Introducing The Braley Fellows Program 


The Braley Fellows Program was established through the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery to provide a broad understanding of antimicrobial resistance from diagnosis, tracking, and surveillance to clinical management. The program consists of two components. 

First, between October and April, Fellows participate in a course (roughly 2 hours every other week) 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 program is designed to be accessible to all members of the IIDR and does not require the applicant to be studying AMR as part of their PhD research. Applicants from all graduate programs are encouraged to apply.

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 successfully completing the course component. Fellows will present the results of their research projects at the annual IIDR Trainee Day.

Participation in the Braley Fellows 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. 


  • PhD students supervised by an IIDR faculty member entering the 3rd or 4th year of their program. All graduate programs are eligible. 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) and their supervisor must email Dr. 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. 

  • 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. 

Application Requirements:

*The 2019 competition is now closed.

Applicants will fill out the online application form, which includes the submission of a 1 page abstract of their research proposal. This will be used to determine compatibility with research partners. 


The applicant’s supervisor must email a cover letter in support of the applicant to Dr. Bowdish. They must acknowledge that the student will perform a research project in lieu of a TA position and take the 3 unit graduate course MS730 Antibiotic Resistance: From Principles to Practice.

Application Deadline: Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Questions about eligibility or content should be directed to the course and program co-ordinator Dr. Dawn Bowdish at

Frequently Asked Questions:

1)  How does the reimbursement for a TA work? If I have already arranged a TA for 2019/2020 can I still apply? From faculty: I (or my graduate program) usually buy my students out in their final year/if they have a scholarship- is the program compatible with that? 


 Since the research project will take place in the Summer 2020 semester, students may be compensated for their research assistantship (RA) in lieu of TA in the 2019/2020 or 2020/2021 school year. Students who have already got a TA in 2019/20 may still apply (providing they have their supervisor's permission) and will have the RA count for 2020/21. For faculty: All graduate programs approached to date are supportive of having the Braley Fellow program support the RA in lieu of TA in the student's final year.

2) 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. 

3) 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. 

4)What are the topics covered?  What is the schedule?  I'm a faculty member but I think topic X sounds really interesting - can I attend? 


Yes, I will allow faculty to attend specific classes providing they allow our Fellows ample time for discussion (I know how excited you get!) and have reserved three faculty spots for the tour of PHO - first come first serve basis and faculty will be allowed to attend the knowledge translation workshop, space allowing.  Topics & schedule below.

Educational objectives:

  1. Diagnosis and detection: Investigate how a diagnosis of pathogens and AMR occurs.

  2. Antibiotic use in the clinic: Understand how antibiotics are prescribed in the clinic.

  3. Diagnosis as prognosis: Understand how diagnosis with an antibiotic-resistant infection impacts clinical decision-making and alters patient prognosis.       

  4. Tracking AMR at the population level: Understand how public health agencies track antimicrobial resistance

  5. Antimicrobial stewardship and clinical AMR management:

  6. From evidence to impact: Understanding how WHO guidelines for antibiotic use are developed and implemented.


The David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery

MDCL 2235 | McMaster University

1280 Main Street West

Hamilton, Ontario

L8S 4L8

T: (905) 525-9140 ext. 26636 



2020 David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University