Optimizing the prevention, treatment and lived experiences for those affected by obesity, diabetes and cardiometabolic complications is best achieved through advances arising from large interdisciplinary teams. Canada is fortunate to have several highly productive interdisciplinary regional research teams, tackling a range of research gaps in the prevention and treatment of these diseases, in some cases in collaboration with patient and community partners. These teams have come together to jointly create Canada’s largest health research training platform to date in the area of obesity and diabetes. This platform provides unique opportunities for trainees at all levels and Early Career Investigators (ECIs) across the country to benefit from the unique strengths of each regional team.
Obesity, diabetes and cardiometabolic conditions are interconnected diseases that are best understood through complementary approaches ranging from basic sciences to public health, from molecules to communities. Providing future researchers with a perspective broader than their specific field of expertise will improve health outcomes, reduce the burden on healthcare systems, and improve the lived experience of those affected across their lifespan.
Our platform’s overarching aims are:
- to optimize access to individual training and mentoring trajectories, professional development, and experiential learning for a diverse population of trainees and ECIs, leading to favorable research career outcomes in the areas of interest; and
- to harness the strengths of regional research teams to create Canada’s largest integrated, transdisciplinary training and mentoring asset in these fields.
- Assemble a novel and innovative interdisciplinary training and mentoring community that is trans-sectoral in scope across the pillars of health research and supports skills development for careers in academia as well as non-academic professional pathways;
- Identify current gaps in training and mentoring and, in collaboration with existing trainees and patient/community partners, co-develop an integrated, novel and comprehensive research training and mentoring portfolio that meets the relevant prerequisites of all career paths, strengthening a broad range of professional development skills to support career prospects;
- Harmonize the quality of the existing programs regarding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) practices and policies and include training in accessibility for individuals with disabilities, anti-racism, and unconscious bias, while promoting priorities and world-views, engagement of, and learning from racialized and Indigenous communities and trainees;
- Consolidate and reinforce integrated programs across Canada for the first time under our new health research platform in both official languages; and
- Continuously prioritize and expand outreach to include trainees from communities that have been traditionally under-represented in academia.