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Health-care Professionals
Health-care Professionals

Clinical Research Training

Paediatric Research Academic Initiative in SickKids Emergency (PRAISE) - Applications for the January 2019 term are now CLOSED. Please check back in March 2019 for application details for the July 2019 term.

What is the purpose of this program?

Volunteers for the Paediatric Research Academic Initiative in SickKids Emergency (PRAISE) Clinical Research Training Program at SickKids function as trainee volunteer research assistants. Volunteers will be trained to help screen and enroll eligible patients into multiple clinical research studies that are currently recruiting in the Emergency Department.

The specific goals of this initiative are to provide a constant research presence in the Emergency Department and to educate and mentor future research and/or health care professionals and to improve recruitment rates to ongoing studies.

What will I be doing?

You will primarily be the first research point of contact for patients and families arriving in the ED. As they arrive you will be scanning the ED patient tracking system to capture possible patients for approximately 10 studies. This will entail approaching families and/or clinical staff and completing a short set of questions to determine eligibility into the various studies. PRAISE volunteers will be responsible for obtaining full consent and completion for survey studies and some cohort projects. You will also work closely with the ED research nursing team for more complex studies such as clinical trials. Importantly, you will be working closely with the PRAISE coordinator who is committed to educating the PRAISE participants and ensuring a high performance standard.

What is required commitment and how do I apply?

A commitment of two shifts per week, every week, for six months from volunteers with a keen interest in learning more about the basics of clinical research. Volunteers will choose from shifts times from Monday through Sunday. The program operates seven days a week from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and is divided into the following shifts times:


  • 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
  • 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm to 10 pm


  • 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

The program follows terms that run from January to June and from July to December. All volunteers must: meet SickKids hiring requirements (TB test, proof of immunization, criminal reference/background check and orientation), complete Ethics and Good Clinical Practice training and familiarize themselves with current protocols. Volunteers who meet minimum program requirements may have the opportunity to extend their six-month commitment for another term upon performance evaluation.

  • Current registered students (priority will be given to third and fourth year undergraduates) or recently graduated students (less than 12 months) from an accredited post-secondary program (e.g. undergraduate, graduate or nursing school) are eligible for this training program
  • A commitment to work two shifts per week for six months is mandatory
  • Volunteers must meet occupational health requirements (two-step TB test and up to date immunization)
  • Complete paperwork as required by Human Resources and Volunteer Services 
  • Attend the program and hospital required orientation session(s) and training shifts (see dates above)
  • Complete Tri-council policy statement (TCPS2) ethics training certificate
  • Medical School Graduates are not eligible to apply for the program

Please note the following dates and deadlines. As successful applicants please be aware you will need to strictly adhere to these mandatory timelines and be available for ALL DATES for the duration of the term to apply for the program.

  • Application Deadline: Friday October 26, 2018 at 11:59 pm
  • ONLY successful interviewees will be contacted by email on Tuesday October 30, 2018
  • Interview Dates: Friday November 2 and Monday November 5, 2018 **These dates may be subject to change**
  • MANDATORY Orientation Evening: Friday January 4, 2019 from 4 pm to approximately 7:30 pm
  • Training shift weeks: Weeks of January 7 and January 14, 2019 (all volunteers must complete two shadowing shifts during this time, one each week).
  • Duration of six-month term: January 7 2019 to June 30, 2019

The application process

  1. Complete the application survey: CLOSED
  2. Attach a copy of your CV and unofficial transcripts to application survey.
  3. Please DO NOT apply if you are unable to commit to all the above dates and times. Incomplete or late applications will NOT be considered.
  4. You will NOT receive a confirmation email after completing the application survey.

Costs: Approximately $120

  •  $20 for Vulnerable Sector Search
  •  Approximately $80 for a Two-Step TB Test
  •  $10 for a SickKids PRAISE Volunteer T-Shirt   


To be considered for the position you should possess:

  • Excellent attention to detail and efficient time management skills
  • Strong communication, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to be self-directed, flexible and take initiative
  • Be very comfortable working independently with families and staff or as part of a team in a busy emergency department
  • Previous customer service skills and/or experience working with the general public is an asset

Will I be paid?

This is a volunteer opportunity. At the end of your six-month commitment reference letters are available upon request.

How might this experience help me? 

This position primarily provides the opportunity to learn about practicality of conducting research in a clinical setting. During each six month term, you will receive some formal instruction on research methods. If you plan to pursue a career in clinical research, you are likely to benefit from having clinical research experience on your CV. Many motivated PRAISE participants, either alongside or following their PRAISE experience, have had the opportunity to be involved more extensively in individual research projects.

You will gain valuable clinical experience communicating with families in the ED. Additionally, having the opportunity to work alongside experienced clinical staff will provide better insight into paediatric emergency medicine and offers the opportunity to cultivate collaborative relationships with medical professionals that will helpful if you are considering a medical career.

What type of research is going on? 

Current research studies and quality projects are focused on areas of care that directly affect thousands of children in the ED every year. Studies include but are not limited to, children with asthma, gastroenteritis, anaphylaxis, soft tissue infections and paediatric injuries. 

Who do I contact for more information?

Please email: acutecareresearch.training@sickkids.ca. This web page has the most up to date information and due to large volumes of emails we may not be able to respond to all enquiries.