The Braley Fellows Program was established in 2019 to provide an elite group of PhD students from the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR) with a broad understanding of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from diagnosis, tracking, and surveillance to clinical management. Participation in the Program provides an exciting opportunity for IIDR trainees to expand their professional network and future career opportunities. Fellows learn the background and communication skills needed to communicate to broad audiences about the importance and challenges of AMR, and, in collaboration with the course coordinator, develop a personalized skills development plan designed to increase their competitiveness in their chosen career path. The program consists of two components:
Between October and April, Fellows participate in a course (~2 hours biweekly) consisting of lectures and facilitated discussions from partners from Public Health Ontario, clinicians, and clinician-scientists. The Fellows are given the opportunity to visit the Public Health Ontario (Toronto) laboratory to gain a better understanding of how AMR is detected and tracked. Braley Fellows may take this course either as an elective course or an extra course, upon permission of the course instructor and their graduate program.
The second component of the course is a research project, which will be performed in collaboration with a partner that may include a clinician, a scientist from Public Health Ontario, or a community partner. This is expected to occur in the Summer semester (although there is some flexibility) and to be about 133 hours of work (the equivalent of a TA position in most programs). The Braley Fellow will be compensated for the equivalent of a 133hr TA. Participation in the research elective is contingent on completing the course component.
PhD students supervised by an IIDR faculty member and entering the 3rd or 4th year of their program. Students from all graduate programs are eligible and do not have to be studying AMR as part of their PhD research. Students must have completed their transfer and have the approval of their supervisor.
Students must have a demonstrated record of research productivity (e.g. manuscripts published or submitted).
Students must forgo their TA during their time in the Braley Fellows Program. They will receive an equivalent stipend to perform a research project equivalent to a 133 hr TA. Their supervisor must email Dr. Dawn Bowdish indicating that participation in the project will not interfere with the student's research and that they understand they will be performing a research project in lieu of a TA position.
Diagnosis and detection - how a diagnosis of pathogens and AMR occurs;
Antibiotic use in the clinic - how antibiotics are prescribed;
Diagnosis as prognosis - how diagnosis with an antibiotic-resistant infection impacts clinical decision-making and alters patient prognosis;
Tracking AMR at the population level - how public health agencies track AMR;
Antimicrobial stewardship & clinical AMR management;
From evidence to impact - how WHO guidelines for antibiotic use are developed and implemented.
Applicants are required to fill out the above online application form, which includes the submission of a 1 page abstract of their research proposal. These will help to determine compatibility with research partners.
The applicant’s supervisor must email a cover letter in support of the applicant to Dr. Dawn Bowdish. They must acknowledge that the student will perform a research project instead of a TA position and take the 3 unit graduate course MS730 Antibiotic Resistance: From Principles to Practice.
Deadline: Monday, September 7th, 2020
Please direct all questions regarding course eligibility or content to the co-ordinator, Dr. Dawn Bowdish, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) How does the reimbursement for a TA work? If I've already arranged a TA for the upcoming year, can I still apply?
Since the research project will take place in the Summer semester, students may be compensated for their research assistantship (RA) instead of their TA during the school year. Students who already have a TA may still apply (providing they have their supervisor's permission) and will have the RA count for the following year.
2) From faculty: I (or my graduate program) usually buy my students out in their final year, OR my student has a scholarship. Is the program compatible with that?
All graduate programs approached to date are supportive of having the Braley Fellow Program support the RA instead of TA in the student's final year.
3) Can I take the course even if I'm not a Braley Fellow? Is the course open to MSc or other graduate students? I don't study AMR but am interested in the topic - will I be able to keep up with the course?
No, the course includes considerable career development and mentoring, and at this point is only for Braley Fellows; however, it is specifically designed to accommodate the breadth of students we have within the IIDR, all of whom should be able to participate fully.
4) What kind of research projects are available?
To date, we have 12 partners identified and projects include writing clinical case reports, helping test new methodologies for AMR detection, analyzing regional and population public health data, developing education and knowledge translations pieces, and more. The project will be tailored to the Fellow's interests in consultation with their supervisor and the goal will be to create a joint publication or product that will establish a new collaboration.
5) I'm a faculty member and the educational objective(s) X sounds really interesting. Can I attend?
Yes. Faculty members may attend specific classes, providing they allow our Fellows ample time for discussion (we know how excited you get!) and have reserved three faculty spots for the tour of PHO. Please note that participation is granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and faculty will be allowed to attend the knowledge translation workshop, space allowing.