McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

McGill Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program

Headshot of Global Health Scholar Ali Fazlollahi

Meet Ali, 2022 Global Health Scholar

Allyson Kis - young woman with shoulder length brown hair wearing a denim jacket and standing in a field

Meet Allison, 2021 Global Health Scholar

Portrait of Nardin Farag

Meet Nardin, 2019 Global Health Scholar

Congrats to the 2024 Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate program cohort! Meet them now!

Background

The McGill Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate program offers McGill undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about and gain global health experience through participation in research projects. During the summer, each Global Health Scholar is involved in a global health project either at an international or northern Canadian site or in Montreal or Gatineau, under the supervision and mentorship of a McGill faculty member. McGill Global Health Programs (GHP) provides funding to cover student travel, if applicable, and a modest stipend.

During the academic year following their summer project, Global Health Scholars benefit from a variety of educational, training and networking opportunities organized by GHP, including the Insight Nights seminar series designed specifically for Global Health Scholars, GHP's annual Global Health Night event, complimentary access to the McGill Summer Institutes in Global Health, and other activities.

Key Dates

  • Call for student applications opens: January 9, 2024
  • Online Information Session: January 23, 2024, 12:00-1:00 PM - Watch the recording
  • Application Deadline: February 11, 2024 (11:59 PM EST)
  • Evaluation period and interviews (if applicable): February-March 2024
  • Results Announcement: March 22, 2024

Program Timeline

  • Orientation and Training: Early April 2024
  • Pre-departure training (if travelling): online, at least four weeks before departure
  • Summer Research Project: May 1, 2024 - August 31, 2024
  • Debrief Meeting: September 2024
  • Final Report and Survey: October 2024
  • Insight Nights Seminar Series: October 2024 - March 2025 (Scholars must attend at least three out of these six monthly seminars)
  • Global Health Night: November 2024

Eligibility Criteria

To participate in the Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate program, students must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at McGill;
  • Must not be graduating in May/June 2024; in other words, you need to register for at least a course in the Summer 2024 or Fall 2024 term.
  • While students who have been part of a previous Global Health Scholars cohort are eligible to participate in the 2024 cohort, they are not eligible to apply to work with the same supervisor or on the same project.
  • Students should not contact the Faculty members about the Scholars Program during the application or selection process. Students who contact faculty supervisors for more information may be disqualified. If you have questions about a specific project, studentaffairsghp.med [at] mcgill.ca (please contact the GHP office.)

Funding and Project Hours 

  • Selected students must complete 240 hours of work (the equivalent of 6 weeks full-time) between May 1 and  August 31, 2024. The student and faculty supervisor will work together to determine the student's schedule.
  • Any work on the project that exceeds 240 hours is not covered by GHP. In such cases, the student and their faculty supervisor must mutually agree on compensation before extending the project.
  • Students completing projects locally (in Montreal or Gatineau) will receive a stipend of $3,000.
  • Students completing projects that involve travel (either internationally or in Northern Canada) will receive an additional $3,000, bringing their total stipend to $6,000 to offset travel expenses.
  • If a student originally selected for a project involving travel can no longer travel for personal reasons, the award may be revoked, and an alternate student selected, at the discretion of GHP in consultation with the faculty supervisor.
  • The first disbursement of funds to students will be made in May 2024. A 10% holdback amount will be disbursed to students in March 2025 upon completion of all Global Health Scholars program deliverables.
  • For International or Northern Canada projects, the student should spend at least three weeks on location.
  • For local projects (Montreal or Gatineau), the student must spend the majority of their time on-site, working in a hands-on learning environment and integrated into a team. Students who end up spending most of their project time at home should contact the GHP office.
  • A student or trainee may only receive one award from GHP for the same trip.

Program Expectations for Scholars

All students selected as undergraduate Global Health Scholars must:

  • Attend a two-part training and orientation session on research ethics in April 2024.
  • Attend a project debriefing workshop in September 2024.
  • Complete a mid-point check-in survey in July 2024 and a final report in October 2024. These reports serve as reflections on the Global Health Scholars program and facilitate feedback. Report content is used by GHP for donor stewardship reports. We are not expecting a comprehensive review paper or journal article. We'll provide a template for both reports.
  • Attend at least three sessions of the Insight Nights Seminar Series designed exclusively for Global Health Scholar undergraduates (held once a month between October 2024 and March 2025).
  • Present a poster on their Global Health Scholars project at GHP’s annual Global Health Night event in November 2024. The poster is not required to present final research results. Faculty supervisors will need to confirm that they approve of the content of the student’s poster.

Scholars who are traveling to an international or Northern Canada work site are required to:

  • Complete the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) online pre-departure training at least 4 weeks before departure.
  • Register their itinerary via the McGill Student Travel Registry at least 4 weeks before departure.
  • Regularly monitor their McGill email address while abroad as this is the primary way we communicate with students.

Additional Information Relating to Travel

  • GHP only supports travel to countries and regions with a Government of Canada travel advisory risk level of Level-1 (“take normal security precautions”) or Level-2 (“exercise a high degree of caution”).
  • Students traveling for their project will have access to comprehensive supervision from an established research team member. In cases where the faculty supervisor is not accompanying the student for travel, the faculty member will designate an on-site supervisor for the student.
  • Faculty supervisors are required to communicate with GHP in advance of any changes to the student's project location, deviating from what was originally proposed in the project submission.

Additional training opportunities

  • Global Health Scholars will have the opportunity to attend (free of charge) a maximum of two courses offered by the McGill Summer Institutes in Global Health in Summer 2024 or Summer 2025. Participation in Summer 2024 should not disrupt the pre-established workplan between the faculty supervisor and student.
  • Scholars are strongly encouraged to take either PPHS 511 - Fundamentals of Global Health or the Interprofessional Global Health Course during the 2024-2025 academic year and will be given priority to enroll in these courses.
  • Faculty supervisors are encouraged to discuss with their Scholar any recommended training in preparation for the Scholar’s upcoming research project.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the program. If your question is not listed, please studentaffairsghp.med [at] mcgill.ca (email the GHP office).

Online Information Session - (January 23, 2024)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to watch the recording of the information session held on January 23.

Projects Available in 2024

The Global Health Scholars program offers a wide variety of global health research projects. Projects are subject to change and may not be offered in future years. If you have a question about a specific project, please do not contact the Faculty member,studentaffairsghp.med [at] mcgill.ca ( contact the GHP office).

International Projects

Ukuvula Isango: "Opening the Gate" to Women’s Empowerment and post-pandemic reconstruction in rural South Africa - Kathleen Rice, Department of Family Medicine

Location

Jika Uluntu, East London (and surrounding rural areas), Eastern Cape, South Africa

Project Summary

The Ukuvula Isango project aims firstly to determine how women in the rural Eastern Cape, South Africa, have been affected by the pandemic through longitudinal ethnographic case studies (observations and life history interviews) which explore their experiences of accessing healthcare, finding economic support, and of striving to mitigate the “thinning” of social relations and cohesion during the pandemic. We use a ‘people's science’ action approach to document and explore women's lives before and during the pandemic to identify trends and triggers that elevate or depreciate their livelihoods and health status. Collecting and analyzing this data has been the focus of the first year of the project. Building on this foundation, the second year of the project is devoted to using the data and knowledge generated in Year 1 to build policy and infrastructure that can respond to the harms that pandemic policies and practices provoked in rural communities in a way that builds back better infrastructure and services. The policies and programs that we will design are intended to enhance resilience and prevention in both the health and livelihood spheres.

The Global Health Scholars that we aim to recruit will work on the ground in South Africa with our community partners (especially the NGO Jika Uluntu to organize and implement community consultations and workshops in the areas of general health (HIV, TB, diabetes, hypertension); mental health, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and democracy and governance.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Gain exposure to how qualitative research data is translated into programming and policy while learning how ethnographic data can be used to shape policy and programming in the global health sphere;
  • Gain experience organizing and facilitating community consultations and workshops;
  • Learn about how community organizations operate in resource-poor settings;
  • Gain international experience in global health;
  • Collaborate with a team of researchers, including South African graduate student trainees, on analysis and implementation of research data.
Technical Skills
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Confidence facilitating discussion and taking initiative (experience with community organizing not essential, but would be an asset);
  • Maturity to handle living in a middle-income country with heightened security concerns;
  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism;
  • Experience with qualitative research methods (ethnography especially) a strong asset, but not imperative.
Transferable Skills:
  • Maturity to handle living in a middle-income country with heightened security concerns;
  • Organized;
  • Takes initiative;
  • Enjoys working with people from a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
Timeline:

Flexible. May-June preferred, but not imperative.

Onsite supervisor(s):
  • Ziyanda Xaso (NGO Director)
  • Leslie Bank (Project PI)
  • Ian Assam (Change-maker partner)
  • Vuyokazi ‘Nelly’ Sharpley (Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:

Kathleen Rice is a PhD medical anthropologist based in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill University, where she holds the Tier II Canada Research Chair in the Medical Anthropology of Primary Care. She has a program of research in South Africa going back more than 15 years, and is the author of the recently-published book "Rights and Responsibilities in Rural South Africa: Gender, Personhood, and the Crisis of Meaning".

Using Video-Enhanced Teaching to Increase Maternal Participation in Neonatal Hospital Care - Jessica Duby, Department of Pediatrics

Location

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Jinja, Uganda

Project Summary

Parents may be a resource for improving the quality of neonatal hospital care in low-income countries. We performed a pre-post pilot study of an adapted Family Integrated Care program in Uganda (UFICare) in the Special Care Nursery at a Ugandan regional referral hospital. Research nurses trained mothers to weigh their infant daily, assess for danger signs twice daily and track feeds. We found that Ugandan mothers can collaborate in the medical care of their hospitalized infant. In addition, mothers who performed the monitoring tasks felt more prepared to care for their infant at discharge. The main barrier to implementation of UFICare is the amount of nursing time required to train mothers. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to evaluate the time needed to teach mothers to weigh their infant daily, assess for danger signs and track feeds using video-assisted education. A 10-minute educational video about UFICare has been created for the purposes of the study. We will perform a time-motion study to understand the amount of time a nurse needs to spend with a mother for her to gain proficiency. We will assess proficiency using a knowledge-based and skills-based assessment as well as measuring maternal satisfaction with the training. The results of this study will inform future research and initiative on enhancing maternal involvement in neonatal hospital care in Uganda.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Learn the importance of maternal participation in neonatal hospital care;
  • Understand how mothers can participate in neonatal hospital care;
  • Assist the Ugandan research staff with patient recruitment if still ongoing;
  • Serve as a timekeeper for each portion of the maternal training;
  • Collaborate with the Ugandan research staff to collect and enter data into REDCap. Data analysis may also be part of the project.
Technical Skills
  • Experience with obtaining informed consent is preferred but not required;
  • Experience with survey completion is preferred but not required;
  • Experience with REDCap is preferred but not required.
Transferable Skills:
  • Able to collaborate with a variety of research personnel (nurses, doctors, etc.);
  • Able to adapt to changes in the project plan based on local context/needs;
  • Motivated and autonomous in completing assigned tasks.
Timeline:

Ideally at the beginning of the summer given that we already have ethics approval

Onsite supervisor(s):

Olive Kabajaasi, Project Coordinator, Walimu

Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:
  1. Duby J, Kabajaasi O, Muteteri J, et al. Family Integrated Care in Uganda: A feasibility study. Arch Dis Child. 2023;108(3):180-184. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2022-324638
  2. Reiter A, De Meulemeester J, Kenya-Mugisha N, Tagoola A, Kabajaasi O, Wiens MO, Duby J. Parental participation in the care of hospitalized neonates in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Front Pediatr. 2022 Aug 25; 10:987228. doi:10.3389/fped.2022.987228. doi:10.3389/fped.2022.987228
  3. O'Brien K, Robson K, Bracht M, et al. Effectiveness of Family Integrated Care in neonatal intensive care units on infant and parent outcomes: A multicentre, multinational, cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Child & adolescent health. 2018;2(4):245-254. doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(18)30039-7.

Reasons for premature birth at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Kigali (Kigali, Rwanda) - Gillian Morantz, Department of Pediatrics

Location

Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali, Rwanda

Project Summary

Premature birth is associated with negative short and long-term outcomes, including significant morbidity and mortality particularly in low-resource settings. There appears to be a high prevalence of premature birth at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Kigali (CHUK) which is a referral hospital in Kigali, Rwanda. The prevalence of premature birth and the factors contributing to it are currently unknown. This study aims to determine the prevalence of premature birth and identify demographic factors which are associated with prematurity in the hope of identifying contributing factors which are potentially preventable.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Complete a chart review of babies in the NICU at CHUK and enter maternal and child demographic data into a spreadsheet;
  • Undertake a descriptive analysis of the demographic data to determine possible associations between demographic factors and premature births (possible);
  • Carry out key interviews with stakeholders in NICU (possible qualitative component);
  • Write up a manuscript for publication including a background literature review;
  • Ideally, present the findings at a conference;
  • Give consideration to a subsequent study that can be planned to address any potentially preventable conditions associated with premature birth.
Technical Skills
  • Strong French skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Basic quantitative research methods skills (preferable)
  • Qualitative research methods skills (optional)
Transferable Skills:
  • Good communication skills
  • Independent but knows when to ask for help
  • Responsible
  • motivated
Timeline:

Mid-June-August 2024, but flexible

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Lisine Tuyisenge, Medical Director CHUK

Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:

Dr Gillian Morantz completed her residency training in Pediatrics and a Fellowship in Social Pediatrics at McGill University in 2010. She undertook a Masters of Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and an Academic General Pediatric Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 2010-2012. She has been an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at McGill University since 2012. She currently works at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the Centre depédiatrie sociale de Côte des Neiges, the CLSC Côte des Neiges, and the Batshaw clinic for children in foster care. Her clinical and research work is focused primarily on children new to Canada and in child protection. She is the co-Director of the McGill Department of Pediatrics' Global Child Health Program which oversees medical education in global child health and research collaborations with partners in low-income countries. She is also the co-Director of the Social Pediatrics Program which provides exposure for trainees to the medical care of children living in socially vulnerable contexts.

 

Introducing a Trauma Registry and supporting the CGS Trauma and Disaster Team response Training Initiatives: Senegal - Jeremy Grushka, Department of Surgery, Division of General and Trauma Surgery; Department of Critical Care Medicine; Centre for Global Surgery

Location

University Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis, Senegal

Project Summary

Trauma is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, particularly in low-middle income countries (LMICs), where 90% of the world’s deaths occur. Despite this, little action has been taken, particularly in LMIC’s where the focus remains on the morbidity and mortality related to infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS.

In countries lacking trauma systems, individuals suffering from life-threatening yet treatable injuries have a six-fold higher risk of death compared to those in countries with organized and resourced trauma systems. Such evidence demonstrates the need for deployment of trauma systems that incorporate trauma registries. These registries have been identified as an essential instrument in decreasing death and disability rates caused by injuries. Ultimately, trauma registries provide a means of collecting and analyzing data, which have been repeatedly proven beneficial in several studies.

Against this backdrop, the Center for Global Surgery (CGS) has partnered with different entities to develop education programs and locally relevant and sustainable electronic registries to be implemented in LMICs.

This project involves collaborating with our partner in Senegal to: 1) Implement both components of the Trauma and Disaster Team Response course (TDTR) and develop an evaluative component; 2) Introduce a newly designed trauma registry - sponsored by the CGS - and potentially perform a pilot data analysis. The analysis can be used for the purposes of quality improvement, increasing awareness, and guiding policy and injury prevention and education programs in LMIC’s, particularly from Senegal.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Conduct literature reviews to inform project development.
  • Develop project proposals aimed at implementing trauma registries.
  • Attain proficiency in navigating the electronic trauma registry system.
  • Provide training and support in local implementation of the electronic registry system.
  • Monitor and manage input of data into the registry system.
  • Perform preliminary descriptive analysis of collected data to identify insights and trends.
Technical Skills
  • Basic research and statistics.
  • Knowledge of structured query language and spreadsheets.
  • Excellent skills to convey information in English and French (oral and in written).
  • Technical writing.
  • Critical Thinking.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Data management.
  • Collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Transferable Skills:
  • Complete tasks well and on time.
  • Team player and well organized.
  • Adaptable, self-motivated, self-starter.
  • Communicate clearly and confirm understanding.
Timeline:

May through August 2024

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Moustapha Diedhiou and/or Prof. Ibrahima Konate, and possibly Clinical Research Nurse (Johana Montero-Ortiz) and Theresa Farhat- PhD, Research Associate from CGS.

Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:

Dr. Grushka is a trauma surgeon working at Montreal General Hospital in Montreal, Canada. Dr. Jeremy Grushka is an attending trauma surgeon and surgical intensivist in the Division of Trauma and General Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). He is Assistant Professor of Surgery at McGill University. Jeremy completed his medical degree and general surgery residency training at McGill University and then obtained his subspecialty training in trauma surgery and critical care at the Ryder Trauma Center, Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. During his fellowship training, he also completed a Master of Public Health at the University of Miami. He also holds a Master of Science in Experimental Surgery from McGill University.

In addition to his passion for clinical practice, Jeremy has developed an avid interest in surgical education and is the current Trauma Fellowship Program Director at McGill University. He is also an active member of the MUHC center for global surgery and is currently working on various education and surgical capacity building projects with local partners in Haiti, Nepal and Ukraine. His clinical research interests focus on error producing conditions in trauma, non-opioid pain management in the injured patient, host inflammatory response to injury and surgical education.

Implementing the CGS Novel Trauma and Disaster Team Response Training: Nepal - Dan Deckelbaum, Department of Surgery, Division of General and Trauma Surgery; Department of Critical Care Medicine; Centre for Global Surgery

Location

Dhulikhel Hospital, Dhulikhel, Nepal

Project Summary

Trauma is a leading cause of preventable mortality and morbidity around the world. It often affects the productive component of a population, leading to adverse impact on social structures and broader economic hardships. Moreover, the burden of trauma is disproportionately felt in developing areas and the outcomes are worse in low and middle resource environments.

As a leading institution in the field of injury, the Centre for Global Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre (CGS-MUHC) has a social responsibility to work with healthcare leadership abroad to better understand the scope of trauma and identify targeted interventions to reduce its impacts. Trauma education and training are a main component of our programs through which we aim to support local healthcare leadership worldwide in developing trauma capacity and building functional trauma system both on a local and regional level.

Trauma and disaster preparedness are essential in emergency context to address and manage trauma appropriately and reduce long-term impact on healthcare system. The Trauma and Disaster Team Response© (TDTR©) course was designed by the CGS-MUHC to convey appropriate management of trauma including in disaster response contexts. The course includes a hybrid model with a combination of two components: one online -didactic lectures-, and one in-person -skills sessions, team exercises and simulations- while emphasizing on a multi-disciplinary approach in managing trauma patients.

The Center for Global Surgery (CGS) has partnered with different entities in which education programs have been implemented stemming from solid collaborations. This project involves collaborating with our partner in Nepal to implement both components of the TDTR© in their local settings and develop an evaluative mechanism.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Perform appropriate literature reviews.
  • Assist in the development of an evaluative component for the TDTR course.
  • Support in the delivery of the online component of the TDTR course.
  • Assist in the on-site delivery of hybrid course.
  • Draft a report with the results of the different components of the course.
Technical Skills
  • Basic research and statistics;
  • Excellent skills to convey information in English and French (oral and in written);
  • Critical thinking;
  • Problem solving;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Transferable Skills:
  • Complete tasks well and on time;
  • Team player and well organized;
  • Adaptable, self-motivated, self-starter;
  • Communicate clearly and confirm understanding.
Timeline:

May through August 2024

Onsite supervisor(s):

Samjhana Basnet, Emergency Physician and/or Sanu Krishna Shrestha, Emergency Physician at Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University, and possibly Clinical Research Nurse (Johana Montero-Ortiz) and Theresa Farhat, PhD, Research Associate from CGS.

Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:

Dr. Dan Deckelbaum is assistant professor at the Divisions of Trauma and General Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), associate member of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University, and honorary associate professor of the National University of Rwanda. He obtained his subspecialty training in trauma surgery and critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. During his fellowship, he also completed a Masters of Public Health at the University of Miami.

In addition to his passion for clinical practice, he has developed an avid interest in global surgical education and development, as well as disaster preparedness and response, establishing and codirecting the MUHC Centre for Global Surgery. His interest in global health is founded upon on-site clinical experience in government hospitals in East Africa as well as disaster response activities in Somalia, Kenya, Turks and Caicos, and Haiti. This clinical experience is the basis for ongoing capacity building programs in resource-limited settings across the globe. This includes education programs in resource-limited settings.

Northern Canada Projects

Walking wisely together towards an Indigenous youth services and research network in Canada - Srividya Iyer, Department Psychiatry

Location

Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario and Douglas Research Centre, Montreal

Project Summary

We are partnering with Indigenous youths, Elders, communities, leaders, service providers and organizations; and provincial integrated youth services (IYS) initiatives and researchers from across Canada as part of an Indigenous youth mental health and wellbeing research network. This work builds on the efforts of the ACCESS Open Minds Indigenous Council since 2014.

We recognize the ongoing effects of colonialism on Indigenous youth well-being, and the urgent need to promote health and wellness for Indigenous youth, particularly those facing additional disadvantages linked to gender, poverty, intersecting identities, remoteness, etc. Our network is identifying, developing, testing, and scaling wise practices and innovations such as land-based programming, roles for community workers or non-specialists, and adapted “Western” interventions aligned with “two-eyed seeing”. It is also asking novel questions about how Indigenous youths, service providers, and decision-makers view the acceptability and adoption of a learning health system.

Inclusive governance is central to our approach. Our team follows the principles of community-based participatory research, which values diverse forms of knowledge and lived experiences; and emphasizes respect and co-learning between researchers and community partners.

Our network’s larger goals are to identify culturally and contextually relevant outcomes, interventions, and measures; bring Indigenous ways of knowing to learning health systems and integrated youth services; and help improve services and the mental health and wellness of Indigenous youths.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Learn about youth mental health and well-being in Indigenous contexts;
  • Become familiar with literature focused on adaptations to standards for implementation of mental health services within Indigenous contexts;
  • Become familiar with qualitative research methods including interviews, focus groups, sharing circles, and arts-based approaches;
  • Learn to communicate with different types of stakeholders engaged in mental health services in Indigenous communities;
  • Learn about the Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP) principles and other precepts of the guidelines for Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples of Canada from the Tri-Council Policy Statement.
Technical Skills
  • Experience with literature review;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Experience with working with youth, Indigenous people, minoritized groups, or marginalized groups;
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
Transferable Skills:
  • Good written and verbal communication skills;
  • Collaborative;
  • Organized, can manage tasks with multiple moving parts;
  • Good time management;
  • Motivated.
Timeline:

Flexible

Onsite supervisor(s):

Prof. Chris Mushquash, Lakehead University, Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

Travel and Lodging Arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with the faculty supervisor’s advice and the faculty supervisor, or a member of their research team, will arrange the student’s accommodation.

More information:

Srividya N. Iyer, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is a licensed psychologist and a Researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) in Montreal. She is a member of McGill’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, its Global Mental Health Program, and its Indigenous Special Interest Group. Dr. Iyer is part of the steering committee for the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre. She leads ACCESS Open Minds, a pan-Canadian network of 250+ diverse stakeholders that is seeking to transform mental healthcare for urban, rural, Indigenous, post-secondary and homeless youths across Canada.

Dr. Iyer has been contributing to several other youth- and early intervention-focused services, research, and capacity-building efforts in Canada and globally. Dr. Iyer is committed to helping ensure equitable mental healthcare access and outcomes to underserved populations such as Indigenous youths, visible and linguistic minority youths, homeless youths, youths in low- and middle-income countries and looked-after youths. As a psychologist, Dr. Iyer gained assessment and treatment experience in India, the United States, and Canada. Her interests are in the design and delivery of mental health services and learning health systems; cognitive-behavioral therapy; mindfulness-based approaches; clinical supervision; and program leadership.

Montreal-Based Projects

Supporting the holistic care of underserved, equity-deserving populations through social prescribing - Alayne Adams, Department of Family Medicine

Location

Department of Family Medicine, McGill University, Montreal

Project Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of social determinants of health (SDOH) in driving inequities in health and healthcare. These differences have been particularly stark in older, racialized and immigrant populations, provoking a need to reimagine systems of primary health that recognize and address SDOH. Social prescribing is an approach that empowers individuals with nonmedical needs through connection with services in their community. In collaboration with health care and community-based partners in Montreal, our research team is assisting with the co-design, implementation, and evaluation of several models of social prescription. To date, formative research has included 8 outreach sessions, 3 deliberative dialogues and 21 interviews with primary care providers, community-based organizations, and service users. As a next phase, we will evaluate 3 modalities of social prescription via primary care. These include a light touch approach through telephone referral, a more supported approach using CLSC social workers, and full support model including accompaniment and regular follow-up.

Planned activities include the following: 1) Analysis of patient surveys assessing experiences with telephone, social worker, and primary care mediated social prescription pathways; 2) In-depth interviews with primary care providers (nurses, social workers and physicians) exploring referral experiences using the platform Clic Social; 3) In-depth interviews assessing the experience of community-based organizations receiving referrals and providing social services; 4) Co-design of a RCT that assesses the impact of three modalities of delivery in equity-seeking populations. As members of our social prescription team, students would support these objectives including in-depth interviews and analysis activities.

Project Objectives for the student:
  • Consolidate a theoretical and applied understanding of social determinants of health and social prescription approaches.
  • Develop skills in conceptualizing implementation research.
  • Conduct interviews on patient and primary care provider experience with different social prescribing modalities.
  • Learn the fundamentals of qualitative analysis.
  • Gain experience in working in an interdisciplinary team that includes community partners and practitioners
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing & communication skills
  • Organizational skills & experience
  • Some familiarity with qualitative and survey research methods.
  • French language skills are an asset.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong problem-solving skills, time-management skills and cross-cultural competency.
  • Applicants must be effective team players, self-directed learners, and pay attention to detail.
Timeline:

Flexible

More information:

Alayne M. Adams is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of its Population and Global Health Program. As an applied social scientist, her research spans a range of demand and supply side challenges that impede equitable access to primary healthcare in both local and global settings. Of particular interest are innovations in service delivery that engage community and the informal sector, and holistic primary care approaches that connect health and social services.

In this project, Adams is joined by Catherine Paquet of Laval University. Paquet is a socio-spatial chronic disease epidemiologist with an interest in the health benefits of integrating health and social services for socially vulnerable populations including older adults.

Co-developing a framework for defining and measuring climate anxiety and mental health among youth in climate change impacted LMICs - Alayne Adams, Department of Family Medicine

Location

School of Population & Global Health, 2001 McGill College Ave., McGill University, Montreal

Project Summary

The wellbeing and resilience of young people is an urgent policy concern, and even more so in the context of climate change. Concerns about climate anxiety are particularly prominent, especially in high-income countries. Comparatively little is known about climate anxiety among youth in low-and middle-income country (LMIC) settings exposed to climate change hazards and intersecting adverse social and economic conditions. For these youth, climate change anxiety may be conceptually different from the construct currently described in academic literature originating from the global north.

The interdisciplinary McGill initiative, ListenUP! for Youth Wellbeing, aims to strengthen effective, ethical, and diverse youth engagement in youth mental health research spanning conceptualization, priority setting, implementation, measurement and policy advocacy. Along with global partners, the focus of the initiative’s activities in 2024 is youth mental health and climate change in LMICs. We will conduct a scoping review to map conceptual and measurement issues related to climate change anxiety among youth in LMIC contexts heavily affected by climate change. In addition to contributing conceptual clarity, the review will identify resilience factors and how they might fit into local, regional, national, international programming. We will supplement with the review with participatory action research to identify key concerns of youth and resilience strategies through youth-led conversations within and across vulnerable settings. Using gender-based and intersectional analysis, will we bring these activities together to develop a Framework that contributes conceptual clarity to the measurement of youth climate anxiety that incorporates resilience and the needs of those who are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. The global health scholar will be involved in the literature review, and supporting youth-led conversations through our global partnerships.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Understand conceptual and measurement issues related to climate change anxiety among youth in LMIC contexts heavily affected by climate change.
  • Facilitate youth-led conversations about climate change impacts.
  • Learn the fundamentals of participatory research.
  • Apply scoping review and framework synthesis approaches.
  • Hone skills in interdisciplinary and team-based research.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing and communication skills.
  • Organizational skills and experience.
  • Some familiarity with literature reviews and research methods.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Effective team player
  • Self-directed learner
  • Time-management skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Cross-cultural competency
Timeline:

Flexible - mid-June through August

More information:

Alayne Adams is Associate Professor and Director of Population and Global Health in the Department of Family Medicine, McGill University. An applied social scientist, her research spans issues of health and healthcare inequities, their social and systems-related determinants, informal providers, and community-engaged, and youth-led approaches to increasing access to responsive, and integrated health and social services. She is an interdisciplinary thinker and linker who appreciates complexity and proximity to the ground realities of people and community. Fundamental to her research approach is stakeholder engagement and ownership, and a commitment to translating research to action. Her methodological expertise includes qualitative and mixed-methods study design and analysis, implementation research, and participatory research approaches.

Co-supervisor: Jura Augustinavicius is an Assistant Professor at the School of Population and Global Health at McGill University. Dr. Augustinavicius is also affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and serves as a Research Advisor and Lead on Climate Change at the MHPSS Collaborative hosted by Save the Children Denmark. Using applied psychiatric epidemiology and mixed-methods approaches for mental health research and practice, Dr. Augustinavicius’ research focuses on mental health assessment and intervention among populations living in humanitarian settings and settings heavily impacted by climate change.

Comparison of the prevalence of amblyopia in urban settings versus arctic settings in Quebec- Christian El-Hadad, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Location

McGill Academic Eye Centre, Montreal

Project Summary

Amblyopia, commonly known as "lazy eye," is a vision development disorder in which an eye fails to achieve normal visual acuity, even with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. The prevalence of amblyopia can vary across different regions and populations due to various factors, including access to healthcare, awareness, and screening programs. Remote areas, which may have limited access to healthcare facilities and eye care services, could potentially face challenges in early detection and management of amblyopia.

Understanding the prevalence of amblyopia helps in planning public health interventions and allocating resources appropriately. It allows health authorities to identify areas with higher incidence and target those regions for preventive measures and early detection programs.

Knowledge of amblyopia rates aids in designing and implementing preventive measures. Early detection and intervention are crucial in managing amblyopia effectively. By identifying populations at higher risk, healthcare providers can implement screening programs to catch the condition early and initiate timely treatment.

The objectives of this project are to determine the prevalence of amblyopia in the arctic settings in Quebec, and to compare the prevalence rates between urban and arctic settings in Quebec.

Project Objectives for student:
  1. Learn about determinants of health in Aboriginal populations:

  • Explore the impact of social factors such as income, education, employment, and housing on the health of the Aboriginal population.
  • Understand how historical and contemporary social injustices may contribute to health disparities.
  • Investigate the role of cultural factors, traditions, and community values in shaping health outcomes.
  • Examine the influence of environmental factors on health outcomes.
  • Analyze barriers to healthcare access, such as geographical remoteness, cultural competency of healthcare providers, and availability of services.
  1. Develop competency in data collection:

  • Learn to design research studies that are culturally sensitive and respectful of Aboriginal communities.
  • Develop skills in both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods relevant to Aboriginal health research.
  • Understand the ethical considerations specific to research involving Indigenous populations.
  • Learn to navigate issues related to informed consent, cultural protocols, and data ownership.
  1. Learn how to write a project proposal:

  • Clearly define the research problem and its significance, emphasizing the relevance to Aboriginal health.
  • Provide a concise literature review highlighting gaps in existing knowledge.
  • Clearly outline the research objectives and formulate hypotheses that address the identified gaps.
  • Align the objectives with the improvement of health outcomes in the Aboriginal population.
  • Describe the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques in detail.
  1. Learn how to submit a project proposal to the Ethics Committee:

  • Understand guidelines for research involving Indigenous populations.
  • Clearly outline the informed consent process, addressing language barriers and cultural nuances.
  • Describe measures to protect participant confidentiality and secure data, considering the potential sensitivity of information collected.
  1. Present the project at McGill Ophthalmology Research Day at the RI-MUHC in June 2025 (in addition to presenting at Global Health Night in November 2024).

  • Prepare a poster to show the results obtained with the project.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Use of Microsoft Excel;
  • Strong data management skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Motivation
  • Assiduity
  • Punctuality
Timeline:

Flexible

More information:

Christian El-Hadad is a McGill Graduate in ophthalmology, fellowship trained at MD Anderson, returned to join the faculty at McGill. Christian founded the ophthalmic tumor board at McGill where eye cancers are discussed and managed. In addition to Christian’s role as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon, Christian takes care of the delivery of ophthalmic care to the Quebec arctic region of Nunavik and serves as the course director for the undergraduate ophthalmology at McGill.

Fighting blindness with screening for diabetic retinopathy in Nunavik - Christian El-Hadad, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Location

McGill Academic Eye Centre, Montreal

Project Summary

Diabetic retinopathy (DR), a common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), is one of the leading causes of irreversible visual impairment in adults. Routine screening and timely treatment are key for successful management of DR to avoid visual loss.

Indigenous peoples are affected by type-2 diabetes 3 to 5 times higher than the general population. They are diagnosed with diabetes at a younger age, have greater severity of diagnosis, develop higher rates of complications and experience poorer treatment outcomes.

In the last two decades, rapid advancement of digital fundus photography has resulted not only in better picture quality but also increased portability of the devices, improving screening outcomes for diabetic patients that live in remote areas. Our goal is to provide screening for diabetic retinopathy for all patients with diabetes mellitus in the 14 villages of Nunavik.

All patients from Nunavik diagnosed with diabetes mellitus will be screened for diabetic retinopathy. All visits will happen in Nunavik. The following data will be obtained: best corrected visual acuity, previous cataract surgery, last measured HbA1c level. A mobile retina camera (Visuscout® 100 from Zeiss) will be used to obtain fundus pictures that will be analyzed for the presence or absence of diabetic retinopathy. When DR is present, it will be classified according to the International Clinical Disease Severity Scale for diabetic retinopathy and subsequent visits will be scheduled depending on the severity of the case.

Project Objectives for student:
  1. Learn about determinants of health in Aboriginal populations:

  • Explore the impact of social factors such as income, education, employment, and housing on the health of the Aboriginal population.
  • Understand how historical and contemporary social injustices may contribute to health disparities.
  • Investigate the role of cultural factors, traditions, and community values in shaping health outcomes.
  • Examine the influence of environmental factors on health outcomes.
  • Analyze barriers to healthcare access, such as geographical remoteness, cultural competency of healthcare providers, and availability of services.
  1. Develop competency in data collection:

  • Learn to design research studies that are culturally sensitive and respectful of Aboriginal communities.
  • Develop skills in both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods relevant to Aboriginal health research.
  • Understand the ethical considerations specific to research involving Indigenous populations.
  • Learn to navigate issues related to informed consent, cultural protocols, and data ownership.
  1. Learn how to write a project proposal:

  • Clearly define the research problem and its significance, emphasizing the relevance to Aboriginal health.
  • Provide a concise literature review highlighting gaps in existing knowledge.
  • Clearly outline the research objectives and formulate hypotheses that address the identified gaps.
  • Align the objectives with the improvement of health outcomes in the Aboriginal population.
  • Describe the research design, data collection methods, and data analysis techniques in detail.
  1. Learn how to submit a project proposal to the Ethics Committee:

  • Understand guidelines for research involving Indigenous populations.
  • Clearly outline the informed consent process, addressing language barriers and cultural nuances.
  • Describe measures to protect participant confidentiality and secure data, considering the potential sensitivity of information collected.
  1. Present the project at McGill Ophthalmology Research Day at the RI-MUHC in June 2025 (in addition to presenting at Global Health Night in November 2024).

  • Prepare a poster to show the results obtained with the project.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Use of Microsoft excel;
  • Strong data management skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Motivation
  • Assiduity
  • Punctuality
Timeline:

Flexible

More information:

Christian El-Hadad is a McGill Graduate in ophthalmology, fellowship trained at MD Anderson, returned to join the faculty at McGill. Christian founded the ophthalmic tumor board at McGill where eye cancers are discussed and managed. In addition to Christian’s role as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon, Christian takes care of the delivery of ophthalmic care to the Quebec arctic region of Nunavik and serves as the course director for the undergraduate ophthalmology at McGill.

Pathways2Equity: Arts-based and Indigenous youth-focused approaches to addressing masculinities in gender-based violence - Claudia Mitchell, Department of Integrated Studies in Education

Location

Suite 930, 9th Floor, 2001 McGill College Avenue, Montreal

Project Summary

Pathways2Equity is a 3-year project funded by Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) focusing on ways of engaging Indigenous boys and young men in addressing gender-based violence in 3 Indigenous sites, Rankin Inlet, Eskasoni and Treaty6 Saskatoon. The project builds on what we have termed a 'girl-informed' approach to mental health and well-being inspired by several years of arts-based engagement, working with girls and young women in the same 3 communities.

The focus for the 2024 internships will be on

  • (a) working with the extensive interview data with male leaders who have been working with the boys and young men; and
  • (b) designing knowledge mobilization strategies to reach other youth, communities and policy-makers. The project is located within TRC Call to Action 66 in relation to supporting Indigenous youth organizations.
Project Objectives for student:
  • Deepening an understanding of Indigenous masculinities in relation to mental health and wellbeing in youth advocacy work;
  • Learning how to approach qualitative interview data.
  • Collaborating with a team of researchers and Indigenous field-site leaders;
  • Deepening an understanding of arts-based methodologies
  • Learning about TRC Call to Action 66 and the political frameworks for supporting Indigenous youth in Canada.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience with qualitative research
  • Experience with Canva or Indesign software
Transferable Skills:
  • Ability to work as part of a team of RAs and researchers
  • Good communication skills
  • Self-aware in relation to personal strategies for decolonization
Timeline:

Early May to late July would be ideal but we can be flexible.

More information:

Claudia Mitchell is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Institute for Human Development and Well-being. The focus of my work is on gender, youth and social justice through the use of Participatory Arts-Based Methodologies. Claudia Mitchell is also the Editor-in Chief of Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Pathways2Equity comes of several previous projects involving Indigenous youth: Networks4Change and Well-being and More Than Words.

The Production of Global Health Knowledge - George Weisz, Social Studies of Medicine

Location

3647 Peel Ave., Montreal

Project Summary

Research has been a key aspect of global health work since the creation of the World Health Organization in 1948-49 and its role has become increasingly central as the field has developed and more and more academic institutions become active in the field. The goals have been to use research to improve health worldwide but also to increase capacity for research in low- and middle-income countries. In this project, we examine how overall goals were set at the international level and how they were implemented regionally and nationally. We are especially interested in efforts to utilize competing social sciences to help develop priorities, manage programs and evaluate them. Finally, we look at how research results have influenced global health training.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Examining the way health systems research is carried out in specific regions;
  • Examining the development of medical training in specific regions;
  • Examining the role of social science research in Global Health competition;
  • Examining relations among various disciplines in such research;
  • Examining relationship between global norms and local preferences;
  • Students will be required to produce 3 essays over the course of the summer on different aspects of their research.
Technical Skills
  • Experience with social science research methods;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • If possible, some experience with computer mapping programs.
Transferable Skills:
  • Completes tasks well and on time;
  • Motivated;
  • Can adapt to new research opportunities that emerge.
Timeline:

Flexible

More information:

George Weisz is the Cotton-Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at McGill University. He received a PhD in History from Stony Brook University and in Sociology from the University of Paris 5 (Descartes). His two most recent books are Chronic Disease in the  Twentieth Century: A History (2014) and Divide and Conquer: A Comparative History of Medical Specialization, 1830-1950 (2006). He has also written books about the creation of French universities during the Third Republic and the history of the Paris Academy of Medicine in the 19th century. He has edited five collective volume including The History and Sociology of Quantification in Medicine (2006) and Greater than the Parts: Holism in Biomedicine 1920-1950 (1998). He has written articles on mineral waters, national differences in gynecological practices, and efforts at international standardization notably through practice guidelines. He is currently working on institutions of global health, and international trends in medical education. Among his articles on Global Health are: (With Alberto Cambrosio and Jean-Philippe Cointet), “Mapping Global Health: A network analysis of a heterogeneous publication domain,” BioSocieties12(4), 2017: 520-542; (With Noemi Tousignant), “International Health Research and the Emergence of Global Health in the late 20th Century,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 93(3), 2019: 365-400; “What Happened to the Global Forum for Health Research,” Global Public Health, 15(8), 2020, 1212-1224; (With Beate Nannestad), “The World Health Organization and the Global Standardization of Medical Training, a History,” Globalization and Health (2021)17:96;; “Creating an applied, multi-disciplinary research field: The World Health Organization and Health Systems Research 1960-2000,” Social History of Medicine, 2022.

Assessing nutrition & sexual reproductive health knowledge of adolescent girls and boys in rural Bangladesh, Kenya, and Tanzania - Grace Marquis, McGill School of Human Nutrition

Location

Centre for Indigenous People's Nutrition and Environment (CINE) Building, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Macdonald Campus

Project Summary

Realizing Gender Equality, Attitudinal Change and Transformative Systems in Nutrition (REACTS-IN) is a 7-year development project funded by Global Affairs Canada and led by World Vision, for which McGill University and our local partners (Bangladesh [Brac University], Kenya [Connar Consultants], and Tanzania [Ifakara Health Institute]) are responsible for the project evaluation. The project will implement integrated, multisectoral, evidence-based interventions (e.g., enhancing health facility nutrition and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services; water, sanitation and hygiene in communities) to improve access to quality and gender-responsive health systems, improve the knowledge of all adolescents about nutrition and SRH, and the nutritional status and health of women, adolescent girls, and children. The project is interested in understanding the perspectives of both female and male rural residents. To assess adolescents’ knowledge about nutrition and SRH, McGill and partners evaluating REACTS-IN have included quantitative and qualitative data collection methods in the baseline (e.g., focus group discussions and interviews) that engage adolescent girls and boys aged 10-20.

The students’ project will include a review of published papers and reports, and analysis of adolescent knowledge REACTS-IN data. The quantitative and qualitative analysis plan will be informed by a review of reports and publications on adolescent knowledge of nutrition and SRH in East Africa and South Asia. This review and the analysis will encourage the exploration of new research questions to help the team understand the knowledge outcomes of adolescents. The information from the research is expected to contribute to improving the overall integrated REACTS-IN intervention in the three countries.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Become familiar with the REACTS-IN project implemented in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Tanzania.
  • Review and summarize the peer-reviewed and grey literature on the knowledge outcomes of the project.
  • Analyze knowledge questions using quantitative and/or qualitative data for boys and girls.
  • Develop a final report that integrates the literature review and analysis.
Technical Skills
  • Knowledge of health systems, sexual and reproductive health, and nutrition outcomes.
  • Experience with using software for quantitative (SPSS, STATA, SAS) and qualitative (MaxQDA) analysis.
  • Fluent in English.
  • Comfortable with reviewing the literature.
  • Good writing skills.
  • The student must complete the Canadian Tri-council online ethics training (no cost) before initiating research activities. Submission of the certificate is required.
Transferable Skills:
  • Good work ethic;
  • Comfortable working independently and with others;
  • Skilled writer
Timeline:

May-August 2024

More information:

Dr. Marquis’ research group focuses on understanding and addressing the determinants of maternal and child nutrition in poor rural communities in LMIC. Through cross-sector collaborations, they implement nutrition-sensitive interventions that (i) improve local government and private sector services, (ii) lead to a better understanding of nutrition and health issues among diverse stakeholders, (iii) increase agricultural and entrepreneur skills, (iv) augment economic resources, and (v) improve the quality of diets - all with the aim of enhancing health and nutritional status of women and their families.

More information on Dr. Marquis' research group.

EnGen: Enabling intergenerational connections to promote mental health and well-being, and co-develop climate change solutions – Jura Augustinavicius, Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy

Location

School of Population & Global Health, 2001 McGill College Ave., McGill University

Project Summary

The overarching goal of the EnGen study is to develop and pilot an intervention model in workshop format for incubating social innovation on climate change adaptation and mitigation, cultivating intergenerational connection, and promoting mental health and well-being. The intervention model will bring together intergenerational teams of youth and adults to work together to identify the impacts of climate change in their communities and to co-develop a local climate change adaptation and/or mitigation innovation with mentoring and support. The EnGen intervention model will be focused around three pillars of: 1) innovation on climate solutions; 2) intergenerational connection, and 3) mental health and well-being promotion. Our model draws on literature suggesting that intergenerational programs can be mutually beneficial across age groups, particularly when they focus on political or social issues relevant to all generations. In this project we will develop and pilot test the EnGen intervention model in Montréal and Yellowknife in partnership with local organizations and universities in each site. The workshop models in each site will be developed and implemented drawing on contextualized data from the two sites, local and international knowledge and expertise on the project focus areas, and in accordance with inter-disciplinary best practices for research.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Conduct and/or support with in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and/or expert consultations;
  • Conduct and/or support with analysis of qualitative data;
  • Conduct and/or support with analysis and dissemination of a literature review;
  • Participate in research team meetings and meetings with community-based partners;
  • Develop materials for co-creation workshops using Human Centered Design methods.
Technical Skills
  • Strong organizational skills and experience;
  • Strong oral communication skills;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Some familiarity with research methods.
Transferable Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Strong problem-solving skills;
  • Effective team player;
  • Self-directed learner;
  • Time-management skills;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Cross-cultural competency.
Timeline:

Mid-June through August or flexible if timing aligns with project activities outside of this window

More information:

Building Towards a Digital Tool to Support Consumer Food Choice, Improve Health Outcomes, and Guide Global Health Policy - Laurette Dubé, McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

Location

680 Sherbrooke St W., Montreal

Project Summary

The quality of diet in the world keeps worsening, largely due to the increase in consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages, and their increased abundance. High consumption of such products, which are typically energy dense with high fat, sugar and sodium content, has been associated with the development of dyslipidemia, increased risk for insulin resistance, and obesity, among other non-communicable diseases. Moreover, poor diet quality is related to a significant health and economic burden, especially pervasive in developing countries.

This project aims to build towards a globally scalable digital tool that enables actual real-world monitoring and assessment of particular nutrients in the food supply over time (e.g., sodium, sugar or trans-fat), understand the overall nutritional quality of foods available to consumers, and explore food label characteristics that drive consumer choice (e.g., nutrition claims, marketing to children, food price, etc.). Findings of this project will provide valuable guidance to nutrition policy making, implementation and evaluation, in order to help consumers, eat healthy and improve health outcomes, all over the world.

This project is made possible thanks to a large dataset of food retail loyalty data owned by McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics, representing a 3-year record of all retail food purchases data from around 300,000 frequent shoppers (who shopped at least once per month) and loyalty program members of leading supermarket chains, aggregated with one of the largest datasets on food nutritional information, including Food Label Information Program (FLIP, UofT), Nielsen, Mintel, and others.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Exposure to new methods of problem-solving for complex global health issues through convergent innovation.
  • Gain an understanding of how commercial retail data can be re-purposed for the study of human behavior, health, and the impact of public health interventions.
  • Become more comfortable working with data pipelines from end-to-end: acquisition to visualization and dashboarding.
  • Collaborate with diverse global actors from universities, companies, government, and civil society working together on action-oriented research.
  • Learn fundamentals of the research process including literature review, hypothesis formation, data analysis, interpretation, and academic writing.
Technical Skills
  • Some background knowledge in statistical methods, simulations and/or programming.
  • Experience working with different types of data e.g. geo-referenced, public, cohort, or health data (not all).
  • Familiarity with experimental design for descriptive and causal inference.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong verbal and written communication;
  • Experience working with remote teams;
  • Self-, project-, and time-management skills;
  • Attention to detail.
Timeline:

flexible

More information:

Laurette Dubé is Full Professor and holds the James McGill Chair of consumer and lifestyle psychology and marketing at the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University. Dr. Dubé’s lifetime research interest bears on the study of affects, behavioral economics, and neurobehavioral processes underlying consumption, lifestyle, and health behavior. Her translational research examines how such knowledge can inspire more effective behavioral change and ecosystem transformation.

Dr. Dubé is also the founding chair and scientific director of the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), a unique initiative to push the boundaries of disciplinary and complexity sciences to help individuals, communities, businesses, social enterprises, and governments to tackle, better than has been possible thus far, the most pressing societal and economic problems facing the world that lies at the nexus between agriculture, health and wealth production, consumption and distribution. With a strong focus on harnessing the power of business as a catalyst for real-world change, the MCCHE operates through collaboration of private sector organizations with NGO/social enterprises, policy makers and academics at community, state, national and global levels to elaborate whole-of-Society solutions that promote convergence through local and systemic changes. Behavioral economics, decision neuroscience, spatial-temporal statistics, and computational systems science models are at the core of real time learning enabled by this transdisciplinary research action approach.

Political determinants of South Asian occupational health in Canada: A policy analysis of “essential work” during the COVID-19 Pandemic - Matthew Hunt, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Location

Rabinovitch House, McGill Main Campus, Montreal

Project Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic magnified health inequities in Canada. Higher rates of COVID-19 incidence and mortality among South Asian compared to white people drew attention to racialized differences in social determinants of health, such as working environments and conditions. Inequities in COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates were due in part to the disproportionate number of South Asian people in work deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as work in manufacturing, transportation, health care, and retail sectors. Analyses of working environments and conditions have focused on domestic (i.e., national and provincial) policies such as paid sick leave; however, relatively less attention has been given to upstream policies that contribute to generating and sustaining categories of essential and non essential work affecting South Asian people’s health. An understanding of these policies is necessary for identifying potential opportunities for these policies to contribute to improved health and health equity for South Asian communities in Canada.

The aim of this research is to identify policies, such as Canadian immigration and Canadian-South Asian bilateral policies, that structure the category of essential work and to analyze the implications of these policies on South Asian occupational health and health equity.

Project Objectives for student:
  • To learn about COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates and inequities impacting South Asian
  • people in Canada;
  • To learn about working environments and conditions as a social determinant of health;
  • To identify and analyze how policies shaped categories of essential and non-essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic using policy analysis methods;
  • To draw out the effects of these policies on South Asian people’s health in Canada using policy analysis methods;
  • To produce a 5- to 10-page written policy analysis report.
Technical Skills
  • Searching government and grey literature sources for laws, regulations, policies, etc.;
  • Research data management and organization, including using reference management software (e.g. EndNote, Zotero, etc.) and extracting and organizing evidence from different sources (e.g., creating tables);
  • Strong writing skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Time management
Timeline:

May 1 to August 31, 2024, with flexibility for the distribution of hours during this period.

More information:

Dr. Matthew Hunt is a Professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy (SPOT) at McGill University. Dr. Hunt’s research expertise is in humanitarian and rehabilitation ethics. More information about Dr. Hunt.

Dr. Hunt will co-supervise this project with Dr. Manisha Pahwa, a Postdoctoral Fellow at SPOT who conducts research on bioethics and health equity for culturally diverse communities in Canada and similar countries globally.

Analyzing the Interplay Between Financial Security and Health Trajectories of Canadian Immigrant Population- Yu Ma, McGill Desautels Faculty of Management

Location

McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), 680 Sherbrooke, St W., 8th floor, Montreal

Project Summary

Immigration to Canada has steadily increased in recent years, with immigrants accounting for almost 100% of Canadian labour force growth. However, data collected by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has demonstrated that this growing subpopulation tends to report lower levels of financial knowledge and higher levels of financial anxiety than Canadian-born individuals.

To this end, this project focuses on ensuring newcomers to Canada have financial products and services that are tailored to their needs, vulnerabilities, and resource constraints. Firstly, a literature review will be conducted to establish a foundation for the research; immigrants’ access (or lack thereof) to financial services will be analyzed using academic papers, new articles, and examination of public resources provided by the government of Canada. Secondly, a quantitative analysis will be used to identify trends in the use of financial services by immigrants in Canada; data provided from the FCAC related to financial consumer wellbeing will be used. Thirdly, combining findings from both the literature review and the quantitative analysis, an actionable solution will be proposed in the final paper in order to achieve the target outcome laid out in the National Financial Literacy Strategy: Build and Provide for Diverse Needs.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Identify the barriers that immigrants and newcomers to Canada face in using financial services
  • Propose an evidence-based, actionable solution that encourages stakeholders to use tailored approaches to better serve the financial needs of diverse audiences (specifically immigrants).
Technical Skills
  • Applicants should have strong quantitative and data synthesis skills and experience using standard software (e.g. Excel);
  • Some background knowledge in coding and statistical methods preferred (e.g. SQL, R, Python);
  • Experience working in global or diverse contexts;
  • Background knowledge of writing academic papers.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong verbal and written communication;
  • Experience working with in-person & remote teams;
  • Self-, project-, and time-management skills;
  • Attention to detail.
Timeline:

May through August 2024

More information:

Dr. Yu Ma is Associate Professor of Marketing at McGill University. He obtained his PhD in management from Olin School of Business, Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining McGill, he was Associate Professor at University of Alberta. His research interest includes food marketing, retailing and big data analytics. Using consumer purchase data and advanced econometric and statistical models, he studies how consumers react to various marketing incentives. He also examines broader marketing issues such as the influence of macro environment on the retail sector and the impact of food marketing on population health. He has published in top management journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Science, and Journal of Retailing, as well as top public health journals.

The McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE) is a unique initiative to push the boundaries of disciplinary and complexity sciences to help individuals, communities, businesses, social enterprises, and governments to tackle, better than has been possible thus far, the most pressing societal and economic problems facing the world that lies at the nexus between agriculture, health and wealth production, consumption and distribution. With a strong focus on harnessing the power of business as a catalyst for real-world change, the MCCHE operates through collaboration of private sector organizations with NGO/social enterprises, policy makers and academics at community, state, national and global levels to elaborate whole-of-Society solutions that promote convergence through local and systemic changes. Behavioral economics, decision neuroscience, spatial-temporal statistics, and computational systems science models are at the core of real time learning enabled by this transdisciplinary research action approach.

Disparities in palliative care and psycho-oncology access and outcomes: A literature review to guide a research agenda on equity - Melissa Henry, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology

Location

Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal

Project Summary

Social determinants of health are a global concern in medicine. They refer to “non-medical factors that influence health outcomes”, with an impact on health inequities (i.e., “the unfair and avoidable differences in health status seen within and between countries”) (WHO, 2008). Certain populations experience larger cancer health disparities, such as individuals belonging to certain ancestry, race, or ethnicity, individuals of low socio-economic status, residents in certain geographical locations such as rural areas or territories, members of the sexual and gender minority communities, certain immigrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, individuals with disabilities, adolescents and young adults, and the elderly (AACR, 2022). The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples are additionally underserved in Canada, as are people suffering from a mental health condition. All of these populations experience increased barriers to care, with domino effects on health indicators such as psychological distress, quality of life (QoL), physical function, physical symptom burden, and even survival. Better understanding the impact of social determinants of health on access to palliative care, psycho-oncology, and outcomes in Canada is key to guide a research agenda on equity in palliative care. As a first step, we aim to conduct a literature review using PRISMA guidelines.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Conduct a literature review using PRISMA guidelines towards better understanding gaps in palliative care and psycho-oncology, and how these contribute to outcomes in people with advance disease.
  • Write an article on the review that will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and present the study results locally and nationally.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing skills required.
Transferable Skills:
  • Organized;
  • Autonomous;
  • Motivated;
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
Timeline:

Mid-June through August. A flexible schedule can be considered.

More information:

Dr. Henry is an Associate Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology at McGill University. She is a FRQS Senior Clinician-Scientist at the Lady-Davis Institute for Medical Research. Her research program aims to better conceptualize early determinants of symptom burden in oncology, leading to the development and testing of interventions to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Her work combines translational research with a major focus on advanced cancer and head and neck oncology, including investigating the intersection between physical symptom burden, quality of life, mental health, genetics, immunology, and the microbiome. She developed the FACT/MBIS McGill Body Image Concern Scale – Head and Neck, part of the internationally known FACT Measurement System. She was Co-Director of Axis 1 on optimizing quality of life and is currently the Director of the Equity and Access Axis of the FRQSfunded Quebec Research Group in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (RQSPAL), a group comprising of over 250 researchers, students, and staff across the province of Quebec, Canada. Dr. Henry has received funding from the Canadian Institute for Health Research, the Quebec Health Research Fund (FRSQ), Genzyme and Roche, and CRDF Global/NCI. She is a board director of the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) and has received the IPOS Noemi Fisman Award for Lifetime Clinical Excellence. She has served as a member of the Development Group for Cancer, World Health Organization (WHO) Rehabilitation Program on the development of the Package of Intervention for Rehabilitation (PIR) and is contributing to the Global Breast Cancer Initiative Technical Brief on Patient Navigation. Her international work with IPOS in official relations with WHO involves building capacity for psycho-oncology research, education, and clinical care in low & middle-income countries.

Understanding the gendered impact of COVID-19 on young Self-employed Nigerian women - Srividya Iyer, Department of Psychiatry

Location

Douglas Research Centre, Montreal

Project Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, especially in low-and middle-income countries. This impact has further magnified health inequities globally. In collaboration with our partners in Nigeria, we are conducting a large-scale global health project to understand the gendered impact of COVID-19 on young self-employed Nigerian women, and co-produce solutions that will foster better systems and wellbeing. Specifically, the project has three aims:

  1. To conduct a gendered situational analysis of how the COVID-19 pandemic and significant life events (childbirth, family/health emergencies, etc.) affect the paid and unpaid work, and mental, physical, and social wellbeing of self-employed young women in Nigeria;
  2. To examine the strategies these young women use for coping with such events;
  3. To co-produce and pilot a nationally scalable intervention to support self-employed young women in Nigeria to cope better with disruptions to their work and well-being.

This project is funded under the Women Rise Initiative of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It will roll out between 2022-2024 and use a variety of methods, including knowledge synthesis, digital storytelling, Theory of Change-driven co-design workshop, interviews and tools to assess the co-produced intervention. Throughout, self-employed young women in Nigeria, Ministry and community partners will work closely with researchers at the University of Ibadan and McGill University to ensure reach, relevance and results.

The Global Health Scholar working on this project will participate in knowledge synthesis to curate literature on the intersection between gender, paid and unpaid work, and well-being.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Become familiar with knowledge synthesis methods (narrative review, scoping review, review of grey literature);
  • Learn to develop knowledge translation outputs for uptake by different stakeholders (press briefs, pamphlets, informative articles, social media outreach);
  • Become familiar with co-design approaches to conducting global mental health research by working closely with partners in Nigeria;
  • Become familiar with qualitative research methods including interviews, focus groups, and arts-based approaches;
  • Learn about the intersection between work and young people's mental health and well-being in varied contexts.
Technical Skills
  • Experience with literature review;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Experience with working with youth;
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint);
  • Experience working in global or diverse contexts.
Transferable Skills:
  • Good written and verbal communication skills;
  • Collaborative;
  • Organized, can manage tasks with multiple moving parts;
  • Good time management;
  • Motivated.
Timeline:

Flexible. Anytime between May-August 2024.

More information:

Srividya N. Iyer, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is a licensed psychologist and a Researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and the Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Psychosis (PEPP) in Montreal. She is a member of McGill’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, its Global Mental Health Program, and its Indigenous Special Interest Group. Dr. Iyer is part of the steering committee for the Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre. She leads ACCESS Open Minds, a pan-Canadian network of 250+ diverse stakeholders that is seeking to transform mental healthcare for urban, rural, Indigenous, post-secondary and homeless youths across Canada.

Dr. Iyer has been contributing to several other youth- and early intervention-focused services, research, and capacity-building efforts in Canada and globally. Dr. Iyer is committed to helping ensure equitable mental healthcare access and outcomes to underserved populations such as Indigenous youths, visible and linguistic minority youths, homeless youths, youths in low- and middle-income countries and looked-after youths. As a psychologist, Dr. Iyer gained assessment and treatment experience in India, the United States, and Canada. Her interests are in the design and delivery of mental health services and learning health systems; cognitive-behavioral therapy; mindfulness-based approaches; clinical supervision; and program leadership.

Prevalence and correlates of mental health problems in young (birth-5 years) Ghanaian children - Marilyn Ahun, Department of Medicine

Location

School of Population & Global Health, 2001 McGill College Ave., McGill University

Project Summary

Most mental health problems have their onset in early childhood, which is a sensitive period for brain development. Evidence suggests that these early years of life have sensitive windows where exposure to risk or protective factors can produce long-term influences on health outcomes. Approximately one in five school-aged children in Ghana experience depression and anxiety; however, there is no available data on the prevalence of mental health problems in young children. Specifically, there is little scientific data on the burden of mental health problems in young (≤5 years) Ghanaian children and their associated psychosocial risk and protective factors. This study will consist of a quantitative household survey. Participants will be 750 adult mother-father pairs of a child between the ages of 6 and 60 months who live together in the same household with the child. Mothers and fathers will be asked questions about household characteristics, their sociodemographic information, their parenting practices and mental health, as well as their child’s mental health. This descriptive study will shed light on the burden of children’s mental health in Ghana and identify key psychosocial factors that are associated with it. These data can then be used to inform future studies and research on how to alleviate the burden of mental health problems in young Ghanaian children.

Project Objectives for student:

Conduct a literature review of research conducted in Africa on the prevalence of young children’s mental health problems and the developmental status of young children, with a specific focus on the family-level factors that influence them:

  • Conduct bibliographic search of electronic databases.
  • Extract and summarize relevant information from identified articles.
  • Prepare a 5-page literature review of identified articles.
  • Prepare a short presentation of literature review.
  • Orally present their work virtually to the Ghana-based team.


The student will meet regularly with and be directly supervised by Dr. Ahun and will also meet with the Ghana-based team.

Technical Skills
  • Knowledge of early child development would be desirable.
  • Prior experience searching electronic databases.
  • Comfortable reviewing published literature.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Good presentation skills.
  • Fluent in English.
Transferable Skills:
  • Motivated
  • Well-organized and reliable
  • Great communication skills.
  • Takes initiative.
Timeline:

May-August 2024, specific timeline is flexible.

More information:

Bio: Dr. Marilyn N. Ahun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. After completing her BA Hons in Psychology at McGill, she obtained a PhD in Public Health from the Université de Montréal and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Ahun’s research examines the mechanisms through which parental mental health and parenting behaviours influence child development and mental health in global contexts. Her research has been supported by various awards and grants including a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, a CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship, and a Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award.

Publications:

From ‘Understanding’ to ‘Predicting’ Exacerbations: The COPD Remote Patient Monitoring Platform (Informed Investment in Health Innovation Scholars) - Bryan Ross, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine

Location

Centre for Outcome Research & Evaluation (CORE) - 5252 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West

Project Summary

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease which carries a heavy burden both for patients and health systems. COPD is now the third-leading cause of death. ‘Lung attacks’, called exacerbations, are a top cause of hospital admissions amongst all adult chronic illnesses. The ability to monitor patients with COPD and keep them well-managed and out of hospital is critically important both during and outside of pandemic situations. With recent advances in technology, ‘wearable’ biosensor devices can now be worn comfortably by outpatients with COPD and collect vital sign, activity, and sleep information near-continuously. Moreover, the newest COPD guidelines recommend using cut-offs in vital signs such as respiratory rate, heart rate and oxygen saturation to define and classify exacerbations.

Building off our research demonstrating the collection of near-continuous (multi-week) high quality vital sign data remotely using ‘wearables’, the present COPD study involves the inclusion of ‘high-risk’ patients for frequent exacerbations who are provided with wearable devices capable of biometric vital sign, activity and sleep monitoring, and a remote handheld device for daily lung function monitoring. Data leading up to each exacerbation event will be used to develop a powerful ‘pandemic-proof’ COPD remote monitoring platform.

The focus of the summer student’s involvement will be to conduct an evaluation on the economic potential (healthcare system cost/savings) from the implementation of this clinical platform, comparing the costs of platform launch/maintenance with cost savings associated with prevented emergency department/Day Hospital visits and hospitalizations.

This opportunity is part of the Informed Investment in Health Innovation (IIHI) Scholars – Undergraduate Program, which provides opportunities for McGill undergraduate students to learn about and gain experience in cost assessment, economic evaluation, and/or modeling through research projects.

Project Objectives for student:
  • To develop a general appreciation for the economic and resource burden of COPD and of Exacerbations of COPD (ECOPDs) on the Canadian healthcare system.
  • Determine the average length and resources involved in an average Day Hospital admission and of an average ward admission for ECOPDs.
  • Develop an informed estimate of the per-unit economic cost of a single unscheduled Day Hospital visit, of a single Emergency Department visit, of an average ECOPD Day Hospital admission, and of an average ECOPD ward admission at the MUHC.
Technical Skills
  • A cursory background in economic analysis, including any previous experience (through prior research or even in coursework) in, for example, the economic analysis of healthcare interventions.
  • Any additional experience/proficiency economic analysis modeling (at the discretion of the expert economic co-investigator)
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong communication and organizational skills.
  • Any previous experience in reading the literature, appraising scientific articles, and in research/scientific writing.
  • Strong initiative, autonomy insofar as is appropriate to the level of training, with the self-awareness to seek help/support when required.
  • Willingness to learn in general about COPD, ECOPDs, etc. including opportunities to shadow PI in COPD clinic and to receive didactic teaching to complement the economic focus of the summer studentship.
Timeline:

flexible

More information:

Cost effectiveness of a McGill University Health Centre Multi-disciplinary Cardiometabolic Clinic: The DECIDE-CV Program (Informed Investment in Health Innovation Scholars) - Abhinav Sharma, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology

Location

Centre for Outcome Research & Evaluation (CORE) - 5252 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West. May require some travel to McGill main campus to meet with paired Co-Investigator.

Project Summary

The DECIDE-CV clinic is a joint cardiometabolic clinic at McGill University Health Center (MUHC). Goals and function of this clinic have been presented elsewhere. Briefly, patients with type 2 diabetes and either established cardiovascular or advanced chronic kidney disease, defined as an estimated GFR < 45 ml/min/1.73m2, are referred to the clinic. They are initially seen by a research nurse who will perform a succinct clinical assessment, order routine laboratory tests, and enter their demographics and clinical data to a pre-specified electronic form. Patients are then evaluated by a multidisciplinary team, including a cardiologist, a nephrologist, and an endocrinologist during the same clinical visit. They are subsequently followed for a short time period (2-3 clinical visits) and then discharged to their primary care providers or referring specialists once their treatment has been optimized from a multidisciplinary perspective. A cardiorenal research fellow is coordinating all clinical activities. The clinic also serves as a platform for patient recruitment into various clinical trials in cardiorenal medicine and T2D. Our clinic has demonstrated the ability to rapidly optimize guideline directed medical therapy. We now aim to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of this clinic model in the context of the Quebec Health Care system.

This opportunity is part of the Informed Investment in Health Innovation (IIHI) Scholars – Undergraduate Program, which provides opportunities for McGill undergraduate students to learn about and gain experience in cost assessment, economic evaluation, and/or modeling through research projects.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Develop a comprehensive cost model:
    • Construct a detailed cost model that includes all direct and indirect costs associated with the project. This model will serve as the foundation for the cost-effectiveness analysis.
  • Collect and analyze relevant data:
    • Aim to gather data on costs and outcomes from existing literature, databases, and possibly through primary data collection. This will involve statistical analysis to determine average costs and variations. Time pending, the student will employ standard cost effectiveness analysis methods such as cost-utility analysis, cost-benefit analysis, or cost effectiveness ratios to evaluate the economic value of the project outcomes.
Technical Skills

The following list is not obligatory but reflects some of the skills that should be possessed by the student.

  • Data Analysis: Proficiency in statistical software (e.g., R, SPSS, Stata) for conducting complex data analyses, including regression models, cost-effectiveness analysis, and sensitivity analyses.
  • Spreadsheet Proficiency: Advanced proficiency in Excel, including the use of formulas, pivot tables, and data visualization tools for financial modeling and analysis.
  • Health Economics Knowledge: Familiarity with health economics concepts, including quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs), and willingness-to-pay thresholds.
Transferable Skills:
  • Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving: The ability to approach complex problems systematically, analyze data critically, and develop logical, actionable solutions.
  • Time Management: Proficiency in organizing tasks, setting priorities, and managing time effectively to meet deadlines while maintaining high-quality work.
  • Written and Verbal Communication: Strong skills in articulating ideas and findings clearly and persuasively in written reports and oral presentations, tailored to diverse audiences.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: The capacity to adjust to new challenges, changes in project scope, and evolving methodologies, while maintaining productivity and a positive attitude.
  • Collaboration and Teamwork: Experience in working effectively within diverse groups, contributing to team goals, and managing interpersonal dynamics with diplomacy and empathy.
Timeline:

flexible

More information:

Dr. Abhinav Sharma is a cardiologist, assistant professor, and clinician-scientist in the division of cardiology at McGill University. He completed his medical school and internal medicine from McMaster University and his cardiology fellowship from the University of Alberta. He completed his PhD in epidemiology with a thesis focusing on the intersection of diabetes (T2DM) and heart failure (HF). He conducted a research fellowship at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (2015-2017). After his Advanced HF and cardiac transplant fellowship (Stanford University; 2017-2018), he was a visiting scholar at Stanford focusing on digital technologies in patients with HF. He is a Junior 2 Fonds du Recherche Santé Quebec chercheurs-cliniciens scholar and World Heart Federation Emerging leader. He is the founder and co-director of the DECIDE-CV Cardiometabolic Clinic at the McGill University Health Centre. Furthermore, he is the heart failure fellowship program director for the McGill University Health Centre. His research work has enabled him to be a part of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) Heart Failure Guideline committee and the CCS Cardio-Renal Guideline Committee for 2022. His research lab at McGill University (DREAM-CV) focuses on identifying leveraging novel models of care to accelerate the use and identification of therapies in patients with type 2 diabetes and heart failure.

Calculating the costs of perinatal mental health disorders in Canada: An Untapped Resource (Informed Investment in Health Innovation Scholars) - Tina Montreuil, Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology

Location

Centre for Outcome Research & Evaluation (CORE) - 5252 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West

Project Summary

Perinatal mental health disorders (PMHDs) are the most common complication of childbirth, affecting up to 25% of mothers and 10% of partners, with even higher rates found in equity deserving populations. PMHDs have immediate economic impacts through lost productivity and increased utilization of health services. They are also associated with long-term social and economic costs by increasing the risk for altered fetal neurodevelopment, preterm birth, and adverse child/adolescent mental health outcomes. Increased government resources are needed to ensure prevention and/or early detection and treatment of PMHDs, however efforts to lobby for increased resources have suffered from inadequate data demonstrating the cost/benefit ratio of investing in perinatal mental health prevention and care.

Our project aims to develop a Canadian Economic Impact Calculator for Perinatal Mental Health. This tool, a Canadian first, will allow us to have reliable cost estimates for untreated PMHDs both nationally and provincially. This economic analysis is needed to improve the use of current resources and to direct new money to unmet needs and under-served populations. Importantly, this calculator will allow stakeholder to have a common language and metric when evaluating and promoting effective strategies for supporting perinatal families.

This opportunity is part of the Informed Investment in Health Innovation (IIHI) Scholars – Undergraduate Program, which provides opportunities for McGill undergraduate students to learn about and gain experience in cost assessment, economic evaluation, and/or modeling through research projects.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Conduct a systematic review with the support of a Montreuil Senior Doctoral student support who has much experience working with the McGill Health Science Librarian in conducting such literature search and analyses. The results of this systematic review will be used to update an ongoing perinatal health and health indices statistics, with priority given to recent, peer-reviewed studies from Canada. The results will also be used by the NPI and collaborators to produce estimates of the overall costs of maternal perinatal mental health problems and the distribution of these costs between different groups and sectors.
  • Support the NPI and collaborating team in drafting mainly the "background" section as well as sections of the "methods" and "results" sections of an academic publication on the tool's findings.
  • With the support of the NPI, liaise and collaborate with members of the team from diverse academic disciplines/areas of expertise to carry out the project's objectives and deliverables.
Technical Skills
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Fundamental understanding of the following concepts: Quality Adjust Life Year (QALY); Health utility/disutility;
  • Strong critical thinking/analytical skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Demonstrates good communication skills;
  • Dependable;
  • Organized
  • Strong time-management skills;
  • Collaborative team worker;
  • Motivated.
Timeline:

Flexible but with a preference for June-July.

More information:

Dr. Tina C. Montreuil is an associate professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and an associate member of the Pediatrics and Psychiatry departments at McGill University. She holds a scientist appointment at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and is a research scientist at the Research Centre of the Sainte-Justine Hospital. Dr. Montreuil is also the director of Childhood Anxiety and Regulation of Emotions Laboratory C.A.R.E. Research Group and co-PI of the Montreal Antenatal Well-Being Study (MAWS), a prospective longitudinal birth cohort study. She is a recent awardee of the regarded Clinician Scientist Program – Empowering Next-Gen Researchers in Perinatal and Child Health (ENRICH) and a FRQ-S Research Scholar Jr. 1, equivalent to a provincial research chair. Montreuil’s research focuses on investigating predictors of intergenerational transmission of mental health and illness. Notably, her research has demonstrated that parent emotion regulation is mediated by parental emotion regulation socializing behaviours (supportive vs. punitive parenting practices) to predict child emotion regulation and future psychopathology. She holds several external tri-council agency funding (CIHR, SSHRC, NSERC, FRQS, FRQSC, FRQNT) as well as foundation grants (Health Canada, SACME, etc.). In terms of knowledge dissemination, Dr. Montreuil has published in several medical and education journals, co-authoring more than 150 scholarly articles, abstracts, presentations, and chapters.

Montreuil’s current work focuses on developing resilience and well-being in expectant parents through a perinatal intervention, Parents & Babies, which she has developed with a team of Canadian researchers at the CHU Sainte-Justine. Her cohort study, the Montreal Antenatal Well-Being Study is also piloting the use of a clinical guideline to support the screening and referral for mental health issues for midwifery clients.

As a licensed member of the Quebec Order of Psychologists and a credentialed member of the Canadian Association of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapies, she has held a private practice with children and family, focusing on cognitive-behavioural and mindfulness approaches. In 2013, Dr. Montreuil was awarded the title of "Champion" in Mental Health in the "Research" category from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and was more recently included in The Top 150 Leading Canadians for Mental Health by CAMH Difference Makers.

How to apply

In addition to completing the application form, you must prepare and upload a single PDF file that includes all of the following:

  • Essay (guidelines below)
  • CV
  • Copy of unofficial transcript - include the current term, even if grades are not available.

Essay Guidelines

  • Maximum of 3 pages, 11-point font, single-spaced. This maximum is the same whether you choose one or two projects.
  • Your essay should address all of the following (4) questions:
    1. Students may select up to two projects to apply to for this program. Please explain your interest in the project(s) you wish to apply for.
    2. How do your experiences and interests make you a good fit for the project(s) you selected?
    3. How will working on this project help you advance your academic and career goals?
    4. The research and educational components of our program require students to attend several events, course(s), and seminars during the academic year, as outlined in the "Program Expectations for Scholars" and "Additional Training Opportunities" sections of the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program main page. Given the time commitment, are you in a position to complete the program from start to finish?

Evaluation Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Suitability for the project: The applicant meets the requirements specified by the faculty member in the call for applications and makes the case for their suitability to work on the chosen project.
  2. Capacity for excellence: The applicant demonstrates the capacity for excellence based on their academic track record, leadership in the domain, and skills required for their choice of project.
  3. Suitability for the program: The student's overall interest in the entire program (including training sessions) and perceived commitment to the year-long program.

The Faculty member in charge of each project will make the final selection. Profs may interview a few applicants to help them make their decision.

Application form

Applications should be submitted using the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program application form (the link opens a new window). The form will remain open until Februrary 11, 2024.

2024 Global Health Scholars are supported by:

  • The Knightsgrange Foundation. The Foundation supports all aspects of the program including mentorship by academic staff, summer placement on international global health projects, training events, and other unique opportunities. Undergraduate student recipients supported by the Knightsgrange Foundation are known as John Locke Churchill Scholars.
  • Dr. Kenneth Remsen Global Health Award - Established in 2018 by Dr. Kenneth Alan Remsen, MDCM 1980. To provide travel support and/or stipends for one or more outstanding students studying health sciences [FMHS] at McGill University who are participating in the Global Health Scholars program or other travel award programs by undertaking a mentored global health project in an international setting, in Northern Canada, or from our Montreal and Outaouais campuses. Awarded by the FMHS upon recommendation of the Director of GHP. Preference will be given to students undertaking clinically-oriented experiences.
  • Dr. Milan K. Sen Travel Award in Global Health Surgery - Established in 2016 by Dr. Milan Sen, BSc 1994, MDCM 1998, to provide travel support for undergraduate medical students interested in global surgery within the Faculty of Medicine who are pursuing research projects overseas in under resourced areas in the world, or among underserved populations in Canada or U.S.A. (e.g. the Indigenous populations). Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs in consultation with the Centre for Global Surgery at the McGill University Health Centre.
  • Margaret W. Siber MDCM 1970 and George R. Siber MDCM 1970 Global Heath Scholar Award - Established in 2020 by Margaret W. Siber, MDCM 1970, and George R. Siber, MDCM 1970, in honor of the 50th anniversary of their graduation, to inspire a passion for global health. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, upon the recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs, to students participating in the Global Health Scholars Program. This award provides support for one or more undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in the Faculty who are undertaking a mentored global health research and/or clinical training project internationally, among Indigenous communities in North America or in Montreal. Support may include funds for travel, housing, research, and/or clinical experiences.
  • The Medicine Class of 1965 International Health Student Fund - Established in May 2000 by the Class of Medicine 1965 in appreciation of the education they received at McGill. Funds will be used to allow medical students to pursue research or clinical electives overseas. One bursary will be awarded in each application round.
  • Medical Class of '84 Student Bursary - Established in 2010 by Medicine Class of 1984 to commemorate their 25th reunion, the award(s) will help support the travel and accommodation expenses of one or more senior (year 3 or 4) medical students (MDCM) pursuing an elective overseas in a developing country. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon the recommendation of the Director of the Global Health Program. One bursary will be awarded in each application round.
  • Luger-Mikelberg Travel Award - Established in 2017 by Sherry Luger, MDCM 1983 and Michael Mikelberg, to provide travel support for Health Sciences students who are pursuing an elective overseas in under-resourced areas in the world, or among underserved populations in Canada. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs. Preference will be given to students traveling to Africa and Rwanda.
  • Dr. Margaret Siber Global Health Scholar Award - Established in 2017 by Dr. Margaret Siber, MDCM 1970. To provide travel support and/or stipends for one or more outstanding MDCM students enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine who are participating in the Global Health Scholars program by undertaking a mentored global health project in an international setting, in Northern Canada, or from Montreal. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs.
  • Mary A Metcalf International Travel Fund - The Mary A. Metcalf International Travel Fund is designated to support international research of undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-graduate medical residents within the Faculty of Medicine. Elective, research project or community service program must be at least four weeks. Its intent is to promote the training of health care workers and researchers to combat global health disparities, by supporting students to work with underserved populations in resource limited settings.
  • Spencer-Hick Family Global Health Education and Training Fund - The goal of the Fund is to support undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows pursuing training, travel, fieldwork, research, and other activities related to global health.
  • Dr. Alice Benjamin Global Maternal and Child Health Awards - Established in 2018 in honour of Dr. Alice Benjamin by family, friends and patients whose lives she touched throughout her career. To provide support for one or more students or trainees who are pursuing an elective or a research project overseas in under-resourced areas of the world. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs. First preference will be given to medical residents. Second preference will be given to all undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine.
  • Leduc, Davis, Brun, & De Rito Undergraduate Award for Global Health - Established in 2016 by Francine Davis, B Phys Ther 1969, BSc(PT) 1985, and continued by her sons, Stephan Leduc, BA 1996, and Nicolas Leduc in 2021. In memory of, and gratitude, for the support of Jeanne Brun, Gisèle Brun and Tony De Rito. For outstanding undergraduate students at McGill University undertaking a mentored research project including an international component with McGill Global Health Programs, in the area of women’s and girls’ health. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs.
  • Soe-Lin-Hecht Global Health Scholar Undergraduate Award - Established in 2019 by Dr. Shan Soe-Lin, BSc 2003, PhD 2009, Dr. Robert Hecht, and Hla Hla Myint Soe-Lin, in memory of Dr. Soe Lin, who was an ardent believer in the importance of using a good education to better the lot of humanity. To provide annual travel support and/or stipends for up to three outstanding undergraduate students who are participating in the Global Health Scholars program in the Faculty of Medicine. For students pursuing a mentored research project overseas in low or middle-income countries, or in an indigenous community in Canada. Preference will be given to students pursuing studies in Microbiology and Immunology. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs.

    McGill GHP Logo (McGill crest separated by a vertical bar from a purple globe and a partial arc with "McGill Global health Programs" in English &amp; French)

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous Peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg Nations. McGill honours, recognizes, and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which peoples of the world now gather. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. We are grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land.

Learn more about Indigenous Initiatives at McGill.

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