Introducing our new associate dean of research: Colleen Norris

Colleen Norris has accepted the interim associate dean of research position at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing.

15 June 2022

Colleen Norris has agreed to serve as interim associate dean of research (ADR).  A highly regarded and long-serving member of the Faculty of Nursing, Colleen has a rich depth of research expertise that will benefit both faculty members and students. 

Colleen is a registered nurse, professor of clinical epidemiology and researcher with the faculties of Nursing and Medicine & Dentistry and the School of Public Health. She is the scientific director of the Cardiovascular Health and Stroke Strategic Clinical Network. Her extensive research program focuses on sex and gender factors that impact women’s heart health. 

We chatted with Colleen to learn more about her work, why she enjoys what she does and a lesser-known fact most of her colleagues don't know about her. 

Please join us in welcoming Colleen to this role and thanking Mark Haykowsky for his contributions over the past two and a half years as ADR. Please know that he will continue in his position as professor and chair in aging and quality of life.

What does your role as the assistant dean of research entail?  

To be honest, I will be learning this as we move forward. While I have had many interactions with associate deans of research from many faculties, I have always approached research from the independent researcher's lens. I am really excited to figure out how to support my colleagues with their research and ultimately demonstrate the incredible work being done at the Faculty of Nursing!

What do you enjoy about supporting research at the Faculty of Nursing? 

I have had a great deal of support through the years with my own research in women’s heart health. I have significant (to be read ”MANY, MANY YEARS'”) experience with the support that helped me move forward. I am excited to share those learnings!

What support can you provide that researchers may not be aware of?

Much like patient-centred care, I think that we need to hear from researchers in the faculty as to what THEY need. So borrowing from patient care, I’ll be asking the question, “What matters to you?” as opposed to “What’s the matter?” (with research support). We have so many early/mid-career investigators on faculty. My first job will be to find out what support faculty really need.

What is one thing your colleagues don’t know about you?

I decided to learn how to play the cello four years ago. It has been one of my biggest challenges but also provides incredible times of being completely removed from all things academic. ;)

The University of Alberta is the top institution in Canada for nursing and ranked ninth worldwide according to the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject. Our world-leading Faculty lead cutting-edge work that's changing the face of global health.  Learn more: