Our transdisciplinary community of thought leaders investigates critical questions, elevates evidence-based practices, and discovers cutting-edge solutions. The Scholars and Fellows Program supports talented individuals in pursuing bold ideas to transform how we understand and promote health.
We identify preeminent thought leaders with track records of success and creativity (Scholars) and provide them with the freedom and resources to take their work in new, pioneering directions. We also mentor and support talented young innovators (Fellows) who have the courage to pursue uncharted courses and the promise to be the leaders of tomorrow. Our community also advances new research methods, including developing innovative tools and approaches for next generation scientific discovery.
By design, our Scholars and Fellows are from diverse fields—such as medicine, photobiology, atmospheric chemistry, epidemiology, and psychology—that rarely, if ever, have opportunities for collaboration. This diversity breaks down traditional barriers, stimulates fresh thinking and new ideas, and leads to fruitful partnerships that multiply the impact of their pursuits.
Remaining at their home institutions to conduct their work, Scholars and Fellows convene at twice-yearly retreats, participate in monthly teleconferences, and collaborate on projects.
Many young forward thinkers don’t have time or resources to explore their potentially breakthrough ideas. The Institute nurtures some of these budding visionaries, giving them the opportunity to fulfill their promise—and their dreams—as Institute Fellows. While bringing fresh perspectives and energy to the conversation, Fellows receive mentoring and guidance from Scholars.
Scholars are accomplished, internationally recognized individuals engaged in work that promotes an integrative approach to the health of people, places, and the planet. They are original thinkers who value a collaborative exchange with colleagues across disciplines, and have a passion to mentor the next generation of Scholars.
Fellows are individuals at a critical point of their careers who are interested in doing innovative work that advances an integrative approach to health and well-being. They have the potential to emerge as thought leaders.
Scholars and Fellows are nominated by external advisers and Nova Institute leadership, and candidates are selected after a review of invited proposals. Unsolicited applications are not accepted.
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad.
When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.)
“When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.”
Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. “…they gradually found relief from suffering and began to exhibit emergent characteristics: a sense of hope, self-acceptance, and a desire to help others—the immediate precursors to healing.”
In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.”
Suffering is the ongoing pain from wounding.
There is debate about whether or not one actually needs to experience suffering on the path to healing.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors.
“The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”
Characteristics: How predisposed someone may be to wounding/how many tools and resources someone may have to deal with trauma/illness.
Lifestages: Developmental timing plays an important role in the impact of trauma — young children often do not have the same resources as older adults.
Relationships: Relationships can provide solace and support for those suffering, while lack of healthy relationships can prolong suffering.