UHN is introducing new policies to support diverse communities, working with human resources to enable best practices in hiring and retention, and launching initiatives to understand the diversity of TeamUHN.
UHN is committed to championing inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in the learning, research, work and service environments.
- We value the inherent worth of every person including age, ancestry, disability, gender expression, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and all our differences.
- We commit to recognition of rights, respect, trust, co-operation, and partnership with First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous peoples as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- We believe that our differences enrich our ability to develop creative and innovative approaches to deliver exemplary patient care, research and education.
- We recognize that the responsibility to create an inclusive culture rests with each of us where we are personally responsible to hold ourselves and each other accountable.
- Canada Research Chairs Program
UHN has developed and implemented a plan to increase transparency within its Canada Research Chairs (CRC) administrative processes and to identify any barriers that may be affecting the recruitment, hiring or retention of chairholders from underrepresented groups. These actions underscore UHN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and support our ongoing efforts to create an accessible, inclusive, respectful and welcoming service, work and learning environment. For more information on how CRC nominations are administered at UHN please visit our Canada Research Chair Public Accountability site.
- Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund
On May 15, 2020, the Government of Canada announced $450 million in funding, through the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF), as part of its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. This funding will help UHN, and other Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) members, maintain staff and essential activities during the pandemic-related slowdown, interruption and ramp-up to full research operations.
To learn more about UHN’s strategy for EDI in the allocation of CRCEF funds please visit our CFREF Public Accountability site.
- Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility CommitteeThe “Empower research teams and collaboration” priority within the UHN Strategic Research Plan 2019–23 speaks to our efforts to support and develop the world’s top research teams, comprising diverse groups of scientists, clinicians, trainees, staff and other partners. We recognize that there are systemic barriers for many underrepresented groups, and have been reminded of the need for all of society to tackle systemic racism and all forms of discrimination. This includes a clear need for us to do more to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA).As part of this strategic priority, we established an IDEA Committee for Research at UHN. Scientists, staff and trainees at all levels were invited to join—particularly those with lived experience or those with an understanding, knowledge or interest in IDEA principles who could help guide us to make change. The Committee is chaired by Dr. Azadeh Yadollahi and currently comprises the following individuals:
- Anam Islam (Clinical Research Coordinator, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute [TGHRI])
- Anastasia Tikhonova (Scientist, PM)
- Azadeh Yadollahi (Chair; Scientist, KITE)
- Courtney Jones (Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Darlene Reid (Senior Scientist, KITE)
- Evan Foster (Trainee, KITE)
- Jackie Bender (Affiliate Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Karen Davis (Senior Scientist, Krembil)
- Moira Kapral (Scientist, TGHRI)
- Nikki Woods (Research Director, The Institute of Education Research [TIER])
This committee work is supported by Margaret Kinyanjui (Senior Manager, Research Strategy Development, Strategic Research Initiatitives Development [StRIDe]), Patti Leake (Research IDEA Educator) and Anna Gordon (Director, People and Culture – Research).From the outset, the UHN Research IDEA Committee has organized initiatives to change policies, provide education, create opportunities and safer spaces for staff and researchers, and support the next generation of researchers through career and enrichment opportunities. Four subcommittees were established to work separately to develop and implement committee initiatives focusing on supporting researchers, staff and trainees, facilitating data collection and engaging youth from underrepresented and underserved communities. A summary of the committee activities can be found here.If you have any questions about the Research IDEA Committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Alya Heirali (Postdoctoral Fellow, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Amanda Veri (Coordinator, Office of Research Trainees)
- Anna Gagliardi (Senior Scientist, TGHRI)
- Anusha Ratneswaran (Postdoctoral Fellow, Krembil)
- Diana von Appen (Manager, Diversity Office - Research)
- Hodan Mohamud (Research Clerk, KITE)
- Jennifer Campos (Scientist, KITE)
- Kyle Francis (Scientific Associate, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Paul Chartrand (Project Manager, TGHRI)
- Rob Cairns (Scientific Associate, TGHRI)
- Rose Karithanam (Clinical Research Coordinator, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Rossanne Kagaoan (Research Administrative Assistant, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Treesa Joseph (Research Administrative Assistant, KITE)
- Lisa Murphy (Director, Human Resources – Research)
- Stephanie Susman (Research Impact Analyst, Research Strategy and Planning)
- TeamUHN IDEA Resources
Note: Some of the following links can only be accessed through UHN's internal network.
- IDEA Resources
- Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Unconscious Bias Training Module
- CRC Best Practices Guide for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention
- AdvanceRIT – Examples of Bias in Letters of Recommendation
- University of Arizona Commission on the Status of Women – Avoiding Gender Bias in Reference Writing
Best Practices for Peer Review
- CRC Guidelines for Assessing the Productivity of Nominees
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Learning for Participants in Peer Review
- Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research
Resources for Preparing Grants
- New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- Natural Sciences & Engineering Council (NSERC) Guide for Applicants: Considering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Your Application
- Evidence-Based Strategies for Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Undergraduate Research Labs, Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01305
IDEA Considerations in Research Design
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – How to Integrate Sex and Gender into Research
- NSERC Guide for Applicants: Considering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Your Application
- SSHRC Indigenous Research
- Status of Women Canada – Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+)
- Women’s College Hospital Women’s Xchange – The Health Researcher’s Toolkit: Why Sex & Gender Matter
- Gendered Innovations in Science, Health & Medicine, Engineering, and Environment
- University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies Supervision Guidelines for Faculty: Creating Equality and Equity When Working with Students
- Ten Simple Rules Toward Healthier Research Labs, PLoS Computational Biology, doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006914
- feminuity Guide to More Accessible and Inclusive Presentations
- Overcoming Conversation Roadblocks
- Harvard Medical School Anti-Racism Resources
- Accessibility at UHNUHN is committed to meeting the standards outlined in the province's Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Accordingly, UHN is evolving its policies and procedures in compliance with the Act and its standards for customer service, employment, transportation, information and communication and the design of public spaces.We are committed to providing accessible information and communication to all and recognizes that persons with disabilities may require information in accessible formats. All documents required by the Customer Service Standard and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulations (IASR) are available upon request, subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). When providing these documents, UHN will do so in the format requested. If you require correspondence, reports and/or other UHN documents in an accessible format, please contact us by email at email@example.com and let us know what format is preferable. Alternatively, contact us at 416-603-5526 to make your request by phone.To learn more about accessibility at UHN visit the UHN AODA site.
- IDEA SeminarsThe inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility seminar (IDEA) series is intended to provide a forum where researchers, staff and trainees can learn about IDEA-related topics from peers and IDEA experts. The series is organized and managed by the Research IDEA Committee.Previous seminars:Leveraging technology to address communication barriers - Digital technologies provide new opportunities to facilitate meaningful communication. We can use these technologies to get around various challenges, including cultural barriers and accessibility. At the same time, the specific needs of people with physical or cognitive disabilities, socioeconomic disadvantages, or those who live in remote locations must be considered to make sure they are aided and not at risk of being further marginalized due to lower tech-savviness and social isolation. Our speakers highlight how user needs, training, and context impact an individual's ability to use technology. Speakers will discuss: 1) how new assistive technologies can be leveraged to reduce barriers for older adults, people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities wit, peopleh socioeconomic disadvantage, and people who live in remote settings; 2) ways to support the use of these technologies in the health research setting; and 3) the importance of using an equity, diversity and inclusion lens when developing and procuring technologies for use in health, research and social care systems.Mythbusters: challenging widely held beliefs about individuals living with spinal cord injury - International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on December 3 to spread awareness and understanding of disabilities. This year we invite you to learn more about what it’s like to live and work with spinal cord injuries. Speakers will debunk some of the widely held beliefs about individuals living with spinal cord injury and provide insight on ways to ensure a disability-inclusive research environment.Women in academic medicine - Women and girls make up half of the world’s population and therefore, half of its potential. Yet, there is still significant underrepresentation of women in science. In recognition of those challenges, the United Nations has named February 11th as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to support women and girls in science. Long-standing gender stereotypes and biases often discourage women from participating in science-related fields. Moreover, as women progress through their careers in academia, increasing leadership roles and other expectations create barriers to their advancement. Our invited speakers will share their past experiences in academic medicine, highlight some of the challenges women face in research and speak about ways to support and recognize women leaders in the research community.Managing vulnerable patients during and after the COVID-19 pandemic - Due to public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19, institutions/ pain clinics across the country have ceased or severely restricted in-person visits, which significantly impacts care of the 15-19% of Canadians who struggle with chronic pain. Thus, chronic pain patients have lost resources that were their mainstay of stability such as routine physiotherapy and psychotherapy. This presentation will discuss the Transitional Pain program pioneered at the Toronto General Hospital and present some of the findings associated with this model of care, as well as, novel interventions designed to improve access to care during the pandemic and beyond. In closing, a high level overview of novel cannabis based clinical and basic science research underway at UHN is discussed.Promoting anti-racist culture in research - Even though one out of every 30 Canadians identifies as Black, the experiences and diversity of Black individuals are often unappreciated, especially in Canada where there is little data on race and ethnicity. In reality, systemic and institutional racism can often lead to unintended discriminatory attitudes, beliefs, practices and policies that are felt more acutely in the Black community. We have invited two speakers to share equity, diversity and inclusion practices and strategies that aim to address racial and ethnic inequalities that create barriers for Black patients, scientists, staff and learners in the health and research system.Enhancing inclusion in academic medicine - The UHN research IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) committee recently hosted a seminar titled 'Women in Academic Medicine', during which we discussed some of the barriers faced by women in academia. During the seminar, Dr. Moira Kapral (Senior Scientist, UHN) shared different ways to support women researchers and Dr. Serena Sohrab (Assistant Professor, Ontario Tech University) spoke about the impact of infertility on women's careers. The session, which was moderated by Dr. Susanna Mak (Professor, Mount Sinai Hospital), highlighted many challenges that continue to impede the advancement of women in academia, including the effects of motherhood on female career trajectories and gender pay gaps. We have invited four speakers from different parts of the organization to join the conversation: Dr. Brad Wouters (Executive Vice President, Science and Research, UHN); Dr. Emma Bell (Postdoctoral Fellow, UHN); Dr. Laura Desveaux (Scientist, Women's College Research Institute; Founder & Executive Director, Women Who Lead); and Sheila O’Brien (Executive Vice President, People, Culture and Community, UHN). The panelists will talk about the challenges women and non-binary scientists, staff and trainees experience and opportunities to address the negative impact of these challenges.Fostering a culture of inclusion for research trainees - Research trainees represent the next generation of scientists and future leaders in science. Because of this, creating a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility—one that provides equal access to opportunities and ensures that trainees reach their full potential—is critical for the success of the research enterprise. We have invited two speakers to share their insights on ways to create a culture that empowers and supports trainees in academia.Sharing our stories: walking in truth together - This highly interactive session respectfully utilizes story-telling and truth-gifting approaches to discuss complex issues in health care and Indigenous peoples. Participants will be engaged in a series of mini-lessons and activities that: a) explore the various levels of racism/privilege that exist in our professional and personal spaces, b) examine ways to confront/deconstruct these forms of inequity that have real human (and other-than-human) costs, and, c) foster a community of practitioners that can see these ‘issues’ with an informed and strengths-based lens for change.Beyond the male-female binary - For those working in laboratory-based biomedical sciences, it can be particularly challenging to incorporate the complex, dynamic, and context-dependent constructs of sex and gender into paradigms that rely on controlled experimentation. As a result, male-female comparisons are often the default mode for considering the influence of sex and gender.The webinar will explore solutions to help researchers conceptualize and operationalize sex and gender in the lab, including mechanism-oriented and context-driven approaches, and revisiting our practices of data visualization, statistical analysis and scientific rhetoric to promote equity.