By Krista Lamb
On March 31st, the Government of Canada announced new funding to support training and development programs in the health care space. Diabetes Action Canada is pleased that our new Training and Mentoring program co-lead Dr. André Tchernof at the Université Laval, received one of these awards, entitled Maximize your Research on Obesity and Diabetes (myROaD): Canada-wide training and mentoring platform from molecules to communities.
The project, which aims to support early-career investigators in the diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic space, will help ensure training excellence for those who are planning a career in this area. “It’s great timing,” says Tchernof, who collaborated with health care programs across the country to develop the plan for this platform. “When we met with all the investigators at centers across Canada, we were really impressed by the enthusiasm of all the teams.”
As with every Diabetes Action Canada project, Patient Partners will be involved at every step of the process. The Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Support Units from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes participated in the planning, as did multiple patient-focused organizations. Tchernof notes that because there is a SPOR Unit at the University of Laval, where his lab is, he expects they will be very involved with every aspect of the project as it moves forward.
The new platform, which will have an emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion, will provide interdisciplinary training and mentorship that will help participants develop the skills they need to excel in the field. This will include things like science communication, knowledge mobilization and grant writing, as well as information specific to diabetes and obesity research.
Diabetes Action Canada has always advocated for the incorporating of sex and gender and Indigenous Ways of Knowing in research and is pleased to see this as a requirement of this grant. The program will also support training in unconscious bias, which is an essential skill for students and trainees.
“In a time when relying on scientific evidence has never been more important, our government recognizes the need to invest in the next generation of qualified health research talent. This new platform will help fill a gap in the career development opportunities available to trainees and early career researchers and will allow Canada to create the scientific knowledge we will need to build a more resilient future,” said The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health in the government’s announcement.