Women's Health Scholar Program
The purpose of the Women’s Health Scholar Program (WHS) at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is to provide excellent research training for Obstetrics and Gynaecology residents who wish to pursue a career as a clinician investigator/clinician scientist.
Dr. Crystal Chan
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto
Division of Reproduction Endocrinology and Infertility
What It Is
The WHS works in tandem with the Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) to train physician scientists by:
- Providing both Academic and Career training
- Enabling you to do an MSc, PhD or postdoctoral fellowship full-time during residency/fellowship
- Providing seminars and online modules (e.g. grant writing, cv writing, mentorship, oral presentations skills)
Eligible Degree Programs
Degree programs with a mandatory thesis requirement in the areas of biomedical research, clinical research, population health, health economics and policy, and social determinants of health are eligible. These programs are available through a variety of divisions/departments at UofT
- Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation (IHPME)
- clinical epidemiology, health services research
- Dalla Lana Faculty of Public Health
- Institute of Medical Science (IMS)
- Graduate studies departments related to Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Physiology, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, etc.)
- Basic and Translational Sciences
Please note that it is the candidates’ responsibility to select and apply to an appropriate eligible graduate program to which their selected supervisor is cross-appointed. The primary supervisor must hold a primary appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto, and have an appointment at the School of Graduate Studies. Upon commencement of the WHS program, the supervisor and student are expected to adhere to all rules and guidelines put forward by their SGS graduate unit.
Support and Funding
The Ministry of Health will provide one year of funding to cover the trainee’s salary (paid as a T4A stipend) and PARO benefits. In collaboration with the chosen research supervisor, the University department will provide one additional year of funding to cover the trainee’s salary, PARO benefits as well as up to $10,000 in operational expenses for the trainee’s approved project. The latter funding portion will be, hence forth, referred to as the WHS Funding Package.
Candidates MUST apply for funding support to at least two granting agencies, such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), each year or until successful. ALL residents entering the WHS must also apply, each year, to Post Graduate Medical Education (PGME) for Post Graduate Medical Awards, including the MOH-CIP Funded Year of Training award. Applicants who do not apply each year to at least two agencies for external support or who are not successful at obtaining external support will not be able to continue in the WHS unless their salary support is guaranteed (in writing) by their supervisor, relevant Hospital Chief or Division Head. External support is support from an agency that is not administered by the University of Toronto or one of its affiliated hospitals.
Any grants or funding awarded to the trainee for the approved WHS program project will be used to off-set the financial contributions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto and the Supervisor(s) equally.
Supervisor(s) and Trainee Responsibilities
The Supervisor(s) must agree to the terms and conditions of the WHS program. As part of this role, the supervisor(s) is required to guarantee financial support for the trainee. This support may come from sources such as the supervisor(s)’ research grants, division support, hospital support, discretionary funding, etc. The financial support will be for up to 50% of the total costs of the WHS Funding Package in Year 2 of the WHS program. Any grants or funding awarded to the trainee for the WHS program project will be used to off-set the financial contributions of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Toronto and the Supervisor(s) equally. The Supervisor is also responsible for any additional project related costs that exceeds the $10,000 provided to the trainee as part of the WHS Funding Package.
The Supervisor(s) is expected to mentor the trainee on the trainee’s independent research project. However, the trainee is expected to obtain supervisor(s) approval prior to commencement of the project. The trainee should have the principal-investigator role in project design, project direction, and project implementation. Upon commencement of the WHS program, the supervisor(s) and trainee are expected to adhere to all rules and guidelines put forward by their SGS graduate unit.
Trainee Clinical Responsibilities
During the period of research training in WHS, trainees must not have regular clinical responsibilities. However, trainees are encouraged to maintain some contact with clinical activities by attendance at divisional, departmental and hospital rounds and formal teaching sessions. Trainees may also attend special clinics with direct relevance in their areas of research. If a trainee is to provide clinical duties, then such arrangements should not exceed four hours a week (10% FTE). On-Call can only be scheduled for Friday or Saturday nights so that trainees are never to be post-call during the normal Monday-Friday work week.
Duration and Structure of Training
Trainees admitted into the WHS program will commence the program at the start of PGY4. The duration of the WHS program is 24 months, during which the trainee is required to complete his/her graduate program. Following the completion of the WHS program, the trainee will return to residency as a PGY5 for 12 months of clinical training.
Resident trainees who are interested in a career as a clinician investigator/clinician scientist are encouraged to apply during PGY3 for entry into the program at the start of PGY4.
Interested candidates should first identify research supervisor(s) for their WHS program. At least one research supervisor must have an appointment with a department within the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). For a list of faculty members with SGS appointments within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, please see LIST OF POTENTIAL SUPERVISORS.
If candidates need help in selecting a research supervisor, please contact the WHS committee for assistance.
Dept of OBGYN
123 Edward Street, 1200
Toronto ON, M5G 1E2
Application forms are due annually on December 15.
Candidates will also simultaneously need to apply for an eligible graduate program. Entry into the WHS program is contingent upon acceptance into an eligible graduate program.
Please note that selection for entry into the WHS program is a competitive process involving committee review and evaluation. Application and acceptance into an eligible graduate program does not guarantee entry into the WHS program. Application to the appropriate SGS department and CIP program is an independent process and must be successful prior to the acceptance of a WHS program award.
Please be aware that applicants must be accepted in the WHS program in order to be gauranteed departmental funding for the CIP program. Applicants who apply to the CIP program independently of the WHS program will not be guaranteed Departmental funding.
Committee Members and Contact Information
Dr. Theordore Brown
Dr. Stephen Lye
Dr. Kellie Murphy
Dr. Donne Steele
Dr. Mark Yudin