Update: August 8th, 2022

Applications for Autism Alliance of Canada Data-to-Policy Fellowship are now closed. We have received a competitive pool of applications and have begun the selection process. Should you be amongst the short-listed applicants, we will be reaching out to you to set up an informal meeting, as well as contacting your reference for verification of supervision around late August 2022. All applicants should expect to hear back around early September 2022 with a final decision.

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Now Closed: Call for Applicants Data-to-Policy Fellowship

Autism Alliance of Canada, The Sinneave Family Foundation, Kids Brain Health Network, and Autism Speaks Canada invites you to apply to the 2022-2024 Autism Alliance of Canada Data-to-Policy Fellowship competition.

This fellowship is an opportunity for PhD students/candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates from health services and policy, population health, epidemiology, neurosciences, clinical psychology, or related research backgrounds, with an interest in neurodevelopmental disabilities. Trainees will apply their data analytic and research skills to support multidisciplinary working groups in advancing the use of Canadian data assets to inform autism policy and practice in Canada, which has broader implications to all neurodevelopmental disabilities. This award will provide a stipend for $40,000 over the course of 18 months and is primarily intended to provide additional funding for trainees.

Background

Fellows will support the work of the Autism Alliance of Canada’s Autism Data Collaborative (ADC), formed in partnership with The Azrieli Foundation, with the mission of facilitating and accelerating multidisciplinary, multi-sector, and multi-jurisdictional data initiatives and health services and policy research for autism. The ADC is composed of individuals from across the country who are national organizational leaders as well as leaders in research, policy development, epidemiology, and service provision, and puts the expertise of those with lived experience at the forefront.

Four working groups were launched in February of 2022 as a core component of the ADC, each focusing on a specific priority area for the autism community:

  • Advancing the Use of Administrative Data.
  • Developing Capacity for Shared Measurement Across Community Organizations.
  • Implementing Standardized Clinical Outcomes.
  • Exploring the Development of a National Clinical Registry for Autism and Concurrent Conditions.

The Fellowship

Trainees awarded the Autism Alliance Data-to-Policy Fellowship will have an opportunity to play an integral role in supporting the generation and sharing of data and evidence in the autism and broader neurodevelopmental disability sector. A key priority of this fellowship will be to lead data initiatives that can help inform the development of Canada’s National Autism Strategy, which is being lead by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Trainees will support the implementation of national projects and/or grants based on the priorities and innovative ideas that emerge from their respective working groups. Examples of projects include:

  • the development of shared indicators for collecting demographic and outcome data on people on the autism spectrum and/or with other neurodevelopmental disabilities that access services through community organizations;
  • a grant submission to a tri-council funding agency that uses population health administrative databases to investigate priority issues for people on the autism spectrum and/or with other neurodevelopmental disabilities;
  • the development of a pilot project for a community waitlist dashboard; or
  • the development of a pilot project for a national clinical registry.

The Autism Alliance of Canada will act in a management and support capacity as the convener of these working groups, and overseer of the cohort of fellows. The Autism Alliance of Canada will also ensure there are regular and consistent interactions between the working groups and fellows. 

Parameters of the Award

  • Award: The fellowship stipend will be $20,000/9 months for each trainee, over an 18-month term, $40,000 total. 
  • Allocation: There will be five fellowships awarded.
  • Internship term: 18 months from approval, 5-10 hours a week.
  • Location: This opportunity will be entirely remote.
  • Application Deadline: August 7th, 2022.
  • Start time: October 2022.

Note: Funding can be used to supplement existing graduate funding, awards, and stipends.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants are eligible to apply if they:

  • will be a PhD student/candidate, postdoctoral fellow, or research associate in the Fall of 2022; 
  • are from health services and policy, population health, epidemiology, neurosciences, clinical psychology or a related background;
  • currently reside and work/study in Canada (any Canadian Province or Territory);
  • are interested in autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities;
  • possess strong communication and analytical skills, an adaptive mindset, and an ability to work within a dynamic team environment;
  • are able to commit 5-10 hours per week for 18 months beginning in Fall 2022.

Note: The Autism Alliance of Canada is committed to enhancing training opportunities for groups who have historically been left out of the research ecosystem such as those marginalized by gender, race, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous Persons status. In particular, we strive to increase training capacity for neurodiverse and Autistic researchers. We encourage applicants from all of the above specified groups.

Why Apply?

This fellowship will provide trainees with the opportunity to: 

  • Develop applied skills: apply your research, communication, and leadership skills in a policy-focused environment outside of traditional academia.
  • Research outputs: generate tangible research-related outputs to build your curriculum vitae.
  • Advance your national network: connect with a wide range of stakeholders (including nationally renowned researchers, leaders of community organizations and not-for-profits, service providers, and people with lived experience) to expand your professional network. 
  • Gain practical experience: develop skills transferable to non-academic workplaces. 
  • Opportunity for presentations: present your work at the 2023/2024 Canadian Autism Leadership Summit.

Application Process

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply by filling out the application from below by August 7th, 2022, at 11:59pm EST. You will be required to answer several questions surrounding your experience, upload a CV, and provide the contact information for one reference (preferably an academic supervisor). You will be notified of our final decision by the end of August 2022.

Contact

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Danielle Pearlston, Autism Alliance of Canada’s Research Coordinator, at dpearlston@autismalliance.ca

Note: Unfortunately, due to capacity limitations of our team, the Autism Alliance of Canada is unable to offer this opportunity in French.

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