Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training
A training initiative of the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network

The Drug Safety and Effectiveness Cross-Disciplinary Training (DSECT) program trains future scientists about drug safety and effectiveness research. The innovative training program fosters an interdisciplinary, multi-pronged approach to acquire knowledge that spans multiple scientific research areas. Trainees are exposed to many aspects of drug safety and effectiveness research such as the use of administrative data, applying active surveillance techniques, and understanding the life cycle of a pharmaceutical.

“Only one year program, but very impressive! Investigators and coordinators did a fantastic job! As a trainee, I learned different research domains which are very beneficial to my current and future research areas. The program really bridges my research aspect with other relevant areas well.”

DSECT alumni, 2012


  • Provide trainees with an opportunity to learn and apply a broad range of concepts related to drug safety and effectiveness research;
  • Provide an opportunity to gain knowledge and advanced skills based on the individualized needs of the trainee;
  • Improve the mentoring and training environment for post-marketed drug safety and effectiveness health researchers in Canada;
  • Foster collaborative research across drug safety and effectiveness research teams, scientific disciplines and with clinician and policy maker knowledge users;
  • Provide training on the ethical conduct of research and related ethical issues, knowledge translation, and professional skills, such as communication, teamwork, project management and leadership; and,
  • Develop a network of mentors, trainees and knowledge users across Canada.

The training program is led by DSECT mentors across 10 Canadian universities. The one-year program curriculum includes attendance at the DSECT Annual Symposium, web-based sessions, self-study modules, and mentorship opportunities. Since inception in 2009, 155 trainees have successfully completed the program, which has helped advance their careers.

For more information, please visit the DSECT website.

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