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.

Apply now

The Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 cohorts are now full! Please fill out the registration form to express your interest in participating in future cohorts. 

Registration form:

For questions related to the course, please contact:

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Course Brochure

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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 here


Topics Covered

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You can check the Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 course schedule to get an overview of the topics and timeline.


Course Goals

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Upcoming 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. 


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


Youth Engagement in Research

The Youth Engagement in Research aims to understand the training needs of youth and young adults with disabilities in order to adapt the current Family Engagement in Research (FER) course for youth. 

Learn more



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This research is being funded by Kids Brain Health Network