In 2018, Ottawa brought down an impressive “science budget” for Canada. Most signals indicate that this year’s federal budget will focus on skills – ensuring that learners finish their first degree or diploma ready to go to work. It is important, however, to recognize and support the value of graduate degrees. As an organization of concerned graduate students and postdoctoral…
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You’ve probably heard of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Mark Zuckerberg. But can you name a woman scientist or engineer? Half of Canadians can’t, suggests a new poll. The online survey of 1,511 Canadians was commissioned by the non-profit group Girls Who Code and conducted by the market research firm Maru/Blue from March 1-3 and released for International Women’s Day today.…
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Innovation Nation: We cannot afford or excuse this double-jeopardy for Canadian prosperity — jobs without people and people without jobs In every sector you can name, digital innovation, particularly the potential of artificial intelligence, is driving dramatic change. A recent report from RBC estimates that 25 per cent of current Canadian jobs will be heavily impacted by technology — and…
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Sex & Gender in Research 101

What is sex and gender? The consideration of sex and gender when designing and implementing health studies is critical in producing the best possible health research evidence. There is a growing expectation that people use appropriate language when discussing these concepts. Introduced in the Spring 2018 Project Grant competition, CIHR now requires that all applicants integrate sex and gender into…
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Marie Curie, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Brenda Milner, Martha Salcudean, Julie Payette, Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson. What do these names bring to mind? They are women whose pioneering work led the fight against cancer, ground-breaking discoveries about how brain cells live and die and to the unveiling of the secrets of human memory. They are leaders in innovation in mechanical engineering and space exploration. They were among the first…
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As research continues to uncover the importance of gut health and its role in all aspects of wellness, probiotic health products continue to receive a huge amount of hype. How huge? Probiotics have become an industry behemoth—one expected to generate $66-billion in global revenue by 2024, built on headlines that link gut bacteria to everything from depression to obesity to migraines to Parkinson’s…
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Today, there is a growing number of science communication opportunities, where individuals can learn, practice and be paid while making science accessible to a general audience. This is a beginner’s guide to science communication opportunities in Canada, which includes outreach, public speaking, writing, journalism and social media initiatives. Disclaimer: In the past, I have taken part in some of the…
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When I was an undergrad science student at the University of Toronto in the mid-eighties, I grew bacteria on petri dishes, marvelling at how quickly they multiplied to form multicoloured colonies that resembled art. My fellow students and I wore lab coats and gloves, but no other gear was required because most bacteria were considered relatively harmless. I never imagined…
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Forward Thinking: How To Tell The Story Of A Health Research Funder

For generations, stories have played a key role in human cultural development, helping us share cultural norms, warn of potential danger, and make sense of the world around us. In this blog, Lori Last, MSFHR’s Director of Marketing & Communications, and Amy Noise, MSFHR’s Manager of Marketing & Communications, introduce the science of storytelling, and outline how to apply those principles to…
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At a downtown Toronto hospital researchers are testing a remarkable hypothesis — that transplanting poop from a healthy person could treat bipolar depression. Dr. Valerie Taylor has people from around the world volunteering to be part of her pioneering clinical trial. “The goal is to see if we are improving symptoms and then to study their microbiome to see if we can…
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