Overview: The Wilson Centre Fellowship Program
The Wilson Centre Fellowship program was developed to educate researchers to engage in their own program of high-quality research, to collaborate with a diverse set of research colleagues and to train the next generation of researchers in this field. Formally started in 1997 it has mentored over 80 fellows representing a variety of clinical and academic fields. Fellows typically include clinicians from a variety of health professions, as well as an increasing number of graduate students from other fields, who devote 2–5 years outside their clinical work to develop the ability to conduct research in health professions education. Because the Wilson Centre fellowship is not a degree-granting academic program, fellows are enrolled in master and PhD programs primarily, but not exclusively, at the University of Toronto. The program encourages students from a diverse set of disciplinary and professional domains. Graduates of the Wilson Centre Fellowship Programme have taken up leadership positions in medical education across
Canada and internationally.1
Undertaking a Wilson Centre fellowship is a major commitment of time and resources. Until recently, the Wilson Centre has not had source of formal funding and applicants are required to demonstrate that they have sufficient funding for tuition and living expenses for the minimum two year program. For many individuals, including those from health professions without funded education fellowships, those who are stepping out of full-time employment and those who travel from abroad, the cost of undertaking a fellowship can be very high. In 2010 the Wilson Centre announced The Currie Fellowship Program to address this need. The Currie Fellowship Program at the Wilson Centre was established through a generous gift from Richard and Elizabeth Currie to support the development of leaders in health professions education research. Having previously endowed the Currie Chair in Health Professions Education Research, the Curries provided the new gift in the spirit of developing leadership and academic excellence in health professions education research that would also overcome some of the financial hurdles that prevent the best and brightest from accessing training. The awards were designed to provide sufficient funding to allow health professional trainees or graduate students interested in the health professions, domestic or international, to access training at the Wilson Centre.
The Currie Fellowship Program rests on three pillars:
1. Academic excellence
• Demonstrates high-level academic accomplishment (see documents required, below)
2. Leadership potential
• Identifies education research is a primary academic focus
• Demonstrates vision
• Has the ability to function as an ambassador for health professions education research
and for The Currie Fellowship Program. [For International students this would involve
learning about the Fellowships and the Wilson Centre environment.]
3. Financial considerations
• Faces obstacles to a health professions research career (tuition, leave from work,
Details of the fellowship
The fellowship is for one year.
For the 2012-2013 cycle, and in each subsequent year, the total annual fellowship funding is $70,000. One fellowship will be awarded annually. The fellowship is renewable for a second year, pending demonstration of success during the program. For the second year renewal, a two-page statement indicating accomplishments and plans for the second year should be submitted. The fellowship is not
renewable more than once (total maximum duration of funding is two years).
How to apply
(Details posted on Wilson Centre website www.thewilsoncentre.ca) Applicants must meet usual Wilson Centre Fellowship application criteria (see Wilson Centre website). Briefly, this includes being enrolled in a graduate degree, having a primary supervisor at the Wilson
Centre and making a commitment to be onsite at the Wilson Centre for a minimum of two years. We also welcome post-doctoral fellows who have a primary supervisor at the Wilson Centre and who will commit to be onsite for at least one year.
There is an additional application procedure for this special funded fellowship.
Application package (all documents must be submitted electronically email@example.com)
1. Application form
2. Application letter (addressing specific questions below)
3. Current curriculum vitae
4. Transcripts (last competed degree and current postgraduate program, if applicable)
5. Three letters of support (specifically addressing the three criteria: academic excellence, leadership
potential, financial obstacles)
Phase one will be followed by focused interviews of a short list of candidates.
Fellowship Criteria to be addressed in the application letter (These criteria are in addition to the
regular Wilson Centre Fellowship application criteria)
1. The fellowship aims to reward and foster academic excellence.
What are you most proud of in your academic career to date?
2. The fellowship aims to support those who might not be able to access this training otherwise.
What would this funding enable you to accomplish that would otherwise not be possible?
3. The fellowship aims to create leaders in health professional education research.
What opportunities in health professions education research could you create or take advantage of
as a result of this fellowship?
Deadline: October 31, 2012
Start Date: July 1, 2013
(Then annually thereafter, the October application deadline and July start date)3
Address application to:
The Currie Fellowship Program Selection Committee
Wilson Centre for Research in Education
Toronto General Hospital
200 Elizabeth St., 1ES559
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2C4
firstname.lastname@example.org [submit application by email please]
- Parker K, Shaver J, Hodges BD. (2010) Intersections of creativity in the evaluation of the Wilson Centre Fellowship Program, Medical Education, 44(1):1095-104.