A new grant to improve career development for graduate students

We are proud to announce that the Douglas Research Centre, in partnership with three other McGill-affiliated research centres, the RI-MUHC, the Lady Davis Institute, and the Centre de recherche en biologie structurale, has been awarded new funding from the FRQS to improve career and professional development for research trainees. Together, these four research centres are home to over 1,700 research trainees. The ambitious new grant from the Fonds de recherche du Quebec – Science (FRQ-S) has been officially awarded to the Desjardins Centre for Advanced Training (DCAT) team at the RI-MUHC, and is part of an ongoing investment in trainees, enabling a needs assessment of career and professional development for graduate students at the four sites.

“This first phase of funding will launch renewed reflection on how we support the career preparedness of our trainees. We will prepare the groundwork for a multi-institutional infrastructure of graduate and postdoctoral career and professional development,” says Miguel Burnier, MD, PhD, Director of Training and Development at the RI-MUHC, and Director of DCAT.

“Over the next 6 months, our consortium will be speaking to trainees across the four centres to gather a wealth of information about their career goals and training needs,” adds Emily Bell, PhD, Associate Director of DCAT. “Additionally, we will review currently existing literature and white papers on graduate career and professional development to identify relevant data on employer needs and alumni experiences. The consortium will work to create a shared vision for an infrastructure of services and support that will help to shape the future careers of our trainees.”

Co-investigators on the grant include Dr. Nicolas Cermakian of The Douglas Research Centre, Dr. Lorraine Chalifour of The Lady Davis Institute, and Dr. Natalie Zeytuni of the Centre de recherche en biologie structurale at McGill University.

“This initiative has my enthusiastic support,” says Dr. Rhian Touyz, Executive Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the RI-MUHC. “An academic research organization like ours benefits enormously from our trainees. It is imperative that the scientific research training provided at the RI-MUHC offers an understanding and love of science, but also skills and practical strategies for operating in an unpredictable yet endlessly promising future.”

The funds received are from the FRQ-S Programme TREMPLIN (Volet 1 – étape 1), a grant program to identify research trainee needs and propose plans for support and service.