” says Schulte. “I'm happy that she's receiving the recognition that she deserves for the amazing work that she's done, and I know the amazing work that she will continue to do.” 

Receiving the Alice Wilson Award recognizes a remarkable achievement early in one's professional journey.  

“As a young investigator, I look forward to launching an independent patient-oriented research career focused on enhancing the ways in which we evaluate and address psychosocial issues in children, adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer,” says Tutelman.

Perri Tutelman is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Oncology at the Cumming School of Medicine and the Department of Psychology in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary. She is also a trainee member of the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

The Alice Wilson Award is granted annually by Royal Society of Canada and is not open to external nominations. RSC awards celebrate outstanding contributions from across disciplines and across generations. The RSC is the recognized pre-eminent body of independent scholars, researchers and creative people in Canada whose members comprise a group that can provide intellectual leadership for the betterment of Canada and the world. Learn more on its Research website.

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