capstone projects allows students opportunities & support & to explore a meaningful translation of research into a context with tangible benefits
The Capstone Project is a meaningful translation of research into another domain or context that contributes to the mobilization of ideas to benefit human health.
Ideally in collaborative teams, each student team will work with one or more faculty to develop a particular translational idea to present as a Capstone project.
You do not need to have an idea for your Capstone project when starting the program–since the program is in part designed to help you generate ideas; but if you do have an idea, we will help you refine and develop the idea as part of the preparation for your Capstone, and then to execute your idea or a manageable part of it as your Capstone project.
MSC 4000: Capstone Project in Translational Research, is the major mechanism in the MHSc Masters program that allows students to integrate their knowledge into solution-oriented projects that addresses unmet health science needs. The capstone project is both a vehicle for learning mechanisms to integrate knowledge and an opportunity to demonstrate new skills and competencies that are core-learning outcomes for the Masters in Health Science in Translational Research.
Since Translational Research spans a wide range of practices and methods from discovery science and clinical investigation to knowledge translation, commercialization and implementation science, students may focus on a range of points along the translational pathway including practice, research, implementation and leadership for the capstone project.
Practice-oriented projects engage with the mechanics of ‘moving’ a particular science finding into clinical practice or applying a clinical observation to discovery research. These projects focus on the ‘doing’ and involve one or more stages of translating a finding or insight into a specific tangible benefit for the advancement of human health. For example these may explore the obstacles in designing a specific diagnostic or prognostic tool based on an established biomarker. (These projects will be considered part of the Translational Medicine or Translational Research program pathway.)
Research oriented projects explore what kind of facilitation, techniques and technologies allow for ideas and knowledge to cross boundaries in a trans-formative fashion. These projects focus on the field of investigation, understanding and operational principles underlying the understanding and evaluation of translational attempts and practices by others. Critical evaluation and analysis of the ‘process’ of mobilizing knowledge for affect across domains as a kind of research. For example, these projects may focus on critically analyzing a specific translational attempt or pathway to reflect and add to a broader body of knowledge about translation.
Implementation oriented projects focus on knowledge translation and the evaluation of its communication and implementation. These projects look at the implementation and evaluation of communication strategies associated with knowledge translation and implementation science. These projects can range from developing communication tools and strategies and their prototyping and evaluation, to mix method studies of the success or failure of guidelines, policy or new protocols. For example, these projects may focus on evaluating the impact of interventions for the purposes of evidence-based policy and practice.
Leadership oriented projects focus on developing policies and best practices around the identification and implementation of successful translational research initiatives. These projects allow students to identify and advance translational research by identifying existing needs and leading their own initiatives to propose and test translational solutions that try to address them. For example these may include projects that involve changing guidelines or protocols to advance the quality of care.
Since the key philosophy behind a capstone project is to help students learn about the process of translation and its supported principles of flexibility and open exploration, each of the foci above are ultimately guidelines subject to the discussion and interpretation of the Project Oversight Committee of any project. These guidelines are intended to allow students to perform different aspects of translational research, and vary slightly in outcomes, milestones, approaches and deliverables; while establishing a set of common learning objectives and core transferable skills.