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SickKids

Fellowships and student opportunities

Exceptional training to prepare the next generation of leaders in global child health.

We’re committed to training and educating the next generation of leaders in global child health, offering a number of programs and fellowships for aspiring students and fellows.

Check out the opportunities currently available at SickKids, as well as eligibility criteria, application requirements, deadlines, and more.

  1. Student opportunities
  2. Fellowship opportunities
  3. Grants
  4. Free online courses

Student opportunities

Every summer, we welcome students looking to develop their knowledge and skills in global child health. 

We currently accept students through several existing summer research programs. Please visit each program’s website for more information about eligibility criteria, application requirements, and deadlines. 

Individuals interested in volunteer opportunities, please visit the SickKids volunteering page.


Fellowship opportunities

The Global Child Health Fellowship program is an exceptional training program that serves to develop leadership and scholarly skills in addressing the health of children and their families in low- and middle-income countries.

The fellowship includes several key curricular components, including mentorship and a scholarly project focused on either research or sustainable capacity building through education. Through this program, we aim to train the next generation of leaders within the field of global child health (GCH).

Applicants should be looking to start a challenging two-year fellowship program. This interdisciplinary program will be accepting applicants from a variety of clinical, research, and other related professional backgrounds (e.g., medicine and surgery, laboratory sciences, nursing, allied health, PhD epidemiology, etc.)

The Centre for Global Child Health (C-GCH) at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recruiting fellows for the Global Child Health Fellowship training program.

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2024 fellowship cohort. Stay tuned for the call for applications for the 2025 fellowship cohort!

Questions can be directed to the Global Child Health Fellowship Program Committee at cgch.fellowship@sickkids.ca

Fellowship FAQs

The GCH Fellowship is designed as a 2-year program. In exceptional circumstances, the program may consider fellowships of a shorter duration (no less than 1 year).

The GCH Fellowship Program is designed to train an interdisciplinary cohort of fellows. The curriculum involves several key components including mentorship, a scholarly project, and didactic seminar sessions. While international travel is not a mandatory part of our curriculum, pending project needs, travelling abroad to study field-sites may be required.

  • Mentorship: Fellows are paired with a primary supervisor who will provide mentorship and guidance throughout the course of the 2-year training program in the area of the fellow’s scholarly project (see below for more information regarding the selection of a primary supervisor). Fellows are also matched with a committee of between 3 to 4 faculty members, senior staff, or other experts at the Centre for Global Child Health and other institutions who have expertise in the topic area of the fellow’s scholarly project. Fellows typically meet with their committee on a quarterly basis and receive research and professional development advice at each of these meetings. Moreover, an evaluation form of the fellow’s progress is completed at the end of each committee meeting.
  • Scholarly Project: Fellows are required to play a leadership role on one or more academic projects within either the Centre’s research or sustainable capacity building pillars. In addition to working closely with their primary supervisor, fellows will have the opportunity to collaborate with other members of the Centre for Global Child Health during their project(s).
  • Didactic Seminars in GCH: Fellows are expected to attend the Centre’s weekly seminar series in global child health. Fellows will also have the opportunity to present their work to colleagues periodically, to identify and invite other speakers to participate in the series, and to coordinate and moderate seminar sessions.
  • Field Experiences: While not mandatory, fellows may participate in research or capacity building activities in the field, related to their scholarly project.

Fellows who have a clinical background (i.e., MD, RN, or other allied health professionals) and have a license to practice in Canada will typically spend approximately 80% of their time (equivalent to 4 days per week) working towards the completion of their scholarly project(s). Activities during this time may include attending supervisor or committee meetings, working on research-based or sustainable capacity building projects, or attending seminars and other learning sessions at the Centre for Global Child Health. The remaining 20% of their time will generally be spent working clinically to ensure that they maintain their clinical acumen. Securing a clinical placement is the responsibility of the fellow, but the fellowship program may be able to assist in identifying an appropriate clinical placement at SickKids.

Fellows who either a) do not have a clinical background (i.e., PhD) or b) are clinicians but do not have a license to practice medicine in Canada or choose to focus 100% on research/capacity building activities will spend 100% of their time (5 days per week) working towards the completion of their scholarly project.

All fellows must complete a scholarly project during the course of the two-year program. Scholarly projects may include work in either research or capacity building through education. Fellows will also gain exposure to advocacy work and other research and capacity building initiatives at the CGCH that are unrelated to their scholarly project.

We match fellows with supervisors from the Centre for Global Child Health based on an alignment in the fellow’s research and/or capacity building interests and project availability. Specifically, we match fellows with a primary supervisor who has similar research/capacity building interests to the candidate as well as an available and funded project.

Yes, all fellows must be matched with a primary supervisor who is affiliated with the Centre for Global Child Health. Fellows may receive input related to their project from other mentors at an external institution; however, primary supervisors must be based at SickKids.

Start dates for successful applicants are flexible and will be determined by the Fellow in discussion with their Fellowship Supervisor and Fellowship Program Director. 

The fellowship program is a full-time commitment, so it is strongly recommended that applicants focus 100% on their fellowship. If an applicant is pursuing a degree that allows protected time for research and few to no course-based requirements, the fellowship candidate may discuss this option with the Fellowship Program Director.

Yes. Please note that it is the Fellow’s responsibility to ensure all Canadian immigration requirements are fulfilled. Fellows are expected to be based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the duration of their fellowship.

Current fellows

Dr. Michelle Dimitris

Doctor Dimitris smiling
Dr. Michelle Dimitris

Dr. Michelle Dimitris obtained her PhD (epidemiology) from McGill University in 2019; her doctoral dissertation focused on examining maternal weight gain and its relationship with perinatal health outcomes in twin and singleton pregnancies.  Dr. Dimitris previously obtained her MSc (epidemiology) from Queen’s University in 2012 and additionally worked as a data analyst at the Centre for Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children, where she worked on maternal and child health-related projects in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Dr. Dimitris’ research interests are in the application of advanced statistical and causal methods to persistent challenges in perinatal epidemiology, and particularly research questions that are global in scale and impact. 

Fellowship Project Description 

Dr. Dimitris planned and is currently pursuing two projects related to perinatal health in Pakistan. Primarily, Dr. Dimitris is investigating the patterns and determinants of pregnancy loss in Matiari District by leveraging the unique data collection schedule of two preconception studies, which systemically collected data on pregnancy initiation and completion among large population-based samples in this region. This project, which is a secondary analysis of previously-collected data, recently obtained ERC approval from Aga Khan University, and a data sharing agreement is pending. Secondarily, Dr. Dimitris is applying causal mediation analysis to better understand the mechanisms of action of a multicomponent “neonatal kit”, which was aimed at decreasing neonatal mortality and was previously implemented in a large, cluster-randomized trial in Rahimyar Khan. Dr. Dimitris is currently analyzing data as part of this project. 


Dr. Hillary Ganek

Doctor Ganek smiling
Dr. Hillary Ganek

Dr. Hillary Ganek, PhD, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, investigates how children with hearing loss learn language in their natural environments. Her research engages the use of daylong audio recordings and automated vocal analysis tools. She has worked clinically as a speech-language pathologist in Australia as well as on the cochlear implant team at Johns Hopkins and has taught aural rehabilitation in Vietnam and Ethiopia. Hillary holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from McGill University, a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Northwestern University, a PhD in rehabilitation sciences from the University of Toronto, and completed a post-doc in the Cochlear Implant Lab at SickKids.  

Fellowship Project Description 

Dr. Ganek's Global Child Health Fellowship project is a cross-sectional study that will determine the prevalence of hearing loss in children under five years old living in Pakistan. Unaddressed hearing loss can lead to delays in listening, language, and speech skills, causing a cascading effect on cognition, mental health, relationships, education, and employment. These deficits result in losses greater than US$980 billion globally each year. Sixty percent of hearing losses are preventable via public health measures and identifying and treating hearing loss early can mitigate negative outcomes. Pakistan, like many low- and middle-income countries, does not currently have a comprehensive hearing screening program and COVID-19 lockdowns have reduced access to healthcare services which could prevent hearing loss. This study will determine the prevalence of pediatric hearing loss, related language delay, and potential etiologies in Pakistan. Ten-thousand children will be recruited to participate in the hearing screenings via mobile testing sites. Their hearing will be tested using objective measures and a caregiver questionnaire will assess language and potential etiologies. Children who fail the screening will be referred to Aga Khan Maternity and Child Centre for follow-up care. In line with the Lancet Commission on Global Hearing Loss and WHO’s World Report on Hearing, my study seeks preliminarily data to support public health investment in a hearing loss treatment and prevention program in Pakistan that will build community awareness, monitor trends in hearing, increase productivity, and reduce the global burden of hearing loss. 


Dr. Paulo Augusto Neves

Doctor Neves smiling
Dr. Paulo Augusto Neves

Dr. Paulo Neves completed his BSc in Nutrition in 2008 and earned an MSc in Human Nutrition in 2013 from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He holds a PhD degree in Public Health Nutrition (2015-2018) from the School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Brazil. During his doctorate studies, he worked on a birth cohort study in the Western Brazilian Amazon aimed to identify early life factors that can affect optimal child nutrition, growth, and development in under 2-y children. In 2018, he joined the team of the International Center for Equity in Health, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, which analyzes data of several nationally-representative surveys conducted in low- and middle-income countries aimed at reducing health inequalities. Additionally, he conducted several analyses on the global breastfeeding situation for the next Lancet Breastfeeding Series (expected 2022). 

 


Dr. Sam Brophy-Williams

Dr. Sam Brophy-Williams
Dr. Sam Brophy-Williams

Dr. Sam Brophy-Williams is a paediatrician with a passion for global child health. After growing up and completing his medical degree in Western Australia (with stints in Sierra Leone and the Kimberley), Sam undertook a Masters of Public Health at Harvard University, concentrating in Global Health, under the auspices of a General Sir John Monash Scholarship. Since then he has completed his training as a general paediatrician and is undertaking post-fellowship training in paediatric infectious diseases.

Dr. Brophy-Williams has worked in clinical paediatrics, research and capacity building roles in Australia, as well as in Timor Leste (with Australian Volunteers International) and Afghanistan (with Medecins sans Frontieres).

His professional interests lie at the intersection of clinical medicine and public health, particularly in low-resource settings. He is driven by a determination to make a difference to child health where it’s most needed.


Dr. Ovokeraye Oduaran

Headshot of Ovokeraye Oduaran
Dr. Ovokeraye Oduaran

Dr. Ovokeraye Oduaran is a graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa. Prior to her studies in South Africa, she earned her BS (Biology) and MS (Genomics, Proteomics and Bionformatics) degrees from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and the George Washington University in Washington, DC., respectively. She has experience in gut microbiome research in cohorts across six rural and urban study locations in four African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa) as part of the AWI-Gen project within the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) consortium.

Dr. Oduaran is now a member of Dr. Daniel Roth's group as a postdoctoral fellow. She is working with the Synbiotics for the Early Prevention of Severe Infections in Infants (SEPSiS) team


Grants

Global Child Health Catalyst Grant

The 2024 Global Child Health Catalyst Grant competition has now closed. Stay tuned for the 2025 competition details!

The Global Child Health Catalyst Grant aims to support innovations that benefit children and their families in resource constrained settings. 

‘Innovation’ can be expressed in many areas, including scientific, technical, social, management, and implementation. We’ll fund up to two awards, up to $25,000 CAD each. We’re looking for high quality proposals that impactfully moves global child health forward. 

External applicants are welcomed but the principal applicant must be a SickKids staff member, graduate student or postdoctoral fellow (a staff appointment is not required).

For more information, please refer to the Global Child Health Catalyst Grant Guidelines (PDF) and FAQs (PDF)

Learn more about past Catalyst Grant awardees (PDF).

Get in touch with us at global.catalyst@sickkids.ca for any questions or other inquiries. 


Free online courses in global child health and public health nutrition

In order to increase the availability of training to health-care providers worldwide, the Centre developed and designed the SickKids Public Health Nutrition Course and the SickKids Global Child Health Course. By leveraging the expertise and global networks of SickKids, these free online courses provide participants with exposure to key issues in global child health and public health nutrition. Our vision is to increase availability of training to healthcare workers worldwide, while equipping course participants with the knowledge to address global child health challenges specifically in resource-poor settings.

Follow the links below to start the online courses today!

SickKids Public Health Nutrition Course (SPHNC)

The SickKids Public Health Nutrition Course (SPHNC) bridges the gap between science evidence and policy with a focus on capacity development for those who want to bring about change in low-and-middle-income countries.  

We are committed to providing accessible formats as part of our commitment to Accessibility. Captions are available on this video through YouTube.

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Learn more and register for the SPHNC course


SickKids Global Child Health Course (SGCHC)

The SickKids Global Child Health Course (SGCHC), an open access e-learning resource, aims to expose students and health workers to key issues in global child health, especially from a low-income setting perspective.  

Learn more and register for the SGCHC course


More from the Centre for Global Child Health

About the Centre for Global Child Health

The Centre for Global Child Health connects researchers and health-care professionals around the world to improve the lives of children and their families in resource-poor environments

Capacity Building

Our capacity building projects focus on collaborative and sustainable paediatric health workforce training and education programs.

Knowledge Synthesis, Translation and Advocacy

Centre initiatives, partnerships and networks are focused on the translation and management of knowledge to impact child health policy.

Research

Learn how leading child health experts are addressing global challenges through collaborative, innovative research.

Contact us

For questions or more information about the Centre, please email us at globalchild.health@sickkids.ca, or follow us on Twitter @SickKidsGlobal and LinkedIn.

Mailing Address

Centre for Global Child Health 
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) 
525 University Avenue, Suite 702 
Toronto, ON, M5G 2L3 

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