Canada lacks sufficient numbers of well trained clinical investigators to meet the challenges presented by the assessment and treatment of mental disorder in the community. The Clinician Investigator Program (CIP) is a Royal College-accredited program that provides structured research training and support for future academic clinicians who plan to do research as a key component of their medical career. Even prior to the Royal College-accredited CIP, the Department had its own investigator training program beginning in the late 1980s. The Clinician Investigator Training Program (CITP) as it was then called, was developed by a group of senior clinical investigators at McMaster to provide exceptional students with a structured training program in psychiatric research so that they may eventually become independent investigators in their own field. That tradition continues with CIP; residents and fellows are provided with a unique combination of academic instruction in research methodology and an apprenticeship as an active member of an established research team.
Description of Education Setting
There are exceptional opportunities for research training in psychiatry at McMaster. The Faculty of Health Sciences is internationally recognized for innovation in medical education and an emphasis on multi-disciplinary collaboration in research and teaching. As a result, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences has very strong links with the other departments in the Faculty of Health Sciences and in the University. This has allowed the Department to develop impressive research programs in psychiatric epidemiology, community-based interventions, mood disorders, neuropsychiatry, neurosciences, women’s health and child psychiatry.
Once an applicant is accepted into the program, he/she is assigned to a faculty mentor, a senior clinical investigator, who will be responsible for setting specific goals and objectives. The mentor acts both as a research supervisor and as a facilitator of the trainee's career development. The trainee and the mentor establish a supervisory committee composed of faculty members in the Faculty of Health Sciences, possibly including some from outside the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. Each supervisory committee represents balanced interests so that the trainee can benefit from input from other related areas particularly in methodology, research design, and measurement. Concrete goals are set out for each year of the program and the supervisory committee meets at least quarterly to review the Fellow's progress.
For information about Eligibility and other aspects of CIP, please refer to the CIP Website.
An applicant should first contact the Department Representative for CIP (Dr. Zena Samaan). The applicant and the mentor then prepare a brief written proposal to outline areas of study, educational objectives, and other educational activities to be pursued during the course of the training program.