Phyllis Horton and Abe Leventhal Research Awards


The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is committed to supporting research in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by offering two awards to students pursuing graduate-level dementia research in Nova Scotia.

Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia wordmark and identifier.

Phyllis Horton and Abe Leventhal Research Awards

The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia is committed to supporting research in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as acknowledging the work of people who have chosen to research in this field. As a means of honouring this commitment, we are pleased to offer two awards to students pursuing graduate-level dementia research in Nova Scotia.

Phyllis Horton was a founding member of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. In 1980, her husband Del was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She found there was very little information available about the disease, or about caregiving. A contact at the Alzheimer Society in Toronto suggested that a local organization be set up. “I wanted to help other people deal with the same frustration I went through”, she said in a 1988 interview. Mrs. Horton’s family established a bursary in 1995, to support local research. The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia continues to offer the Phyllis Horton Student Research Award each year in Mrs. Horton’s honour.

Abraham (Abe) Leventhal was a Halifax businessman and quiet philanthropist. Over the years he supported countless causes, including the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. When Mr. Leventhal passed away in 2016 his estate provided bequests to eight charities, including ASNS. To honour his wishes, and his passion for research, the Alzheimer Society has established the Abe Leventhal Research Fund. A part of his gift has been designated to fund and maintain the Abe Leventhal Student Research Award, recognizing Mr. Leventhal’s generous custom of supporting students.

The value of each award in 2021 is $3000.00. The Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia will grant up to two awards to graduate (Masters or Ph.D. or equivalent) students in Nova Scotia who are actively involved in and interested in further pursuing research in Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The research may be in any field related to dementia.

Process of selection

Members of the Research Advisory Committee of the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia will review all submissions that meet the criteria stated below. Applications will be judged alongside applications from students at similar points in their research studies, and against what would normally be expected for students at that point in their career. The primary evaluation criteria are scientific excellence and feasibility of the proposed research project, the quality of the application package, and in particular, the clarity of the lay summary and quality of the cover letter. The review group will also consider the merit of the student, as indicated by the letters of support and other supporting documents. Applicants will be notified of the Committee’s decision and the awards will be officially presented at the Society’s Annual General Meeting in June 2021. The Committee reserves the right to offer two, one, or no, awards in any given year.

Criteria – Phyllis Horton and Abe Leventhal Awards

Students are automatically considered for both awards. Students will be granted a maximum of one award. Former winners of one of the awards (bursaries) are not eligible for either award in subsequent years.

  1. Open to any student currently enrolled in and attending a graduate-level program of study at an accredited Nova Scotia University and undertaking a research project as a major component of their studies.
  2. The research is focused on dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other).
  3. No particular discipline or type of research favoured (e.g. biomedical science, clinical research, psychosocial or quality of life research)

The primary evaluation criteria are:

  1. Quality and clarity of the complete application package.
  2. Quality and content of the cover letter.
  3. Scientific excellence and feasibility of the proposed research project.
  4. Clarity of the lay summary in communicating the research project and its relevance to the general public
  5. Merit of the student as indicated by references and the supervisor’s letter.


Application procedures

A student applying for one of the awards must submit an application including the following:

  • A cover letter with a statement of career intent and personal narrative regarding working in the field of dementia research (1-page maximum)
  • Summary of research and proposal (include hypotheses, thesis proposal, or a brief summary of the research to date and proposal, method (type and number of subjects, study design), and analysis of data (how the data will be analyzed)) (2 pages maximum)
  • Implications of the study (1/2 page maximum)
  • Lay summary (1/2 page maximum)
  • Ethical issues: A statement including, where applicable: mechanisms to preserve confidentiality; any risks/discomforts/benefits to the participants as a result of the study or participation in the study, and any other ethical implications (1/2 page maximum).

The above part of the application must be submitted as a single document/attachment and is not to exceed 5 pages using 12 pt. Times New Roman, single-spaced. The attachment should be designated with the applicant's name and reference to the award, eg. myfullnameASNSawardapplicationYEAR.

The application package must also include:

  • A copy of the ethics approval from the institute’s research committee.
  • Two letters of support (can be sent separately to the address below). Letters should be from the faculty advisor/professor and someone else who is familiar with the applicant’s work.
  • The application must also include a current CV that lists any other academic or financial awards.

Award recipients will be asked to provide the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia with a copy of their final paper or equivalent, which includes a summary of their findings. Recipients may be asked to present their work at an ASNS event, such as the Annual Provincial Conference, Awareness Breakfast, or Annual General Meeting.

All applications must be submitted via email by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, 2022 (EXTENDED) to: [email protected], subject: Phyllis Horton/Abe Leventhal Award 2022.