Jason M. Harley, PhD, is the Director of Research at the Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning (SCSIL). Broadly speaking, their mandate is to chair a new Multidisciplinary Research Advisory Committee (MRAC) and advance simulation research at the SCSIL. They aim to bring education science to the SCSIL—to make research a thoroughly integrated aspect and consideration in the SCSIL’s daily operations, planning, and mission.
While the SCSIL has unparalleled opportunities in Canada for the non-invasive collection of rich multichannel data (e.g., audio, video) in a range of authentic simulation training environments (e.g., standardized patients, cadaveric labs, high-fidelity mannequins, distance learning), it has been historically under-utilized when it comes to advancing simulation education research, including publishing and presenting evidence for best simulation education practices. Professor Harley is working to help change this and translate research potential into research products. As part of their role, they support research taking place at the SCSIL from study planning and grant application submission to publication. They are the PI of three successful and recent Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grants that are bringing postdocs and graduate students to the SCSIL to conduct high-quality simulation education research.
They have also created new research policies and guidelines, including the content for the simulation research webpages, to assist new and returning simulation researchers. These policies and guidelines were developed in consultation with the MRAC that Professor Harley struck in March 2021. The MRAC helps Professor Harley govern research matters at the SCSIL and includes six MDs in addition to representatives from the Ingram School of Nursing, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Education, and Institute for Health Sciences Education to help ensure that research supports both MD and non-MD health professions training. Members are accomplished researchers and/or directors of simulation centres and include two fellows of the Royal Society of Canada. MRAC meetings have resulted in a new Terms of Reference, Procedure for Scientific Peer Review, and exciting plans for a research retreat, pandemic permitting. This research retreat will serve as one of the first steps in fostering a local simulation research community with relevant individuals and groups across McGill (e.g., Institute for Health Sciences Education, Ingram School of Nursing, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Gatineau campus, Shriner’s Hospital) and the McGill teaching hospital network with the SCSIL as the hub.
These and other endeavors are helping Professor Harley to achieve their mandate to stimulate simulation research partnerships and help maximize the quality and impact of research activities conducted at, and in partnership with, the SCSIL.
Learn more about Professor Harley from their profile in the Department of Surgery, McGill University and their SAILS Lab webpage. Read about their appointment as Director of Research of the SCSIL here.