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Skills & Career Development

The Research Training Centre’s skills and career development programming provides SickKids Research Institute’s more than 1,000 research students and fellows with the skills and support they need to succeed in their current and future research careers. 

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Featured workshops

Researcher working in a lab.

Research Skills Development

Skill development workshops and internship opportunities cover all the skills researchers need to succeed during and after their training. The RTC also supports occasional workshops on a variety of scientific, technical, and practical subjects. 

The RTC’s skills development programming currently includes opportunities to gain new skills and experience in: 

  • Industry partnerships & commercialization 
  • Knowledge translation 
  • Grant writing 
  • Communications 
  • Management & leadership 
  • Translational research 
Researcher working in a lab.
Two researchers reviewing lab results.

Career development

The RTC's Job Search and Private Investigator Prep School programs help prepare graduate research students and postdoctoral fellows for fulfilling careers in any field. 

Business, Government, and Non-Profit Job Markets

The RTC’s Career Development Committee (CDC), led by our research students and fellows, plans, coordinates and facilitates job search seminars which cover key skills in:

  • Preparing job documents 
  • Interviewing 
  • Negotiating 
  • Networking 

The CDC also runs intensive, hands-on resume and cover letter writing workshops. Our annual Career Night provides opportunities for research students and fellows to explore careers in and out of the lab by talking to graduate-trained scientists who work in a range of fields. 

All graduate research students and research fellows are eligible to apply to become a part of the CDC team.

Contact the CDC at career.developmentcommittee@sickkids.ca

Academic Job Market

The RTC’s PI Prep School program help give you the skills to successfully apply for, negotiate, and start your first job as a professor or research scientist.  

The competitive PI Prep School intensive program gives three postdoctoral fellows or research associates the opportunity to experience a real campus interview day, from the job talk to the panel interview, and comes with $10,000 in seed funding to start an independent research project. 

Other PI Prep School seminars cover: 

  • Understanding the recruitment process 
  • Negotiating your first job offer  
  • Establishing your first lab 

The RTC also offers an eight-week intensive Art of Teaching program taught by award-winning faculty, which introduce the fundamentals of pedagogy and best practices in teaching science at the university level. 

Skill development programs

We offer several skill development programs to help you with your current career, and your future endeavours. Learn more about our current RTC programs by expanding the sections below.

Designed for people new to project management, looking to manage larger projects or interested in taking on more project management responsibility in project management.

This course will get you familiar with the concepts and basic functions of the project management body of knowledge, including scope, quality, time, cost, risk, procurement, human resource, and communication management. We also examine how these functions integrate into a project management system, and the role of the project manager and project support staff.  

This course fulfills the required project management education hours required to write the Project Management Professional (PMP) or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exam. 

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

Register for a PM course

This 10-week program, jointly offered by the Research Training Centre and the University of Toronto Graduate Management Consulting Association, will provide graduate students, postdocs, and research associates who work in a SickKids lab with:

  • A grounding in fundamental business concepts 
  • The opportunity to learn from business experts 
  • The chance to apply this new knowledge to solving business cases 

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

Register for the MiniMBA program

KT101

KT 101: Introduction to Knowledge Translation is a half-day primer for researchers, which focuses on the foundational principles of KT planning. Emphasizing the value of both integrated and end-of-grant KT, as defined by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this is an introduction to KT terminology and planning. 

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

View KT101 program schedule

Specialist Knowledge Translation Training

A well-developed knowledge translation (KT) plan is often a proposal requirement for health research funding agencies in Canada and abroad. In addition, various sectors are demonstrating greater attention to the utilization and impact of research.

The Specialist Knowledge Translation Training (SKTT) course was developed on the premise that scientists, practitioners, and educators are agents of change in creating research impact, promoting research utilization, and ensuring that research findings reach the appropriate audiences. This course was designed to teach the unique skill set that surrounds KT practice. 

For registration information, download our brochure for more details.

Download SKTT brochure

The Center for Computational Medicine (CCM) is a Core Facility within the SickKids Research Institute. Our mission is to provide the scientists and clinicians at SickKids with computational expertise, including training in software and programming. Current courses include: 

  • Programming & Data Analysis Bootcamp 
  • Whole Genome & Exome Sequencing

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

View CCM courses

Leadership 101

Developed to meet the specific needs of senior postdocs and research associates, this two-part hands-on workshop will provide participants with information and tools to further develop and improve their management and leadership skills. 

Mentoring for Postdocs

Research demonstrates that the key factor in undergraduate and graduate student success in the lab is the mentorship skills of the lab’s postdocs. This 12-week course, intended for postdocs and senior PhD students who will soon be entering their first postdoc, provides an intensive, practice-based opportunity to level up mentorship skills.  

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

View program schedule

Much of your job as a researcher is communicating what you’ve discovered to the people in your field—editors, conference organizers, poster session attendees. Our communications curriculum covers the essentials:

  • Effective conference abstracts 
  • Scholarship, fellowship, and grant writing  
  • Poster design and presentation 
  • Writing papers 
  • Lit reviews  
  • Thesis writing  

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

View Communication program details

These mandatory seminars (one stream each for clinical and basic researchers) will provide a high-level overview of major integrity issues related to responsible conduct, questionable practices and best practices.

See if we're accepting registrations by viewing our event calendar below.

View Research Integrity seminar schedule

We support researchers as whole people, so join us to engage your mental and physical side. Workshops include:

  • Yoga 
  • Meditation 
  • Qi Gong 
  • Suicide prevention 
  • Peer support (training and access to trained peers)  
  • Money management 
  • Eating well on a budget 

Check out the Wellness schedule over at our News page by following the link below!

View Wellness schedule

Contact the RTC

Have a question? Get in touch with us today!

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Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards

View scholarships, awards, and fellowships available to research students and fellows who are a part of the’ RTC.

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