Family Engagement in Research Course

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The Family Engagement in Research Certificate of Completion Program is for researchers (graduate students, research coordinators, investigators, clinician-researchers etc.) and families (parents, siblings, grandparents) who have an interest in child neurodevelopmental research. This training program is unique in that it brings researchers and families together in a fully integrated online course. Learners will gain a better understanding of:

  • Family engagement in research (why it is important)
  • How to engage families throughout the research process
  • Barriers/facilitators to engagement
  • Ethics surrounding engagement
  • Tools and resources to support and evaluate engagement activities 

By the end of the course, learners will be ready to partner with integreted research teams.

Topics Covered

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Course Goals

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Course Dates

Fall Cohort: September 21 - November 29, 2020

Winter Cohort: January 18 - March 28, 2021

If you are interested in applying to the course, please fill out the following application:

Course Length and Location

The course runs for 10 weeks (~30 hours) and is delivered in an online format, using McMaster University’s Learning Management Platform - Avenue to Learn (A2L or Avenue). Course work will involve live online (synchronous) discussions, review of written materials and case studies, collaborative online (asynchronous) group exercises, and a group project.

Course Completion 

By completing the course, you will earn a McMaster University/CanChild/Kids Brain Health Network Certificate of Completion in Family Engagement in Research. 

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Graduate Testimonials

I highly recommend this course! With this course I was able to learn a lot about the research phases and how I could be engaged in research as a caregiver. The instructors and participants were fully engaged, the discussions were always respectful and the readings were right on target. An enlightening experience about Family Engagement in Research!” – Parent

Oh, my overall experience I enjoyed it, I loved it. It was really a fulfilling opportunity to be able to focus in on research that I am passionate about but to expand it to a different perspective that I can still relate to, because my research is mainly qualitative.” –Research Trainee

I think it definitely gave me more confidence in how to engage families… Or how to be engaged as a family because it also identified and highlighted some ways to do it…. I learned some actual steps in what it takes to do that, so knowing how to do it gives you the confidence on how to ask for it.”– Parent

I think the course was really structured to give you a lot of tools and confidence to be able to do family engagement.”– Research Trainee

Apply Now

We are accepting applications for the Fall and Winter cohorts!

Fall Cohort: September 21 - November 29, 2020

Winter Cohort: January 18 - March 28, 2021

Registration form:

For questions related to the course, please contact:


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This research is being funded by Kids Brain Health Network