Choosing the TRP

The Translational Research Program is an innovative approach to ‘professional’ graduate education.  Classes involve many different learning strategies and tools.  Students range widely: from early career to late career, and from different professional or disciplinary backgrounds.
The program provides a great range of possibilities to students who what to be take initiative, be more creative, learn to be better problem-solvers, collaborators and communicators; and what to challenge their thinking and improve their career trajectories and satisfaction.
But the program is not for everyone.  Over the years we have learned that there are good reasons and bad reasons to consider the TRP for a graduate education.  It’s not a comprehensive or absolute list, but here it is.
Consider a Masters at the Translational Research Program in Health Science:

  1. To enhance knowledge your knowledge:
    • Better understand the Health Innovation landscape
    • Learn more effective ways to translate knowledge into impact
    • Learn to develop and assess ventures and interventions
    • Learn important problem-solving and analytical skills
  2. For personal development
    • Acquire new skills and competencies
    • Approach problems in new ways
    • Work better in groups and teams
    • Improve your communication skills
    • Increase confidence
  3. To gain hands on experience
    • Learn by doing
    • Develop your own strategies and methods
    • Understand the complexity of real-world contexts
    • Improve how you navigate uncertainty
  4. To Network and expand your professional circles
  • Learn to manage partnerships & connections
  • Gain access to Academics, Researchers, Hospital and Industry key opinion leaders
  1. To take initiative and responsibility over your learning
  • To have input into their learning objectives, outcomes and projects.
  • To accommodate your obligations outside of school: careers, families and others
  1. To have flexibility in Career Paths & options
    • To focus on transferable core abilities for multiple roles and paths
    • To discover and launch and a range of career options
    • To explore interests and push your boundaries in an educational sandbox
    • Acquire career management tools that allow you to focus on your Individual development plan
    • To work towards greater career satisfaction (reflection and professionalism)
  2. To leverage institutional expertise and resources
  3. To improve your credibility

You should question whether the TRP is right for you if:

  1. You need something to do while you try (again) to get into Medical School
  2. You want a concrete and linear educational experience
    • You prefer to learn in classrooms through lecture based information delivery
    • You like to have one way or a correct way of doing something;
    • You want to write tests and examples that assess your knowledge
    • You like to have routine and clear direction
  3. You don’t have a lot of time
    • You need information presented and summarized for you
  4. You prefer not to work in groups or collaborate with others
  5. You are looking for a graduate degree for your resume
  6. You can translate knowledge into ventures yourself–you don’t need a formal program or certificate
  7. You don’t like discussion-based peer learning;

The bottom-line is that the TRP is both an expense and an investment that is not for everyone.  There are other options and the benefits of the program are proportional to your intellectual investment and hot your financial one.  There are other ways of learning and there are otherwise to expand your understandings.  However, if you think a self-directed, flexible learning by doing approach may be right for you, you should come sit down with someone from the program to learn more.
Joseph Ferenbok, Director