ODPRN Student Training Program Information

December, 2014
Call for Applicants – Graduate Students & Fellows
ODPRN Student Training Program Information
Overview of ODPRN
The Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) involves leading clinical researchers from five
medical schools across Ontario. Its primary objective is to generate scientifically sound evidence on drug
utilization, safety, and effectiveness for the purpose of informing drug policy decisions. The three core
principles of the ODPRN are: scientific rigor, timeliness, and policy-relevance.
Please visit our website for more information about ODPRN and our research: http://www.odprn.ca/
Overview of the Student Training Program
The ODPRN Student Training Program is seeking three motivated and hard-working students with a
strong interest in drug policy research:
1) A Master’s student pursuing a thesis-based degree will receive $17,500 to complete one research
project within 1 year.
2) A PhD student pursuing a thesis-based degree will receive $27,500 to complete at least one research
project within 1 year.
2) A Clinical or Post-Doctoral Fellow will receive $40,000 to complete two research projects (or one
larger project) within 1 year. Candidates are expected to devote at least 60% of their time to research.
The main objectives of this program:
1. To allow the opportunity for students to conduct drug safety and policy research using large
Ontario health databases
2. To train students in the processes involved in using the administrative databases available at the
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) to conduct research
3. To support the trainees in their endeavours to work through all phases of a drug policy-relevant
research project using administrative databases
4. To establish a multidisciplinary environment that allows the students to collaborate with
individuals, including other trainees, researchers, physicians, and policy-makers
5. To expose the trainees to real life policy decision-making processes
Program Components
The successful candidates will be involved in the following program components:
 The main aspect of the training program will involve the undertaking of an independent drug
policy research project generally using provincial databases housed at ICES
 Attendance of webinars where CAU members will present on a specific research area
 Participation in webinars where students will deliver presentations on research progress
December, 2014
Call for Applicants – Graduate Students & Fellows
 Involvement in a drug policy experience, which may include attendance at policy meetings or
telephone correspondence with policy-makers
 Attendance and participation at the annual ODPRN retreat through a presentation on research
Application Timeline
Submission Deadline
Notice of Final Decision
Program / Funding Start Date
Feb. 1, 2015
March, 2015
May 2015 or Sept 2015
Application Information
Eligibility Criteria
Applicants are eligible to apply for funding if they meet the following criteria:
 Graduate students must be enrolled in a Masters or PhD thesis-based program at one of
the following Ontario universities: McMaster, Ottawa University, Queens, University of
Toronto, Western University or
 Fellows must hold a PhD and/ or an MD. Individuals with a PhD must be enrolled in a
post-doctoral fellowship. Individuals with an MD must have completed residency and be
enrolled in a clinical fellowship.
 Cannot concurrently hold any other major scholarships i.e. OGS, CIHR.
 Must demonstrate, through a one-page statement of interest, that research interests
are consistent with the program and specifically address drug policy research.
 Must identify a Core Academic Unit (CAU) member who is willing to support your
application and agrees to act as a key resource throughout the program (please see
Appendix listing possible CAU members and their contact information).
Application Instructions
Please email or mail the following documents to Danielle Nash (contact information below):
 The completed and signed application form.
 A detailed CV describing the following information: educational attainment, research
experience, awards/ scholarships received, relevant presentations and publications.
 A one-page statement of interest describing a proposed drug policy research project
(please see Appendix on descriptions of drug policy projects).
 Copies of all university transcripts.
 Two letters of reference from two academic/ professional mentors who can comment
on your research abilities. One should be from your primary graduate supervisor.
 A letter from a CAU member with a declaration that they are willing to supervise you in
their capacity working with ODPRN (this is in addition to the reference letters unless
CAU member is already your primary supervisor).
December, 2014
Call for Applicants – Graduate Students & Fellows
Please submit applications and/ or direct any questions to:
ODPRN Student Training Program Coordinator: Danielle Nash, MSc
Kidney Clinical Research Unit, Room ELL-113a
London Health Sciences Centre
800 Commissioners Road East
London, ON, N6A 4G5
Phone: 519-685-8500 ext. 55980
Email: danielle.nash@ices.on.ca
December, 2014
Call for Applicants – Graduate Students & Fellows
Core Academic Unit (CAU) Members’ Contact Information
CAU Member
Phone Number
University Affiliation
Dr. Anne Holbrook
905-522-1155 Ext 35269
Mr. Michael Paterson
416-480-4055 Ext 3869
Dr. Doug Coyle
613-562-5800 Ext 8690
Dr. Gerald Evans
Dr. Peter Austin
416-480-4055 Ext 6131
Dr. Irfan Dhalla
416-864-6060 Ext 7113
Ms. Tara Gomes
416-480-4055 Ext 2746
Dr. David Juurlink
416-480-4055 Ext 3039
Dr. Andreas Laupacis
Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
Dr. Amit Garg
Western & McMaster
Dr. Matthew Weir
519-685-8500 Ext 35041
December, 2014
Call for Applicants – Graduate Students & Fellows
What Constitutes a Drug Policy Project?
A project that is relevant to Ontario Public Drug Program’s policy-makers may include:
Drug plan costs as a function of drug policy decisions. For example, addition / deletion from
formulary, change in listing status of drugs on formulary (e.g. limited use to general benefit),
or impact of changing the prescribing of a drug (e.g. policy which allows only certain health
care providers to prescribe a specific drug).
Changes in drug utilization, including studies examining predictors of changes in drug
utilization, temporal utilization trends and geographic distribution, particularly related to
high-cost drugs.
Understanding utilization, adherence and provincial plan costs of drugs within a specific
class to understand the implications of adding a new expensive drug to the formulary within
that class / with a similar indication. Appropriateness of characteristics of patients using
particular drugs and the physicians who prescribe them (e.g. proportion of drug use that is
being used for the approved indication compared to off-label use).
Economic evaluations of selected drug therapies, including budget impact analyses as well
as traditional health economic evaluations (the model estimates may come from
population-based administrative databases at ICES).
Assessment of system level interventions to determine if they have had an impact on
improving the health of populations with respect to drug efficacy, safety, and cost.
Knowledge translation initiatives. For example, testing interventions to increase awareness
and uptake of study results by physicians and patients.
Other projects with clear policy relevance will also be considered.
These projects may also include some clinical aspects (e.g. comparative effectiveness and / or drug
safety), however it is important for them to include policy aspects as well in order to demonstrate
relevance to Ontario Public Drug Program’s policy-makers.