Faculty Member

Pia Kontos PhD

Email Address(es)
Office Phone
416-597-3422 x7609
Office Address
The Kite Research Institute - University Health Network 550 University Avenue, Suite 11-171 Toronto, ON M5G 2A2
My UHN Webpage
Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division
Associate Professor
SGS Status
Full Member
Appointment Status
Status Only

Research Interests

  • Critical social theory applied to health, illness, and disability
  • Embodiment theory
  • Ethics
  • Dementia and dementia care
  • Qualitative and arts-based methodologies and practice

Other Appointments

  • 2016 – 2019  Honorary Professor, Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 2013 – present   Senior Scientist, The Kite Research Institute-University Health Network
  • 2013 – present   Adjunct Scientist, Baycrest Health Sciences, Rotman Research                 Institute
  • 2012 – present  Cross-Appointment, Associate Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto
  • 2011 – present  Cross-Appointment, Associate Member, Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto

Primary Teaching Responsibilities

  • JRP 1000 Theory and method of qualitative health research


  • 2012-2017: Early Researcher Award, Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • 2009-2014: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, New Investigator Award
  • 2007-2009: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Career Scientist Award

Current Research Projects

  • 2019-2021 Principal Investigator. “Cracked: new light on dementia – A web-based educational program on stigma associated with dementia and relational caring”. The Waugh Family Foundation.
  • 2018-2020 Co-Investigator. “Promoting just and inclusive end-of-life decision-making for long-term care residents with dementia and their care partners”. CIHR.
  • 2018-2020 Co-principal Investigator. “Reducing dementia stigma and fostering relational caring using research-based film”. Alzheimer Society of Canada.
  • 2017-2020 Co-investigator. “Integrating brain injury, mental health, and addictions”. Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
  • 2017 – 2020  Co-Investigator. “Improving social inclusion for Canadians with dementia and carers through sharing dance”. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Social Inclusion of Individuals with Dementia and Carers Grant. Funded by CIHR.
  • 2017 – 2017  Principal Investigator. “Cracked: Interactive digital research resource”. Funded by the Waugh Family Foundation.
  • 2016 – 2018  Co-Investigator. “Musical engagement and relational dementia care: Evaluating knowledge translation through research-based documentary”. Funded by Alzheimer Society of Canada.
  • 2015 – 2019  Co-Investigator. “Older adults’ active involvement in aging and technology research and development”. Funded by AGE-WELL.

Representative Publications

  • Gray, J., Kontos, P.  Working at the margins: Theatre, social science and radical political engagement.  Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance 2019; 24(3): 402–407.
  • Grigorovich, A., Kontos, P.  A critical realist exploration of the vulnerability of staff to sexual harassment in residential long-term care. Social Science and Medicine 2019DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112356.
  • Grigorovich, A., Kontos, P., Kontos, A. P.The “violent resident”: A critical exploration of the ethics of resident-to-resident aggression. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 2019; 16(2): 173-183
  • Kontos, P., Grigorovich, A. Integrating citizenship, embodiment, and relationality:  Towards a reconceptualization of dance and dementia in long-term care.  Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2018; 46(3):717-723.
  • Kontos, P., Grigorovich, A., Dupuis, S., Jonas-Simpson, C., Mitchell, G., Gray, J. Raising the curtain on stigma associated with dementia: Fostering a new cultural imaginary for a more inclusive society. Critical Public Health 2018, https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2018.1508822.
  • Kontos, P., Grigorovich, A. ‘Sleight of hand’ or ‘selling our soul’? Surviving as critical qualitative health researchers in a positivist world. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research 2018; 19(2), 1-15.
  • Grigorovich, A., Kontos, P. Advancing an ethic of embodied relational sexuality to guide decision-making in dementia care. The Gerontologist 2018; 58(2):219-225.
  • Kontos, P., Grigorovich, A. Rethinking musicality in dementia as embodied and relational. Journal of Aging Studies (Special Issue: Ageing Body and Society – Critical Perspectives, Future Challenges) 2018; 45:39-48.
  • Kontos, P., Miller, K-L., Kontos, A.P. Relational citizenship: Supporting embodied selfhood and relationality in dementia care. Sociology of Health and Illness (Special Issue: Ageing, Dementia and the Social Mind). 2017; DOI:  10.1111/1467-9566.12453.
  • Kontos, P., Miller, K.L., Mitchell, G., Stirling-Twist, J. Presence redefined: The reciprocal nature of engagement between elder-clowns and persons with dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. 2017; 16(1):46-66.
  • Kontos, P., Martin, W. Embodiment and dementia: Exploring critical narratives of selfhood, surveillance, and dementia care. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice (Special Issue: Embodiment and Dementia). 2013; 12(3):288-302