Mary Louise Nickerson Travel Grant

Mary Louise Nickerson

Mary Louise Nickerson Travel Grant.

Established in 2011, this award is endowed through the generosity of Dr. Granville Nickerson MD CM 1945, Dip. Pediatrics 1950, in honour and in memory of his wife, Mary Louise, who was an inspiration to many of Dr. Nickerson’s classmates of McGill’s Medicine Class of 1945, an acknowledged scholar and an enthusiastic promoter of the Arts.  The award allows a scholar to carry out research using the rich and varied Osler Library collections such as rare books, archives and artifacts as well as other resources available at the Montreal Neurological Institute and the McGill University Archives.  The Osler Library’s collections are listed in the McGill Library Catalogue and the Osler Library Archives Collection website.

Terms: Awards totalling approximately $13,000 (CDN) are typically divided each year among a small number of scholars, whose individual awards depend upon need and duration of visit. Funds are typically paid as reimbursement for travel and travel-related expenses. Recipients are required to carry out research in Montreal during the 2024-25 fiscal year (1 May 2024 - 30 April 2025). May be renewable.

Requirements: This travel grant is open to historians, physicians, graduate and post-doctoral students, scholars and professionals, and to those interested in the arts and humanities of medical history. Preference will be given to applicants whose research requires them to travel to Montreal to consult the resources of the Osler Library of the History of Medicine of McGill University. Recipients are requested to submit a report of their work suitable for publication in the Osler Library Newsletter and may be invited to give a brief presentation at the University as well.

How to Apply:  Applicants should fill in the PDF icon application form.  Applicants must also submit a CV, a detailed project proposal and arrange for two letters of recommendation to be sent to the Osler Library.  Electronic submissions are preferred.  Please send all documentation attached to an email to osler.library [at] (osler.library [at]  Files should have the name of the applicant, Nickerson, and the year (e.g. Smith_Nickerson_2024_application).  

The deadline for applications has passed; applications are typically due in January.

For More Information: please contact the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University, osler.library [at] or 514-398-4475.

Congratulations to our 2024 winners!

  • Leigh Alon is an MD/PhD student at Johns Hopkins University in the department of the history of medicine. She has a B.A. in biology from the University of Chicago and, before attending graduate school, worked in HIV prevention at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. She is currently working on a dissertation describing how discourse around Jewish disease shaped and was shaped by Jewish racial identity in North America from the 19th to 21st centuries. She is also interested in the 20th century history of psychiatry and is currently working as a research assistant on a project investigating the rise of disposables in medicine.

  • Dr. Neil Fleming is Professor of Modern History, University of Worcester, UK. He researches the impact of imperialism on British politics and society. Having examined various reactionary groups in a number of studies, he has started to also investigate humanitarian groups and campaigns. He is particularly interested in how outwardly secular forms of humanitarian organisation and rhetoric were administered through networks staffed by church-affiliated groups and individuals. At the Osler Library, he will conduct research on the medical missionary Minnie Gomery, whose forty years working in Kashmir coincided with the final decades of British rule in India.

  • Silvia M. Marchiori is a PhD candidate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. By focusing on the reception of Cornelius Celsus' De medicina in medieval and early modern Europe, her research investigates how ancient learned texts spurred the transformation of medical practice across half a millennium. At the Osler Library, she will study illustrated surgical treatises to show how the encounter with Celsus' work turned erudite physicians like Girolamo Fabrici d'Acquapendente into practice-oriented instrument makers, shedding light on the encounters of ancient texts and artisanal crafts.

  • Dr. Alex Wetmore is Associate Professor of English at University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada, and the author of Men of Feeling in Eighteenth-Century Literature: Touching Fiction (Palgrave). While at the Osler Library, he will be exploring archival materials related to a new book project on the intersections of the categories of “the mechanical” and “the sentimental” in eighteenth-century literary and scientific contexts. The middle decades of the 1700s saw a turn away from various strains of rationalism (neoclassical, scientific, etc.) and toward a new fashionable interest in sympathy and “sensibility.” As his work explores, authors and thinkers inspired by this “sentimental turn” exhibit a unexpected and initially counterintuitive affinity for aligning feeling selves with machines and mechanical phenomena in various ways, and a closer examination of this pattern may shed light on underexamined aspects of the historical relations between emotion, technology, and early modernity. To further develop this research, Dr. Wetmore will be reviewing, among other materials, the library’s impressive collection of works related to the early study of nerves and nervous disorders, balneology, and innovations in the medical use of scientific instruments and spring-regulated timepieces.

Previous winners:


  • Danister Perera is a researcher in cultural anthropology and an expert in Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and indigenous medicine. He is the chairman of the expert committee on traditional knowledge and a member of the national committees of Memory of World and ICH of UNESCO. He has published several books, chapters and papers on ancient manuscripts of indigenous medicine in Sri Lanka. Also, he works with the National Library and Documentary Services Board, Ministries of Cultural Affairs and Environment as well as with the universities in safeguarding ICH in Sri Lanka. He will study and catalogue the medical Olas at McGill and advise on the care and display of the Olas and the artefacts in the Redpath Museum.

  • Omir Tuyakbayev is a Researcher at the Scientific Center of al-Farabi Kazakh National University based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. His areas of focus as a researcher are manuscriptology, medieval history and culture of Central Asia. As a researcher, he conducted archeographic research at libraries in Leipzig, Berlin, Leiden, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tehran, Istanbul, Baku, Dushanbe. He has participated in projects in scientific centers such as al-Farabi Eurasian Research Center of Istanbul University(2018). He acted as a supervisor and participant in several projects: “Steppe diplomacy in written sources (XIII-XVIII centuries)” and “Religious and legal decrees (fatwas) of the ‘Ulama of Central Asia (XIII-XV) and their significance as a historical source” (2012-2014), and "Dastūr al-‘ilāj" as a source of steppe medicine" (2020-2022), supported by the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Currently he is studying medical manuscripts “Dastūr al-‘Ilāj” and “Tabīblik Kitābi” on the history of steppe medicine.


  • Dr. Jen Edwards is an early career fellow at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford, where she works on emotions and embodiment in early modern literature and culture. She is currently completing a monograph on ecstatic experience in the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and a study on distraction, attention, and affect at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. At the Osler Library, she will conduct research for her next project on altered states of consciousness, and will focus in particular on early modern medical texts containing diagnoses, accounts, cures, and treatments for states including epilepsy, fainting, and trances.
  • Jerika Sanderson is an English PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo. Her SSHRC-funded doctoral research incorporates theories of medical humanities and critical posthumanism to investigate 21st-century representations of biomedicine and biotechnology. She is currently a research assistant for a medical humanities project investigating representations of obstetric technologies in 20th-century media, medical, and literary texts. This project involves conducting archival research to better understand how Canadian physicians engaged with new obstetric tools and technologies, and how those obstetric developments were communicated both among the Canadian medical community and to Canadian obstetric patients.


  • Florence Eliza Glaze is Professor of History at Coastal Carolina University. Her recent and current work examines key manuscripts that signal innovations in medicine and pharmacy in southern Italy during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in particular exchanges between the Abbey of Monte Cassino and Salerno. Recent publications include “Salerno’s Lombard Prince: Johannes ‘Abbas de Curte,’ as Medical Practitioner,” Early Science & Medicine, 23.3 (2018): 177-216, and “Introduction: Constantine the African and the Pantegni in Context,” in Erik Kwakkel and Francis Newton, Medicine at Monte Cassino: Constantine the African and the Oldest Manuscript of his ‘Pantegni’. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2019).
  • Dr Namratha Rao is a lecturer in Early Modern English at Hertford College, Oxford. She is broadly interested in bringing literature, and in particular literary form, into closer dialogue with the history of medicine and the history of moral and political thought. The research she will conduct at the Osler Library is related to her new project on Early Modern Sympathies; she will examine herbals and medical tracts from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. She completed her doctorate on the poetics of corporeality in Spenser and Milton in 2019 at the University of Oxford, where she was a Clarendon Scholar.

  • Anna Wyatt is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate in the department of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Her thesis studies the note-taking practices of Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)—one of William Osler's favourite authors—and his family to advance critical understandings of familial authorial contexts. Her dissertation furthermore assesses the interrelations between professional, domestic, and social lives, which are both manifest in and shaped by literary production.


  • Margaret Carlyle, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on the production of scientific, medical, and technological knowledge in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France and its colonies. She is particularly interested in the enterprising efforts of women and other "invisible assistants" in forging scientific careers, both outside of and within institutional settings. 

  • Michael Erard is a linguist and writer. His current book project is First Words Last Words: The Science, Culture, and History of What We Say at the Edges of Life, for which he will be examining archived data from William Osler's Study of the Act of Dying as well as other books in the collection. 

  • Iolanda Ventura, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies, University of Bologna, Italy.



  • Dr. Emmanuel Delille is an Associate Researcher at the Centre Marc Bloch, a French-German institute in social sciences affiliated with the Humboldt University (Berlin) and the Centre d’Archives de Philosophie, d’Histoire et d’Édition des Sciences (CAPHES, ENS-Paris). In 2017, he published a book (Ethno-psychiatrie, ENS Éditions) about the history of transcultural psychiatry, based on materials held at the McGill University Archives. His new project, “La réception des travaux de Penfield et Jasper sur l’électro-encéphalographie (EEG) de l’épilepsie en France: Henri Gastaut et l’école de Marseille en neurologie après 1945”, aims to research the history of exchanges and transfers of knowledge between French and Canadian physicians and examines the history of post-war neurosciences and psychology.

  • Harry Yi-Jui Wu is Assistant Professor in Medical Humanities at the Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. He received his medical degree in Taiwan in 2004. Before pursuing his career in humanities, he briefly worked at Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei as a resident doctor in psychiatry. From 2005 to 2012, he went on studying psychoanalysis at the University of Essex and the University of Oxford, where he was Clifford Norton Student in the history of science at The Queen’s College. Before rejoining HKU, he had been teaching at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and the History Programme at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Wu’s research work includes the history of medicine and medical humanities. He is especially interested in agenda related to mental health, hazard exposure and end-of-life care.



  • Prof. Anna Louise Penner is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her current book project, "Enter Patient: Experiencing Hospitals and Health Care in Nineteenth Century Literature and Culture," draws on the William Osler and Wilder Penfield archives to investigate how the nineteenth-century rise in hospital building, and the changing priorities according to which hospitals were designed and located, affected how they were perceived by patients, medical professionals, and the public.
  • Daniel M. Wiley is a PhD student in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. His dissertation explores the twentieth-century development of the ability to mediate cultural activities in micro-temporal increments and will explore the development and application of micro-temporal technology to neuroscience from the 1930s in North America while at the Osler Library.
  • Tabea Cornel is a PhD student in the Department of History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation focuses on handedness research within the brain and mind sciences in Europe and North America, particularly theories of the origin, prevalence, and pathological nature of left-handedness.



  • Dr. Bettina Bock Von Wülfingen completed her PhD in Cultural History and Theory from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her project, History of Neuro-Regeneration, aims to research the role of Montreal, the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI), and Wilder Penfield in the international history of neuro-regeneration research, with the eventual goal of publishing a monograph and articles that will rectify the shortfall in the existing research.
  • Dr. Delia Gavrus is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Winnipeg. Her project, Delicate Performances: Identity, Technique and the Emergence of Neurosurgery (1910-1960), will assist her in finalizing her book manuscript of the same name.

  • Yvan Prkachin is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. His project, Wired Together: Surgery, Psychology and the Role of Montreal in the Creation of Modern Neuroscience, 1934-1975, will examine the social, cultural and intellectual conditions that allowed for the collaboration between neurologists, neurosurgeons and psychologists at the MNI, and will be used as research for his dissertation.

  • Dr. Tiffany Hoffman completed her PhD in English from McGill University. Her project, ‘Minds Transfigured:’ Converting Consciousness and Emotion in Early Modern England, will consider how the early modern body and passions directly influenced the production of higher order cognitive functions, such as awareness, reflection, morality and conscience.



  • Eric Oosenbrug is a PhD candidate in the History & Theory of Psychology program at York University in Toronto. His project, Constituting Pain: Integrating Psychology and Medicine at McGill University in the Postwar Era, investigates the development of pain research in the mid-twentieth century in Montreal, and will be used as research for his dissertation.

  • Dr. Patricia Rosselet is a research collaborator in the Faculty of Biology and Medicine at Lausanne University. Her project, From the Body to the Brain: Publishing and Representing Images in Neurosciences, aims to investigate a paradigmatic shift in neurological images, and to determine when and why it took place. Her research will be used as preparation for an article.



  • Dr. Diego Iacono is the Director of Neuropathology Research at the Biomedical Research Institute of New Jersey and Atlantic Health System. His project, The Frontal Lobes: From the Wilder Penfield Revolution to the Fronto-Temporal Dementias Today. A Journey into Creativity and Human Behavior, aims to organize, analyze, and interpret archival material from the Penfield collection concerning possibly “unusual” cases, as well as to consult material present at the MNI and McGill University as related to “artistic” or “enhanced creativity” cases. This archival neuro-historical research is primarily intended for publication in a specialized journal of medicine history or neuro history.

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