David Nicholas


Social Work

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute


University of Calgary


University of Calgary


University of Toronto

Contact information


Office: 780.492.8094

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Disability
  • Organization and Delivery of Service - Mental Health
  • Social Support


David Nicholas, PhD, RSW is a Professor and Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships in the Faculty of Social Work. He has a background in psychosocial outcome and intervention research related to children, youth and families affected by illness and disability. Dr. Nicholas brings expertise in qualitative and mixed method research approaches. He brings an extensive clinical and administrative background in the fields of social work and health and disability.

Dr. Nicholas is the author of over 200 research publications. He has held over $40 million in research grants, and has been a PI on major grant funding from the federal and provincial sources including grants funded by SSHRC and CIHR. Dr. Nicholas has been a key leader in nurturing capacity building, social innovation, addressing vocational issues in ASD, and building partnerships in Canada and internationally. Much of his current research focuses on system shifting and seeking more equitable opportunities for obtaining and retaining employment for persons with developmental differences.




  • 2021       Sustainability Research Award  University of Calgary

  • 2018       20 for 20 Special Issue for International Journal of Qualitative Methods (author of one of the 20 most downloaded/cited articles of the past 20 years), International Institute for Qualitative Methodology and Sage

  • 2017       Taylor and Francis Publishing, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life Care, Best Article Award for 2016

  • 2016       University of Calgary Peak Scholar Award

  • 2008       Dr. Beverley J. Antle Legacy of Hope Award Recipient for Excellence in Social Work