On March 10, the Bloorview Research Institute Trainee Executive (BRITE) hosted their second annual BRI trainee workshop. The workshop aimed to inspire, coach, and connect students dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities.
The day was full with interactive workshops geared towards graduate students in the rehabilitation science, medical science, and biomedical engineering programs. Topics of discussion included: How to improve your CV, enhancing your scholarship and grant writing skills, how to formulate a good research idea, developing a conference presentation, time management skills, and much more! The event focused on developing tangible and transferable skills for advancing a trainee's personal and professional goals.
Alongside various professional development opportunities, attendees heard influential stories from parents and scientists. This included a keynote presentation from family leader Donna Cappelli, and a panel on "How To Be A Scientist" featuring BRI's Drs. Nick Reed, Steve Ryan, Anne Hunt, Shannon Scratch, and Mohammad Zubairi.
BRITE Awards for Excellence
This year, a call was put for nominations for the BRITE Awards for Excellence. These awards aim to highlight trainee and supervisor achievements to those that go above and beyond to shape the next generation of researchers, scientists, and clinicians. Three BRITE awards were given at this year's annual workshop to two trainees and one supervisor: Excellence in Peer Mentorship (Patrick Jachyra), Excellence in Trainee Supervision (Dr. Azadeh Kushki), and Excellence in Research Collaborations (Mike Gray).
Excellence in Peer Mentorship Award
Recipient: Patrick Jachyra
Description: BRI trainees go through opportunities to act as a community. As BRI trainees, we value our culture of teaching and learning from one another and our drive to grow together as emerging scientists, researchers, and clinicians. The BRI Mentorship Award goes to a BRI trainee who possesses an outstanding track record of mentors.
“I am thrilled to receive the Peer Mentorship award. It is an honor and a privilege to be mentored by and learn from the great scientists in BRI who have been incredibly generous with their time, energy and supportive in pursuing new frontiers, and transcending disciplinary boundaries. I have sought to learn from their leadership both within and outside of the academy to train the next generation of clinicians and researchers. I firmly believe that effective peer mentorship can positively shape the graduate student research experience, while also positively impacting the families we work with at Holland Bloorview.”– Patrick Jachyra
Excellence in Trainee Supervision Award
Recipient: Dr. Azadeh Kushki
Description: The BRI prides on attracting and training top-level researchers who will maintain high scientific standards to influence the care of tomorrow. Instilling such high quality in the thoughts and practices of our trainees requires explemary supervision. The BRITE supervisor award represents excellence in scientific supervision, skill development, and student support, reflecting Holland Bloorview's values.
“I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. I am fortunate to work with brilliant trainees at Holland Bloorview who share our passion for improving care for children with disabilities.” – Dr. Azadeh Kushki
Excellence in Research Collaborations Award
Recipient: Mike Gray
Description: BRI and our stellar group of trainees value collaborations to direct our research. Nominees for this award demonstrate collaborations for the purposes of research that reflect Holland Bloorview values. Collaborations may include, but are not limited to, children, youth, families, community members, clinicians, practitioners, other professionals, policy makers, and interdisciplinary research.
"I am honoured to be presented with the BRITE excellence in research collaborations award. I have been fortunate to conduct my research in such a supportive and innovative atmosphere at Holland Bloorview. I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr Elaine Biddiss; the PEARL lab; and the other clinicians and researchers with whom I collaborated and sought guidance from throughout my research process. I would also like to thank the families and children whose enthusiasm and excitement for my project encouraged it's development.”– Mike Gray
Congratulations to all award winners, and thank you to the trainee community within BRI and beyond for attending the workshop!