Meet this year’s new Tomlinson Scholars

The Fellowships provide $35 000/year in funding over a period of three years to top incoming doctoral students in any field who did not complete their previous degree at McGill
The 2023 Tomlinson Scholars, top row, l to r: Andrea Corral Rodriguez, Zhixin (Annie) Zhou, B. Parazin, Feikai Lin, and Camille Simone Zolopa. Bottom row, l to r: Jingzhi Chen, Camilo Mireles, Keila Turino Miranda, Taylor Shirtliff-Hinds, and Ryan Reffner.

McGill Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies has announced ten new winners of the 2023-2024 Richard H. Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowships.

The Fellowships, which provide $35 000/year in funding over a period of three years, are awarded to top incoming doctoral students in any field who did not complete their previous degree at McGill. Both international and domestic students are eligible for the award. The majority of Tomlinson Scholars later go on to win other major awards during their time at McGill, such as the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and FRQ awards. Each year, the Tomlinson scholars are invited to share their research with the McGill community in the annual Tomlinson Talks, held in April.

Recipients of the 2023-2024 Richard H. Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowships:

  • Andrea Corral Rodriguez, Social Work
  • B. Parazin, Earth and Planetary Science
  • Camille Simone Zolopa, Educational and Counselling Psychology
  • Camilo Mireles, Anthropology
  • Feikai Lin, Integrated Program in Neuroscience
  • Jingzhi Chen, Philosophy
  • Keila Turino Miranda, Kinesiology and Physical Education
  • Ryan Reffner, Chemistry
  • Taylor Shirtliff-Hinds, Biology
  • Zhixin (Annie) Zhou, Psychology

Supporting diverse and innovative research

This year’s winners will carry out ambitious research projects during their time at McGill in a range of disciplines, from philosophy to chemistry. Their dissertation topics are diverse, including our understanding of autonomy and personal obligations to “special relationships” like friends and family (Jingzhi Chen, Philosophy); everyday ideology and identity formation before and after the Spanish conquest of Mexico through community-engaged archeology (Camilo Mireles, Anthropology); and using the nematode worm C. elegans to test drugs for treating ataxia – a  degenerative neurological disease – in humans (Taylor Shirtliff-Hinds, Biology), to name just a few.

Hailing from across Canada and around the world, the new Tomlinson scholars also bring a wealth of life experiences that will no doubt enrich their research.

For example, Kinesiology Sciences PhD student Keila Turino Miranda, who holds an MSc in Medical Science from the University of Calgary, is active in the health organizations Hypertension Canada and CanSOLVE CKD. She is also a leader within the transgender, gender-diverse, and non-binary spaces. Her research seeks to understand the relationship between testosterone therapy, blood pressure, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in transgender men.

Another Tomlinson scholar, Andrea Corral Rodríguez, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, is joining McGill’s School of Social Work after completing her Master’s of Social Work at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. There she was active working as an academic advisor, practicum counsellor, and supporter of the Undocumented Student Program. At McGill, she hopes to advance her evidence-based advocacy efforts by researching the needs of immigrants with precarious status.

Security and encouragement for PhD students

Upon learning the good news, many of the new Tomlinson Scholars expressed how the award will support their research at McGill. For example, Feikai Lin from the Integrated Program in Neuroscience writes that the Fellowship “provides huge support and opportunity to fully concentrate on my research and build up my knowledge and skills.” This financial support is particularly important for international students like Ryan Reffner from Chemistry, who adds that “The Fellowship will allow me to easily transition into McGill… and start within the lab pursuing research in my field.”

For others, the Tomlinson is a validation of their place as an emerging scholar and an energizing sign that they are off to a good start at McGill. For Jingzhi Chen, the fellowship is inspiration to “pay it forward to the McGill community and beyond by producing meaningful research.” Turino Mirando adds that, “The support and resources provided by this fellowship…serves as a beacon of encouragement.”

The Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowship is a monument to the legacy and vision of an exceptional McGillian, Dr. Richard Tomlinson who made history with a $64 million donation to McGill in 2000, the largest ever donation to a Canadian university by an individual at the time.

For more information on the exciting research being conducted by this year’s winners, see their profiles on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.


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Claude Lalande
9 months ago

Having been the Manager of Fellowships and Awards at the time of the creation the Tomlinson Doctoral Fellowships, and having had the opportunity to hear first hand from Dr. Tomlinson that McGill had brought his vision to life as he had hoped for, I am proud of the continuing legacy represented by these Fellowships and wish to congratulate this new cohort of scholars. As a McGill alum and retiree, I am gratified with McGill’s continuing quest for excellence.