Fellowship FAQ

What is the Wilson Centre?

The Wilson Centre is one of the largest and most comprehensive centres for health professions education research in the world. It is a community of individuals from many disciplines (including medicine, nursing, dentistry, cognitive psychology, education, sociology, communication studies, kinesiology and the humanities) who strive to improve healthcare through thoughtful and innovative research.

What is the relationship between the Wilson Centre and the University of Toronto?

The Wilson Centre is officially an “extra-departmental unit” at the University of Toronto.  An extra-departmental unit is a multidisciplinary, multi-departmental group with faculty and students engaging in a commonly focused area of research. It is a centrally established unit (outside the usual department structure) designed to foster research and teaching in new or highly specialized areas.  

What are the Wilson Centre’s vision and mission?

The vision of the Wilson Centre is to advance healthcare education and practice through research.
The mission is to:

  1. Foster the discovery and application of new knowledge relevant to advancing healthcare education and practice.

  2. Promote creative synergies between diverse theoretical perspectives, and between theory and practice.

  3. Be a world leader in education research.

What characterizes the Wilson Centre community?

The Wilson Centre community is noted for its supportive, collaborative and open-minded research environment. These characteristics are a natural outgrowth of a strong, cross-disciplinary desire to push the boundaries of inquiry in health professions education with leading-edge innovation.

What major research topics are currently being investigated at the Wilson Centre?

Research at the Wilson Centre evolves with and responds to advances in health professions education. Research projects are currently in progress on the following topics:

  • Assessment

  • Effects of stress on performance

  • Globalization

  • Interdisciplinary research in health

  • Interpersonal communication on healthcare teams

  • Interprofessional education and collaboration

  • Health equity

  • History of medical education research

  • Learning and memory

  • Motor learning

  • Self regulation and evaluation

  • Simulation-based training and education

  • Social responsibility


What is a Wilson Centre Fellow?

A Fellow is a graduate student who participates in the Wilson’s Centre’s full-time research training program while pursuing a graduate degree at an affiliated academic institution (e.g., University of Toronto, University of Chicago, Maastricht University, University of Waterloo, etc).

What does a Wilson Centre Fellowship involve?

Wilson Centre Fellows work and learn in a supportive community of researchers and health care professionals. Fellows design and conduct original research. Their work is guided by close mentorship from an established scientist, and it also benefits from the diverse perspectives of the Wilson Centre community. Fellows become familiar with the range of research methods and theoretical approaches used in research, and they develop professional skills needed to pursue a career in the field. The level of mentoring and breadth of interdisciplinary and inter-professional interactions develops scholars who are well prepared to engage in their own program of high quality research, and to professionally collaborate with a diverse set of research colleagues.

Are there additional benefits to being a Wilson Centre Fellow?

Wilson Centre Fellows also benefit in a number of concrete ways. They learn and practice giving oral presentations and participating in discussion groups. Fellows have access to professional-development and career-development seminars, the Centre of Faculty Development Stepping Stones program, and the Professional Development Series. Finally, for practical matters, fellows receive a place to work (office space and materials), a travel stipend, and administrative, media and creative support.

What are the responsibilities of Wilson Centre Fellows?

Wilson Centre Fellows are integral members of the Wilson Centre community and are expected to actively participate in both formal events and day-to-day activities. Fellows are responsible for attending monthly presentations and professional development seminars, presenting their work as it progresses, and participating in the collaborative conversations of the Centre. They are also responsible for fulfilling the milestones required in their home departments and adhering to the highest standards of professional and research ethics. 

Where have graduates of the fellowship program gone after the Wilson Centre?

Graduates of the Wilson Centre move on to a number of different positions, often in combination:

  • PhD and post-doctoral programs (sometimes continuing as WC Fellows)

  • Clinical practice, research, teaching and leadership roles

  • Academic research, teaching and leadership roles


Is the Wilson Centre a degree-granting department/institution?

No. The Wilson Centre does not grant degrees.  Fellows do receive a certificate of completion at the end of their fellowships.

How do I obtain a degree, then?

Fellows obtain their degrees by enrolling in affiliated programs. Many fellows choose the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), the Institute of Medical Science, or the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. However, a fellow can enroll in any program as long as:

  • The research to be carried out is relevant to health professional education AND,

  • The selected department or program is willing to allow your Wilson Centre Supervisor to sit on your Master's/PhD committee or act as your program supervisor.


How do I become a Fellow? What is the application process?

Start by carefully reading the Wilson Centre Research Fellowship Program Policies and Procedures,
All the specifics about eligibility, the program, and the application process are in this document. 
The key points to remember are:


Who is eligible for the Wilson Centre Fellowship?

Wilson Centre Fellows must be pursuing graduate studies (Masters, PhD or post-doc) in an area relevant to research in any aspect of health professions education.

How long is the Fellowship?

Wilson Centre provides 2-5 years of onsite, fulltime intensive support and mentorship.

How will I fund my research?

The Wilson Centre does not offer funding at this time. Fellows are expected to seek their own funding to support their research. For some Fellows (especially those coming from a Medical Postgraduate Program), funding is provided by their health professional program. Other Fellows apply for scholarships and grants, either from their home departments or external sources. If you would like more information about potential funding sources, please contact Mariana Arteaga at mariana.arteaga@uhn.on.ca. 

How can I find a Wilson Centre Supervisor?

Each Fellow must be supervised by a Wilson Centre Scientist. You need to identify a supervisor as part of your application process. If you don’t already have a relationship with a possible supervisor, start by reading the annual reports and website to identify the research interests of the Wilson Centre Scientists. 
After you determine whom you might like to work with, you may contact them directly by email (see Wilson Scientist Directory for contact information) to initiate a conversation about your research interests and whether they would be the appropriate supervisor/mentor. If it appears that none of the Wilson Centre Scientists is a good fit, you can contact Dr. Maria Mylopoulos (Associate Director of Training Programs) to discuss possible alternatives.

Is my Wilson Centre Supervisor on my thesis/doctoral committee?

Yes. In general, for Master’s candidates, your Wilson Centre Supervisor is also your Master’s supervisor. For Doctoral candidates, your Wilson Centre Supervisor may be your doctoral supervisor, or may be a member of your dissertation committee.

What are the facilities like?

The Wilson Centre is located in the Toronto General Hospital, which allows for close contact and collaboration with healthcare professionals. Each Fellow has a dedicated work area and internet access.

Where is the Wilson Centre located?

The Wilson Centre is located in the Toronto General hospital. The hospital occupies an entire block, with the corner of College Street and University Avenue at the northwest end. The nearest transit stop (subway and streetcar) is: Queen’s Park


What can you tell me about Toronto?

Toronto is a safe, clean, ethnically diverse city, with a lot to offer. To learn more about Toronto, see:
www.toronto.ca – the official website of the government of the city of Toronto
www.math.toronto.edu/toronto - links to EVERYTHING Toronto.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto - a cultural and historical overview

Do I need a visa to come to Canada to study? How do I get one?

If you are coming to Canada as a Wilson Centre Fellow you will need a Canadian Study Permit. As well, depending on the country you are coming from, you may also need an Entry Visa. For complete information about entry requirements, the application process, and anything else you might want to know about the official requirements for coming to Canada to study, go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at www.cic.gc.ca/, select your language, and then in the left navigation column under “Come to Canada”, select the “Study” link.

Where will I live?

The University of Toronto Student Housing Service can provide information and help with finding accommodation. See their website at http://www.housing.utoronto.ca/