Capacity building in research is core to ICDR’s mandate.  One way we achieve this is by supporting Master’s, PhD and postdoctoral students who are conducting research related to global health issues in the Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science (GDRS). ICDR offers graduate students an intellectual community, as well as the opportunity to join longstanding international partnerships in support of their research. GDRS students also have the option of joining the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health. For more information, please contact ICDR Director, Dr. Stephanie Nixon.

Current and Past PhD Students

Shaun Cleaver

Shaun Cleaver

Shaun Cleaver

Shaun is a physiotherapist whose practice has evolved from being centred on the care of individual patients, through the work of organizing services for populations, to collaborating with persons with disabilities. He has engaged professionally in Haiti, Cameroon, South Africa before shifting his focus to Zambia in 2011. In his PhD dissertation research, Shaun worked with groups of persons with disabilities in Western Zambia to explore how disability was understood. Shaun defended his PhD in August 2016 and has continued his engagement in Zambia since that time. Currently, Shaun is a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University. He blogs about his work in Zambia at  

Selected publications from Shaun’s PhD

Cleaver S, Magalhães L, Bond V, Nixon S. Exclusion through attempted inclusion: experiences of research with disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) in Western Zambia. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development. [In press].

Cleaver S, Magalhães L, Bond V, Polatajko H, Nixon S. Research principles and research experiences: critical reflection on conducting a PhD dissertation on global health and disability. Disability and the Global South. 3(2):1022-1043, 2016.

Cleaver S, Nixon SA. Scoping Review of 10 Years of Published Literature on Community-based Rehabilitation. Disability & Rehabilitation 36(17):1385-94, 2014. DOI: 10.3109/09638288.2013.845257

Janet Njelesani

Janet’s research explored sport-for-development organizations in Lusaka, Zambia using a critical occupational approach to research she constructed. Through case studies, she explored sport-for-development  ideologies and practices in Zambia and how these shaped the participation of youth. Janet is one of the ICDR-Zambia co-founders and previously served as the Research Chair for ICDR-Zambia. Janet is currently working at NYU as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy where her current research explores school violence against children with disabilities in Zambia. To her research, Janet brings a breadth of both clinical and consulting expertise, having worked as a clinician for over 15 years and through her role providing disability and rehabilitation technical advice to Governments, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organizations. She has carried out her work in North America, South East Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, West Africa, East Africa, and Southern Africa, collaborating with researchers from each of these regions.

Selected publications from Janet’s PhD

Njelesani J, Gibson BE, Nixon S, Cameron D, Polatajko, H. Towards a critical occupational approach to research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 2013;12:207-220.

Njelesani, J., Stevens, M., Cleaver, S., Mwambwa, L., & Nixon, S. (2013). Developing global partnerships to advance participation and health through research: The Canadian-Zambian Partnership. Occupational Therapy International; 20, 78-87

Marianne Stevens

Marianne Stevens

Marianne Stevens

Marianne is a physiotherapist who became interested in research involving rehabilitation and stigma.  Marianne’s PhD research explores rehabilitation and stigma using an HIV lens.  Secondary analysis of interviews completed with women living in and around Lusaka, Zambia makes up the empirical study in her dissertation.  Marianne is the current chair of ICDR-Zambia which allows her to meet like minded individuals and maintain contact with colleagues in Zambia.

Selected publications from Marianne’s PhD

Stevens, M.E., Parsons, J.A., Read, S.E., Nixon, S.A. The conceptualization of stigma within a rehabilitation framework using HIV as an example. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2017:epub ahead of print

Stevens, M.E., Nixon, S.A. Research on rehabilitation interventions for adults living with HIV: A scoping review. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 2016;39(2):106-116.

Stevens M, Kirsh B, Nixon S. Rehabilitation Interventions for children living with HIV: A scoping review. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2014;36(10):865-874.