TRP students are eligible to apply for merit-based scholarships such as the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Program, the Canada Graduate Scholarships Masters Awards (CGSM – CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC), and the Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships (IPS).
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U of T ranked 15th globally when it comes to producing work-ready graduates, according to the latest employability rankings by Times Higher Education and 1st in North America.
When you think of UofT, you would think of old stone buildings and new glass ones surrounded by a campus that supports the innovations and ideas of over 560,000 graduates. However, UofT’s penchant for excellence and it’s constantly expanding educational programs has led its consistent rise in rankings. “Employers in Canada and beyond recognize the value of a University of Toronto education,” said U of T President Meric Gertler.
UofT has been in the world ranks for decades now but this year the university excelled even further, U of T was ranked the number one university in Canada and the top public institution in North America for producing work-ready graduates, according to the recently released Global University Employability Ranking 2019. Recruiters at the top companies surveyed by Times Higher Education say the University of Toronto graduates are among the best equipped in the world to join the workforce. The same ranking placed U of T 15th overall among 250 universities in 41 countries, and eighth among the world’s public universities.
“The university’s faculty and staff work tirelessly to equip students with the skills and experience they need to succeed in an ever-changing and competitive global job market,” Meric Gertler added.
Read More: U of T News article published on November 25th, 2019 gives a more holistic breakdown of these rankings and can be found, here.
#UofTMed Alumna Reflection by Razan
After the completion of her undergraduate studies, Razan wanted to make a positive difference in the field of healthcare. She thought that the only two choices she had to achieve her goal were to either go to medical school or work as a lab researcher. That was until she came across the Translational Research Program, where she could focus on patients within their contexts and needs while working on solving real-world problems. As she looks back, she reflects on her journey with the TRP in this candid blog.
An Unconventional Journey
“Define the need, bridge the gap, keep it user-centric.” To most people in healthcare, this might not mean much, however, to a Translational Research Program (TRP) graduate these are words to live by.
I graduated from the Translational Research Program as a part of the second cohort back in 2018. My capstone project, completed along with three fellow students, was on cancer outpatient nutritional status. We investigated nutritional education programs throughout Toronto and interviewed cancer outpatients to find the gap between the dietary recommendations and the integration of these recommendations into their daily lives.
Six months after graduating, I landed my current role as a Knowledge Translation Coordinator at a not-for-profit organization, the Aphasia Institute. Aphasia is a communication disorder most commonly caused by a brain injury or a stroke. People with aphasia are intelligent, competent individuals who still can make decisions — however, their difficulty with speech masks this competence.
Healthcare professionals have difficulty communicating with people with aphasia, and this gap leads to negative health-related quality of life and high social costs on identity and family relationships. The Aphasia Institute has begun addressing this gap by designing a method of facilitated conversation called “Supported Conversation for Adults with Aphasia (SCA™)” to assist healthcare professionals in communicating with people with aphasia.
Within my role at the Aphasia Institute, I am coordinating the dissemination of SCA™ resources to healthcare professionals nationally and internationally. Throughout different dissemination projects, I find myself reeling in skills learned through the TRP. From the facilitation of interdisciplinary meetings to user-centric testing and iterating, the skills gained through the TRP experience are invaluable to my work.
I find myself using the Toronto Translational Framework when planning for testing and distribution of the resources, and I find myself putting different “hats” on to cater to various stakeholders in this field. Driving change through the dissemination of different ideas and innovations is fulfilling, and the Translational Research Program has paved a new way of understanding the healthcare system, which has and will continue to aid me with healthcare projects throughout my career. Define the need, bridge the gap, keep it user-centric – the TRP words I live by.
Razan is one of our TRP alumni who have discovered ways to make an impact on healthcare outside of the research or clinical settings. As Razan said, sometimes you must put on a different “hat” to change your perspective. The roles of translating knowledge and implementing change to the healthcare system are crucial to the uptake of innovation, and through a human-centric approach, these changes can be designed for the people who need them.
Zoya Retiwalla | TRP | Oct 4, 2019
What comes to your mind when you hear the word translator?
Your answer would possibly be ‘someone who converts the written word from one language to another’. A translator in the health sciences plays a similar role, in that the person translates the language of scientific research into applications that improve medicine, health, and healthcare.
The healthcare field is undergoing rapid transformation. This change in tide has brought with it a slew of questions – how are things done, how should things be done, by whom, and what repercussions would this evolution bring forth?
A novel kind of professional is emerging – an applied scientist. These scientists are not always found conducting experiments in a lab or defending their research, they are instead found using science. They believe that the process of turning observations into interventions that could help improve patient care.
Translators combine science with unique strategies, out-of-the-box approaches, and actionable thinking from a vast range of disciplines. Disciplines that have seldom been associated with the essence of pure science – business, design, law, and communication.
The Translational Research Program – the first of its kind in Canada, is designed for current and aspiring innovators from interprofessional backgrounds such as – basic scientists, applied scientists, researchers, clinicians, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, advocates, networkers, influencers, and risk-takers.
Our students learn creative problem-solving skills, strategies, and competencies to translate scientific knowledge into applications that improve medicine, health, and health care. Through flexible coursework; team-based, real-world translational challenges; and extensive mentorship and networking, we facilitate self-directed and collaborative “learning by doing.” Students gain experience, expertise, and practical insights into the development and design processes. The curriculum covers the translational landscape and strategies needed to develop, test, and implement innovations.
What motivates you?
What are your goals?
How do you want to improve healthcare?
These are the questions that will actually help you answer the question – “Are you a translator?” If you want to learn how to have a tangible impact on patient care and be part of bringing interventions that improve health, then the Translational Research Program may be a program fit for you.
Learn more about who we are and what we do.