Robin UrquhartPhD

Associate Professor, Canadian Cancer Society (Nova Scotia Division) Endowed Chair in Population Cancer Research


Fax: 902-473-4631
Mailing Address: 
Room 413, 4th Floor Centre for Clinical Research 5790 University Ave. Halifax, NS B3H 1V7
Research Topics:
  • Cancer health services & outcomes research
  • Patient and family experience
  • Population health
  • Implementation science
  • Models of care
  • Decision-making
  • Cancer survivorship
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Cancer genomics
  • Frailty


  • PhD (Dalhousie University)
  • MSc (University of Toronto)
  • BJ (University of King’s College)
  • BScK (Dalhousie University)

Brief Bio 

Dr. Urquhart is the Canadian Cancer Society (Nova Scotia Division) Endowed Chair in Population Cancer Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology. She is Scientific Director of the Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (Atlantic PATH). She is also a Senior Scientist with the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute and an Affiliate Scientist at the Nova Scotia Health Authority. A national leader in cancer survivorship research, Dr. Urquhart holds a CIHR Foundation Grant focused on designing and testing more personalized models of follow-up care for cancer survivors. In 2016, Dr. Urquhart led the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for Cancer Survivorship Research for the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance, an alliance of >35 cancer research funders in Canada. She sits on many research and health system boards and committees, including the Health Knowledge Mobilization Steering Committee and Health Economics Advisory Committee at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, the Board of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, and the Management Advisory Committee of the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute.

Research Interests

Focused on cancer care, Dr. Urquhart studies access to and quality of care, patient and family outcomes and experiences, and how to more effectively move research evidence into clinical practice and healthcare policy. Her research spans the entire cancer continuum, from primary prevention to survivorship and end-of-life care. She has received funding from the CIHR, Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Canadian Frailty Network, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute, QEII Foundation, Nova Scotia Health Authority, among other agencies. She has wide-ranging expertise in research designs and methods, including population-based studies using linked administrative health data, surveys, qualitative inquiry, mixed methods, knowledge syntheses, and intervention studies to evaluate strategies to improve access, quality, and equity in cancer care.

Selected Publications

  • Urquhart R, Kendell C, Cornelissen E, Madden LL, Powell BJ, Kissmann G, Richmond SA, Willis C, Bender JL Defining sustainability in practice: views from implementing real-world innovations in health care. BMC Health Serv Res.  2020 Feb;20(1):87.
  • Chahine S, Urquhart R. A cross-sectional population-based survey looking at the impact of cancer survivorship care plans on meeting the needs of cancer survivors in the post-treatment stage. Support Care in Cancer. 2019 Oct;27(10):3785-92.
  • Urquhart R, Woodside H, Kendell C, Porter GA. Examining the implementation of clinical practice guidelines for the management of adult cancers: a mixed methods study. J Eval Clin Pract. 2019 Aug;25(4):656-63.
  • Urquhart R, Kendell C, Folkes A, Reiman T, Grunfeld E, Porter GA. Factors influencing middle managers’ commitment to the implementation of innovations in cancer care. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2019 Apr:24(2):91-99.
  • Urquhart R, Kendell C, Geldenhuys L, Ross A, Rajaraman M, Folkes A, Madden LL, Sullivan V, Rayson D, Porter GA. The role of scientific evidence in decisions to adopt complex innovations in cancer care settings: a multiple-case study in Nova Scotia, Canada. Implement Sci. 2019 Feb 12;14(1):14.
  • Glenn A, Urquhart R. Adopting patient-centred tools in cancer care: role of evidence and other factors. Curr Oncol. 2019;26(1):19-27.
  • Urquhart R, Kotecha J, Kendell C, Martin M, Han H, Lawson B, Tschupruk C, Gard Marshall E, Bennett C, Burge F. Stakeholders' views on identifying patients in primary care at risk of dying: a qualitative descriptive study using focus groups and interviews. Br J Gen Pract. 2018 Sep;68(674):e612-20.
  • Urquhart R, Giguere AMC, Lawson B, Kendell C, Holroyd-Leduc JM, Puyat JH, Kazanjian A, Straus S, Johnston GM. Rules to identify persons with frailty in administrative health databases. Can J Aging. 2017 Dec;36(4):514-21.
  • Urquhart R, Lethbridge L, Porter GA. Patterns of cancer centre follow-up care for survivors of breast, colorectal, gynecological, and prostate cancer. Curr Oncol. 2017 Dec;24(6):360-66.
  • Urquhart R, Kendell C, Buduhan G, Rayson D, Sargeant J, Johnson P, Grunfeld E, Porter GA. Decision-making by surgeons about referral for adjuvant therapy for patients with non-small-cell lung, breast or colorectal cancer: a qualitative study. CMAJ Open. 2016 Jan 12;4(1):E7-12.

Select Awards & Honours

  • 2014 Discovery Award for Science and Technology, Emerging Professional
  • 2018 President’s Research Excellence Award – Emerging Investigator, Dalhousie University
  • 2020 Making Waves Award, Nova Scotia Health

Selected Service & Activity

  • Patient Engagement Scientific Lead, Maritime SPOR SUPPORT Unit
  • Nova Scotia Lead, Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, Terry Fox Research Institute & Terry Fox Foundation
  • Co-Lead, Cancer Survivorship, Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control
  • Member, Management Advisory Council, Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute
  • Member, Board of Directors, Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada
  • Member, Knowledge Mobilization Steering Committee, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
  • Member, Health Economics Advisory Committee, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (2017-present)
  • Member, Medical Advisory Committee, Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society
  • Member, Research Advisory Committee, Nova Scotia Health Authority