SMRTS Seminars Program

The SMRTS (Sharing Multi-network Resources for Trainee Success) Seminars Program is a professional development initiative between 9 national and provincial networks aimed at providing the best possible programming to our respective trainees.

Each month, we will offer our trainees access to a wide range of soft skills programming through a live-streamed webinar or event.  For further information about specific webinars, please contact the host network as listed below.


Thursday 30 July, 2019, 1:00-2:00 EDT

“Getting out of your silo – how and why you should,” Paula Gardner (McMaster University)

Working with people who are outside of your own area of expertise or interest allows diverse groups to combine their expertise, creating a team that produces results greater than the sum of its parts. Paula Gardner takes an interdisciplinary approach to her own research, which has allowed her to expedite experiments and develop solutions that could only have been accomplished with a diverse team. This webinar will share Paula’s own approaches to interdisciplinary research, strategies for success, as well as some of the challenges of working with people outside of your discipline – and how to overcome them.

Paula Gardner, PhD., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, the Asper Chair in Communications, and the director of the Pulse Lab at McMaster University. Her research interests include feminist media studies, digital culture, and biometric technological practices. Paula’s media background allows her to explore research using various production mediums. She is actively involved in interdisciplinary research. For example, the ABLE project (Arts Based Therapies Enabling Longevity for Geriatric Outpatients) brings together researchers from five McMaster Faculties to develop technologies that will enhance the cognitive, physical and emotional health of frail older adults.


Hosted by McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA). Please contact Kara Aaserud ( if you have any questions or concerns.



2019 Webinars

2018 Webinars

  • “Pitching and Presenting with Style,” Sylviane Duval, OpenTheBox, (MEOPAR NCE)
  • Choices and Opportunities for Academic & ‘Academia Adjacent’ Careers,” Allison Brennan & Leslie Grad (KBHN)
  • “Social Media: Building Your Personal Brand,” Kate Headley, MsCommuniKate Public Relations (MEOPAR NCE)
  • “Taking Good Business Ideas out of the Lab: Commercializing Your Research” (GlycoNet)
  • “Navigating Academic Scholarship,” Amber Hastings-Truelove (CFN NCE)
  • “The ABCs of Media Interviews,” Margaret Polanyi (Senior Communications Manager, AGE-WELL NCE)
  • “Experimental Design and Reporting” (BioCanRx)
  • “Write the Right Grant” Dr. Parminder Raina, (McMaster University)

2017 Webinars

  • “Moving Research to Policy: Practical Approaches for Researchers to Inform Policy Development,” Dr. Jennifer Zwicker (University of Calgary) & Dr. Keiko Shikako-Thomas (McGill University)
  • “Media Relations- How to Get Your Story Into the Press,” Lisa Willemse (Senior Communications Advisor, OIRM)
  • “Understanding Patents in the Academic Environment,” Lisa Sim (Miller Thomson LLP)
  • “Grantsmanship: An Exercise in Strategy,” Dr. Jennifer Quizi (Ottawa Hospital Research Institute)
  • “Building Success Through Networking and Interview Skills,” Guang Ying Mo, PhD.

2016 Webinars

  • “Reverse Innovation: A Case Study,” Dr. Matt Ratto (University of Toronto)
  • “Communicating in Plain Language,” Sylviane Duval (Independent Consultant)

The SMRTS Program is a collaborative effort between the following networks: