BJ Cunningham, PhD


  • PhD (McMaster University)
  • MSc (Western University)
  • BA (University of Waterloo)

Graduate Program Supervision

  • Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Speech and Language Science MClSc | PhD

Research In Profile

BJ Cunningham is an Assistant Professor in the School of CSD at Western, Scientist at CanChild, and Associate Scientist at the Children’s Health Research Institute. Her research is focused on engaging clinicians and families to develop, evaluate, and optimize clinical tools and assessment and intervention services for children and families. This includes practice-based research and integrated knowledge translation to increase the relevance and usefulness of research for practice. Prior to beginning her work in academia, BJ worked as a speech-language pathologist in the Ontario Preschool Speech and Language Program for over 10 years, providing assessment and intervention services for hundreds of preschool children and their families.

Featured Publications and Projects

Please visit Google Scholar for a comprehensive list of publications.

Current Grants and Research Projects

  • Cunningham, B. J., Chau, T., Geytenbeek, J., Batarowicz, B., McCauley, D., Grahovac, D., Agnew, B., Gorter, J.W., Kraus de Camargo, O., Bootsma, J. (2022-26). Innovative language assessment for children with low motor function: Engaging stakeholders to understand the necessary conditions for implementing C-BiLLT in Canada. Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • Cunningham, B. J. & Oram Cardy, J. (2022-23). Improving speech/language outcome measurement in Ontario’s Preschool Speech and Language and Infant Hearing Programs. Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
  • Cunningham, BJ., Servais, M., Moodie, S., Glista, D., Oram Cardy, J., & Weitzman E., (2020-22). COVID-19 and parents' experiences participating in virtual training to support children's language and social communication development. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
  • Cunningham, B.J., Bootsma, J. & McCauley, D. (2020-21). Exploring clinicians’ experiences using the C-BiLLT to support implementation in the Canadian practice context: An international survey and interview study. CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research.

Featured Graduate Student Projects

View information about the Communicative Health Services and Systems Lab Trainees online.

Graduate Student Opportunities

Students in the Communicative Health Services and Systems Lab can expect to conduct collaborative research that engages with researchers, clinicians, families, and policy makers in one of three ways: (1) to capture the outcomes of services for children with communication disorders, (2) to create new clinical tools, procedures and protocols to support evidence-based practice, and (3) to support practice change through knowledge translation and implementation science. In addition to traditional reserach training, students will learn how to work within health services to make reserach findings applicable and meaningful in the clinical context.

Find more information for future students on the Communicative Health Services and Systems Lab website.

Additional Information

Academic Appointments and Research Affiliations

  • CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research (Scientist)
  • Children’s Health Research Institute (Associate Scientist)


  • Research mentoring pair travel award, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2022)
  • Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology – 2022 Editor’s Award (best overall paper)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences - Recognition of Excellence for Teaching (2018) (2019)
  • Postdoctoral Scholarship Award, Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (2017)
  • Language-Hearing Foundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Award, American Speech- (2015)

Professional Activities

  • Board Member, Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders
  • Editorial Board Member, Canadian Journal of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology