Lisa Schwartz is co- Principal Investigator, with Dr. Melissa Parker of McMaster’s Department of Pediatrics, on a project awarded a $100,000 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Catalyst grant for Patient-Oriented Research for a study entitled “Circle of Emotions: Refining a Novel Emoji-Based Tool to Measure Children's Experiences.” 
Co-investigators from McMaster include Angelo Mikrogianakis, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and Sandra Monteiro, Assistant Professor, Department of Heath Research, Methods, Evidence and Impact. Rachel Yantzi, a pediatric nurse who is clinical research co-ordinator with the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group and is also a PhD student in Health Research Methodolgy (HRM), is also involved in the project. 
The goal is to assess the validity and measurement properties of an emoji-based tool called “Circle of Emotions”, which has been developed to provide children with a voice to express their perspectives on their own health, as in the past elicitation has primarily come from surrogates such as parents or caregivers. The research objectives are to (1) gather evidence of the validity of “Circle of Emotions” to identify children’s emotions; and (2) align the research procedures and processes with the SPOR Patient Engagement Framework and the SPOR Capacity Development Framework. Because this is a SPOR study, several adolescents are participating as co-investigators. 
The summary notes that while the tool was originally developed for research purposes, it may be helpful in the clinical setting to enhance communication between patients and healthcare providers. 
As well, Schwartz and Co-Principal Investigator Sonya de Laat have been awarded seed funding through elrha-R2HC for a project entitled “Alleviating neglected suffering: Community-based responses to the palliative care gap in refugee camps”. Yantzi is a co-investigator on the project. The £10,000 GBP ($17,000 C) grant supported site visits to Rwanda and Bangladesh to build partnerships and prepare a full grant proposal that was submitted in December. 

McMaster University Social Sciences