Family Engagement in Research Course

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 integrated research teams.

Apply now

The applications for the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 cohorts have been extended to Monday, June 20th 2022. Applicants will be notified about the status of their application by August 2nd 2022.

Course dates:  

Fall 2022 Cohort: September 19 – November 27, 2022

Winter 2023 Cohort: January 16 – March 26, 2023

For questions related to the course, please contact:

Apply now or get the latest updates on the next application dates and deadlines:



Course Fees and Scholarships

The course fees are $500.00 CAD. Full scholarships are available to Canadian and international applicants. Please note that scholarships are limited and priority is given to family partners and trainees (graduate students and postdoctoral fellows).

To apply for a scholarship, you will need to indicate on the application form that you do not have funding from any source. Please see the table below for details on the scholarship application.

Letter of Support (one page max)

Statement from supervisor indicating that the applicant does not have alternative funding. The letter should discuss what makes the applicant an excellent candidate for the course, their commitment to being able to complete the full course, and how participating in this course will contribute to their academic goals and career development.

If you will be requesting funding from a supervisor or researcher to participate in the course, please feel free to use the email templates below to support you in this process.

Email Template to Support Asking for Funding as a Family Member.

Email Template to Support Asking for Funding as a Trainee or Research Staff Member.

For questions related to the scholarship application, please contact:

Course Brochure

All you need to know about the Family Engagement in Research Course is here!

Feel free to download a copy of the brochure and share it with your networks, friends, and families.

Download the brochure


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 four virtual classes, independent review of written materials/case studies, and weekly online group discussions and exercises.

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. 


Graduate Testimonials

"This course has been fulfilling in so many ways. I have learned a lot, but it was the conversations and connections that ring true" – Parent

​​”The course was exceptionally interesting and helpful. I really liked working with my small team throughout the course. I think the readings and resources were also helpful, and I look forward to sharing them with colleagues on my research teams.” – Researcher

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.”– Researcher

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.” – Researcher



This research is being funded by Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Patient-Oriented Research Transition to Leadership Stream.