To provide transformative experiential educational opportunities through training, support and mentorship for innovators who catalyze the transformation of (scientific) discoveries into problem-solving designs with tangible benefits for human health.
In 2011, Dr. Catherine Whiteside, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, asked Dr. Avrum Gotlieb, Interim Vice-Dean Graduate Life Science Education (GLSE), to explore graduate education in health sciences translational research. A meeting was held with interested graduate chairs and the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) agreed to provide seed money to develop the proposal and fund the initial required infrastructure including space renovations to create the office and teaching spaces, salaries for faculty and administration, equipment and office supplied. It was decided that a two-year professional graduate master’s program should be developed. The Director of the IMS, Dr. Allan Kaplan enlisted Dr. Joseph Ferenbok to develop a draft proposal of a new graduate degree program in translational research in health science. The document included both academic and business plans for the proposed program. After much consultation with stakeholders, including external experts knowledgeable in translational research and co-development with the GLSE, a proposal was put forward for review by the Provost. Following a successful external review and Governing Council support, the proposal was submitted to the government for review and authorization. In November 2014, the Masters of Health Science in Translational Research in Health Science (MHSc) was approved by the Quality Assurance Council of Ontario in the Ministry of Universities, Colleges and Training. The first cohort of 17 students began in September 2015.
The TRP enables students to integrate their domain expertise to carry out projects that emphasize experiential learning and translational thinking. The program focuses on breadth (looking at the larger translational landscape), deployment (skills around the implementation of projects and prototypes), and integration (processes around combining individual domain expertise with practical projects and case-studies that emphasize experiential learning).
The TRP delivers five core courses (MSC 1000, 2021, 1003, 4000, 4010) and partners with the Knowledge Media Design Institute for the delivery of a sixth course, KMD 1002. MSC 4010 is composed of eight modules that students must take during the program. The TRP offers 9 modules currently:
- Intellectual Property foundations
- Intellectual Property Licences Agreements, and Contracts
- Health Economics
- Project management
- Translational Thinking
- Scientific Writing and Student Work and Research Module
- Policy, Privacy and Regulatory
- Leadership and Team Management
Students may also take IMS modules to complement their educational experience. Students must also take 2 half-course electives during their program to complete the degree.
An important value of any professional graduate program are the skills, activities, and lessons that are learned or applied outside the classroom–practicing and applying these skills and competencies are often the significant value-added of a program that contributes to student success. The TRP provides workshops, networking opportunities, a speaker series and various activities that supplement coursework; these are either delivered by the TRP team or in collaboration with other groups and partners. These activities are especially important for generating Capstone collaborations and project ideas but are also significant for understanding the available resources and building communities for professional development opportunities.
Outside the core classroom activities, the TRP also works with students to prepare and execute an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Instituted with the 2016 cohort, the IDP is an important aspect of the programs personalized learning experience. This process allows students to focus on goal setting and self-evaluation involving actions and activities that they self-initiate under the supervision of program faculty.