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Director, MD/PhD Program

McMaster University's Faculty of Health Sciences: Leadership Position 

Posted ​November 27, 2017


For a PDF copy of the position description and responsibilities please click here.

As co-chairs of the selection committee, Drs. Catherine Hayward and Alan Neville invite interested candidates to apply for the position of Program Director for the MD/PhD Program. This appointment will be for a five year term that starts on July 1, 2018, with the possibility of renewal.

The candidate for this position must be a current McMaster University faculty member and active physician researcher within the Faculty of Health Sciences that supervises graduate students. The candidate should be familiar with the McMaster University MD and MD/PhD programs, with knowledge, understanding and insights on clinician scientist education. The applicant should be capable of functioning as an excellent mentor for students who are in the MD/PhD program or are pursuing an MD/MSc. He or she should have experience in graduate education and research training, demonstrated success in networking and collaboration, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

Applications should include a brief statement about the candidate’s qualifications for the position and their curriculum vitae and the reasons for their interest in the position. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence and can be submitted to the selection committee chairs at the following email: fhsgrad@mcmaster.ca. Applications should be received no later than January 8, 2018.

A detailed description of the position can be found in the Terms of Reference enclosed below.

Terms of Reference
Director, MD/PhD Program

The Director of the MD/PhD program will lead this innovative, coordinated program of advanced study, ensuring that those students jointly pursuing MD and graduate training at McMaster University receive the optimal research environment and experiences which will prepare them for a future career as a clinician scientist. As the leader of this training program, the MD/PhD Director will be responsible for all aspects of the Program and will maintain and expand the reputation, quality, and innovation of this clinician scientist training pathway.

The appointee will work collaboratively with the Assistant Deans and Directors of the Undergraduate MD Program and the participating Graduate Programs involved in MD/PhD training at McMaster University to promote the recruitment, education and welfare of MD/PhD students, enhance the quality of their coordinated MD and PhD training, and provide a channel of communication between MD/PhD students, MD and Graduate Programs, MD and Graduate Program faculty, and the Department Chairs that support the participating programs. This role may include potential partnership with additional graduate programs going forward. This collaboration ensures that the highest quality students are admitted to the MD/PhD program and that these students have optimal supports and experiences for their combined PhD and MD studies.

The MD/PhD Director reports to both the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean of Health Professional Education for Health Sciences and will recognize that their role involves close collaborations with the Assistant Dean of the MD program and the Assistant Deans and Directors of the supporting MD and graduate programs as this is a combined program. The MD/PhD Director will recognize a dual responsibility to consult with and inform both the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean of Health Professional Education for Health Sciences, and to consult with and inform the advisory board for the program, which will include the Assistant Deans and Directors of the supporting MD and graduate programs. These collaborations will ensure that the MD/PhD Program has the resources, finances and faculty complements for the program’s operations, committee work and membership, or other tasks deemed important for support of this combined program.

Major Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Coordinating and optimizing the MD/PhD admissions process in collaboration with the MD and graduate programs. The MD/PhD Director will sit on the MD Admissions Committee. He or she will liaise with the MD program admissions, and Assistant Deans/Directors of the graduate programs, to facilitate the admissions process and to seek successful recruitment of the highest quality students to the combined program.
  • Ensuring that the participating graduate programs, the potential supervisors of MD/PhD students, and supervisory committee members, are aware of the unique aspects of the MD/PhD program.
  • Liaising with the program’s faculty and students to facilitate the matching of MD/PhD students with suitable MD program Advisors.
  • Communicating and meeting regularly with the MD/PhD students to discuss issues related to the program and successful training.
  • Advocating for stable, competitive funding for MD/PhD students locally and at a national level.
  • Collaborating with Assistant Deans/Directors and other faculty leaders that are involved in clinician scientist training at McMaster University to develop programming that optimizes MD/PhD student preparation for an academic career. This will include collaborations on potential policy and curriculum changes impacting the MD/PhD program, for submission by the applicable Assistant Dean(s)/Director(s) and approval by MD Program Committees and the Graduate Policy and Curriculum Council (GPCC) and other approval bodies such as FHS Faculty Executive, Undergraduate Council and Graduate Council.
  • Chairing regular meetings (minimum twice yearly) of the MD/PhD Program Committee. This committee will review proposed changes to the MD/PhD program and will consider various issues raised by existing MD/PhD students and committee members.
  • Facilitating educational research, development and evaluation in the MD/PhD program, and in relation to other programs, as appropriate.

The Director will sit on the FHS Graduate Programs Executive Committee and on the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program Research Committee which is chaired by the Director of Research and Scholarship of the UGME Program.

​Selection and Terms of Office: The MD/PhD Director reports both to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies (Health Sciences) and the Associate Dean of Health Professional Education (Health Sciences), while maintaining close liaison with the Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate MD Program. The term of appointment will be for a period of five years, with renewal subject to a favourable review.

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