Candace Nykiforuk, PhD, CE

Lead Investigator

Dr. Candace Nykiforuk is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, University of Alberta and an Applied Public Health Chair (supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions) with a mandate to help advance the field of population health intervention and health equity. She is a health geographer and health promotion researcher with a strong interest in the role of built and social environments on health and well-being. She also has expertise in the development and diffusion of healthy public policies.

Dr. Nykiforuk’s research is grounded in social-ecological theory and community-based participatory research (CBPR) perspectives. Most of her studies employ mixed-methods, involving both quantitative (e.g., surveys, systematic community observation) and qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups, photovoice) techniques. Dr. Nykiforuk also uses geographic information systems (GIS) for mapping and spatial analysis in some of her work.

Candace is an applied researcher, which means that community impact (or “making a real difference in the community”) is as important to her as scholarly impact. Her research is typically conducted in partnership with practitioners and decision-makers in the communities (or other settings) that she is working with. Her community partners help to define project research questions and implement the project in meaningful ways. In turn, the research helps to address issues that the community partners are working with in their daily practice.


  • PhD, Health Studies and Gerontology, University of Waterloo (2004)
  • MA, Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo (1999)
  • BA, Human Geography, University of Alberta (1997)

Academic Distinctions and Awards

  • 2015 Martha Cook Piper Research Prize, University of Alberta
  • 2015 Community Connection Scholar Award, University of Alberta
  • 2014-2019 Applied Public Health Chair, Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with Public Health Agency of Canada and Alberta Innovates: Health Solutions
  • 2009 Faculty & Staff Award of Excellence, Presented on behalf of the Health Promotion Graduate Students’ Association for 2008-2009, University of Alberta
  • 2009 CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award, Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations
  • 2004-2005 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Training Program in Tobacco Research (CIHR – STPTR)

Professional Affiliations and Training

  • Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta
  • Principal Investigator, Policy, Location and Access in Community Environments (PLACE) Research Lab
  • Credentialed Evaluator (CE), Canadian Evaluation Society
  • Member: Academic Women’s Association, University of Alberta
  • Member: Alberta Public Health Association (APHA)
  • Member: Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA)
  • Member: American Association of Geographers (AAG)
  • Member: Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG)
  • Member: Canadian Evaluation Society (CES)

Media Profiles

candace_may2015 (1)
Dr. Candace Nykiforuk