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PhD: Behaviour Change Communication Training for Healthcare Professionals (MC Competency Assessment Tool, MC-CAT)

Project summary:

This PhD will be directly attached to a pan-Canadian CIHR-funded study designed to develop and test behaviour change communication training programs targeting physicians, nurses and allied healthcare providers working in the area of chronic disease management. The student will specifically work on the validation, testing and refinement of a new case-based, online, motivational communication (MC) competency assessment tool (MC Competency Assessment Tool, MC-CAT). The tool has been developed to engage users and provide an objective, valid and reliable measure of MC skills competency among physicians participating in MC training programs. Though the project is national in scope, the position will be based at the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre, which is a collaborative centre between the CIUSSS-NIM Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montreal, Concordia University, and UQAM.

Position summary:

The individual who is selected for this position will be expected to help the study PI’s, Drs. Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon, in delivering the project. They will also have the opportunity to work with the national investigative team consisting of experts in: behaviour change communication training programs; behavioural intervention development; the application of motivation and behaviour change theories to intervention design; behavioural trial methodology; and integrated knowledge translation/patient-oriented research.

The PhD student will be able to work on a variety of research-related aspects of the study including:

  • Delivery of behaviour change communication skills and training programs
  • Behavioural trial methods and reporting
  • Participating in stakeholder engagement activities
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods and analyses (including validation studies)
  • Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and reporting

Required Qualifications

  • A Master’s degree in a related discipline (e.g., Psychology, Physiology, Kinesiology/Exercise Science, Medicine) if applying to Concordia or a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology if applying to UQAM
  • Demonstrated experience conducting research in at least one of the following areas
    • Chronic disease prevention (primary, secondary, or tertiary)
    • E-learning and web-based assessment tool development
    • Psychometrics
    • Healthcare communication / behaviour change counselling / motivational communication
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated research productivity (e.g., conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, master’s thesis, honours thesis)
  • Ability to work autonomously and take a lead role on projects under supervision of principal investigators

Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Experience using integrated stakeholder engagement strategies
  • Experience with student mentoring and supervision
  • Openness to learn new methods and techniques in an applied clinical setting
  • Ability to communicate (orally) in both English and French

Provincial, national and international candidates are encouraged to apply

Start date, Duration, Stipend, and Location

The PhD will start in September 2024 (though there is also the possibility of starting during the summer of 2024); funding has already been received.

The funding package consists of a minimum 4-year stipend (consistent with Fonds de Recherche du Quebec funding levels) plus conference / training funding. For out of province and international candidates there are also tuition waivers potentially available.

The successful candidate will be registered either at Concordia University in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology (www.concordia.ca) or at UQAM (www.uqam.ca) in the Department of Psychology; the actual work would be conducted at the CIUSSS-NIM, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montreal (https://rechercheciusssnim.ca/). Please note that the language of instruction at Concordia is English and French at UQAM.

To apply, please forward the following:

  • A complete curriculum vitae, including summary of GPA’s, a full publication list (including hyperlinks where possible) and email contact details for two referees
  • A letter of motivation and statement of research accomplishments and future research goals

How to apply:

  • The complete application package must be emailed to: apply@mbmc-cmcm.ca. Please include “PhD MC-CAT” in the subject line.
  • Queries about the application should be sent to either Dr. Lavoie (lavoie.kim@uqam.ca) or Dr. Bacon (simon.bacon@concordia.ca).
  • The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday December 1, 2023, 5 pm ET. Interviews will be conducted in January 2024 and the successful candidate will need to apply to the University by the official application deadline.