McGill Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program

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

Meet Allison, 2021 Global Health Scholar

Maahir Shah - smiling young South Asian man wearing a denim jacket posing in front of a blue and white light installation

Meet Maahir, 2021 Global Health Scholar

Portrait of Nardin Farag

Meet Nardin, 2019 Global Health Scholar

Submissions for the 2022 Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program are now closed. Meet the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate Program 2022 cohort.

Background

The McGill Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate program provides opportunities for McGill undergraduate students to gain global health experience through hands-on involvement in global health research projects. Scholars carry out their assigned role on their designated global health research project during the summer either locally/remotely, internationally, or in Northern Canada. Each Scholars’ work is carried out under the mentorship and supervision of a McGill faculty member or a partner institution. During the academic year, Global Health Scholars benefit from a variety of training and networking opportunities organized by Global Health Programs (GHP). This includes the Insight Nights seminar series organized specifically for undergraduate Global Health Scholars, the McGill Summer Institutes in Global Health, GHP’s annual Global Health Night and other events and opportunities.

Key Dates

  • Launch of call for student applications: January 10, 2022
  • Online Information Session: January 18, 2022 - Missed it? Watch the recording below.
  • New Application Deadline: February 21, 2022
  • Announcement of Results: March 31, 2022

Program Timeline

  • Orientation Training: April 2022
  • Summer Research Project: May 1, 2022 - August 31, 2022
  • Debrief Meeting: September 2022 
  • Insight Nights Seminar Series: October 2022 - March 2023
  • Final Report and Survey: October 2022
  • Global Health Night: November 2022

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible 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 2022;
  • Students who have been part of a previous Global Health Scholars cohort are eligible to participate in the 2022 cohort, however they are not eligible to apply to work with the same supervisor or on the same project that they were previously matched with.

Funding and Project Hours 

  • Students completing their project remotely or on-site locally (i.e. on-campus or in the Montreal area) will receive a stipend of up to $2,500.
  • Projects that include travel to an International or Northern Canada research site will remain under evaluation. The GHP office will advise on the possibility of travel for these projects by April 30, 2022. If travel is permitted, students will receive up to an additional $2,500 to contribute towards travel costs. If a student is not able to travel, the stipend will not exceed $2,500.
  • Selected students must complete 240 hours of work (the equivalent of 6 weeks full-time) between May 1- August 31, 2022. The exact schedule is to be determined between the student and their supervisor. Any work on a project that exceeds 240 hours is not covered by GHP.
  • A student or trainee is eligible for only one award from GHP for the same trip.

Impact of COVID-19 

  • Bearing in mind COVID-19 directives set by McGill University and the Quebec Government, it is probable that the 2022 cohort of Global Health Scholars may need to complete their work remotely or from campus without travel. It is also plausible that students working on a project that includes travel to an International or Northern Canada research site may be able to travel at some point during summer 2022, pending approval by the GHP office.
  • All projects include a remote work plan as well as an on-site work plan for students.
  • Working alongside their supervisor, students should be prepared to transition their summer projects to remote work at any point if it is not possible to be on campus, to work from a McGill affiliated location, or to travel to an International/Northern Canada research site location.
  • The on-site work plan will only be activated with GHP approval and is required prior to starting the on-site work plan. This is dependent upon the COVID-19 directives set forth by McGill University and the Quebec Government. The GHP office will advise students on which work plan to initiate by April 30, 2022.
  • Travel can only proceed with prior approval from GHP, which is dependent upon the directives set forth by McGill University, the Government of Quebec, other provincial travel advisories, and the onsite partner organization. GHP will assess the possibility for travel up to June 30, 2022. If travel is not possible by this point, students will be required to complete their projects remotely or on-site locally.

Terms of Participation

Students selected to participate in the Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate program must agree to the following terms:

  • Selected participants are considered part of the Global Health Scholars - Undergraduate cohort for the academic year following their summer project and must attend various trainings sessions, workshops and events coordinated by GHP.
  • Global Health Scholars must enroll in at least one of the following courses in the academic year following their summer project unless they have already taken one of them: 1) Interprofessional Global Health Course; or 2) PPHS 511.
  • Global Health Scholars must attend a mandatory two-part GHP orientation session and training on research ethics scheduled in the weeks following their acceptance into the program.
  • Global Health Scholars must attend and present a poster at McGill's Global Health Night, to be held in November 2022 in Montreal.
  • Global Health Scholars who will travel outside of Montreal for their project must participate in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences' online pre-departure training via MyCourses.
  • Global Health Scholars must communicate with their faculty/partner organization supervisor as well as the GHP office on a regular basis before, during and after their summer project.
  • Global Health Scholars must submit a brief report mid-term and final report regarding their research project and summer experience to GHP, using a report template to be provided by GHP.
  • Global Health Scholars are eligible to participate in up to two courses in GHP's McGill Summer Institutes in Global Health in summer 2023 without paying the registration fees. If interested, please contact the GHP office.

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: Overall interest in the student in the complete program (including training sessions) and perceived engagement for the year-long program.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the program.

Online Information Session - (January 18, 2022)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to view the following recording of our online information session for the 2022 Global Health Scholars – Undergraduate Program before applying.

Projects Available in 2022

Each year the Global Health Scholars program offers a wide variety of global health research projects representative of the diversity found under the umbrella of global health. Please note that projects are subject to change and may not be offered in future years.

International Projects

Air temperature, pollution, and health in Accra - Jill Baumgartner, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

Location

Accra, Ghana

Project Summary:

The student will work with researchers at McGill, University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Ghana as part of an experienced field team to deploy environmental monitoring equipment (air sensors, pollution sensors) and assist in field data collection for a study of environmental exposures and health among schoolchildren in Accra. Prior to travel, the student will work with researchers to pilot sensors and measurements. In the field, the student will gain experience in sensor calibration, environmental measurement, and field data collection. There will also be opportunities to conduct preliminary analyses with the environmental data collected.

Project Objectives for student:

The student will assist with preparation for field work in Canada and field data collection in Accra, Ghana. All data collection will take place outdoors. If possible, students will work in a campus space to work with researchers to order and organize equipment for data collection. All safety measures will be followed, in accordance with McGill COVID-19 directives and guidelines.

  1. Program instruments for field data collection while in Canada, meet with researchers;
  2. Conduct field data collection of environmental measurements in Accra, including the calibration and deployment of environmental sensors;
  3. Attend team meetings.
Technical Skills:

Experience with field data collection preferred.

Transferable Skills:
  • Independent
  • Enjoys teamwork
  • Comfortable working in a low-resource settings
  • Students from Ghana are highly encouraged to apply.
Timeline:

Mid-May to mid-July, but there is some flexiblity.

Onsite supervisor(s):
  • Raphael Arku, UMass Amherst, faculty member
  • Samuel Agyei-Mensah, University of Ghana, faculty member
Travel and Lodging Arrangements

Made by the student with the supervisor's advice.

More information:

This project is part of the Pathways to Healthy Equitable Cities Consortium.

Implementing a Trauma Registry: Ukraine - Dan Deckelbaum, Centre for Global Surgery

Location

Disaster Training Centre, Kyiv Hospital for Emergency Medicine (KHEM); Kiev, Ukraine

Project Summary:

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

Comparing countries with and without trauma systems, people with life-threatening but potentially treatable injuries are 6 times more likely to die in a country with no organized trauma system than in one with an organized and resourced trauma system. Such evidence demonstrates the need for deployment of trauma systems including the use of trauma registries, which have been identified as an essential instrument in decreasing death and disability rates from injuries. Ultimately, trauma registries provide a means of collecting and analyzing data. The benefits of such registries have been repeatedly demonstrated in the literature.

The Center for Global Surgery (CGS) has partnered with different entities in which registries have been implemented stemming from solid collaborations. This project involves collaborating with our partner in Ukraine to implement a newly designed trauma registry, sponsored by the CGS, and 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 LMICs, particularly from Ukraine.

Project Objectives for student:

The student’s role in the project entails:

  1. Support ongoing development of a trauma registry in Ukraine which includes training and liaising with the technical developer as required;
  2. Support pilot implementation of a novel electronic registry;
  3. Ensuring the data capture is progressing well;
  4. Analyze preliminary data to show the value and importance of utilizing a trauma registry.

It would be ideal to have the student in Ukraine to have the ability to work face-to-face with the local team. It would provide the student with a positive experience to better understand the realities of healthcare in LMICs. If travel is allowed, the student would be involved in on-site training, liaising with software developers to resolve any issues and analyze preliminary data.

Objectives:
  1. Perform appropriate literature reviews;
  2. Write project proposals for development to trauma registries;
  3. Become well versed in electronic trauma registry;
  4. Support training in local implementation of electronic registry;
  5. Track data input of registry;
  6. Perform preliminary analysis of data.
Technical Skills:

Required skills:

  • Basic research and statistics;
  • Knowledge of structured query language and spreadsheets;
  • Excellent skills to convey information in English (oral and in written). Ukrainian an asset.
  • Critical thinking;
  • Data visualization;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Transferable Skills:
  • Completes tasks well and on time;
  • Team player and well organized;
  • Adaptable and self-motivated;
  • Communicate clearly and confirm understanding.
Timeline:

May through August 2022

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Vitaliy Krylyuk and possibly Clinical Research Nurse (Johana Montero-Ortiz) or Faculty Member (Dr. Dan Deckelbaum)

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

Made by the student with the supervisor's advice.

More information:

Bio and area of expertise: DR. DAN DECKELBAUM – CO-DIRECTOR AND TRAUMA SURGEON

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 sub-specialty 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 co-directing 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 setting.

Centre for Global Surgery website

Adapted Family Integrated Care in Uganda - Dr. Jessica Duby, Department of Pediatrics

Location:

Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Jinja, Uganda

Project Summary:

In high-income countries, efforts to engage parents in the assessment and management of their hospitalized newborns through a model called Family Integrated Care (FICare) have resulted in improved outcomes for patients, parents, and the health system. Adaptation of FICare to low-income countries represents an opportunity for mothers to improve the quality of their child’s hospital care where neonatal mortality remains high.

We recently conducted a proof-of-concept study Jinja, Uganda that demonstrated that an adapted form of FICare is both acceptable and feasible. We are in the process of writing up these results. The next steps are 1) to modify the intervention based on our experiences and feedback, and 2) conduct a multi-center trial in Uganda to determine whether our adapted FICare affects patient outcomes. The Global Health Scholar will be involved in the planning of the multi-centre trial which is planned to begin the fall of 2022 or winter of 2023. If the student travels to Uganda, this will include design, preparation and piloting of study materials. Opportunities to continue working on the project in the fall of winter of 2022 may be available.

Project Objectives for the student:

The student will be involved with design of study materials. This includes design of questionnaires, design of teaching material to teach the hired research nurses about the project, design of teaching material that will be used to educate the mothers who enroll in the FICare intervention, and converting all of the study materials to a RedCap format.

If traveling is allowed: In addition to preparation of study material, the student will be involved with piloting the study material and assisting with training of the local research nurses.

Objectives:

  1. Develop an appreciation for the opportunities and challenges of conducting clinical research in a low-income country;
  2. Understand the crucial role that parents can play in determining the health outcomes for their children;
  3. Learn how to translate research questions into data collection tools;
  4. Become competent in creating educational material about health issues that cater to parents with low health literacy;
  5. Become familiar with the process of setting up a clinical trial.
Technical Skills:
  1. Strong writing skills;
  2. Experience with survey design preferred but not required;
  3. Experience with multimedia (i.e. video design) preferred but not required;
  4. Experience with RedCap preferred but not required.
Transferable Skills:
  1. Adaptable;
  2. Strong problem solving skills;
  3. Motivated.
Timeline:

Flexible

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Abner Tagoola, Pediatrician at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel and accommodation with their supervisor's advice.

More information:

Dr. Jessica Duby is a neonatologist at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Her research focuses on health care delivery for sick and small newborns in resource-limited settings. Specifically, she is interested in understanding how initiatives by parents and lay health workers can complement the care provided by nurses and doctors in low-income environments. The main objective is to improve the quality of community-based and hospital-based newborn care for underserved populations.

Background Article about Family Integrated Care:

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. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2018;2(4):245-254

Implementing a Trauma Registry and Novel Trauma Team Training Initiatives: Tanzania - Tarek Razek, Centre for Global Surgery

Location:

Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Summary:

Trauma is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease, particularly in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In fact, 90% of the world’s deaths occur in LMICs. In spite of this, little action has been taken, particularly in LMICs where the focus remains on the morbidity and mortality related to infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. Comparing countries with and without trauma systems, people with life-threatening but potentially treatable injuries are 6 times more likely to die in a country with no organized trauma system than in one with an organized and resourced trauma system. Such evidence demonstrates the need for deployment of trauma systems including the use of trauma registries, which have been identified as an essential instrument in decreasing death and disability rates from injuries. Ultimately, trauma registries provide a means of collecting and analyzing data. The benefits of such registries have been repeatedly demonstrated in the literature.

The Center for Global Surgery (CGS) has partnered with different entities in which registries and education programs have been implemented stemming from solid collaborations. This project involves collaborating with CGS' partner in Tanzania to implement a newly designed trauma registry, sponsored by the CGS, and 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 LMICs, particularly from Tanzania.

Project Objectives for student:

The student’s role in the project entails:

  1. Support ongoing development of the trauma registry in Tanzania which includes training and liaising with the technical developer as required;
  2. Support pilot implementation of a novel electronic registry and possibly trauma team training programs;
  3. Ensuring the data capture is progressing well;
  4. Analyze preliminary data to show the value and importance of utilizing a trauma registry.

It would be ideal to have the student in Tanzania to have the ability to work face-to-face with the local team. It would provide the student with a positive experience to better understand the realities of healthcare in LMICs.

If travel is allowed: The student will mainly work on on-site training, liaising with software developer (as applicable) to resolve any issues and analyze preliminary data.

Objectives:

  1. Perform appropriate literature reviews;
  2. Write project proposals for development of trauma registries;
  3. Become well versed in electronic trauma registry;
  4. Support training in local implementation of electronic registry;
  5. Track data input of registry;
  6. Perform preliminary analysis of data.
Technical Skills:

Required skills:

  • Basic research and statistics;
  • Knowledge of structured query language and spreadsheets;
  • Excellent skills to convey information in English (oral and in written);
  • Critical thinking;
  • Data visualization;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
Transferable Skills:
  • Completes tasks well and on time;
  • Team player and well organized;
  • Adaptable and self-motivated;
  • Communicate clearly and confirm understanding.
Timeline:

May through August 2022

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Respicious Boniface, Dr. Victoria Munthali and possibly Clinical Research Nurse (Johana Montero-Ortiz) or Faculty Member (Dr. Tarek Razek)

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

The student will arrange travel and accommodation with the supervisor's advice.

More information:

Bio and area of expertise: DR. TAREK RAZEK – CO-DIRECTOR AND TRAUMA SURGEON

Dr. Tarek Razek is the trauma program director and the chief of the division of trauma surgery at the McGill University Health Center (MUHC) since 2004. He completed his postgraduate training in trauma surgery and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania. His interest in global surgical issues began early in his career with participation in the medical educational programs of the Canadian Network for International Surgery (CNIS) in Tanzania and Ethiopia. He has continued to participate in and develop medical educational programs over the past ten years, especially the Trauma Team Training program.

He has been the Chair of the Board of the CNIS, which oversees hundreds of surgical, obstetric, and injury prevention programs predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, He has been active in the area of disaster response in the regional, national and international arenas acting as chair of the disaster committee for the Trauma Association of Canada and participating as part of the Canadian federal Disaster response teams deployed to support surgical services at the Vancouver Olympics of 2010. He consulted for the preparations of the Euro 2012 in Ukraine. He is the current President of the Trauma Association of Canada.

Centre for Global Surgery website

Finding solutions to thrive after birth asphyxia in Africa: An open-label dose-finding clinical trial (Phase Ib study) - Pia Wintermark, Department of Pediatrics

Location:

Kampala, Uganda

Project Summary:

Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) is the third leading cause of under 5-year mortality and contributes substantially to long-term neurological morbidity worldwide. In low-income countries (LICs), families often lack the resources to care for affected children. For those with disabilities, stigma is high, and social and emotional impacts are substantial. Improving our understanding of NE in LICs is crucial if we are to develop intervention strategies. Providing access to an affordable and easy-to-administer treatment after birth may improve survival, early brain development and later outcome, maximizing developmental potential.

The primary objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility, safety and tolerability of administering sildenafil as a neuroprotective/ neurorestorative strategy to improve early brain development in a cohort of children with NE in Uganda.

We will use the classical 3+3 design to escalate the sildenafil dose up to 6 mg/kg/day in these neonates and assess if we observe positive effects of sildenafil on their brain and cardiac hemodynamics, without causing significant adverse event.

The incidence of adverse events related or not to birth asphyxia will be recorded in all the enrolled neonates. We will explore the change in the severity of brain injury determined by cUS and MRI. We will explore the change in cardiopulmonary hemodynamics determined by echocardiography at baseline, 24h after first dose and around day 10 of life. All the neonates will be also followed up to 3 months for formal neurodevelopmental assessments.

Project Objectives for student:

Remote workplan would be to gather and organize data from the trial in Uganda, and ensure that all the required data are collected for each patient. If travel is allowed, the student will travel to Uganda and help local research team to obtain the different data for each enrolled neonate. Student will ensure that all the data are collected for each neonate and will organize them.

  1. Learn about neonatal encephalopathy and understand possible treatments;
  2. Learn about clinical trial research and master the different steps needed;
  3. Learn about the different exams;
  4. Understand all data required to be collected for each patient;
  5. Gather and organize data from the clinical trial.
Technical Skills:

Previous clinical research experience would be a plus. Clinical data, blood samples, head and cardiac ultrasound and MRI will be collected for each patient. Some knowledge of these different exams would be a plus.

Transferable Skills:

The student should demonstrate good communication, collaboration, and organization skills. They should be adaptable, motivated, and completes tasks well and on time.

Timeline:

240 hours of work (equivalent of 6 weeks full-time) between May 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022, could be extended to July 31, 2022

Onsite supervisor(s):

Lorraine Oriokot (Local PI, Kawempe Hospital) and Walimu (NGO)

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

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

More information:

Dr. Pia Wintermark is a pediatrician and neonatologist, with a research interest in neonatal neurology, currently working at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University. Before joining the Montreal Children’s Hospital in July 2010, Dr. Wintermark trained at the Children’s Hospital Boston (Harvard Medical School) in Boston, USA, and at the Lausanne University Hospital (University of Lausanne) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dr. Wintermark founded the NeoBrainLab (www.neobrainlab.org) in 2010. The NeoBrainLab is devoted to the understanding of the causes and consequences of brain and eye damage in sick babies. The main goals of the lab are to develop innovative strategies to prevent or repair brain and eye damage, and thus to improve the future of these babies. Her laboratory is completely translational, with both bench and bedside components, as well as clinical trials.

  • Yazdani A, Khoja Z, Johnstone A, Dale L, Rampakakis E, Wintermark P. Sildenafil Improves Brain Injury Recovery following Term Neonatal Hypoxia-Ischemia in Male Rat Pups. Dev Neurosci. 2016;38(4):251-263.
  • Yazdani A, Howidi B, Shi MZ, Tugarinov N, Khoja Z, Wintermark P. Sildenafil improves hippocampal brain injuries and restores neuronal development after neonatal hypoxia-ischemia in male rat pups. Sci Rep. 2021

Northern Canada Projects

Trauma in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James: epidemiologic features, transfers and patient outcomes - Jeremy Grushka, Department of Surgery

Location:

Les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James-: Chisasibi, Mistissini, Nemaska, Ouje-Bougoumou, Waskaganish, Waswanipi, Whapmagoostui

Project Summary:

The Cree people residing in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James, are vulnerable to major trauma owing to environmental and social factors; however, there is no systematic data collection for trauma in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James, and, apart from data regarding patients who are transferred to tertiary care centers, no data enter the Quebec trauma registry directly from les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James. Furthermore, except for several observational studies on outcomes of trauma patients who were transferred to Montreal, there is lack of published data on trauma in this region. In the permitted a reduction in mortality of staggering proportions in the other regions of Quebec with better quality data analysis. We believe that by better utilizing the quality data to analyze and improve the trauma and critical transport systems in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James we can begin to demonstrate the same improvements in outcomes.

Our aim is to characterize the epidemiologic features of trauma in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James, and describe indications for transfer and outcomes of patients referred to the tertiary trauma center. Ultimately, our goal is for this study to better characterize the burden of injury, transport within les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and to Montreal, the hidden trauma mortality in this region of Quebec, and identify opportunities for injury prevention and optimization of trauma systems in this unique setting. Long-term, this work has the potential to strengthen existing partnerships and develop new ones between hospital and community leadership in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and trauma team at McGill University Health Centre.

Project Objectives for student:

The student would be the primary author of the project. Retrospective data collection from our institutional trauma registries (Montreal General Hospital, Montreal Children's Hospital) will be performed on all trauma patients that were admitted in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James between 2010-2020. For the trauma cases identified during the specified time period, demographic and health services data, including mechanism of injury, transfer times, pre-hospital and emergency vitals measurement, and patient outcomes will be extracted. This data will be studied in conjunction with coroner’s reports on trauma mortality occurring in les Terres Cries-de-la-Baie-James.

If the student can come to campus, their role will be to abstract and analyze data from our institutional trauma registry (Montreal General Hospital, Montreal Children's Hospital) and to coordinate data analysis with our community partners within les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James. They will also be responsible to organize meetings (in person or virtual) with local partners and community leaders within les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James to jointly analyze clinical data. The student will also play a large role in obtaining coroner data from the Quebec coroner's office to further study the impact of trauma on patient's who are unable to be successfully transferred to our tertiary care trauma centre.

Should travel be allowed, pending community and hospital DPS approval, the role of the student would be to perform chart reviews for all trauma admissions and transfers within les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James health centre as well as those deceased prior to transfer. For all identified trauma cases, demographic and health services data, including mechanism of injury, transfer times, emergency department vitals measurement, and patient outcomes will be extracted.

  1. Identify the demographic and epidemiological patterns of injury in les Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James;
  2. Develop contacts with the hospital administration in the key health centres within this region;
  3. Establish links with the Quebec Coroner's office in order to assess the hidden mortality of trauma in this region;
  4. Develop an appreciation for the socioeconomic determinants of health impacting trauma outcomes in the study population;
  5. Generating an abstract and/or manuscript detailing the results of this work.
Technical Skills:

It would be preferable for the student to have verbal and written communication skills in both English and French. A basic knowledge of research methodology is preferred though is not necessary. Familiarity with Excel and database management is encouraged.

Transferable Skills:
  1. Strong communication skills;
  2. Good interpersonal skills;
  3. Being adaptable to new environments and cultures;
  4. Self-aware and an adult learner;
  5. Strong organizational and time management skills.
Timeline:

The student would be expected to work on this project full-time between mid June through August with the possibility of extending beyond this time frame.

Onsite supervisor(s):

Dr. Francois Charette, Director of Medical Affairs and Services Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, is our primary contact collaborating with us on developing this research project. Supervisors at each site will be identified.

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

The supervisor or a member of their research team will arrange travel and accommodation for the student.

More information:

Dr. Jeremy Grushka, MDCM, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery, McGill University
Program Director, Trauma Surgery Fellowship, McGill University
Division of General and Trauma Surgery
Department of Critical Care Medicine
McGill University Health Centre
Centre for Global Surgery

Our trauma surgery research lab hold bimonthly research meetings and is supported by a trauma research program manager and a biostatistician. We run a collaborative, fun and engaging research programs with a strong focus on health disparities and health system delivery research. We have many medical students involved in various projects within our lab and offer a safe, supportive and productive environment where the medical students get the opportunity to develop their research skills and engage in exciting and important projects that can have significant tangible results.

Pregnancy and Birth During the Pandemic: A Qualitative Study - Kathleen Rice, Department of Family Medicine

Location:

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Project Summary:

Dr. Rice is currently researching the impacts of COVID-19 policies on experiences of pregnancy and birth in Canada. The interviews completed show that in certain regions (notably Newfoundland), birthing people have been impacted by COVID-19 policies in ways that have caused them harm and have subjected many birthing people to obstetric violence. In contrast, birthing people in the Northwest Territories have fared exceptionally well. The model for perinatal care NWT seems based on ensuring (Indigenous) cultural safety, in an effort to correct longstanding harms of the past. This model seems to benefit all pregnant people, and may inform better obstetric care more broadly. Dr. Rice is currently working with a MSc student who is doing research in Newfoundland on the decision-making processes around the implementation of health policies.

Project Objectives for student:

The selected Global Health Scholar will interview healthcare personnel and administrators in Yellowknife about the implementation of COVID-19 policies around obstetrics, with a mind to how Northern models of cultural safety could be more widely-applied. If travel is not possible, the student will schedule and conduct all interviews remotely via telephone or online (Zoom or Teams). Analysis of interview data will take place in Montreal, in collaboration with Dr. Rice.

If permitted to travel, the student will travel to Yellowknife to interview personnel, as described above. If possible, they will also attend group prenatal care appointments, which are a cornerstone of the care model in Yellowknife. The student will take observational notes (I will coach them on this). Once the student returns to Montreal, we will analyze this data together.

Student Objectives

  • Establish contact with healthcare personnel who have been instrumental in implementing COVID-19 policies with respect to perinatal care in Yellowknife;
  • Schedule and conduct interviews;
  • Coordinate with transcriptionist to ensure all interviews are transcribed;
  • Assist me with analyzing interview data.
Technical Skills:

Aside from the standard academic skills, skills at qualitative interviewing would be a big asset (not required). The ideal candidate will be personable, empathetic, and committed to cultural safety. Indigenous identity and/or Northern experience would be a big asset but is not required.

Transferable Skills:
  • Good communicator;
  • Culturally adept/sensitive;
  • Committed to anti-racism;
  • Enjoys travel and spending time in a small community.
Timeline:

Flexible, but ideally May-June.

Onsite supervisor(s):

TBD; someone in the Department of Obstetrics at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

The student will arrange their travel with advice from Dr. Rice. Either Dr. Rice or a member of her research team will arrange accommodations.

More information:

About Dr. Kathleen Rice’s research program

Two recent publications from this project are:

  • Rice, K. F., & Williams, S. A. (2021). Making Good Care Essential: The Impact of Increased Obstetric Interventions and Decreased Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Women and Birth.
  • Rice, K., & Williams, S. (2021). Women’s postpartum experiences in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study. CMAJ open, 9(2), E556.

Improving the Quality of Trauma and Acute Surgical Care in Nunavik: Quantifying the Burden of Injury and Illness - Evan Wong, Department of Surgery

Location:

Kuujjuaq and Puvirnituq, Nunavik

Project Summary:

Delivering trauma and acute surgical care to the population of Northern Quebec presents unique challenges. The sparsely populated geography, rugged weather, lack of resources and fragmented transport mechanisms all lead to difficulties in providing optimal care. Furthermore, epidemiological data from the region remains scarce. As such, the objective of this study is to describe the epidemiology of trauma and acute surgical diseases in Nunavik. All trauma and acute surgical cases over the past 10 years will be included in this study. Data sources will include: on-site medical records at Kuujjuaq’s Centre de Santé Tulattavik de l’Ungava (CSTU) and Puvirnituq’s Inuulitisivik Health Centre (IHC); transport records from Évacuations aéromédicales du Québec (EVAQ); and electronic charts from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). Patient demographics, injury and transfer characteristics and modifiable risk factors (e.g. seatbelt use, alcohol consumption) will be collected initially. Outcomes, including immediate, 24-hour and 30-day mortality; complications such as pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis and wound infections; readmissions and dispositions will be evaluated. By filling a knowledge gap in the care of a neglected population, this study will identify targets for meaningful policy- and practice-changing interventions to ultimately improve outcomes. Ongoing data collection and quality improvement initiatives are likely to provide guidance for funding priorities and system modifications at the governmental level.

Project Objectives for student:

Data will be collected from the EVAQ and MUHC charts. The availability of on-site data will depend on resources at CSTU and IHC during this period.

  • To become familiar with trauma and surgical care in the Northern context;
  • To perform an on-site chart review of trauma and acute surgical patients;
  • To perform a retrospective review of electronic charts;
  • To provide a preliminary analysis of the collected data;
  • To interpret the findings based on the local context.
Technical Skills:
  • Experience with data collection and chart reviews;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills;
  • French would be an asset.
Transferable Skills:
  • Organized;
  • Adaptable;
  • Completes tasks reliably;
  • Good communicator.
Timeline:

Flexible

Onsite supervisor(s):

Alexandra Vivier

Travel and Lodging arrangements:

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

More information:

About Dr. Evan Wong

Recent publications from Dr. Wong’s team

Montreal-Based Projects

Supporting the health and social needs of underserved populations through social prescription: lessons from the Pandemic - Dr. Alayne Adams, Department of Family Medicine

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of social determinants of health in driving inequities in health and healthcare. These differences have been particularly stark in racialized and immigrant populations, provoking a need to re-imagine systems of primary health that integrate more fundamentally across community networks, social services and public health. While physicians routinely assess a patient’s social needs, the connection of needs to services is rarely followed through due to limitations of time, resources and systems of referral. Likewise, social or community-based services for socially vulnerable populations lack connection with primary care, resulting in missed opportunities for integrated and holistic support. In the UK, national systems of social prescription designate a link worker to connect and accompany clients to appropriate services. During the pandemic, a myriad of social prescription-like initiatives flourished to empower underserved populations in addressing their social, material and mental health needs. With a focus on Montreal, the proposed formative study will examine these initiatives via online and social media, to glean lessons for the post pandemic period. Of interest is how these initiatives can be sustained and better connected to primary care and public health systems, and what attributes and resources were key to their success. The student would develop and implement a methodology to systematically review online and social media activities of identified initiatives serving high-needs populations. Pending ethical review, the student might also conduct key informant interviews with community organizers and staff to document their strategies, challenges, successes in addressing the mental health and social needs of underserved clients.

Project Objectives for student:

Students will receive an orientation to Social Prescription, social determinants of health, primary care and public health systems in Quebec, and the related literature. Tasks with clear deliverables will be assigned depending on student skills and interests. Regular structured meetings will occur with members of the research team to discuss student progress and plans. Pending IRB approval, remote interviews will occur with community organizations. During the final phase of their placement, students will present the work they have accomplished, and reflect on the insights and competencies they have gained.

Objectives:

  1. Consolidate a theoretical and applied understanding of social determinants of health and associated interventions and services;
  2. Develop a systematic approach to searching and reviewing online and social media sources;
  3. Design/conduct key informant interviews with community-based organizations;
  4. Learn the fundamentals of qualitative analysis;
  5. Review the published literature on civil society responses to the needs of vulnerable populations (including ethnoculturally diverse) during the pandemic with a focus on challenges, solutions, lessons learned, and moving forward;
  6. Develop and apply an online and social media search strategy to identify community organizations involved in the pandemic response in Montreal;
  7. Describe and classify the organizations identified with reference to recent history, population served, type of activities, financing, administrative arrangements, any qualitative accounts or quantitative measures capturing their pandemic experience and relationships with primary care or public health entities;
  8. Work with Syntheco to represent this information in its geospatial data base;
  9. Help conduct in-depth interviews with community-based organizations regarding their needs and experiences, with a special focus on linkage with primary care and public health services;
  10. Assist with the coding and analysis of this data – help draft results section.
Technical Skills:
  • Familiarity with online and social media platforms and related search strategies;
  • Literature review experience;
  • Strong writing and communication skills;
  • Familiarity with qualitative research methods is an asset;
  • French language skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong problem-solving skills;
  • Effective team player;
  • Self-directed learner;
  • Time-management skills;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Cross-cultural competency.
Timeline:

May through August 2021 but flexible hours.

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.

Trauma-related admissions to intensive care units in Quebec: the influence of Indigenous status on outcomes - Dr. Jeremy Grushka, Department of Surgery

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

Trauma is the third most common cause of death amongst the Indigenous population of Canada. Rates of trauma-related hospital admission are higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous people throughout the country. However, investigations of outcomes for critically ill patients with trauma related injuries have included only small numbers of Indigenous patients or have been restricted to single trauma centers. Within the province of Quebec, it is unclear whether mortality and morbidity are similar for critically ill Indigenous and non-Indigenous Quebecers admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) after major trauma. The Montreal General Hospital, a level-1 trauma center on the island of Montreal, is the primary receiving tertiary care hospital for injured Indigenous patients from Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and Nunavik health regions. This project aims to investigate the contemporary admission characteristics and hospital outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients admitted to the ICU at the Montreal General Hospital after major trauma by analyzing data from 2015-2021. We hypothesize that the clinical outcome differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous trauma patients admitted to the ICU will suggest a health gap similar to those for chronic disease and mental health disorders and also offer important insights into quality improvement initiatives for pre-hospital trauma care, transport and flight medicine resuscitation strategies and post hospital admission rehabilitation medicine needs within the Indigenous communities of the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and Nunavik health regions.

Project Objectives for student:

The student will be heavily involved in all aspects of the project. It is our expectation that the student will be responsible for data collection and analysis from our institutional trauma registry and will be responsible for writing up their work as a manuscript. It is also our hope that this work will be hypothesis generating and lead to secondary projects that can help address issues surrounding the hidden mortality in trauma patients within our Indigenous communities who are not surviving to transfer to tertiary care level 1 trauma centres. As such, the student will have first authorship on this work. Should the student be asked to work remotely from campus, they will, have remote access to the hospital electronic medical record and remote access to our institutional trauma registry and will be able to complete their research remotely.

Student Objectives:

  1. Acquire and develop critical thinking and clinical research skills;
  2. Learn how to navigate the hospital electronic medical record;
  3. Develop skills in setting up a clinical database and learning how to abstract relevant data from a clinical registry;
  4. Learn about health disparities and socioeconomic determinants of health as they relate to Indigenous trauma patients in Quebec;
  5. Develop skills necessary for writing a scientific manuscript.
Technical Skills:

It would be recommended for the student to have some experience with clinical research methods, strong English language skills and some knowledge of the electronic medical record system used at the Montreal General Hospital. An interest in social justice and community advocacy would be preferred.

Transferable Skills:
  1. Highly motivated to learn;
  2. Adult learner;
  3. Strong time management skills;
  4. Critical thinking and problem solving;
  5. Adaptable.
Timeline:

The timeframe for this project is flexible though the preferred period is for the student to complete the work during their Summer period of Mid-June through August.

More information:

Dr. Jeremy Grushka, MDCM, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery, McGill University
Program Director, Trauma Surgery Fellowship, McGill University
Division of General and Trauma Surgery
Department of Critical Care Medicine
McGill University Health Centre
Centre for Global Surgery

Our trauma surgery research lab holds bimonthly research meetings and is supported by a trauma research program manager and a biostatistician. We run collaborative, fun and engaging research programs with a strong focus on health disparities and health system delivery research. We have many medical students involved in various projects within our lab and offer a safe, supportive and productive environment where the medical students get the opportunity to develop their research skills and engage in exciting and important projects that can have significant tangible results.

Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care in National Cancer Control Plans in Africa: Current Analysis and Elaboration of a Blueprint - Dr. Melissa Henry, Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a growing problem around the world accounting for over 70% of global deaths. In 2020, there is estimated to have been 19.3 million new cancer cases and 10.0 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. Lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs), specifically countries in Africa account for a disproportionate amount of the global health burden of disease, due to having healthcare systems that are ill-equipped to deal with the increasing cancer burden. Providing patients with access to psychosocial-oncology and palliative care services within this context is seen to be essential in reducing cancer risk, improving survivorship, and providing physical, psychosocial, and spiritual relief to patients as well as being economically beneficial. Including these components in National Cancer Control Plans (NCCP) is essential to improving the care provided to patients and their families. As different countries in Africa are developing their NCCPs, we need to make sure inclusion of psycho-oncology and palliative care is standardized and optimized. The current study aims to outline and analyze how psycho-oncology and palliative care are addressed in the NCCPs in African countries. Finally, through a Consensus Panel with the research team and local partners in Africa, an outline of the essential components of psycho-oncology and palliative care to be included in NCCPs will be decided based on cultural relevance and resource availability. The NCCP outline created will then be disseminated to relevant stakeholders and incorporated in NCCPs of all African countries through our stakeholders.

Project Objectives for student:

Phase 1) Determine the extent to which psycho-oncology and palliative care are integrated in NCCPs in African countries: This phase will involve training in use of NVivo software, thematic analysis of National Cancer Control Programs in NVivo to identify how psycho-oncology and palliative care is portrayed, combining the analysis in themes and write-up a summary of the results.

Phase 2) Through a consensus development conference with researchers and stakeholders in Africa (researchers, clinicians, policy-makers, volunteer organizations, oncology patients, and family caregivers), to identify gaps in the current NCCPs and define a uniform and standardized NCCP blueprint of the essential components of psycho-oncology and palliative care to be included in NCCPs based on standards in NCCP development including cultural relevance and resource availability.

Comparison of what was found in National Cancer Control Plans to current standards, and identify potential areas of improvements. Identify stakeholders in oncology in Africa and internationally to be part of a Consensus Panel to discuss a blueprint of essential components. Transcribe this Consensus Panel and analyze content through NVivo, summarize results in a blueprint document, send the document back to the stakeholders for accuracy/additions and modify as needed.

Phase 3) will include knowledge dissemination to local stakeholders and implementation of the final outline.

This phase will be conducted after the student's Summer program. The student can be involved in this phase if desired.

The student will be involved in articles related to the project.

Student Objectives

  1. Acquire and develop critical thinking and clinical research skills;
  2. Learn how to navigate the hospital electronic medical record;
  3. Develop skills in setting up a clinical database and learning how to abstract relevant data from a clinical registry;
  4. Learn about health disparities and socioeconomic determinants of health as they relate to Indigenous trauma patients in Quebec;
  5. Develop skills necessary for writing a scientific manuscript.
Technical Skills:

The candidate must demonstrate excellent writing skills.

The chosen student will be mentored closely throughout the project for technical skills and can be involved in publications and presentations related to the project. They will also be in contact with stakeholders throughout different levels of stakeholders in Africa and in other countries.

Transferable Skills:
  • The candidate must demonstrate excellent organizational and interpersonal skills, initiative, problem-solving abilities, and autonomy.
  • The candidate must be able to work independently and as a member of a team.
Timeline:

As per program guidelines, the student will need to complete 240 hours of work (equivalent of 6 weeks full-time). These hours must be completed between May 1, 2022 - August 31, 2022.

More information:

Dr. Henry is an Associate Professor in the Gerald Bronfman Department of Oncology. Her research program aims to implement and evaluate interventions targeting early determinants of mental health, combining translational research with a major focus on advanced cancer and head and neck oncology. She developed the FACT/MBIS McGill Body Image Concern Scale – Head and Neck, part of the FACT Measurement System. She is Co-Director of the FRQS-funded Quebec Research Group in Palliative and End-of-Life Care (RQSPAL) Axis I on optimizing quality of life and is a board member of the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS). Her international work with IPOS and the World Health Organization involves chairing Training Academies designed to build capacity for psycho-oncology in Africa and more broadly for lower- and middle-income countries.

Early Psychosis in India and Canada: Investigating outcomes and family factors - Dr. Srividya Iyer, Department of Psychiatry

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

This mixed-methods project involves collaboration between two teams with complementary strengths in culturally relevant schizophrenia research in India and Canada. Key objectives are to investigate differences in a range of outcome domains and family factors. Our premise is that the better outcomes of psychosis in India can be largely explained by the comparatively higher levels of family support available.

In cultural psychiatry and schizophrenia outcome research, it is consistently found that the outcomes of treated schizophrenia are better in developing countries than in developed ones. Yet, little is known about why this is so. It is not known whether this difference extends to all outcome domains or is limited to the select and narrowly defined clinical and functional outcomes that existing research has focused on.

The project's findings will advance our understanding of the course of early psychosis in India; of cross-cultural variation in schizophrenia outcomes; and of how families contribute to better outcomes in India. This understanding will shape the development of culturally appropriate family and early intervention services in India and suggest strategies for improving schizophrenia outcomes in the West, thus alleviating (even if partially) the severe burden that schizophrenia imposes irrespective of cultural setting.

Project Objectives for student:

All data has been collected for this project (2011-2018), and we are currently engaged in various analyses and sub-analyses. Our research team is currently mostly working remotely and this might also be the case next summer, depending on the progress of pandemic. All work can be done remotely. We can provide the appropriate software, databases, etc. to work with, however the student will be required to have access to their own laptop.

Student Objectives:

Students will participate in various research-related activities such as quantitative or qualitative data analysis, synthesis and/or literature review, manuscript preparation, report writing, participating in knowledge transfer activities and future planning.

Technical Skills:

Experience or strong interest in mental health; experience with quantitative data analysis methods.

Transferable Skills:

Organized; Capable of taking initiative; Able to work in teams with inputs from researchers, clinicians, family and service user partners.

Timeline:

May through August or flexible.

More information:

Researchers involved in this project are Srividya Iyer, Ashok Malla, Ridha Joober, Norbert Schmitz, at McGill University; Thara Rangaswamy, Padmavati Ramachandran, at the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Chennai, India.

ACCESS Open Minds - Cree Nation of Mistissini - Srividya Iyer, Department of Psychiatry

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

ACCESS Open Minds is a pan-Canadian network that is developing, implementing and evaluating a transformation of mental health services for young people in 16 sites across Canada. Six of its 16 sites are in Indigenous communities, with one being in the Cree Nation of Mistissini (Québec), where it is called Aaschihkuwaataauch ᐃᔮᔅᒌᐦᑯᐧᐋᑖᐅᒡ, which in Cree means “providing help urgently when people are in need.” The ACCESS Clinicians have been providing services out of the renovated Family Resource Centre, which is equipped with various types of clinical and meeting rooms, even a kitchen, and is co-located with other youth- and family-related services. A variety of clinicians, including art therapists, a family therapist, and psychologist, support rapid access to care through staffing the AOM space 5 days a week, with availabilities into the evening. The project has fostered ongoing development of collaborations with other services in the community – such as youth protection, social services, school counselling services, and the local medical clinic. This initiative has been important to the Cree Nation of Mistissini, the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay, and key partners leading this project. There is interest in scaling up this project to other communities in the region.

Project Objectives for student:

This project will focus on creating a description and evaluation report of the AOM program in Mistissini, and support the development of a scaling up proposal that takes into account insights from the AOM experience, stakeholder perspectives and available information about resources, preferences and contextual realities.

Technical Skills:

Experience or strong interest in youth mental health.

Transferable Skills:

Organized; Capable of taking initiative; Able to work in teams with inputs from researchers, clinicians, family and service user partners.

Timeline:

May through August or flexible.

More information:

About Professor Srividya Iyer

Conceptualizing context: How is context considered in the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control - Raphael Lencucha, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is an international legal instrument that came into force within the United Nations system in 2005. Governments that sign onto the FCTC commit to implementing the provisions housed in the treaty. These commitments range from demand reduction measures such as taxation on tobacco products and tobacco packaging requirements and health warning labels, to supply reduction measures such as assisting tobacco farmers to find alternative economic opportunities. To date, 182 countries have signed the FCTC and have thus committed to implementing the provisions. The FCTC aims to standardize tobacco control across countries. However, we know that country contexts can vary greatly. The variability can exist in the income category of the country, the different institutional contexts of countries, the history of tobacco production and control, the societal norms associated with tobacco, and many others. This project seeks to understand how contextual variability is accounted for in the guidance provided by the Framework Convention Secretariat, the governing body of the treaty. This project will involve an in-depth analysis of all guidance documents produced through the FCTC system. This analysis will identify and examine how context is defined and described, what is included and excluded from this conceptualization, and critically assess the implications for FCTC implementation.

Project Objectives for student:

All research involved in the project is desk based so adaptable to different locations.

Student Objectives:

  1. Collect all relevant documents on FCTC guidance and implementation supports from the WHO FCTC website.
  2. Organize the relevant documents according to the articles of the FCTC.
  3. Work with the team to generate a strategy for analysis.
  4. Conduct a comprehensive analysis of all documents.
  5. Contribute to the writing of the final results alongside research team members.
Technical Skills:
  • Experience with literature reviews is an asset;
  • Knowledge of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control is an asset;
  • Strong writing skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Strong communication skills and ability to seek guidance when needed;
  • Ability to work as a member of a team;
  • Critically important to have enthusiasm and a desire to learn new things and receive feedback along the way.
Timeline:

May through August or flexible.

More information:

This project is embedded in Dr. Lencucha's team's ongoing research on the implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The team is particularly interested in the political economy of implementation, meaning the political, economic, historical, and institutional factors that shape governments commitment to and actions towards tobacco control. This particular project aligns with other document-based analysis Dr. Lencucha has conducted to understand how issues are defined, framed and presented in international settings. Full list of publications.

Some specific articles similar to this proposed project:

  • Lencucha, R., Drope, J., & Labonte, R. (2016). Rhetoric and the law, or the law of rhetoric: how countries oppose novel tobacco control measures at the World Trade Organization. Social Science & Medicine, 164, 100-107.
  • Lencucha, R., & Thow, A. M. (2020). Intersectoral policy on industries that produce unhealthy commodities: governing in a new era of the global economy?. BMJ Global Health, 5(8), e002246.
  • Reddy, S. K., Mazhar, S., & Lencucha, R. (2018). The financial sustainability of the World Health Organization and the political economy of global health governance: a review of funding proposals. Globalization and Health, 14(1), 1-11.

Prevalence, trends, and treatment needs for vaginal fistula symptoms - Dr. Mathieu Maheu-Giroux, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

Vaginal fistula is a serious disorder in which an abnormal opening (fistula) exists between the vagina and the bladder or rectum. Vaginal fistula usually results from prolonged or obstructed labour (obstetric fistula), but can also be the result of sexual assault or inadvertent injuries during surgery, among other reasons. It is a highly debilitating condition, with women often ostracised because of the resulting constant leakage of urine or stool through the vagina. Eliminating obstetric fistula has been on the agenda of the United Nations Population Fund, through its Campaign to End Fistula, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) program for more than a decade. However, measuring progress is hampered, as for other maternal morbidity indicators, by the low prevalence of the condition. In 2015, our team conducted a meta-analysis of national household survey data to quantify the burden of vaginal fistulas from self-reports. Since then, new surveys have been conducted and novel data streams have emerged. The objective of this study is to update this previous meta-analysis, measure trends, and triangulate prevalence estimates with program data on the number of women treated for vaginal fistulas. Synthesizing program treatment data with population-based surveys will strengthen and improve the precision of point prevalence estimates.

Project objectives for student:

The student will lead the project.

Student Objectives

  • Review available population-based surveys;
  • Collect data on fistula treatment program (number of surgeries);
  • Conduct basic descriptive statistics;
  • Code models in a Bayesian framework;
  • Summarize the research in a scientific report.
Technical Skills:
  • Working knowledge of the R statistical software for data management and analysis;
  • Ability to code is an asset (R or C+++);
  • Basic courses in biostatistics;
  • Knowledge of survey sampling theory (desirable);
  • Ability to read documents in French (or Portuguese/Spanish).
Transferable Skills:
  • Organized;
  • efficient;
  • independent;
  • self-motivated;
  • Strong quantitative skills are required.
Timeline:

Mid-June through August.

More information:

Professor Mathieu Maheu-Giroux is an interdisciplinary public health researcher and his work has focused primarily on 1) infectious disease modeling, 2) epidemiology and measurements, and 3) impact and economic evaluations of public health interventions.

Further information on his research program

Assessing the nutrition literacy of adolescent girls in a rural district of Ghana - Grace Marquis, School of Human Nutrition

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

A 2018-19 cluster randomized control trial (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03704649) evaluated the effectiveness of a participatory video nutrition education intervention on adolescent nutrition literacy and dietary intake. Twenty schools were selected in one Ghanaian rural district in the Eastern region and 351 girls, 13-16 years of age, were enrolled. All participants completed a baseline survey that measured English literacy, nutrition and health literacy, adolescent dietary intake through a food frequency questionnaire, height, and weight. This project aims to assess the baseline nutrition literacy of adolescent participants and to investigate its relationships with factors such as English literacy, wealth, educational attainment, dietary intake, and body mass index. This is the first study to assess the nutrition literacy of rural adolescents and to explore its association with demographic factors and dietary intake. Research results will help to highlight the state of nutrition literacy and dietary intake among adolescent girls in a rural district of Ghana. The Global Health Scholar will assist in the quantitative data analysis of 351 baseline surveys using SPSS v27 and in drafting a final report of the results.

Project Objectives for student:

A zoom call or in-person meeting will be conducted at the beginning of every work day to provide training, go over daily tasks, review any deliverables, and to identify next steps.

Student Objectives:

The main objectives would be to advance in quantitative analysis of the baseline survey data, to pursue independent review of the literature, and to draft a report of results.

Technical Skills:
  1. Knowledge of quantitative research methods;
  2. Familiarity with quantitative data analysis software (preferred SPSS);
  3. Experience with report writing;
  4. An understanding and interest in adolescent nutrition.
Transferable Skills:
  1. Ability to communicate ideas concisely and effectively;
  2. Ability to work independently;
  3. High proficiency in English.
Timeline:

6 weeks.

More information:

Introductory video about the research intervention

Grace Marquis home page

The student will be working with Mona Ghadirian. About Mona.

Assessing the acceptability and feasibility of a participatory video nutrition intervention for Ghanaian adolescent girls - Grace Marquis, School of Human Nutrition

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

A 2018-19 school-based cluster randomized control trial (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03704649) evaluated the effectiveness of a participatory video nutrition education intervention on adolescent nutrition literacy and dietary intake. Twenty schools were selected in one Ghanaian rural district in the Eastern region and 351 girls, 13-16 years of age, were enrolled and randomized into control (10) and intervention (10) arms. All schools received a nutrition curriculum for their girls’ clubs. The 181 girls in the 10 intervention schools also received two participatory video workshops to discuss the major challenges they encountered to acquire a balanced diet and prevent anemia. Adolescents chose the most pressing challenge, devised solutions, and depicted them in short videos that they planned, acted, filmed, and screened to their classmates. After the completion of the intervention and research activities, four focus group discussions were conducted with groups of individuals who played a supportive role in the implementation of the project. A focus group was conducted with intervention field staff, another with local stakeholders that served in the project’s Community Advisory Board, and two focus groups were held with school teachers. This Global Health project aims to assess the perceived acceptability and feasibility of the intervention as expressed by local stakeholders, school teachers and intervention staff. This research would play an important role in informing the implementation of school-based participatory video interventions in the future. The Global Health Scholar would assist in the inductive thematic analysis of the four focus group discussions using MaxQDA2020 software and in drafting a final report.

Project Objectives for student:

A zoom call or in-person meeting will be conducted at the beginning of every work day to provide training, go over daily tasks, review any deliverables, and to identify next steps.

Student Objectives:

The main objectives would be to advance in qualitative analysis of the focus group discussion transcripts, to pursue independent review of the literature, and to draft a report of results.

Technical Skills:
  1. Knowledge of qualitative research methods;
  2. Familiarity with coding and using MaxQDA qualitative data analysis software (or any other qualitative software like Atlas.ti, NVivo);
  3. Experience with report writing;
  4. An understanding and interest in nutrition education and behavioural change interventions.
Transferable Skills:
  1. Ability to communicate ideas concisely and effectively;
  2. Ability to work independently;
  3. High proficiency in English.
Timeline:

6 weeks

More information:

Introductory video about the research intervention

Grace Marquis home page

The student will be working directly with doctoral student Mona Ghadirian.

Indigenous Youth Assembly - Claudia Mitchell, Department of Integrated Studies in Education

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

The 3-day Indigenous Youth Assembly is an important event tied to the work of the Participatory Cultures Lab, specifically to two active projects funded by Women & Gender Equality Canada (WAGE): 1) More Than Words: Studying the Impact of Arts-Based Survivor Engagement on Families; and 2) Communities and Pathways2Equity: Youth-led, Indigenous-Focused, Gender-Transformative, Arts-Based Approaches to Challenging Gender Norms in Addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The Assembly brings together groups of Indigenous girls and young women (More Than Words) and groups of boys and young men (Pathways2Equity) to explore the potential of youth-led and arts-based work in addressing gender-based violence, harmful gender stereotypes and colonial violence. Participants will blend their unique perspectives from their lived experience in the north & south, on & off-reserve and both remote & urban environments.

The Youth Assembly is set to take place in-person in Montreal in July 2022, though we are also planning local lead-up activities, and developing virtual plans should there be no improvement in Covid-19 related restrictions. Together with approximately 60 Indigenous youth, a network of adult allies including community scholars, practitioners and academics will support youth activities as well as take part in intergenerational collaborations. The assembly is a platform for youth to share their ideas, activism and work from established youth groups and also a space for new work and collaboration between the indigenous youth from across Canada. Outputs and knowledge mobilization materials will be developed from the event and circulated to a vast network of youth activists, researchers, community scholars, practitioners and stakeholders.

Project Objectives for student:

Working remotely with the Lead Project Investigator and Coordinator, the students will assist with the organisation of the Youth Assembly and related preparatory and follow-up activities.

In the remote context, this will involve designing asynchronous and synchronous virtual collaborative activities for Indigenous youth across Canada. The students will assist with the creative navigation of access issues, which include varying time zones, availability and reliability of Internet connection of those in northern and remote communities, restrictions related to Covid-19 as well as other local community-based challenges.

If possible, in the on-campus context, this will involve assisting with the planning, logistics and execution of an in-person, multi-day collaborative event with approximately 60 Indigenous youth, supported by a network of adult allies.

The goal is to build safe and accessible spaces within which project youth can share their unique perspectives, exchange ideas and collaborate on creative projects. Alongside this youth connection, adult allies (academics, community scholars & practitioners) will also take part in activities in a supportive role as well as part of intergenerational exchange where Indigenous youth and adult allies work together to explore power dynamics, approaches to mentorship, and styles of advocacy that can best amplify youth voices and promote youth-led knowledge creation and mobilization.

The students will also be tasked with planning and collaborating on outputs from the Youth Assembly, which will include reports, guides/toolkits, infographics and other shareable media.

Student Objectives

  • Support the creative and technical aspects of the youth assembly and related activities.
  • Develop support materials for the youth assembly, as well as knowledge mobilization materials from the learnings coming out of the assembly and related activities.
  • Contribute to a communications plan related to knowledge collection and dissemination amongst national and international networks of allies supporting Indigenous-focused, youth-led, arts-based work.
  • Support evaluation and studying change activities related to the youth leadership and participation in the assembly and project activities, especially related to impacts on the youth themselves, their peers, families and communities.
  • Contribute to academic writing and publishing relevant to the assembly and related work.
Technical Skills:
  • Strong writing and communication skills in English. Working knowledge of French and/or Indigenous languages as assets.
  • Experience with the Microsoft suite of applications including collaborative work using MS Teams.
  • Video editing, sound recording/editing, graphic design experience as assets.
  • Knowledge of Participatory Visual Methodologies and Arts-Based research as well as qualitative data collection and evaluation methods.
  • Knowledge of Canada’s colonial history and present day impacts.
Transferable Skills:
  • Great communication skills (incorporates inclusive language and centres the needs and experiences of recipients).
  • Well organized and reliable.
  • Takes initiative and can problem solve creatively.
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a dynamic team.
  • Comfortable working remotely when needed. Flexible to the changing nature of the work and working environment.
Timeline:

Early June through August. Some flexibility.

More information:

Claudia Mitchell is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University and an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. At McGill, she is the Director of the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the Founder and Director of the Participatory Cultures Lab, a research and training unit in the Faculty of Education, funded through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Her research focuses on participatory visual and arts-based approaches to working with young people and communities in relation to addressing critical social issues such as gender equality and gender-based violence and in a wide range of country contexts in North America, West Africa, Southern and Eastern Africa, and East Asia Pacific. She currently leads several funded projects focusing on girl-led ‘from the ground up’ policy making to address sexual violence with Indigenous girls and young women in Canada and South Africa, Indigenous boys and young men in Canada, and education & agency with girls in Mali.

She is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning journal Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is the author and co-editor of more than 30 books including Disrupting Shameful Legacies: Girls and Young Women Speaking Back Through the Arts to Address Sexual Violence and Participatory Visual Methodologies in Global Public Health.

Participatory Research in Education and Agency in Mali (PREAM) - Claudia Mitchell, Department of Integrated Studies in Education

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

Participatory Research on Education and Agency in Mali (PREAM) is a 3-year international collaboration between McGill University and the Université des Lettres et Sciences Humaines de Bamako (ULSHB) in partnership with Plan International Canada and Plan International Mali who are implementing a program around education in emergencies. The project is funded through the Evidence for Education in Emergencies (E-Cubed) program and in partnership with the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE). As of the end of 2021, the project is entering into its second year of operation.

The qualitative approach uses child-friendly arts-based and participatory methods such as drawing and cellphilming, while a quantitative survey builds on adolescents’ insight into agency and education on a larger scale. The project will generate valuable findings, namely in the Francophone context, to inform policy and practice related to education and gender equality in conflict-affected settings in Mali and beyond.

The current literature review, as well as the data collected from the pilot study of the program in its first year, highlights the significance of deepening an understanding of issues of agency in girls' well-being. The opportunity to investigate the solutions of various participatory strategies on the barriers to health access in this context is a fundamental component of implementing health and education strategies in the region and is a component which McGill is leading.

The health outcomes for PREAM are focused in two key areas: (1) mental health and girls’ agency; and 2) related areas of gender based violence as a mental health issue.

Because of the delays in our fieldwork, we will be still working with some of the visual/qualitative data on ‘picturing agency’ [which will include mental health issues] – and that would involve the scholars. We also will be working with some quantitative survey data which includes questions related to agency and mental health and agency and safety (especially in relation to gender based violence). As part of the knowledge mobilization plans the global health scholars would be involved in, we are planning for several Briefing Papers. At least one of these will target the health sector, and another Child Protections (and trauma) where mental health is also key.

Overall this initiative in a conflict zone and based on humanitarian work in emergencies is a complex one in relation to intersectorality (education, health, economics, security). We would be quite open to having the scholars embark upon related literature reviews which would also contribute to deepening an understanding of issues such as everyday trauma in conflict zones. Our research team at McGill draws together scholars in psychiatry/social work, gender studies, and education so that too could be a training opportunity in relation to intersectoral approaches to health and education.

Project Objectives for student:

Working with the Lead Project Investigator and Coordinator, the students will assist with the organizing remote encounters through virtual collaborative tools with the project’s international partners as well as facilitate the organization and sharing of documents related to research results. These research assets will include reports, guides/toolkits, films, drawings, and other shareable media. The student may be asked to provide translations between French and English, or to compose templates, tables and guide plans that aid the researchers in organizing the collected data for analysis. The students may also be asked to help in the production of summaries, briefing papers or knowledge mobilization activities based on the feedback and instructions they receive from McGill researchers in the current phase of the project.

Weekly meetings will be conducted between the McGill research team and the Global Health Scholar to coordinate the granular details of activities and outputs needed at each developing stage of the project. The student is expected to manage these tasks while keeping in mind the nature of changing schedules of International research teams and participants in the Malian context who are experiencing both the pressures of internal strife within the country and challenges to the research program due to Covid-19. The student will be expected to function within the research protocols that insure the safety of guarding research evidence and privacy of the research findings shared with them on the platforms.

Student Objectives

  1. Organize supporting material for McGill researchers conducting qualitative analysis on collected data, and communicate with International partners regarding the sharing of data on the MS Teams platform.
  2. Develop summaries, briefing papers and knowledge mobilization materials from the learnings coming out of the data investigated by the McGill research team.
  3. Contribute to communications strategies related to knowledge collection and dissemination amongst national and international networks of allies supporting internationally-focused, youth-led, arts-based work.
  4. Support evaluation and studying change activities related to youth leadership and participation.
  5. Support activities involving academic writing and publishing from McGill researchers on the project.
Technical Skills:
  • Strong writing and communication skills in both English and French.
  • Experience with the Microsoft suite of applications including collaborative work using MS Teams and Zoom.
  • Knowledge of NVIVO or SPSS software is an asset
  • Video editing, sound recording/editing, design experience are assets.
  • Knowledge of Participatory Visual Methodologies and Arts-Based research, as well as qualitative data collection and evaluation methods, is an asset.
Transferable Skills:
  • STRONG communication skills.
  • Well organized and reliable.
  • Takes initiative and can problem solve creatively.
  • Able to work both independently and as part of a dynamic team.
  • Comfortable working remotely when needed. Flexible to the changing nature of the work and the working environment.
Timeline:

June 1 – August 24.

More information:

Claudia Mitchell is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University and an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. At McGill, she is the Director of the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the Founder and Director of the Participatory Cultures Lab, a research and training unit in the Faculty of Education, funded through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Her research focuses on participatory visual and arts-based approaches to working with young people and communities in relation to addressing critical social issues such as gender equality and gender-based violence and in a wide range of country contexts in North America, West Africa, Southern and Eastern Africa, and East Asia Pacific. She currently leads several funded projects focusing on girl-led ‘from the ground up’ policy making to address sexual violence with Indigenous girls and young women in Canada and South Africa, Indigenous boys and young men in Canada, and education & agency with girls in Mali.

She is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning journal Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. She is the author and co-editor of more than 30 books including Disrupting Shameful Legacies: Girls and Young Women Speaking Back Through the Arts to Address Sexual Violence and Participatory Visual Methodologies in Global Public Health.

Relevant Websites:

Relevant Project Publications:

  1. Girls and Agency: A Review of the Literature
  2. Capturing the elusive? A reflection on the study of agency

Innovation adoption, good health, and gender equity. - Paola Perez-Aleman, Faculty of Management

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

This exploratory project will focus on innovation adoption of products that have clear goals of improving both health and gender equity in low-income contexts. The Covid-19 pandemic brought front and center issues of inclusion and equity. Despite current initiatives to promote inclusion, we lack understanding of how gender equity is enacted in innovation adoption even when new technologies intend to benefit women. There are mixed reports on women adopting them and some suggest exclusionary processes. At this stage, the project focuses on conducting a literature review of published work on how innovation adoption interacts with and fosters inclusion, including the barriers.

Project Objectives for student:

The student will conduct a literature review: search, organize, extract, analyze, synthesize, elaborate cases, write a report, build literature database.

Student Objectives:

  • Conduct literature review;
  • Collect data from literature review;
  • Analyze key themes and data from literature;
  • Highlight relevant cases;
  • Write a report.
Technical Skills:
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Strong interest in global health, development, and gender equity;
  • Analytical capabilities to analyze qualitative and quantitative data;
  • Knowledge (or eager to learn) qualitative data analysis tools;
  • Strong literature search skills.
Transferable Skills:
  • Organized;
  • Completes tasks well and on time;
  • Takes initiative and works independently;
  • Responsible;
  • Understands health and gender equity.
Timeline:

Mid-June to August 31

More information:

Professor Paola Perez-Aleman Biography

Remote implementation of point-of-care Ultrasound (POCUS) in a university health center in Northern Ethiopia - Dr. Louise Pilote, Department of Medicine

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

Little is known about the impacts of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) use in developing countries or how best to implement it. Our project aims to remotely implement a POCUS curriculum in a university affiliated health center in Northern Ethiopia, assess the effectiveness of our intervention and the impacts of POCUS on patient care. We have already conducted a needs assessment and are now working on developing the curriculum. Given the ongoing civil war in Ethiopia, the country of delivery may change over the course of next year but the project will remain essentially the same.

Project Objectives for student:

We will be building a remote, online teaching curriculum for point-of-care ultrasound in low-resource setting, in this case Ethiopia. The student's role will be to help build didactic material for the curriculum like presentations and videos by reading on specific POCUS related subjects and build, for example, a one-hour teaching on that subject. The project does not involve travelling to Ethiopia given the current civil war in the country.

Student Objectives

  1. Discover Ethiopia, its politics, its health care system and its struggles;
  2. Lean about point-of-care ultrasound and its uses in lower- and middle-income countries;
  3. Learn about remote delivery of global health;
  4. Learn to build culturally adapted didactic material;
  5. Learn the basis of qualitative and quantitative research.
Technical Skills:

Proficiency with Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Must speak, read and write English at a very good level.

Transferable Skills:
  • Cultural sensitivity;
  • Rigor;
  • Self-motivation;
  • Discipline.
Timeline:

Flexible, can work around planned vacation time.

More information:

Dr. Pilote's area of research is mostly sex and gender and cardiovascular disease. MUHC web page with links to publications. Dr. Jonathan Houle, PGY5 in General Internal Medicine, is the lead investigator on this project.

Pregnancy and early childhood health among migrant and socially marginalized communities attending specialized community-based care - Kathleen Rice, Department of Family Medicine

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

La Maison Bleue is a community-based health centre in Montreal that offers services during pregnancy and early childhood to families facing social vulnerability. Based on a philosophy of community-care, La Maison Bleue offers clinical services as well as psychosocial support from an interdisciplinary team of nurses, social workers, clinicians, midwives and specialized educators. La Maison Bleue serves a diverse population of families in need. Approximately half of the families seen at la Maison Bleue have recently arrived in Canada. A smaller number of families are also considered to have “precarious status” without access to health services through the provincial health system, or the federal interim health program (which covers health services for refugees and refugee claimants).

The objective of this research project is to describe the demographic and health outcomes of patients served at la Maison Bleue. Demographic characteristics will include age, sex, level of education, immigration status, primary language spoken, and date of arrival in Canada. Health outcomes for mothers will include preterm delivery, small for gestational age, breastfeeding initiation. Child health outcomes will include vaccine coverage, growth, and child development (as measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire). Patient characteristics and outcomes will be compared across service sites and by immigration status. Outcomes will be compared to provincial and municipal averages.

The student will conduct a literature review, collect data through chart review, and write a final report.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Gain familiarity with the Maison Bleue through reading two reports;
  • Gain familiarity with the Maison Bleue through site visits (if this is safely possible in the context of the pandemic);
  • Conduct a literature review;
  • Collect data through chart review;
  • Write a final report.
Technical Skills:
  • Strong quantitative skills;
  • Cultural sensitivity and a commitment to anti-racism;
  • Maturity with sensitive data.
Transferable Skills:
  • Working knowledge of French would be a strong asset;
  • Empathetic towards individuals in situations of vulnerability;
  • Organized;
  • Detail-oriented.
Timeline:

Anytime between early May and late August.

More information:

About Professor Rice’s Research

About La Maison Bleue

Children’s Worlds: International Survey of Children’s Well-Being in Namibia - Monica Ruiz-Casares, Department of Psychiatry

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

This study explores children’s lives and their well-being in Namibia from a child-centred perspective and it is part of the third wave of the Children’s Worlds, the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB), a worldwide research survey on children’s subjective well-being. Forty countries participate in the third wave of the survey. Dr. Ruiz-Casares (McGill University; PI) and Dr. Gentz (University of Namibia, Co-PI) lead the study in Namibia.

The Namibia survey was administered to a representative sample of 2,124 children (grades 4 & 6) in Namibia's Khomas region. The study assesses psychosocial, cognitive and affective dimensions of childhood life; satisfaction with the different institutions and spaces that shape childhood (school, parental home or family, leisure time and friendships, geographical location, and children’s life satisfaction in general and their aspirations); and access to material goods, health, children’s time use and children’s perceptions of their own rights. The scholar will support both dissemination of information to academic and non-academic audiences, including children) (e.g., through research briefs, social media, and scientific articles) and planning for the next wave of the survey.

Project Objectives for student:
  • Conduct data analysis (statistical & qualitative data);
  • Conduct literature review;
  • Contribute to writing publications on orphanhood and children’s subjective wellbeing (other topics to be discussed with PIs considering existing publication strategy and student's interests and availability);
  • Implement communication plan, including preparing research briefs, blogs, and products to reach schools and other stakeholders;
  • Support plans to scale up the survey.
Technical Skills:
  • Statistical analysis knowledge (at least intermediate level;
  • Working use of SPSS (preferred) or another statistics program, and EndNote;
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Experience conducting literature reviews;
  • Skills in web development and social media and familiarity with NVivo or another qualitative data analysis are an asset.
Transferable Skills:
  • Highly motivated and able to work autonomously as well as in a team;
  • Very organized;
  • Respectful of and thrives in culturally diverse contexts;
  • Completes tasks and meets deadlines.
Timeline:

May-June 2022

More information:

About the PI Monica Ruiz-Casares and her work and Co-PI Shelene Gentz.

The student will also work with a postdoctoral researcher in the team who was involved in the Children’s Worlds survey in Brazil.

The ISCWeB link is provided in the study description above and contains the most recent report as well as multiple publications from previous waves of the survey in other countries (Namibia joined in Wave 3). The Namibia report will be shared with the selected student prior to commencing involvement in the project.

Tuberculosis adherence evidence synthesis and update - Kevin Schwartzman, Department of Medicine

Location:

Montreal

Project Summary:

This project, conducted in collaboration with Tufts University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, aims to synthesize, critically analyze, and share evidence regarding the outcomes, accuracy, acceptability, feasibility, reach, costs and cost-effectiveness of digital adherence technologies (DATs) for tuberculosis.

Dr. Schwartzman’s McGill team will lead a systematic review of studies evaluating the impact of DATs for active TB and latent TB infection on clinical outcomes. Key search terms will denote TB; digital technologies and tools; medication adherence; key outcomes-- completion, cure, failure, death, loss to follow-up, relapse/recurrence, subsequent TB disease after treatment for latent TB infection. We will search multiple databases, relevant journals and clinical trials registries, from January 1, 1990 onward. For articles retained after title and abstract review, two reviewers will extract and synthesize key data—study design, location, years, patient population, technology and platforms used, outcomes recorded, how they were ascertained, and quantitative results. We will formally assess bias and follow PRISMA guidelines for analysis and reporting.

We will also critically review and synthesize evidence relating to costs of DATs for active TB and latent TB infection: technical infrastructure, hardware, software, training, salaries for health and non-health personnel, and consumables. Most relevant are comparisons to other care models (e.g. clinic-based directly observed therapy). We will review cost-effectiveness data, distinguishing information based on directly gathered cost and clinical outcome data, vs. that based on synthesis and projections. We will highlight key information relevant to implementers, program leaders, and policymakers, based on published reports and unpublished experience from key initiatives.

Project Objectives for student:

The work is primarily computer-based. The student will be assigned desk space at the primary research location, i.e. CORE (5252 de Maisonneuve, within the RI-MUHC). However, they can work flexibly from home/remotely and/or at CORE depending on pandemic conditions in summer 2022.

Student Objectives:

  1. Aid in review of primary health outcome and costing/cost-effectiveness literature, including extraction and collation of key data where appropriate.
  2. Focus on review of costing/cost-effectiveness data, including categorization of reported costs.
  3. Contact authors of relevant reports and published articles for additional information/clarification if/when needed.
  4. Contribute to critical review and synthesis of available information (e.g. assess strengths/limitations of primary reports).
  5. Contribute to dissemination of our findings via conference presentations, briefs targeting key international stakeholders [public health and health ministry personnel], peer-reviewed articles, and a web-based repository of primary articles and accompanying commentary.
Technical Skills:
  • Strong English-language writing and communication skills;
  • Ability to review and synthesize key information from primary health and costing literature [with suitable supervision and support];
  • Comfort with standard software including Excel;
  • Basic knowledge of economics and/or accounting concepts will be considered an important asset.
Transferable Skills:
  • Self-motivated including ability to search for relevant information independently;
  • Ability to work toward goals independently, but seeking guidance when appropriate;
  • Strong interpersonal skills including collaboration with team members working remotely.
Timeline:

Early June through late July or early August; some flexibility e.g. can start and end somewhat earlier or later.

More information:

Dr. Schwartzman is a clinician-investigator with longstanding clinical and research interest in tuberculosis. He is a professor of medicine at McGill, and a respirologist at the MUHC, where he serves as director of the respiratory division. His research is based at the McGill International Tuberculosis Centre, within the Research Institute of the MUHC. His area of research focus is cost-effectiveness of programs for TB screening and prevention, and for TB treatment support. His major ongoing operating grant support is from CIHR, for investigation of the cost-effectiveness of immigrant screening, while the research outlined in this proposal is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

About Dr. Schwartzman and his research

Publications

Two previous publications most relevant to this project:

  1. A previous systematic review, which will be updated as part of this project: The impact of digital health technologies on tuberculosis treatment: a systematic review. Ngwatu BK, Nsengiyumva NP, Oxlade O, Mappin-Kasirer B, Nguyen NL, Jaramillo E, Falzon D, Schwartzman K; Collaborative group on the impact of digital technologies on TB. Eur Respir J. 2018 Jan 11;51(1):1701596. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01596-2017. Print 2018 Jan. PMID: 29326332
  1. A cost-effectiveness analysis related to the same topic: Evaluating the potential costs and impact of digital health technologies for tuberculosis treatment support. Nsengiyumva NP, Mappin-Kasirer B, Oxlade O, Bastos M, Trajman A, Falzon D, Schwartzman K. Eur Respir J. 2018 Nov 1;52(5):1801363. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01363-2018. Print 2018 Nov. Free PMC article. PMID: 30166325.

Students, research trainees, or research assistants are always first authors on any reports of research led/produced by the team, commensurate with their roles in analyzing and reporting our data.

The student will join a McGill team which includes a graduate research assistant and a medical resident focusing on this project. They will have the opportunity to present their work at an international conference, e.g. International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, and will be invited to join in meetings/discussions with key stakeholders such as the Global Digital Adherence Technology Task Force, part of the STOP TB Partnership.

This research is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with funds awarded to principal investigators Ramnath Subbaraman (Tufts University), Katherine Fielding (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), and Kevin Schwartzman (McGill University).

Producing and Using Global Health Research 1950 to 2020 - George Weisz, Department of Social Studies of Medicine

Location:

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. Some fields like Health Policy and Systems Research have defined themselves applied, multi-disciplinary domains that are closely associated with makers of policy while others like health economics have taken a narrower disciplinary approach. Finally we are interested in how medical knowledge is being utilized to standardize medical training world-wide.

Project Objectives for student:

The student will work on specific aspects of the overall project (e.g. medical training in Africa since the 1960s). They will be given a topic, an initial set of primary and secondary sources (in PDF form), asked to expand the bibliography and prepare 2-3 short reports on their research over the course of their tenure.

Student Objectives:

  • Examining the way health systems research is carried out in specific regions (Africa, S. America, Eastern Mediterranean, etc.);
  • Examining the development of medical training in specific regions;
  • Examining the role of social science research in Global Health and competition among various disciplines (economics; health policy and systems research etc.), particularly at the regional and national levels.
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, forthcoming 2022.

For details, see Professor Weisz’ Web Page.

2022 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 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. Value: varies.
  • 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. Value: Varies.
  • 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. Value: varies
  • 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.
  • William and Caroline Krishnappa Travel Award for Global Health - Established in 2017 by Harriet H. Stairs, BA 1967 and Andrea Stairs Krishnappa, BA 1996, in honour of their grandchildren and children, William and Caroline Krishnappa. To provide travel support for one undergraduate student pursuing a global health project in India in the summer. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs.
  • 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. Value: varies.
  • Dr. Stephen Corber Global Health Travel Award - Established in 2019 by Stephen J. Corber, M.D.,CM 1969 to provide travel support for one or more students pursuing global health experiences related to under-resourced areas and who are participating In service learning, clinical electives, and/or public health activities. Students may include, but are not limited to, undergraduate students in the Global Health Scholars Program, medical students, medical residents, students in the health sciences, and Public Health graduate students. Awarded by the Faculty of Medicine upon recommendation of the Director of Global Health Programs.
  • 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. Value: varies.
  • 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.

    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 & 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 people 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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