Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives (HBHL) emphasizes the training of highly qualified researchers, clinicians, and informaticians, to integrate basic research, clinical and programming skills with teamwork and leadership experience. 

The HBHL Training Program Committee oversees all aspects of the HBHL training program. Membership consists of Dr. Josephine Nalbantoglu, Dean of McGill's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies; Dr. Anne McKinney, Associate VP, Health Sciences of McGill University; Dr. Ron Lafreniere, HBHL's Managing Director; Dr. Jing Liu, HBHL's Project Manager, Dr. Noha Gerges, HBHL/Mitacs Business Development Specialist, a Skillsets coordinator (TBD) and two representatives (Greg Kiar and Elizaveta Solomonova) from the HBHL trainee committee.

The HBHL Trainee Committee consists of volunteer graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are responsible for organizing the monthly HBHL Get-Together and the Annual Trainee Research Day. 

Components of the HBHL Training Program

  • Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Fellowships, click here for details
  • Trainee Travel Bursaries
  • Trainee Get-Together
  • Trainee Annual Research Day
  • Annual Symposium
  • HBHL Sponsorships
  • HBHL Skillsets
  • Mitacs Fellowships

HBHL Trainee Travel Bursaries (application will open soon): This component aims to support students and postdoctoral fellows who wish to present their findings at national and international conferences. 

The bursaries will be awarded at three levels:

  • Up to $500 for conferences/workshops within the province of Quebec
  • Up to $1,500 for North American conferences/workshops, including other provinces in Canada
  • Up to $2,000 for international conferences/workshops outside of North America

HBHL Trainee Get-Together: This is an informal monthly (except July & August) meeting that aims to provide opportunities for trainees to get to know each other, and to promote interaction and collaborations among HBHL trainees from across disciplines. The agenda of each Get-Together will be organized by the HBHL Trainee Committee.

HBHL Trainee Annual Research Day:  This annual event will provide a platform for trainees (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows) to communicate their research findings and to receive valuable feedback from the diverse scientific community (e.g. researchers, clinicians and fellow trainees), and to network with one another. This one day event will consist of oral and poster presentations from trainees, and one presentation from an invited guest speaker. Trainees from collaborative projects between McGill and Western University or Université de Montréal will be strongly encouraged to participate. Prizes for best presentation will be awarded, and a wine & cheese reception during the poster session will encourage networking. This event will be organized by the HBHL Trainee Committee, with mentorship from the HBHL Training Program Committee. 

HBHL Annual Symposium:  This event aims to bring together informaticians, fundamental scientists, clinicians, social scientists and others who are interested in brain and mental health research, knowledge translation/mobilization and innovation. The symposium will allow participants to interact and exchange research ideas, to promote collaborations not only within McGill but also with colleagues in other academic institutions in Montreal and beyond. This one day event will consist of platform presentations from HBHL’s research themes and subcommittee leaders and international renowned experts including representatives from Western University and Université de Montréal. 

HBHL Sponsorships: This component of the HBHL training program will encourage and support events such workshops, symposia, research days and other public events, and activities that are related to brain and mental health research, knowledge translation/mobilization and innovation. Priority will be given to those events or activities taking place in the greater Montreal area, having active participation from the McGill community, having matching funding from other sources, and which align with the strategic priorities of the HBHL initiative. Applicants from McGill or HBHL’s partner institutions will be invited to submit an application to HBHL [at] The decision for support will be based on the impact of the event or activities and its alignment with HBHL goals and priorities, at the discretion of the HBHL Training Program Committee. These events will be primarily organized by colleagues outside the HBHL Training Program Committee.

Skillsets: This component will offer Skillsets-type training sessions tailored specifically to the needs of HBHL trainees.

Mitacs Fellowships: Mitacs has agreed to provide HBHL with fellowships. This is an excellent opportunity to enable trainees to work/study onsite in a corporate environment. For more details, please contact ngerges [at] (Dr. Noha Gerges), a Business Development Specialist, who is jointly appointed by HBHL and Mitacs.