KBHN-CASDA Policy Development Practicum Award | February 2, 2021

The federal government is taking practical and actionable steps to develop a National Autism Strategy. The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance (CASDA) and Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) held policy fellowships, which produced a policy compendium. Work will continue in supporting the creation of this strategy by the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS) in its ongoing assessment towards a National Autism Strategy, focused on three key areas:

  1. social inclusion,
  2. economic inclusion and
  3. evidence-based interventions.

With a focus on these three key areas, KBHN and CASDA are partnering to offer graduate students, postdocs, or research associates the opportunity to contribute to this critical initiative and gain invaluable experience in community partner engagement and policy development.

The KBHN-CASDA Policy Development Practicum Award aims to encourage trainees from all disciplines and training programs to explore the policy dimensions of their work in the field of autism.

  • Award: $2000 stipend support + registration fees to the CASDA Leadership Summit 2021.
  • Award term: March 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021
  • Eligibility: Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates from all disciplines interested in autism or developmental disability research.
  • Application Deadline: February 19, 2021
  • Award Notice: March 1, 2021

Why should I apply?

  • To understand the linkages between research and policy through an immersion experience
  • To engage in a policymaking process on the priority areas for a National Autism Strategy.
  • To utilize research to improve policy development, implementation, and evaluation
  • To learn how to communicate effectively with a wide range of engaged stakeholders, including autistic Canadians, service providers, researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders dedicated to moving the strategy forward.
  • To further expand career opportunities and network
  • To learn how to formulate more informed and useful questions for policy-related research
  • To strengthen skillsets with professional development opportunities.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants should have:

  • Demonstrated academic excellence in areas related to neurodevelopmental disability research and autism.
  • Interest and motivation to work on policy-related topics.
  • Be a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, and research associate interested in autism or developmental disability research.
  • The ability to commit 2–5 hrs per week.

NOTE: Applications from all disciplines and all Canadian institutions are welcome. Past interns have had academic backgrounds in occupational therapy, education, neuroscience, public health, amongst others. Note that applicants do not need to have completed a policy-focused degree program or have worked in a policy-focused role.

If you are successful:

  • You will be supported and mentored by KBHN’s research training committee (RCT) team and CASDA’s leadership team.
  • You will co-produce a policy brief representing one of CAHS’s three critical areas of assessment of the National Autism Strategy.
  • You will attend the 7th Canadian Autism Leadership Summit (October 2021).
  • You will become a highly qualified professional member of KBHN, including access to training and networking opportunities with experts, professionals and health and community partners.
  • You may receive a profile at KBHN’s Annual Conference or in the network’s Annual Report.

How Do I Apply?

Please submit the following to training@kidsbrainhealth.ca:

  1. A cover letter, a maximum of two pages in length, outlining why we should consider you for the award and what qualities and expertise you can offer;
  2. Your curriculum vitae;
  3. A letter of recommendation from your supervisor

If you have any questions, please email Hajer Chalghoumi, KBHN Training Manager, at training@kidsbrainhealth.ca.

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