Year-in-Review: The HBHL Training Program

News

Training highly qualified researchers, clinicians, and informaticians is an important component of McGill’s Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) initiative. HBHL’s training program has grown over the past year, with a wealth of opportunities for funding, networking, and professional development available to McGill research trainees in neuroscience and related disciplines.

Highlights of 2018:

  • Seven postdoctoral and 54 graduate student fellowships were awarded to exceptional McGill research trainees.
  • The launch of HBHL-SKILLSETS - a professional development program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in neuroscience. Ten events have been held since the program launched in February 2018, including workshops, seminars, panel discussions and webinars on diverse topics such as scientific communication, writing funding applications, career planning, negotiation, public speaking and creative thinking.
  • Thirteen HBHL Fellows joined the HBHL Trainee Committee. The committee organizes monthly Trainee Get-Togethers, the annual HBHL Research Day, and communications for the neuroscience trainee community.
  • Six Trainee Get-Togethers were held, including a HBHL Fellows Meet and Greet. These events feature presentations by trainees and keynote speakers and provide an opportunity for neuroscience trainees from various fields, departments and research institutes to network, exchange ideas and foster collaborations.
  • The inaugural HBHL Research Day and Symposium brought together the McGill neuroscience community as well as local and international researchers from our partnering institutions and beyond. The events showcased the research of trainees and PIs working in areas related to HBHL’s research themes, progress in HBHL’s goals and deliverables, as well as the work of leading international neuroscientists.
  • Through the partnership between HBHL and Mitacs, over $800,000 in collaborative academia-industry research projects have been developed. These projects are providing an opportunity for 22 McGill trainees to gain experience working with industry, the Canadian non-profit sector, as well as international academia. Five of these students have received funding to conduct collaborative research in China, Japan and Germany. Additional to the 22 McGill students involved, 2 international graduate students have received funding to pursue collaborative research at McGill.
  • HBHL was a partner and/or sponsor for many conferences and academic workshops which provided opportunities for trainees to learn about cutting-edge research, gain hands-on training in research techniques and build professional connections. These events included Decoding Mental States using EEG, Summer Program in Social & Cultural Psychiatry, INCF Neuroinformatics Conference and Hackathon, Integrated Program in Neuroscience Retreat, Machine Learning for the Cognitive Neurosciences, MAIN 2018 and more. 

Coming up in 2019:

  • New postdoctoral fellowships to be awarded – the competition is open until January 10, 2019
  • New graduate student fellowships competition to be launched in the spring
  • Many new HBHL-SKILLSETS events on funding, coding, healthy living, career planning and more
  • Monthly Trainee Get-Togethers
  • The second annual HBHL Symposium and Research Day on May 2-3, 2019
  • An ongoing partnership with Mitacs to continually provide new opportunities for fellowships, internships and collaborative research