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.
We want to get your opinion on ways to promote inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) for staff and trainees! Take our survey here.
- Canada Research Chairs Program
UHN has developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to increase transparency within its Canada Research Chairs 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 comprises the following individuals:
This committee work is supported by Margaret Kinyanjui (Manager, Research Strategy Development), Lisa Murphy (Director, Human Resources – Research) and Stephanie Susman (Research Impact Analyst, Research Strategy and Planning) and Treesa Joseph (Research Administrative Assistant, KITE).The IDEA Committee will review current policies, procedures and practices to identify gaps and opportunities, and advise on the implementation of specific initiatives to promote IDEA within the research community. You can find the IDEA Commitee Terms of Reference on our Research Strategy intranet page (internal connection required).If you have any questions about the IDEA Committee, please contact email@example.com.
- Amanda Veri (Coordinator, Office of Research Trainees)
- Anam Islam (Clinical Research Coordinator, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Anastasia Tikhonova (Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Anna Gagliardi (Senior Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Anusha Ratneswaran (Postdoctoral Fellow, Krembil)
- Azadeh Yadollahi (Chair; Scientist, KITE)
- Courtney Jones (Scientist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Hodan Mohamud (Research Clerk, KITE)
- Jennifer Campos (Scientist, KITE)
- Karen Davis (Senior Scientist, Krembil)
- Kyle Francis (Postdoctoral Fellow, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Moira Kapral (Scientist, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Nikki Woods (Research Director, The Institute of Education Research [TIER])
- Patti Leake (Development Officer, The Institute of Education Research [TIER])
- Paul Chartrand (Project Manager, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Rob Cairns (Scientific Associate, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute)
- Rose Karithanam (Clinical Research Coordinator, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- Rossanne Kagaoan (Research Administrative Assistant, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre)
- TeamUHN IDEA Resources
Note: The following links can only be accessed through UHN's internal network.
- Other 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.Upcoming seminars:
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. Monday June 21, 2021 at 10:00 AM ET. Register here.
- Equity Surveys at UHN
About UHN's Equity Surveys: UHN has two equity surveys: the 1) Toronto Academic Health Science Network Employment Equity Survey; and the 2) UHNWomen Survey.
These surveys are essential for helping UHN to identify and overcome barriers and to find solutions that increase and sustain the participation of under-represented groups in research. All researchers, staff and learners at UHN are encouraged to complete these surveys.
The purpose of this voluntary self-identification survey is to enable the institutions within the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) to better understand the diversity of their research communities and to identify potential barriers to participation in research. The survey questions are consistent with those used by the Canada Research Chairs Program, and the wording used is aligned with the federal Employment Equity Act and the Accessible Canada Act. Information collected through this survey will help UHN in developing CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plans and a strategic plan to foster inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility.
This survey is administered by the University of Toronto’s Division of the Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity (HRE), which will provide survey results to your hospital employer on a confidential basis.
Privacy and Use of Survey Data
The collection, use, disclosure, retention, and disposal of your personal information are conducted in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and UHN’s policy for the protection of personal and other confidential information. The data collected via this survey will be held securely and will be accessible only to three designated individuals (two individuals within the University of Toronto’s HRE department and one hospital-designated Human Resources lead or equivalent). Record-level survey responses may not be accessed by any other individuals and will be held separately from all other employment or personal data.
For the purposes of internal reporting beyond these designated contacts, survey results will be shared only in aggregate. Public reporting may include only aggregated data, with numbers less than five suppressed in any publicly available reports.
Data collected via this survey will be used solely for the purposes of developing CRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plans and supporting related equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and may not be accessed or used for any other purpose.
Participation in this survey is voluntary, and you may select “prefer not to answer” in response to any of the survey questions, or you may choose to decline the survey in its entirety. If you wish to decline the survey, may we ask that you kindly log a response indicating that you choose not to participate; this response will allow the University and your employer to include you in the response rate to the survey even if you did not choose to provide any information.
The questions in this survey are consistent with those used by the Canada Research Chairs Program and the wording used is aligned with the federal Employment Equity Act and the Accessible Canada Act. CRC developed the survey questions in consultation with the Triagencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) and other stakeholders. You will have to answer similar questions when you apply for a grant from these agencies. This is part of a collaborative effort by agencies and institutions to ensure that Canadian research is equitable, diverse and inclusive.
This survey is intended to be accessible to users of assistive technologies, including screen readers. If for any reason you cannot access this survey, an accessible format or communication support can be made available upon request by emailing email@example.com.
Q1: The survey only has five questions that ask about race and disability. I thought there would be more questions about the barriers that underrepresented groups.
A1: This survey is intended to capture self-identification data for the research community in order to determine which groups may be under-represented and experience the ongoing impacts of systemic barriers. The survey is also meant to provide data about overlapping social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, language and disability, of our research communities. It’s part of a larger initiative at UHN to collect equity data. Another engagement survey will be released in the fall to identify barriers that members of the research community are experiencing.
Q2: Could I be disadvantaged in any way by providing this information?
A2: No. The information you provide will be stored in a confidential database. Information will be shared in aggregate and solely used to develop IDEA initiatives.
Q3: I would like to change the responses to my survey. Is there a way to do this?
A3: Yes. You may update your information at any time by submitting a new survey response. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to do this.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the email@example.com
UHNWomen is a corporate initiative to bring together women and allies across UHN to help create equal opportunity for all. You can help to inform the development of UHNWomen’s strategic path forward by completing the UHNWomen’s pulse survey. To learn more about UHNWomen, click here.
Q1: What was the science behind these questions?
A1: The UHNWomen’s pulse survey was developed by an external firm (Optimus SBR) that has experience in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion. The survey is designed to shed light on the key issues, barriers and areas of importance for UHNWomen and the impact of intersectional issues such as race, sexual orientation, accessibility, etc.
Q2: The survey asks for information that I’d like to keep private — can I help shape UHNWomen without disclosing that info?
A2: Yes absolutely. This is a pulse survey that is optional to complete. You may select “prefer not to answer” for any of the questions. You can also skip a question all together if you do not want to select “prefer not to answer”.
Q3: Will the data be linked to any other sources? How will the data be used?
A3: This is a stand-alone survey. There is no linkage to any other data sources. Survey results will be collected by Optimus SBR (a third party external firm) and individual results will not be made available to UHN. Only aggregate results will be used to help inform the development of UHNWomen’s strategic plan.
Q4: How many surveys are there? I’m tired of filling these out.
A4: This is the only survey being planned for UHNWomen, but we recognize that there is survey fatigue. It was designed to be able to be completed in 5 min to help minimize any inconvenience. Due to data confidentiality and privacy, the various groups that are interested creating a more inclusive, diverse and equitable culture do not have access to existing demographic data, which is why you may be asked to complete multiple surveys. We value your time and appreciate your participation in these important surveys.