Postdoctoral Fellowship Call

Autism Care

Research
Education
Community
Policy

Research

“Future research needs to focus not only on the biological markers of ASD but also include data about functioning, participation, and environmental barriers and facilitators.”

Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo  //  Developmental Pediatrician

 

MacART is laying the foundation for creating a systematic way of linking scientific research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at McMaster University to clinical practice at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The physical proximity of McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University has a number of characteristics that provides the rare opportunity for collaborative research. Taking advantage of existing university and clinical infrastructure and cross-appointments for clinicians at the university, ASD experts from these organizations are coming together to integrate ASD research into clinical practice.

The focus of MacART members’ research is in the areas of basic science, clinical practice, clinical research, epidemiology and statistical modelling, knowledge translation and exchange, and social science research. By promoting the collaboration of stakeholders across disciplines, MacART is reducing barriers to implementing research in clinical practice, with the goal of advancing autism care through meaningful research.

Learn more about our research HERE.

Education

MacART members are now supervising more than 50 research trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, and are engaged in the mentoring of junior and intermediate faculty members.

In the future, we intend to establish research and clinical training programs for students in McMaster’s undergraduate medical, health sciences, and psychology programs, and for residents and fellows in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

By training and mentoring emerging researchers and practitioners, we will help to solidify their understanding of and commitment to using basic science to inform their clinical practice, and to use their clinical experience to help formulate research questions. It is our belief that involving these learners in MacART educational activities will promote their use of practices that advance autism care through meaningful research.

Community

“Our scientists are working collaboratively with local clinicians to generate the evidence needed to improve autism services. This symposium is a great example of McMaster’s community engagement efforts.”

Dr. Patrick Deane // President & Vice-Chancellor // McMaster University

 

The community engagement component of MacART strives to work with stakeholders and involve them as partners in every step of the research process.  By doing so, the questions that drive research begin to change. They become more meaningful because they address the real day-to-day challenges faced by children and their families, and the clinicians supporting them.

MacART aims to increase participation and involvement of members of the McMaster and Hamilton communities in the research process. With community members driving the research, new and relevant knowledge can be produced to bridge the research-to-practice gap in ASD and advance autism care through meaningful research.

Policy

“People whose lives are connected to the challenge of autism can share knowledge – from clinicians to educators to parents – and what an amazing opportunity that is. We have a real opportunity to translate challenges into research, and research into practice that will help families living with autism.”

Rob MacIsaac  //  President & CEO // Hamilton Health Sciences

 

Policies should be created using the best available evidence that make positive impacts on the lives of individuals with ASD, along with their families.

MacART’s founder, Stelios Georgiades, serves on both federal and provincial advisory committees about ASD treatment funding.  Along with the wide-ranging expertise of its many ASD experts, MacART is set to act as a highly credible source of evidence-based information to influence and inform public policy about the provision and funding of ASD diagnosis, treatment, and family supports.

MacART will continue to find ways to collaborate with policymakers to both learn more about the policymaking process, and to contribute our expertise and knowledge to inform policymaking, in order to advance autism care through meaningful research.

What is the Martha and Vincent Wagar Intellectual Disability and Autism Research Fund?

Established in 2021 from the estate of Vincent Wager, this fund is to provide support for intellectual disability and/or autism research within the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. Expenditures from the Fund will be guided at the discretion of the Dean & Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences. Specifically, the fund will support costs (e.g. salaries, supplies, equipment) related to innovative projects underway in the area of intellectual disability and/or autism research in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

 

Proposal for this Research Fund

The Martha and Vincent Wagar Intellectual Disability and Autism Research Fund award provides postdoctoral candidates in the Faculty of Health Sciences the opportunity to pursue leading-edge research, specifically in the areas of autism and/or intellectual disability.

This annual award is designed for candidates who demonstrate excellence in their research and are interested in pursuing postdoctoral work related to autism and/or intellectual disability in the Faculty of Health Sciences. This postdoctoral fellowship will be awarded on the recommendation of a selection committee. Funded through the generosity of the estate of Vincent Wager, the award will provide support of $56,000 for one year; funds may be used to cover salary and/or reimburse expenditures including conference travel/fees, workshops, and other expenses as deemed eligible by the selection committee.

 

Eligibility

Please note that candidates must fulfill or have fulfilled all degree requirements for a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree in order to be eligible for this fellowship.

Eligible candidates must be within five years of receiving their PhD or MD.

The candidate must plan to conduct their research in a department or school (or related centre or institute) that resides in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

For candidates who hold (or are completing) a PhD, the proposed supervisor(s) listed in their application must be different than their PhD supervisor. The proposed supervisor must be from within the Faculty of Health Sciences, but a co-supervisor may be from another Faculty.

 

Application Process

Applications will be requested and reviewed annually (approximately spring of each year, for a fall start date). Applicants are to propose a research plan on the topic of autism and/or intellectual disability, along with identifying a potential supervisor(s).

A short-list of applicants will be selected for interview by the selection committee, to be held by videoconference. Applications will be ranked based on their academic excellence, productivity, as well as the scientific merit and potential impact of their proposed research.

 Applications will consist of the following:

  • Application form (click link to access)
  • Cover letter/letter of intent – a brief description of the applicant’s background, interest in the fellowship, how the fellowship would contribute to their training and career goals
  • Curriculum vitae – using the Canadian Common CV website – CIHR Biosketch format
  • Copy of official academic transcripts
  • Research proposal – description of the research project, including rationale, objective, hypothesis, methods, analyses, conclusions (maximum 2 pages, single spaced)
  • Three (3) letters of reference from individuals other than the proposed supervisor who have supervised previous research or academic work
  • Confirmation letter from identified supervisor(s) to supervise the proposed research

Applicants should combine these materials into a single PDF and submit via email to autism@mcmaster.ca.

The deadline for 2022 has been EXTENDED to Friday August 12th, 2022.

 

Selection Committee

The Selection Committee will be composed of the following (or a delegate):

  • Chair of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences
  • Chair of the Department of Pediatrics
  • Director of the Offord Centre for Child Studies
  • Director of the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research
  • McMaster Children’s Hospital Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopment  

 

Support

This fellowship is possible from the generous support of the estate of Vincent Wagar, via the Martha and Vincent Wagar Intellectual Disability and Autism Research Fund.
 

Contact

For questions, please contact Anna Kata at autism@mcmaster.ca.