The CanadiEM Digital Scholar Fellowship application period is open for 2022-2023!

In Commentary by Blair BighamLeave a Comment

We’re now accepting applications for 2022-2023. Fellowships are 6-18 months long with flexible start time and pace.

The deadline is April 1, 2022.

WHY should you do it?

Have you found that digital learning has helped you master knowledge and skill?

Have you developed friendships and role models by hanging out on social media?

Have you sunk into another realm while listening to a podcast or watching a web video?

If so, maybe you’ve thought about flipping from a digital content user to a digital content creator! 

The Digital Scholar Fellowship, a remote, variably-paced, flexible curriculum and mentored project, might be for you!

We’ll run you through modular, online curricula to build digital scholarship capacity and skills then put you to work by challenging you to use what you’ve learned to create, plan, execute and launch/publish a project under the coaching and mentorship of our team of digital scholarship experts at CanadiEM and around the world.

Here are our objectives in offering this fellowship:

  1. To develop innovative educators with extensive hands on training across digital education formats.
  2. To learn how to apply medical education theory to online learning formats.
  3. To build a strong digital identity.
  4. To collaborate with and receive mentorship from experienced digital educators from across North America.

WHO should apply?

Are you:

  • PGY 3, 4 or 5 FRCPC Emergency Medicine residents (2022-23 academic year)
  • CCFP-EM residents graduating in 2022, based in Canadian programs.
  • Practicing Independent Physicians from any medical/surgical specialty.
  • Nurses, Physiotherapist, Social Workers, Paramedics, and others (Interprofessional members) working in an Emergency Department.

And are you:

  • Interested in medical education and digital scholarship
  • Interested in flexible subspecialty time that can be completed remotely at your own pace
  • A self-motivated learner with strong organizational skills

Consider the Digital Scholar Fellowship!

WHAT will you learn?

There are two components to the fellowship.

Let’s start with this important tenet: the fellowship is all about you! You’ll come into the fellowship with learning objectives and project goals, which will probably shift over time but will be the backbone of how we get started. 

There are two key components to the DSF.

The most important is your impact project.  Learning while doing, you will develop and execute a project – anything from creating a curriculum to producing a podcast to studying a learning gap – and we’ll coach you through that process. We’ll connect you to experts and coaches who will invest in your success, and help you launch/distribute/publish your outputs so you have maximum impact.

To succeed with your project, you’ll access the second component: our modular, competency-based curriculum with expert coaching.  We have 5 modules for your to work through at your pace, in the order that makes sense to you.  the help of your local mentor and CanadiEM faculty, you will complete each of these modules over a 1-2 month span.  They aren’t all mandatory; you and your CanadiEM faculty coach will help decide which modules will help you achieve success. Here is a description of the 5 modules

  • Blogging Module
    • During this block, the learner will aim to gain an overall understanding of designing online using written/visual website media. They will also explore the fundamentals of curriculum design, gaining an understanding of the challenges of adapting a traditional curriculum design framework to the online teaching and learning environment. (Take a look at the module here.)
  • Podcasting Module
    • The learner will gain an understanding of effective design for digital teaching tools, the basic technical skills required for interviewing guests, recording and editing podcasts, the application of teaching principals to podcasting to maximize audience engagement and knowledge retention, knowledge dissemination through social media and other digital channels, and the fundamentals of curriculum design. (Module available upon enrollment.)
  • Patient Communication Module
    • Successfully implement knowledge translation to patients and healthcare providers. Various strategies exist for dissemination of information to the general public, and the learner will explore and implement this information into their FOAMed work, as well as learning strategies to incorporate social media into their medical practice. (Module available upon enrollment.)
  • Digital Identity Module
    • During this block, the learner will gain an understanding of the concept of a digital footprint, both outside and within medicine. They will learn how to maintain a professional digital identity of their own, as well as how to navigate the new legal and ethical challenges of the use of social media both personally and professionally. They will also gain insight into a variety of social platforms and the opportunities and challenges that they provide for physicians. (Module available upon enrollment.)
  • Translational Teachers Module
    • This block aims to instruct the learner on strategies to promote research within the social media community. These strategies will include creating blog posts and infographics specifically for knowledge translation purposes. Learners will reflect on how individuals and institutions can collaborate to promote research. (Module available upon enrollment.)

WHAT will you accomplish?

In addition to meeting your learning objectives through coaching and module comopletion, you’ll be able to demonstrate real impact by putting theory into practice as you develop and execute a project.  You’ll enter the fellowship with an idea, and we’ll help you refine it into a plan that can be executed as you build skills and complete modules that equip you with the judgement and tools needed to succeed. 

Your project might be to launch a new digital teaching platform, to contribute to existing platforms, to create content for social media (such as a new TikTok channel), to produce a podcast or audio series, to conduct research, to develop a digital curriculum for use by your university, program or hospital, develop evaluation tools for existing programs, or anything else that fits with your objectives that we think we can add value to through the fellowship.

HOW do the nuts and bolts work?

You’ll be partnered with a CanadiEM faculty coach who will serve as your advisor. You’ll also identify a local mentor – someone who can be a sounding board and help you create and learn.  Your CanadiEM coach and local mentor will work together to help you accomplish your goals, from module completion to project execution.  Depending on the stage of your fellowship, this might include monthly, weekly or even daily check ins as you learn and create.  We’ll identify experts that we can bring on board to help accelerate and amplify your progress.  Sound a bit loose? It is. We offer a very flexible fellowship with various degrees of supervision depending on your own capacity entering the fellowship and aspirations for after fellowship. 

In as little as six months, and as many as two years, you’ll have completed the modules that are deemed necessary to your learning objectives and completed a project that will have impact in the digital sphere.

HOW do you apply?

Only three things are required to apply.

#1: Letter of Intent

Tell us your desire and interest to work with the CanadiEM team as one of our Digital Scholars. Specifically, what skillsets do you hope to develop during the fellowship? What will you do with those skillsets during and after fellowship? We want to know about any project ideas or goals you have, and how we can help you turn your ideas into impactful output and your goals into achievements. Wew want you walk away from the DSF having achieved a deliverable; don’t worry, we’ll be crafting this with you, but if you have any ideas about what gets you energized we’d love to hear about it. This may be as simple as “I love podcasts and want to learn more!” or as comprehensive as “I have a research project about knowledge translation that I want to execute over social media.”

#2: Letter of Endorsement

Your residency Program Director or a supervising individual from your field/occupation should provide us a letter not longer than 2 pages with the following information:

  1. That s/he is aware and in support of your digital scholar program involvement;
  2. That s/he agrees with your selection of your local mentor;
  3. The number of shifts and other program-related responsibilities you will have over the course of your Digital Scholars program (e.g. shift requirement, teaching responsibilities, administrative responsibilities);
  4. The proposed duration of your DSF (6 to 18 months);
  5. The name of a mentor who will be your support person. This person does not need expertise in digital scholarship, just a strong interest.  Please provide us with an email address, so we can reach out to them and discuss your educational plan.

#3: Local Mentor Support

Find a faculty member locally who is keen to support you through your fellowship. They don’t need specific expertise in digital scholarship, but should be available to be a sounding board to help you advance your learning and project outputs.  We don’t need a letter from this person, but your letter of endorsement should mention that they are a resource to you. Just let us know who your mentor is and how we can contact them to ensure you are set up for success!

Still have questions?

Applications and questions can be emailed to fellowship director Blair Bigham (that’s me!) and we can schedule a chat. Email: [email protected]

Blair Bigham

Blair Bigham

Blair Bigham is a flight paramedic, resident physician and wannabe astronaut in Ontario, Canada. He has spent the last decade balancing life as a clinician, educator and scientist. When not roaming the skies, wards, or recesses of his imagination he can found kayaking in Canada’s great white north.