SMRTS Seminars Program

The SMRTS (Sharing Multi-network Resources for Trainee Success) Seminars Program is a professional development initiative between 13 research institute, 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.


Wednesday 7 October, 2020 1:00-2:00pm EDT

“Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) Experiences in STEM: Confronting Racism in Academia”

Although the Canadian university experience is often viewed as an open and inclusive opportunity based solely on merit, discrimination and exclusion based on race is very real. Our panel will raise awareness of racism in all its manifestations, but primarily the unconscious bias and microaggressions, in STEM departments and within academia in general. The panel will also discuss how to be anti-racist, practice empathy and understanding, and acknowledge privilege. Finally, we will consider methods for outreach, recruitment, and retention that will ensure BIPOC researchers are better represented within STEM.



• Dr. Carrie Bourassa, Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health; Canadian Research Chair in Community Health & Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan; AGE-WELL NCE Network Investigator
• Dr. Alexandra Davis, Post-doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Science at University of Alberta; HQP, MEOPAR NCE, and; a Member of the Canadian Black Scientists Network
• Dr. Mikhail Burke, Dean’s Advisor on Black Inclusivity Initiatives and Student Inclusion & Transition Mentor, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto


Moderated by:

• Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi, Scientist, KITE; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee Chair, UHN Research; Assistant Professor, Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto







2020 Webinars

  • “A workshop for scientific writers”, Academic Success Centre, University of Alberta (GlycoNet)
  • “Structures & properties of an effective grant proposal”, Dr. David Palmer, University of Saskatchewan (GlycoNet)
  • EPIC Conference Workshop: How to get a job you want“, Jennifer Polk, From PhD to Life (AGE-WELL NCE)
  • EPIC Conference Panel: Communicating your research in the 21st century“, Megan Mueller, York University, Elise Johnson, Paperwhite, & Julia Krolik, Art the Science & Pixels and Plans (AGE-WELL NCE)
  • Knowledge Mobilization and YOU,” Sheryl Guloy, PhD (Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network)
  • “An Assistant Professor’s Guide to Writing a Scientific Review Paper,” Dr. Lee-Hwa Tai (BioCanRx NCE)
  • The Role of the Project Manager in Research,” Robyn Roscoe, Lyric Management (MEOPAR NCE)
  • “Living Through and Coping with Stressful Times: A Session For Graduate Students” Dr. David Pilon, Dalhousie Student Health and Wellness (MEOPAR NCE)
  • “Illustrating Your Research: How to Make an Effective Scientific Figure” Sarah Nersesian, Founder and Scientific Illustrator at Designs that Cell (BioCanRx)

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: