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Research At Work 1: Policy for Science – Transparency and Inclusion

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May 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

Have you ever wondered how your research and experience can be put to work to encourage change? Are you curious about where you may fit into the science-policy interface?

The immense challenges we face in society can only be solved with the evidence provided by science. It is critical that science trainees and experts like you engage with the issues and get involved! While moving between the academic and policy worlds can seem daunting, our Research At Work series will introduce you to relevant topics and give you the tools to start on this exciting and worthwhile journey!

So, do you want to know more about how researchers can (and do) affect policy? Are you curious about a career in government or science advocacy? Are you passionate about educating the public about important topics in science?

The Toronto Science Policy Network (TSPN) invites you to join us for Research At Work, a workshop and networking series designed to teach you about the basics of science policy and connect you with experts engaged in this space in different ways. The series consists of three workshops and a networking event (all dates/times listed in EDT).

Summary and Expert Bios

The first workshop, Policy for Science, will cover how science is governed and fostered in Canada, and specifically discuss the ways in which policymaking for science functions. Topics that may be covered include open science, scientific integrity, funding, and program development for equity, inclusion, and diversity. We will host two expert speakers, Dr. Mary-Rose Bradley-Gill and Dr. Masha Cemma, who will share their experience in working at NSERC and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor of Canada respectively. Finally, using case studies, attendees will have a chance to engage in the process of developing policy for science.

Dr. Mary-Rose Bradley-Gill

Mary-Rose currently works as a Senior Program Analyst on the College and Community Innovation program team. She started at NSERC in 2020 first as a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow analyzing self-identification data from NSERC programs. Previously, she received her PhD in Biology from McGill University where she studied genes mutated in cancer and their role in the basic processes that control cell division and development. During her graduate studies, Mary-Rose was co-President and served on the Board of Directors of Science & Policy Exchange (SPE). She is passionate about relating research to the broader society and promoting evidence-based policy making, and has organized events such as policy discussions on gender barriers in science, a Wikipedia editing night to create and enhance pages of women scientists and ran a STEMMinist book club discussion focused on books related to underrepresented groups in science.

Dr. Masha Cemma

Dr. Masha Cemma is a policy advisor to the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Dr. Mona Nemer. In that capacity, she works on Open Science and science advice in emergency preparedness. Prior to her current role, Masha completed a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). At the CFIA, she helped build a high containment laboratory network that fostered international cooperation, knowledge translation, and exchange to strengthen preparedness to high-consequence pathogens.

Masha earned her PhD in 2016 from the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto. During her PhD, she examined the role of autophagy machinery in host defence against bacterial pathogens. Masha received her first exposure to policy in 2014 through a fellowship at the World Health Organisation, where she worked on antimicrobial resistance.


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