Changes to the application process 

Changes to the application process 

Announcement: New changes to the application process

As of May 1st, the Translational Research Program moved administrative home from the Institute of Medical Science to the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology. For those interested in learning about the context of our move, you can read a post by Dr. Joseph Ferenbok here.  The program, delivery of curriculum, and approach does not change.

How does this affect your application process?

For existing applications on the system, you should be able to log in the same way on the SGS website and still access the portal the same way. There is work being done by IT to transfer existing application from IMS to LMP department. However, even if this change is made, you should still be able to access your online application the same way.

For new applications yet to be started
If you have not started your application, you will need to register a profile on the SGS application site and need to select LMTRRMHSC under Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology as your Degree Program of Study (Degree POST).

Full instructions on how to apply are found here.

*A reminder that our final deadline to submit an application to be part of 2019 cohort is June 1st, midnight.

Having trouble with your application?
If you have any trouble accessing the system please contact us directly at 

Administrative Move

Administrative Move

Throughout its history, the Institute of Medical Science (IMS) at the Faculty of Medicine has developed a tradition of incubating new multidisciplinary programs. In 2011, the IMS stepped forward to explore and develop a graduate program in translational research. After much consultation, a proposal was put forward and approved and the first cohort of 17 students began in September 2015.

In October 2018, the TRP had an external review. The reviewers noted that “There is no question in the reviewers’ minds as to the value, uniqueness and innovation of this exciting and visionary program. In every meeting concerning this new program, there was high energy, and positivity regarding its format, content…” Then they noted that the TRP, “would never have flown without the immense efforts of the IMS director and his support, thus all future success of the MHsc program will reflect strongly back to the IMS program due to its generosity in providing a nurturing environment for its beginnings.” But they also noted that the apparent growth and trajectory requires more strategic thinking about faculty development, evaluation and retention; and that “a new and more appropriate administrative home” will need to be found.

Responding to this feedback, Dean Young has decided that the Translational Research Program (TRP) will move its administrative home to the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology no later than July 1st, 2019.
The move marks a major milestone for the IMS and the TRP. It marks the successful initiation and incubation of a new innovative multidisciplinary program. It marks the effective implementation of a new curriculum and a significant contribution by the IMS to the training of professionals in a burgeoning field of inquiry; and it will provide the TRP with the opportunities for greater capacity for faculty development, review and promotion.

However, this milestone will not mark the end of the program’s relationship with the IMS. The TRP faculty will remain cross-appointed to the IMS, TRP students will continue to be engaged with IMSSA and other co-curricular programming at IMS, and students from TRP and IMS will have continued access to modules from across the academic units. In fact, this is an opportunity to bring another department into our family, to become more engaged with more researchers and students, and to build new bridges and establish new collaborations moving forward—at the end of the day, we all remain part of one Faculty, and we all remain dedicated to training and research that will advance improved medicine, health and care.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell

Information Session: Additional Section

Information Session: Additional Section

In the past, we have tried to keep our information sessions capped to 15 – 20 people. This was because we wanted to try to follow our student-centric philosophy–and more than 20 people in a room meets some are inevitably not given enough opportunities to ask questions and engage with our time. Since there are usually people who sign up but don’t show up the groups have generally tended to be small enough to cater to individual interactions.

However, for our January 23th, 2019 session, since the session and the waiting list are both full and we are still getting questions about people attending, I am happy to announce that we have decided to run two sessions in parallel to try to include more people without sacrificing our attempt have smaller groups.

SO, if you are interested in finding out more about the TRP, there are now additional spaces on January 23, 2019. RSVP HERE.

A Transformative Education

A Transformative Education

At the TRP our goal is not to teach. Our goal is not to lecture or have you memorize some datum likely to change before you finish your degree, or that a search engine can find faster than you can formulate the question.

The TRP is a community and a mindset of people who are resources, facilitators, mentors, peers, guides and catalysts whose aim is to help those, who are looking to learn, to explore, to push the boundaries of their experience to seek knowledge.

The TRP is not intended to be divided as a degree of teacher-task-masters and students–those who know one truth and those hoping to memorize that truth. Instead, the program strives to be a community of people motivated to learn, to seek knowledge, to help others to be more and do more. In this community, the focus is not on the content but on understanding the processes, the mechanisms of creative problem-solving and innovation.

Students learn alongside the faculty–we learn together and from each other. We learn from real-world contexts and from failure–not from arbitrary grades or standardized testing–because our collective goals are not to pass a test or earn a grade but to improve lives, to learn to champion change that will improve the lives of others.

Now, we are starting to seek people join our 2019 cohort. Those motivated to learn, those seeking to move beyond their comfort zones, to challenge ambiguity, who want to focus on the processes of innovating of generating new ideas and championing change for positive impact are the kindred spirits we seek–these are the people we seek to join our ranks.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in a different kind of graduate program, who is motivated to learn by doing and is seeking a transformative education, then we need to talk. Come to an information session, read the website, arrange a consultation with someone from our team.

One day soon, we, trainees, mentors, facilitators, students, residents, PI’s, researchers, clinicians, healthcare professionals, and many others, will form a global network of professional translators, who think globally but work locally to improve the health and well-being of people in our communities. And together we will transform health, care and medicine.

Join us.

Is the TRP right for YOU?

Is the TRP right for YOU?

There are two questions that I am often asked by perspective students: the ones at the beginning of their careers generally ask “what jobs can you get when you’re done?” and the later career clinicians, researchers or healthcare professionals ask, how will this help me?” Inevitably, I answer with a question (or two) “what do you want to do? What are your goals?” Since this is often met with looks of bewilderment or frustration because some people want a direct and concrete answer, I feel I need try to explain.

I am not trying to be vague or noncommittal.  But I’m also not trying to sell you anything.

The truth is that no program is right for everyone.  And I don’t think that any program (outside of one-on-one mentorship, maybe) will be all things to all people—there are going to be compromises.

So, I think there are two key questions that you must ask:

  • What am I looking for in a graduate education?
  • Will this program allow me to get what I’m looking for?

What are you looking for?

There are several reasons (by no means exhaustive) why you might consider taking a graduate program.  You may want:

  • Credentials or accreditation.
  • Access the resources or networks of a program or institution.
  • Learn something new or different that you couldn’t (or wouldn’t) learn on your own.
  • Find like minded people or learn with others.
  • Get mentorship or facilitation that you couldn’t get in another forum.

If you are looking for specific credential or resources, you need to find the program(s) that offer you clear pathways to those outcomes.  If you want to pursue Rehab Med, a master’s in cultural studies may not be your most direct route.

The TRP is not one of these programs.  There is currently NO official profession of “Translator” in health science or medicine (although I suspect this may not be a long way off—though hopefully under a different label).  TRP is designed to provide you with specific discrete bits of knowledge that you can memorize for a specific test.  The consensus in health science innovation (aka translation) is that it is generally a complex emergent process that rarely follows a single predefine unwavering path.  So being able to plan, adapt, abstract and problem-solve as processes unfold is definitely more useful than memorizing regulations that will likely change before you are done your education.  The added bonus is that these competencies are not job, career, or domain specific.  Learning how to learn, how to problem-solve and how to refine your approach over time, are life skills that really transcend a particular discipline or domain of knowledge.

Graduate Education

At the TRP we believe that a graduate education should do precisely that: help you learn core life skills that will allow you to be a better learner, more adaptable, more creative and a better problem-solver.  We just happen to do this in the context of health and care with the mission of challenging our students to think in ways and from perspectives that they normally would not or have not yet learned.  We do this in a collaborative environment that generally you would not have access to our could not maintain on your own outside the context of a formalized academic program, and we do this within a framework or context that allows people to learn (and do) collaboratively.

So, although I can’t tell you whether the TRP is ‘right’ for you, you should come talk to us if you:

  • if you are unsatisfied with the status quo
  • if you want to take initiative and improve your community or context
  • if you want to challenge yourself and move out of your comfort zone;
  • f you want to be more creative and a better problem-solver;
  • if you want to have more impact and feel like what you are doing matters;
  • if you want to learn to learn, and want to do it with others;
  • if you want to learn to better navigate uncertainty and complex situations;
  • if you want to be part of a community;
  • if you want to champion change;
  • if you want to better understand and reflect on your purpose and motivations;
  • if you want to better chart your goals and direction;
  • if you want to be more open to different perspectives and points of view;

If any of the above are true for you, and you want to understand how the TRP might be able to facilitate your learning, and are interested in a ‘non-traditional’ graduate education, I want to hear from you.

Our Why!

Why?  Why would I make such an offer when anyone that knows me will tell you how limited my time and resources are?  Simply because a mentor of mine made me realize that my mission, may way of making a difference is:

“To empower learners who want to make a difference”

And at the TRP, all of the team strive “to challenge students to think differently so that they may champion change in their contexts”.

I believe in this and I am proud to be part of something so much bigger than myself.  And I want to surround myself with like-minded people. So, if that might be you write me: Joseph.ferenbok(at)





Choosing the TRP

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