Building research capability has been one of the key objectives of the HMC/SickKids Partnership Project. Through the outstanding contributions and commitment of scientists and clinical research staff from the Research Institute, the project has enabled HMC staff to be better positioned to influence child health outcomes through clinical research. Particular focus has been placed on training HMC clinical researchers and identifying faculty well positioned to facilitate research training following completion of the partnership.

The HMC/SickKids Partnership Project completed the third and final course of training for research trainees; a course developed to further build capacity in relation to child health research in Qatar.  The specific objectives of the course were to: 
  • Increase course participants’ knowledge in conducting clinical research
  • Develop practical application of that knowledge
  • Develop proposals for submission to a granting agency
Upon completion of the course, trainees had a proposal for submission to a granting agency, developed during the five month course with a peer review and facilitation by SickKids SMEs.

In addition to offering the Core Research Training Course and in response to needs expressed by experienced researchers, advanced educational sessions on specific research topics were offered to those who had previously completed the Core Research Training Course, had at least five peer reviewed publications, or were a Principle Investigator or Co-investigator on peer-reviewed, funded grant applications.  The three Advanced Research Training Sessions were:
  • Literature Searching and Reference Software Workshop
  • Data Management
  • Biostatistics
Research Training Outcomes
A review of outcomes since offering the research training course revealed that graduates have been increasingly successful in submitting grant submissions to the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) subsequently resulting in an increase in QNRF and HMC Medical Research Center (MRC) grants. Graduates of the course were also found to be conducting ongoing research with an increasing number of publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Training of HMC researchers through the HMC/SickKids Partnership courses has raised the profile for child health research and enhanced capacity for HMC research, both skills and training. The courses have had a tremendous impact on the culture of research at HMC as nearly all graduates from the course have submitted abstracts and many have presented at the HMC Child Health Research Day.

A short-term follow-up of research training course graduates was conducted to assess the impact on research activity. The table below presents the support provided by SickKids SMEs for course facilitation and a limited summary of selected outcomes. These findings are based on a limited sample of 25 (56 percent) of the total 45 graduates since the start of the HMC/SickKids Partnership research training course.

Number of Courses Delivered  
Number of Sessions Delivered
Total HMC Attendees  
QNRF Submissions 
QNRF Grants Received
MRC Grants Received
Active Research
Peer-Reviewed Publications
Abstracts Submitted for Child Health Research Day

The research training course was accredited this year by the University of Toronto for future graduates to receive 90 CMEs upon completion of the course.