Family Engagement in Research Course

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The Family Engagement in Research Certificate of Completion Program is for researchers (graduate students, trainees, research coordinators, investigators, etc.) and families (parents and siblings) 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 integrated research teams.

Topics Covered

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Course Goals

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Course Dates

Fall 2019 Session: September 23rd– December 1st 2019

Winter 2020 Session: January 20th– March 29th 2020

Please click here for Fall 2019 Course Schedule or here for Winter 2020 Course Schedule*

*Note: Four out of the 10 weeks include synchronous online sessions (meet online at the same time using Zoom teleconferencing platform). Two different times are offered and you have the option as to which one you will attend. 

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, and Kids Brain Health Network Certificate of Completion in Family Engagement in Research. 

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

The Fall 2019 cohort is now full but we are still accepting applicants for Winter 2020.

If you want to apply for the Family Engagement in Research Certificate of Completion Program, please complete the registration form here:

For more information please see the Information Letter and for upcoming session details and questions related to the course, please contact: Andrea Cross, PhD:

Download Information Letter Here

Download Recruitment Poster Here


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This research is being funded by Kids Brain Health Network