MBP Faculty Expectations, Recommendations and Important Information
This page is intended to provide incoming and continuing MBP faculty with essential information and recommendations regarding workloads, expectations and other relevant information related to the department and faculty appointments.
Please review the following items carefully. Some items include further detail in the provided web links. If you have any questions, please contact department administration.
MBP Faculty Workload Recommendations
All MBP faculty members have a status-only faculty appointment at the University of Toronto. These appointments are due to periodic renewal, with the period generally linked to the faculty member’s institutional employment status.
Status-only appointments enable faculty members to supervise graduate students, MBP summer students, have access to graduate scholarships for their students (either through national, provincial, local or internal awards), hold operating grants that are administered through the University of Toronto (such as NSERC grants, Canada Research Chairs) and be eligible for academic promotions at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. In turn, faculty members are required to contribute to MBP student mentoring, departmental administration and teaching, regardless of primary appointment. Below are departmental recommendations for these individual categories. Individual contributions may vary from year-to-year and not every recommendation might be accomplished every year (i.e. a faculty member may have more teaching and less departmental engagement in one year, or vice versa - and this may change the next year).
Each faculty member is expected to contribute to student mentorship. This includes:
- Student supervision
- Participation in supervisory committees
- Members with full School of Graduate Studies (SGS) appointments: chairing MBP exams (MSc, reclassification, and qualifying exams) and SGS PhD exams
A total of 10-15 MBP student related committees per year is a reasonable workload for every MBP faculty member.
Departmental Committee Participation
MBP faculty members will be invited to participate on the MBP Executive Committee, the Appointments & Promotions Committee, the Decanal Promotions committee, the MBP Admissions Committee, Scholarship evaluation committees (i.e. CIHR, Vanier, OGS, etc.) and the MBP Rotations Committee. Appointments are typically for a fixed term, providing for regular turnover of committee membership. To spread the workload, each MBP faculty member is expected to participate in at least one committee per year.
If you are interested in participating in any departmental committees, please contact Chau Dang.
Each MBP faculty member is expected to contribute to the broad category of departmental engagement. This includes:
- Participation in the MBP Open House and MBP interview days
- Participation in the MBP seminar series. Each MBP faculty member is expected to attend at least one seminar per month, on average
- Participation in the Jim Lepock Memorial (JLM) Symposium
- Participation in the Annual MBP retreat at Geneva Park
An estimated total of 30 hours per year is a reasonable contribution to departmental administration.
Each MBP faculty member is expected to contribute to departmental teaching as a lecturer or course coordinator. This includes graduate-level courses and the MBP summer student program. A reasonable teaching load for an MBP status-only appointment is between 4-10 hours per year.
Unconscious Bias Training
The Department of Medical Biophysics is committed to providing a create a safe, supportive, equitable and bias-free environment for learners, faculty and staff. One of the department’s goals is to increase knowledge and awareness in unconscious bias, and outline fair processes required for success in career paths. It has been documented that these internalized biases can affect many areas of work including the admissions process, faculty hiring, peer review and patient care. All MBP faculty are highly encouraged to participate in some form of unconscious bias training.
What is unconscious bias?
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University defines unconscious or implicit bias as attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases can be positive or negative and differ from known biases that people may intentionally hide.
Can we change our biases?
Several organizations have arranged Unconscious Bias training programs to expose people to their unconscious biases, provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking, and ultimately eliminate discriminatory behaviors.
According to Wikipedia, Unconscious Bias training programs tend to follow a basic three-step method:
- Participants take a pretest to assess baseline implicit bias levels (typically with the IAT).
- They complete the unconscious bias training task.
- They take a post-test to re-evaluate bias levels after training.
Here are some of the available online resources to assess your unconscious bias:
Harvard’s Implicit Association Test (IAT) has provided a platform for the general public to understand attitudes, stereotypes, and other hidden biases that influence perception, judgment, and action.
Unconscious Bias training
The Toronto Initiative for Diversity & Excellence (TIDE) led by Maydianne Andrade, Canada Research Chair and Vice-Dean, Faculty Affairs & Equity at UTSC and Bryan Gaensler, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, presented scientific evidence of unconscious bias. The video is about 1-hr in length. A copy of their slides is available by linking on the following links - Andrade slides, Gaensler slides.
The Association of America Medical Colleges also offers a free online seminar on The Science of Unconscious Bias and What To Do About it in the Search and Recruitment Process. Registration is required.
CHIR also offers unconscious bias training modules.
Identify, Assist, Refer (IAR) Training
The MBP Student Health and Wellness Committee has undertaken several important initiatives to support the mental health of MBP students. One of these is an education campaign to give MBP faculty the tools to "identify, assist and refer" (IAR) students who may be struggling with mental health issues. The University of Toronto has created an online training module (link below) which we strongly encourage all MBP faculty to take. It only takes about 10 minutes. Once training is complete, faculty names are included in the ‘MBP Faculty Sponsors’ section of the MBP Mental Health and Wellness Webpage to let students know who in the department has had this training.
Once training is completed, we ask faculty to please forward the certificate awarded to Charlie Berger for inclusion in the ‘MBP Faculty Sponsors’ section of the MBP Mental Health and Wellness Webpage.
Important Web Links
- Medical Biophysics official website: http://medbio.utoronto.ca
- Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Association website: https://www.mbpgsa.ca
- QUERCUS: http://q.utoronto.ca (MBP course information and internal MBP documents. Please contact Chau Dang for access)
- My Research: https://easi.its.utoronto.ca/administrative-web-services/my-research-mr/ (Requires UTORid. Please contact Chau Dang for access)
MBP Student Handbook
We recommend that new faculty download and review the Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Handbook. This document contains important information regarding policies and procedures related to MBP students. It is highly recommended that you review this document, as it will help you become familiar with departmental student expectations.
Typically, MBP faculty recruit new graduate students through the Lab Rotations program. Most incoming MBP graduate students (MSc and direct-entry PhD) participate in these rotations, which are intended to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to work with each other, in specified ‘blocks’ of time, to find the best fit for a permanent lab.
First-year students participate in three lab rotations beginning in September and ending in December:
- First Rotation: Students should receive the supervisors’ names for their first rotation during the summer.
- Second Rotation: Faculty will choose the students after the Geneva Park Rotations Market.
- Third Rotation: Faculty will choose students during the course of the second rotation.
Each rotation lasts 5 weeks. We expect that all students will find their permanent supervisor by the end of the third rotation. If students are not placed after the third rotation, they have the opportunity to complete a fourth and final rotation. If no permanent placement is found at that time, students are asked to withdraw from the program.
As an MBP Faculty member, you will be asked to assist in the recruitment of incoming graduate students through a series of interviews with pre-screened applicants. Typically, selection of interviewed applicants will be based on an expression of interest in your research, or your interest in meeting potential students. It is important to note that interviewing faculty are not only recruiting for their own labs, but also for the department in general. Feedback following your interview(s) of potential students to the admissions committee should take this into account.
- Typically, the department hosts three rounds of interviews downtown and three rounds of interviews uptown.
- Interviews take place in late January, late February and late May.
- The department will coordinate the interviews/times/locations
- Faculty will be contacted prior to these interview dates regarding their participation.
Important Faculty-Attended Events
The department holds a number of events listed below that faculty are strongly-encouraged/required to attend.
Student Seminar Series
Timeframe: Most Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4:00 PM, from September to May, excluding holidays.
Event description: The Biophysics Graduate Student Seminars are part of a core course required by all students and continue throughout the program. Credit is given on the basis of a graded seminar and on attendance of the student at the weekly seminars. Attendance is mandatory for PhD students in the first 4 years and MSc students in the first 2 years of their degree. MSc students are required to give a seminar in both their first and second years. PhD students give a seminar in their fourth year also. However, only the second-year seminar is graded. Faculty will give critical feedback to the student following all seminars.
Faculty expectations: MBP faculty are expected to attend and remain after the seminar to evaluate students an average of once per month, at minimum.
Learn More Here. Detailed information is also available in the MBP Student Handbook, page 28.
Geneva Park Retreat
Timeframe: 3 days in late September., Sunday afternoon to Tuesday after lunch.
Talks are also given by faculty and students. In addition, there is a session organized by the Student Executive and a plenary talk on a subject of general interest. The cost for the retreat is covered by the Department.
Faculty expectations: Faculty are expected to attend the retreat to network with students and faculty, contribute to seminars, and participate in the lab rotations market as an opportunity to find rotating students for their labs.
Learn More Here or on Page 50 of the MBP Graduate Student Handbook.
MBP Open House
Timeframe: Early November – On a Saturday, from 10 AM to 2 PM
Event description: Open House is an opportunity for prospective MBP students to learn more about the graduate program, our research and to meet MBP faculty and students.
Faculty expectations: Faculty are highly encouraged to attend this event, particularly by setting up poster displays from their labs to be discussed with prospective students attending the event. Additionally, the department organizes lab tours, typically with labs that are close to Princess Margaret. Faculty are encouraged to open up their labs for tours during the event. Department admins will be in touch regarding your participation in early fall.
Jim Leacock Memorial (JLM) Symposium
Timeframe: Late May
Event description: The JLM Symposium is an annual student-led initiative, organized by the Medical Biophysics Graduate Student Association, which fosters scientific debate across disciplines, streams and institutes. This event brings in Keynote speakers from various areas to discuss their research and features grad student talks and research poster presentations.
Faculty expectations: Faculty are expected to show support to this student event by attending. Faculty may also be asked to evaluate student oral or poster presentations.
Annual Faculty Department Meeting
Timeframe: Late June
Faculty expectations: All MBP faculty are required to attend the Annual Faculty Meeting.
Summer Student Program
Every summer, a number of MBP faculty hire first-, second- or third-year undergraduate students to work in their labs. This is a great opportunity to start recruiting new graduate students early, as many students who participate in the summer program apply to the MBP graduate program. Students apply online in the late Fall or early Winter, and assessments of applications occur through our online portal in February.
If you are interested in recruiting summer students for your lab, please email Daphne Sears to let her know. She will grant access to the online portal to review applications when they are ready to be assessed.
The Department requires faculty participation in the evaluation of Graduate Scholarship applications. You may be contacted regarding participation on the Scholarship Committee when new members are being sought early in the year. If you are interested in being a member of the Scholarship Committee in the next round of assessments, please contact Chau Dang.
Faculty Webpage Profile
All MBP faculty members have a profile on our website that is maintained by the Recruitment and Communications officer. To have your profile created, please email the following to Charlie Berger.
- A current photo of yourself that you would like posted on the page
- Your current title in MBP (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, etc.)
- Contact information for your lab (location, address, preferred email address, phone number, etc.)
- A high-level ‘at a glance’ (4-5 short bullet points giving a general overview of your research)
- Short bio of yourself/and or a short description of your research.
- A brief synopsis of your research (2-3 paragraphs)
- List of recent publications
- Pubmed search link for your publications
- Under which of the following research themes does your research best fit (select up to 3 that best apply):
- Biomedical Imaging
- Cancer Diagnosis & Therapy
- Cancer Mechanisms and Models
- Cardiovascular Sciences
- Data Science & Computational Biology
- Image-Guided Therapy & Device Development
- Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
- Structural Biology
When updates to your profile are required, please send all changes to Charlie Berger.
A shuttle bus routinely runs between Sunnybrook Hospital and Women's College (located at 76 Grenville St). This service is available to faculty who hold a Sunnybrook ID Badge.
Faculty without a Sunnybrook ID Badge, who need to go back and forth between the uptown and downtown locations, can contact Donna (Sunnybrook) or Annette Chan (PMCRT) for a pass and information about the shuttle bus schedule and pick up locations.
More information is available here at the bottom of the page.