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Bringing UHN up to speed re: gender

When will research let go of its understanding of gender as a binary? Given significant changes to legislation, policy and human rights frameworks on gender identity and expression, there is an opportunity for UHN to recognize multiple genders. This applies to hiring staff and students, the ways in which gender is discussed within research itself, as well as intentional focus on doing research specific to trans communities.

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Topic: Don't see the right topic? Ask your question here!

Aug 15, 2016 9:11am

Bringing UHN up to speed re: gender

When will research let go of its understanding of gender as a binary? Given significant changes to legislation, policy and human rights frameworks on gender identity and expression, there is an opportunity for UHN to recognize multiple genders. This applies to hiring staff and students, the ways in which gender is discussed within research itself, as well as intentional focus on doing research specific to trans communities.

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We agree that there is a growing awareness in gender diversity and that binary definitions are no longer adequate. UHN is a respectful, caring and inclusive workplace that is committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity—and our Research Institutes take this policy very seriously in their hiring practices. Research specific to gender diversity is certainly a worthy topic of investigation; however like all other research questions at UHN, we leave this in the hands of investigators.
Christopher Paige, EVP Science and Research

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Jun 02, 2016 3:18pm

UHN research priorities

Who should be defining the research priorities?
 

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Scientists should be defining the research priorities and we should be developing strategies in a way that enables research to move forward.
 
It is clear that management does not have the ability to evaluate the quality of the research but we do have the ability to evaluate the potential impact that science has. We have the ability to make critical decisions that will ensure that the good ideas we have are all channeled towards the bigger picture problems that we are trying to solve. That is what people are counting on us for. That is our obligation to society.

Clarity in UHN research priorities would help us to integrate student and clinician led research.

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Jun 02, 2016 3:41pm

IT integration

What is the main focus of the IT transformation?

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The IT transformation plan is aimed at aligning all IT teams and services at UHN, improving governance with a focus on customer service, and coordinating all investments associated with technology.  

This will be accomplished through several activities over the course of the year, led by the IT Transformation Team (IT3). Learn more about the IT transformation centre by clicking here

 

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Jun 02, 2016 3:32pm

Clinical and translational research quality

How do we ensure that clinical and translational research at UHN is of the highest ethical quality? 

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Here are a few suggestions:
  • Create a centralized clinical trials support unit that is UHN-wide, which would serve to ensure that all studies meet audit requirements and other quality measurements.
  • Increase transparency in the information provided to the Research Ethics Board.  In some cases there is disconnect between the study submission and intended work and standardized protocol may not represent practical work. 
  • Assign an experienced mentor to investigators who are new to clinical research.  The mentor will help to ensure that the clinical research performed by less experienced investigators meets all ethics and quality requirements. 
  • Streamline administrative research  processes to make it easier and less time-consuming for researchers to implement and meet institutional requirements.
  • Institute membership should be expanded to include all principal investigators who are conducting research at UHN.
We should develop a better research culture to emphasize that reviews and internal audits help us enhance our reputation. A good example is the culture at the Animal Resources Centre. Continuous self-audits have proven successful among researchers and could be used as a tool to reduce misconduct.
We need better training programs. E-training modules are insufficient and ineffective.

For instance we could develop an in-person course for all principal investigators on proper note taking, data storage and archiving, and research misconduct. 

Mandatory hands on training and standardization around methodology, image processing and analysis, and record keeping (both paper and electronic) could be instated for trainees.

Agreed. E-training modules are insufficient.

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Jun 02, 2016 3:21pm

Transforming UHN into a high-performing organization

 
How are we going to put into place a purpose that will help us become a high-performing organization? 

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We need to identify research hospitals and/or institutes that are considered HROs and examine the strategies and policies they have implemented to achieve their status.
 
We should also support a more open culture to manage research quality and integrity. More emphasis should be put on sharing best and worst practices, identifying trends, learning from critical findings; less emphasis should be put on blame. 
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