The True North for Science

Being a Canadian and living in Canada makes me feel very proud. Canada is a country that provides many opportunities, especially for the young professionals trying to make an impact in this world with advancements in health research. From post-doctoral fellows  awaiting to acquire their own research lab, to graduate students at different stages in their training to research technicians making good coin, everyone has a different outlook on their present and future in Canada.

“They [Canada] build the researcher rather than building the worker.”

Within my research institute (Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba – @CHRIManitoba) at the University of Manitoba, I asked a simple question:

What does it mean to be living in Canada and doing science in 2016?  

“It is very exciting, even when I hear I’m that I am doing science in Canada I get excited!”

  • “It’s pretty good. I completed my PhD in Vancouver and had a lot of support in a respiratory research centre. I feel a lot of leading researchers in respiratory health are in Canada. There are a lot of opportunities for me here and that’s why I moved to Winnipeg to be with Dr Halayko. Going forward as a post-doc, ideally I’d like to progress into academia and start my own lab some day. There’s good support systems around to get you started. I know a lot of junior investigators both in Winnipeg and in Vancouver that have been able to get off the ground with their support networks. I can’t speak if that is present in other countries, but I know in Canada that those programs are in place and when I’m ready, I’ll have that support.” –Chris Pascoe, Post-Doctoral Fellow

“When it comes to science in Canada, it does sound really rewarding but you are always going to think of the future and how the job prospect is…”

  • “I want to finish my PhD and that’s my priority right now. I knew Canada could provide me the opportunity to do good science here, especially with my supervisor, so I came here. At the same time, science is not the only thing for me: I have my family. I knew that Canada could provide a nice environment where I could raise my family peacefully. Combining these two together, I’m really happy to be doing science in Canada.” Aruni Jha, PhD Candidate

“in 2016, there is a drive for translation research, with emphasis on being competitive in multiple fields.”

  • “It is very exciting, even when I hear I’m that I am doing science in Canada I get excited! It’s a little bit difficult these days because of the limited funding, and finding future work. You don’t know where you’re going to be after graduation. You can’t be a PI because there are no positions available, but it is promising. You know that you will be doing your job somewhere and you won’t think that your graduate training is useless. I love Canada and love being here. Even if I need to go away for a post-doctoral fellowship, I’m sure I will come back to Canada.” -Nagmeh Khoshgoo, PhD Candidate

“Canada is about translational medicine: it’s really important to make those bench side applications reach the bed side.”

  • “I think for the first time in a long time, Canadian scientists and researchers are prioritizing Canada, staying in Canada and improving the quality of heath research here. Whereas in the past, the drive was to go the US. People are now more inclined to staying in their home country. I also think that in 2016, there is a drive for translation research, with emphasis on being competitive in multiple fields. You can’t pigeon hole yourself: you have to be flexible, adaptable and translational.”          Brittany Moyce, PhD student
  • “Doing science in 2016 means there’s a lot of opportunity to do so many different things, and take your science in any direction you choose. One day you could be studying cardiovascular disease, and the next day you could apply what your learning to study kidney disease. Canada is about translational medicine: it’s really important to make those bench side applications reach the bed side. Not only do we study animal models on certain diseases, we are taking what we find there and directly apply it to a clinical population – it gives a human perspective. That’s why I think it’s good to study science in Canada.” Stephanie Kereliuk, PhD Student

“For me, I can think of one thing straight forward: science is more developed in Canada.”

  • “I have both the education and research experience from back home in Bangladesh and here in Canada. When I started here, I liked the education system in Canada because it was more practical, relevant, and I can connect my research with my coursework. The aim with the course work is more of what you think of your research. It’s independent and in the lab you have the right tools to design your experiments. It allows you to act more like an independent researcher. They build the researcher rather than building the worker, I think that’s the good thing about science in Canada.” -Sanzida Jahan, PhD student
  • “For me, I can think of one thing straight forward: science is more developed in Canada as compared to back home. Back home is still struggling to set up labs and even though we have technology and many students, there’s more society stratifications back home. Here you are rewarded for your credibility and achievements. In Canada, science is way ahead.” Nivedita Seshadri, PhD student
  • “As a student we have a lot of opportunities. There’s a lot of granting agencies like CIHR, Research Manitoba, supervisors are good, university is great. There’s a lot of opportunities to  develop your career and many avenues to take: you can go full towards academia or into the industry.” -Neilloy Roy, Master student

“Canada could provide a nice environment where I could raise my family peacefully.”

  • “Well I have never done science anywhere else so I can’t really compare but I think it’s ok. If you enjoy it, I recommend doing it but there’s a lot of stresses involved. So when it comes to science in Canada, it does sound really rewarding but you are always going to think of the future and how the job prospect is, and that’s something that is a bit difficult. But honestly if you like the science, here there are a lot of resources. It can be quite demanding and frustrating – but if you can pull through and you really like it, I think it’s a good place to study science.” -Veronica Lau, Master student
  • “It seems promising now. There’s been changes that have happened but it could be better I think. There could be better funding for institutions and academia needs more emphasis. But I think where we are going is good, it’s a lot better than where we were going. It’s good to be in Canada.” Matthew Martens, Pre-Masters student
  • “I don’t know bout Canada as a whole but here in Winnipeg, especially where we work, we have an advantage as we work as a tight knit group. We have a lot of people from different disciplines collaborating together. I don’t know about other places but I know we are at an advantage in that sense. It’s something good and meaningful to be a part of and a great way improve a lot of lives.” –Kyle Cheung, Research Technician

“This year I feel much more optimistic with a new government and a new Prime Minister. The funding that was once cut seems to be re-instated and there’s more optimism in terms of science.”

  • “It is meaningful because I’ve been given the opportunity to get my education in Canada and it’s a way to give back especially when funding is limited. By doing scientific research and advancing healthcare, its the opportunity to keep that progressing and to hopefully get more funding.”-Mario Fonseca, Research Technician
  • “If you would have asked me last year, I would have had mixed feelings about it because our previous government was cutting funding for science. This year I feel much more optimistic with a new government and a new Prime Minister. The funding that was once cut seems to be re-instated and there’s more optimism in terms of science. There’s more attention to scientific evidence. I feel fortunate because I am supported by a government that fosters freedom of expression and institution. I feel new investigators are also supported and that Canada’s science is innovative.” -Emily Turner-Brannen, Research Technician

If you have read about everyone’s perspective, you must be wondering what I think. In my true opinion, Canada is a great country to be living in and doing science, even if it does have it’s challenges. There are days when I do question why I pursued health research because getting a PhD is not an easy task, especially with funding being so competitive. But I know that I am very fortunate to be in Canada. Even though I cannot foresee my future, I can strongly say that with our extensive research trainee environment at the University of Manitoba, I know I’ll have many opportunities for myself and my peers, and that conducting research here will help improve many Canadian lives and promote Canada as a leading force in advancing health care.

Happy Canada Day!

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 12.19.37 PM

 

Advertisements