Training, Education and Mentorship program

The CanHepC Training, Education and Mentorship program is one of the founding pillars of our network and has been a major success in accelerating the development of critically needed capacity in hepaitis C virus research.
 
CanHepC is building on the achievements of the National CIHR Research training program in Hepatitis C (NCRTP-HepC), established in 2003, to train the next generation of researchers in all areas related to hepatitis C virus in Canada using a multidisciplinary approach. Since 2003, a total of 137 trainees and 95 summer students have benefited from the program and their success is recognized worldwide. Some of them became leaders in the field and have now come full circle as independent investigators and co-applicants of this network (J. Grebely, S. Sagan, S. MacParland and Che Colpitts).  
 
The CanHepC Training, Education and Mentoring program includes:

1.TRAINEE FELLOWSHIPS

To foster the development of a new generation of highly skilled researchers, CanHepC offers trainee fellowships at key career transition points: summer students, graduate students, postdoctoral and clinical fellows. We expect to train 20 summer students, 8 graduate students, 5 postdoctoral and clinical fellows over the next 5 years in addition to the 20+ graduate trainees currently enrolled in the program. New trainees are recruited annually through an open competition. To qualify for a CanHepC fellowship, trainees have to work on a project relevant to the network's research themes and be supervised by one or more of the network's researchers with academic appointments (mentors). Interdisciplinary supervision is encouraged. The program also supports the development of community-based researchers.

To learn more about the CanHepC fellowships application criteria and how to apply please visit the fellowships page.

2.MENTORSHIP ACTIVITIES

Each year, trainees present annual progress reports, research posters, and oral talks at the Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus (CSHCV) and the Canadian Liver Meeting (CLM), which are evaluated by the program's mentors. At the network’s Annual Meeting CanHepC mentors and trainees have the opportunity to engage which each other to develop collaborations. The meeting includes dedicated trainee time with an invited guest speaker of the CSHCV/CLM which in the past years has included world renowned hepatitis C researchers, representatives from the community sector and people with living/lived experience of hepatitis C. Trainees also present their feedback on the training program as a way to continuously improve and inform the program’s development. We also partner with the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) in a series of periodic workshops aimed at career development in the field of infectious and liver diseases throughout Canada. 

3.EDUCATIONNAL CURRICULUM

The structured curriculum is delivered throughout the year via web-based conferences. It includes an online course “MCB 6355 – Transdisciplinary Studies in Hepatitis C/ Étude transdisciplinaire de l’hépatite C” offered at the Université de Montréal every other year and webcast to other participating universities, a webinar series accessible to the public that covers key issues in the field on alternate years, and an online journal club. 

For more details please visit the curriculum page.

4.PROMOTION OF COLLABORATIONS, VISIBILITY & KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION

To promote research collaboration and global visibility, travel awards are offered to trainees to do an elective in a different research setting/environment or to attend an international meeting. The CanHepC & TRR179 Student Exchange Program (Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager, TRR179 director) between Germany and Canada promotes training exchange between laboratories in these 2 countries. Trainees are encouraged to participate in knowledge exchange efforts of the network with the community and people with living/lived experience of hepatitis C, and community members are invited to share their knowledge and offer training to new investigators through participation in network activities and seminars. Every year, trainees are required to visit liver clinics and community-based organisations as part of their term. Finally, the trainees participate in the World Hepatitis Day event on July 28 every year to raise awareness on hepatitis C and global elimination efforts. These efforts are led by the trainee representatives which are elected every year.