Family Engagement in Research Course

The Family Engagement in Research Certificate of Completion Program is for researchers (graduate students, research coordinators, investigators, clinician-researchers etc.) and families (parents, siblings, grandparents) who have an interest in child neurodevelopmental research. This training program is unique in that it brings researchers and families together in a fully integrated online course. Learners will gain a better understanding of:

  • Family engagement in research (why it is important)
  • How to engage families throughout the research process
  • Barriers/facilitators to engagement
  • Ethics surrounding engagement
  • Tools and resources to support and evaluate engagement activities 

By the end of the course, learners will be ready to partner with integrated research teams.

Apply now

Applications are currently closed for the FER Course and will open again in April 2023 for the Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 cohorts. 

For questions related to the course, please contact:



Course Brochure

All you need to know about the Family Engagement in Research Course is here!

Feel free to download a copy of the brochure and share it with your networks, friends, and families.

Download the brochure


Course Length and Location

The course runs for 10 weeks (~30 hours) and is delivered in an online format, using McMaster University’s Learning Management Platform - Avenue to Learn (A2L or Avenue). Course work will involve four virtual classes, independent review of written materials/case studies, and weekly online group discussions and exercises.

Course Completion 

By completing the course, you will earn a McMaster University/CanChild/Kids Brain Health Network Certificate of Completion in Family Engagement in Research. 


Graduate Testimonials

"This course has been fulfilling in so many ways. I have learned a lot, but it was the conversations and connections that ring true" – Parent

​​”The course was exceptionally interesting and helpful. I really liked working with my small team throughout the course. I think the readings and resources were also helpful, and I look forward to sharing them with colleagues on my research teams.” – Researcher

I think it definitely gave me more confidence in how to engage families… Or how to be engaged as a family because it also identified and highlighted some ways to do it…. I learned some actual steps in what it takes to do that, so knowing how to do it gives you the confidence on how to ask for it.”– Parent

I think the course was really structured to give you a lot of tools and confidence to be able to do family engagement.”– Researcher

I highly recommend this course! With this course I was able to learn a lot about the research phases and how I could be engaged in research as a caregiver. The instructors and participants were fully engaged, the discussions were always respectful and the readings were right on target. An enlightening experience about Family Engagement in Research!– Parent

Oh, my overall experience I enjoyed it, I loved it. It was really a fulfilling opportunity to be able to focus in on research that I am passionate about but to expand it to a different perspective that I can still relate to, because my research is mainly qualitative.” – Researcher



This research is being funded by Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Patient-Oriented Research Transition to Leadership Stream.