Health Research Training at CIHR: Training Tools

Throughout your academic research training, it is important to develop professional skills that can help you not only in your future career endeavours within and beyond academia, but also with your current research project(s). Below are resources that may help you develop those skills.

Professional Development Offerings

Professional Development Courses within your University
Recently, the Canadian Association of Graduates Studies (CAGS), supported by the tri-agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC), conducted a survey of professional development programs available to students and fellows at each university in Canada. Click on the link above to check out what is available at your university.

Individual Career Development Plans (IDPs)
Studies have shown that active career management not only increases career success, but also increases your training success as it has been linked to shorter time-to-degree completion and higher success in receiving external awards. Learn more about the IDP tool and how it can support you in actively preparing for the career of your choice by exploring career paths, establishing career goals, and identifying skill gaps and ways to fill them.

Research Training Modules

Global Health Research Training Module
Global health research is an interdisciplinary and international area of study that aims to improve health and equity worldwide. This training module aims to develop your understanding of global health research and its importance, the principles of ethical and equitable global health research, and the eligibility of global health research for CIHR funding.

Sex and Gender Considerations
Integrating sex and gender considerations into health research is essential. CIHR requires all funding applicants to consider sex and gender in their research when applying for CIHR grants, awards, and fellowships. The following three training modules provide applicants the knowledge base necessary to complete the sex and gender considerations section of CIHR funding and awards applications.

  1. Sex and Gender in Biomedical Research
  2. Sex and Gender in Primary Data Collection with Human Participants
  3. Sex and Gender in the Analysis of Data Collected from Humans

Research Involving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada
This training module aims to increase your understanding of the various perspectives in research involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. It illustrates how to conduct ethical research that respects and recognizes the cultural norms and needs of these communities.

Course on Research Ethics
This training course aims to increase your understanding of the Tri-Council's policy on the Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans, including the core ethical principles and how to apply them to your research.

Unconscious Bias Training Module
Unconscious bias is an implicit, unintentional attitude or assumption that affects the way you think and act. This training module explains the various forms of unconscious bias, and provides you with useful strategies to detect and mitigate unconscious bias in your research and peer-review activities.

Professional Development within your University

Canadian institutions are your first and most crucial resource for professional skill development. The majority of Canadian universities are actively working to provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) with opportunities to develop a wide range of professional skills and/or to provide career guidance and preparation tools to help them acquire and enhance skills that are necessary for entering the workforce and securing employment in any sector.

Together, the tri-agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC) and the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) are committed to helping graduate students acquire professional and transferable skills needed for transitioning into the workforce. In 2017, CAGS released a report [ PDF (702 KB) - external link ] on the availability of Professional Development Programs (PDPs) in Canadian universities, which was funded by the tri-agencies. The report was based on a survey of 61 Canadian post-secondary institutions, which collected information regarding the PDPs offered by each university.

Based on the data collected from the 2017 survey, CAGS has created an online database to allow you to search for PDP offerings at Canadian post-secondary intuitions. Check it out for detailed information on the availability of PDPs at your university.

Individual Career Development Plans (IDPs)

Throughout your training, have you ever wondered about what is truly needed to be a research leader or thought about what are your career options after finishing your degree? Were the feelings associated with that question overwhelming? You are not alone. When we talk to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (PDFs), there is a common struggle with identifying career options (within or outside of academia), and learning how to transition into those careers following training.

Learn more

IDP Resources

IDP Form (Version 1) (for students and supervisors)
NB: This is an example of an IDP form which was developed based on the requirements for active career management. Alternative IDP forms exist, and we encourage you to use the form that works the best for you.
Online tool created by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to help graduate students and PDFs define, structure, and achieve career goals.

UK based non-profit organization that aims to develop researchers throughout the world by providing training resources and other programs, including an online course on professional development planning which can help in the development of your IDP.

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