Research Training

  • Refer to the detailed Rotation Specific Objectives of Training in Research on one45.

McGill’s Department of Psychiatry postgraduate education program is committed to developing the scholarly training of residents to the standards of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and encourages the development of higher levels of competency that can be achieved through a variety of research training rotations.

The following research training opportunities are offered to meet a range of competency levels:

  1. Core research training is mandatory and includes educational activities leading to a working level knowledge of competency.
  2. Optional research training includes educational activities leading to a proficient level of competency.
  3. Advanced research training includes educational activities leading to an advanced level of competency.

Research and Scholarly Requirements

  1. Residents who started postgraduate training from 2015 and on are required to engage in a scholarly project.
  2. Residents are free to choose whichever stream they prefer to conduct their scholarly project: they work independently, via research electives or selective, the research track, the master’s in psychiatry track, or the Scholarly Project Track.
  3. All residents are invited to attend the annual Research Seminar Series, which is a series of lectures and workshops designed to further develop research skill.


Scholarly Project Track (SPT)

  1. The SPT is designed to assist residents by having protected time for small scale research activities.
  2. This track is open to all residents who are not part of Research Track.
  3. This track spans from PGY1 to PGY5.
  4. In terms of teaching, residents are offered research-related lectures during centralized teaching and can attend the research track seminar series (see below).
  5. The program encourages residents to reach for other sources of training in research methodology: web-based training, books, lectures, and courses.
  6. Residents will be asked to identify an area of interest in psychiatry/mental health (ideally during PGY1 or the first half of PGY2). Once an area of interest is identified, the research subcommittee will assist in finding a staff member of our department who works in that area.
    • Residents will be required to submit their research proposal (and name of research supervisor) 6 weeks before booking their first research block.
    • If residents have difficulty finding a project and/or a supervisor they should contact the program office and/or the co-chairs of the research subcommittee, or review videos of McGill psychiatry researchers that have been collected by the MPRA Research representative.
  7. Residents are responsible for allocating sufficient time for the scholarly project, including using some of their personal time to prepare adequately.
  8. During the course of their training (PGY1–5), the program offers residents three blocks of 5 days to work on their project.
  9. A maximum of 2 weeks of scholarly project track time can be requested in the same year, and these must be in different periods.
  10. Residents can request a maximum of one week to work on their scholarly project during their first year and this can only be requested during the 4 periods of Fundamental psychiatry rotations.
  11. These days are not considered vacation, conference, study, or personal days. These days are considered part of the residents’ training as they are taken during clinical rotations and do not count towards the 75 per cent.
  12. Residents are required to pursue their regular academic and longitudinal requirements, including attending centralized and hospital-based teaching, longitudinal psychotherapy and supervision requirements, and on call requirements.
  13. Research blocks must be booked at least 6 weeks before the block is scheduled.
  14. The research supervisor, the program office, local training director, and supervisor(s) of the clinical rotation must approve a research block.
  15. For each research block request, trainees must submit, to the program and their research supervisor, a detailed description of what they plan to accomplish during the research block within the Research Elective and Protected Research Time Request Form. This will be reviewed by the research subcommittee and feedback will be provided to the resident regarding expected feasibility and appropriateness. This form must be submitted at least 6 weeks in advance of the requested time off.
  16. Residents should also send an email using the “Official Absence Email Template” following instructions found in the program handbook.
  17. Within 5 workdays of completing their research block (blocks 1 and 2), residents are required to submit, to the program office and their research supervisor, a summary of the work accomplished during their block (i.e. progress report along with the actual research endeavour). This information will be collected in a one45 form but can also be sent in to the research subcommittee or program office by email.
    • The program strongly advises residents to avoid booking vacations after a research block since there will be no exception to the requirement of submitting progress reports within five workdays of having completed a research block.
  18. Each progress report must demonstrate significant advancement in the resident’s scholarly project.
    • Failure to provide the program with evidence of significant advancement of a scholarly project within the allotted time will lead to the program office docking five vacation days from the resident’s bank.
  19. Within 3 months of completing the last of three research blocks, residents will be expected to submit to the program office a body of work that is publication worthy.
    • Failure to fulfill this requirement will be addressed by the Competence Committee and could lead to an “incomplete” on the Royal College requirement of conducting a scholarly project (required for signing of resident’s FITER).
  20. The program encourages residents to carefully plan their Scholarly Project Track with their research supervisor, the chairs of the research committee, training director, and program director to ensure that research blocks are used productively.
  21. Research blocks should ideally be used for the following purpose (bear in mind that the research project does not have to be original research; it can be a case report or a quality assessment or improvement project):
    • Pre-Block 1 preparation: identify a topic of interest, identify a research supervisor who is familiar with and/or working on said topic of interest, develop a time-based strategy to complete a scholarly project during the course of clinical training, collect pertinent articles and book chapters to conduct a literature review in preparation of the scholarly project, and start reading said articles.
    • Block 1: write introduction and methods, list materials and collect data to be analyzed.
    • Block 2: data analysis.
    • Block 3: write up results, discussion and conclusion.
    • Post-Block 3: submit for publication.
  22. Residents in the Scholarly Project Track will be evaluated by their research supervisors (using a modified research one45 evaluation) after the completion of each research block.

Research Rotation

In order to be approved, research rotations must be requested by November 13 of the previous year and residents must submit the following documents prior to the start of a rotation:

  • A research proposal (including project title, objectives, hypotheses, methods and procedures, sample size, justification of sample size, and planned statistical analyses)
    • Research proposals must be submitted 2 periods in advance for PGY1 research periods.
    • Research proposals must be submitted 3 periods in advance for PGY4–5 research periods.
  • A research timeline (including the time frame for subject recruitment, data collection, data analysis and manuscript preparation)
  • Evaluative product of the research training i.e.: paper or presentation
  • A letter from their supervisor stating that they accept to supervise them on this project and will provide them with 1 hour per week of one-on-one supervision

Research Track (RT)

The Research Track is available to residents who would like to begin more intensive research training in their PGY1 year (or any other time during training). Residents need to apply to this track and meet with the research subcommittee in order to receive appropriate guidance and support before the start of their Research Track program. The research track consists of the annual research seminar series and of a two-period research rotation in the PGY1 year. The research seminar series is considered protected teaching time. Research track residents are required to attend the entire research seminar series at some point during their training, and this is strongly recommended in their PGY1 year, in order to assist them with the necessary research skills.

Research Track also provides residents with protected research time in the following manner:

  • PGY1 residents may use 0.5 days every 2 weeks or 1.0 days every 4 weeks for research starting in period 7. Please note that this request must first be approved by the Research subcommittee and reviewed by the Competence committee.
  • PGY2-5 residents may use 0.5 days every week or 1.0 days every 2 weeks for research. Their clinical progress will be reviewed by the Competence committee and if the resident is experiencing clinical difficulties, it may be suggested that they temporarily withdraw from Research Track in order to improve their clinical skills.
  • Research half-days should be regularly scheduled parts of the rotation and be discussed with clinical supervisors at the start of the rotation.
  • Please note that research half-day scheduling is subject to the approval of the clinical supervisor(s).
  • Research half-days may not be used during any centralized teaching activities.
  • Research track does not replace any longitudinal training requirements.
  • Please note that time cannot be “banked” for longer periods without a specific request and approval of the research subcommittee and clinical supervisor.
  • The protected research time also includes a 10% reduction in clinical workload from PGY2-5, which could mean 10% overall assessments or follow-ups over the entire rotation, or protected time with no consults or other activities. Residents are required to discuss this reduction with their clinical supervisor at the start of the rotation as clinical supervisors are not aware of which residents are part of Research Track. Residents are responsible for tracking their own workload.
  • Residents must also be cautious to ensure that they are meeting the required clinical time of 3.5 days per week in their actual rotation. This is particularly relevant when residents are part of Research Track as well as Northern Track and other supplemental training experiences.

Research elective for PGY1s must be submitted 8 weeks (2 periods) before the start of the research elective.

Research elective for senior residents must be submitted 12 weeks (3 periods) before the start of the research elective.

Drs Eduardo Chachamovich (eduardo.chachamovich [at] and Robert Biskin (robert.biskin [at] are the co-chairs of the Research Subcommittee which oversees SPT, research rotations and RT. 

Research Seminar Series

The Research Seminar Series is an annual series of approximately 8 sessions providing further skills and training to residents who are interested in or conducting research. Sessions typically occur on Tuesdays after centralized teaching or Friday mornings and are considered protected time away from clinical rotations.

Seminars are open to all residents, and those on Research Track are required to attend the full series at some point during their training, ideally in PGY1. Topics include:

Special Topics in Research (ethics, grants, academic promotion, etc.)

Research and Statistical Methods

Workshops for research and article preparation

Residents Research Day

Research Day

  • All residents doing research in the Department of Psychiatry are invited to present their project and/or findings on Research Day. This is mandatory for RT residents.
  • One guest speaker TBD
  • New RT residents will be introduced.



Training Experience

Year of Training


Level of Competence


Core Research Training


Integrated into the core curriculum

Working knowledge

Understands the scientific literature

Optional Research Training


Longitudinal, half day per week


Can review scientific literature

Advanced Research Training Rotation


PGY 4-5

2–6 months equivalent

half-time or full time, research rotations


Can demonstrate familiarity and apply the scientific literature

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