Read the latest AERO Autumn newsletter featuring: i) AERO Profiles – Meet our Scientists, ii) Kudos, iii) Featured Articles, iV) AERO: What does it stand for? and v) Conference and Grant Opportunities.

AERO: Mobilizing education science

Welcome to our autumn newsletter

We hope you are managing okay during this continually challenging time. We are here to support education scientists and investigators during this time.

In this newsletter, we are pleased to feature a Q&A with Andrew Petrosoniak, a look at the PAT program developed by Jory Simpson, and an article about residents’ self-regulated learning in the workplace by Brydges et al.

This is our final edition sharing a list of upcoming conference and grant deadlines–we will provide a link to an existing repository of this information in our next newsletter.

We also thought we would share a list of our AERO scientists and investigators–see below.

Going forward, we plan to use the following structure to better communicate about the activities within our vibrant AERO community:

  1. Member Profile
  2. Kudos
  3. Featured Project
  4. AERO Updates

We will continue to feature the work and successes of our members. Please be in touch!

Ryan, Stella, Emilia, and Myra

Follow us on Twitter: @AERO @rbrydges @StellaHPE

AERO: Mobilizing education science

Jillian Alston 

Ryan Brydges

Samir Grover

Latika Nirula

Andrew Petrosoniak

 Anju Anand  

Douglas Campbell

Christopher Hicks

Betty Onyura

Jory Simpson

Lindsay Baker 

Don Gandell

Stella Ng

Janet Parsons

Catherine Yu

Education Research Community (ERC) webinars

The Centre for Faculty Development hosts ERC webinars every second Monday. 

Learn from leaders in education research. 

Advanced registration is required. Add your name to the ERC mailing list to get up-to-date session details: emilia.kangasjarvi [at]

Virtual attendance – Zoom: Each session will have a unique participation link for Zoom.

When:  Every other Monday from 12-1pm (with some exceptions)


AERO Profiles -- Meet our Scientists

Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak, MD, MSc (Med Ed), FRCPC

Associate Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute

Dr. Andrew Petrosoniak is an emergency physician and trauma team leader at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He has completed a Master of Science in medical education where he focused on the use of in situ simulation (practice in the actual workplace) in procedural skill acquisition.

Dr. Petrosoniak is the Co-Director of the Annual Critical Care Skills Course for the FRCP Emergency Medicine residents designed to enhance skill acquisition for rarely performed and high-stakes technical skills. He regularly lectures and instructs simulation sessions for the EM residency program.
How would you describe your applied education research program?
I work on simulation and in situ simulation (i.e. simulation occurring in the clinical setting), with the goals of improving clinical performance and of gaining a better understanding of skill performance. 
Relevant questions include: How can we use our time in ways that are clinically optimal? How do people react and respond to novel situations? Do they do so safely, why or why not?
I am interested in understanding how people work within a clinical setting, how design influences their performance, and how the ergonomics of space play a role. I borrow from other disciplines, such as architecture and psychology to help explain and design better spaces to achieve greater space efficiencies safely.

All of this work is grounded in patient safety, identifying areas of vulnerability that may pose harm to patients.
What project and related insights make you particularly excited about your work right now?
Applying a multi-site lens about how people practice that will provide findings to guide us in constructing curricula for the future. It will help us better spend our time and resources and be useful for educators within a competency-based environment. For example, we tested our new Trauma Bay at St. Michael’s Hospital before its opening, using a design thinking model.

How did you become an AERO Scientist?
Ryan asked me! I guess he thought that my work and the work that AERO does would go well together. And it has! To see a recent example of this success, please look at:
Petrosoniak A, Hicks C, Barratt L, Gascon D, Kokoski C, Campbell D, White K, Bandiera G, Lum-Kwong MM, Nemoy L, Brydges R. Design thinking–informed simulation: an innovative framework to test, evaluate, and modify new clinical infrastructure. Simulation in Healthcare. 2020 Jun 1;15(3):205-13 (DOI:
How do you de-compress and enjoy your spare time away from work?
I spend time with my family, at home, cottage or other travel destinations. We play sports. And I’m an avid Raptors fan.

Unity Health Toronto grants you a paid 6-month vacation, where do you go and who’s coming with?
First, I would look for where COVID-19 is least present, then travel in Europe with my family.
Thank you, Dr. Petrosoniak for taking the time to chat with us. We look forward to celebrating your work and learning from it. Stay tuned for our next AERO scientist/investigator featured profile! 


Dr Jory Simpson

Dr Simpson launched the (PAT) program in 2016 with two major goals in mind:  to instil a broader, more humanistic view of surgery with medical learners, and to engage patients in the education experience of learners in a meaningful way.

The program required evaluation of these aims and also offered a research opportunity to explore important education questions. Dr Simpson partnered with AERO two years ago to research and evaluate the PAT program.

Two exciting research projects are well underway: an innovative Bayesian analysis of the perspective change experienced by medical learners participating in the PAT program, and a phenomenography study exploring patients’ emancipatory use of PAT program. Results from these two studies are promising and AERO will share the papers soon.

For now, check out two recent articles:

Dr Simpson’s success represents the fruitful opportunity that AERO presents in bringing together clinician educators and education scientists. As Dr Simpson says “the success of the program is due to the joint collaboration and partnership that we have created.”

Featured Article

Resident learning trajectories in the workplace: A self‐regulated learning analysis

“How do residents navigate their exposure to and experience performing invasive procedures in intensive care units?”  This was the question that Brydges et al. pondered the common observation that some residents run to procedures, while others run away.

The authors found that rather than running away, residents have unique learning trajectories they cultivate as they orient themselves to contexts and to their own situated goal-setting in those contexts. 

Making learning trajectories explicit for clinician teachers may help them support trainees in priorizing certain trajectories, in progressing along each trajectory, and in co‐constructing their plans for navigating them.

Full article can be found here:

It is behind a paywall, so if you’d like a PDF, please get in touch.

AERO: What does it stand for?

Advanced Education Research Operatives

We were asked what AERO stood for by a few of our newsletter readers last edition. What a great question! 

A = Applied, our research has direct relevance to clinician and trainee learning, and to how that learning impacts healthcare policies, practices, systems, and the patients and families we care for.

ER = Education Research, in the specific context of health professions education, we conduct a specific form of scholarship (i.e., research) given our group’s affiliation with the St. Michael’s Hospital Research Institute. We also support other forms of scholarly work, including innovations in education.

O = Operatives, a term we chose to reflect the action-oriented nature of our research. We will work with our community to ensure our discoveries are timely and impactful.


Patients want effective and safe care, and exceptional “bedside manner.” They want to get well soon, without complication, and they want to be treated like family when they are most vulnerable. One way to achieve excellent care is to mobilize lessons from successful practical experiences, and proven educational principles.

AERO bridges the science of mastering technical and clinical skills with the social science of inspiring compassionate care for all. AERO members work within actual care contexts, where patients, clinicians, and students collaborate and learn together to transform care through invaluable education research continually. At St. Michael’s everyone is a learner, and everyone is a teacher—including patients, physicians, residents, students, and staff.

Conferences and Grant Opportunities

We have updated our list of conferences for 2020 to reflect those that have been postponed until 2021 or have shifted to a virtual platform. Some have canceled their events entirely.

If you were scheduled to present at a conference but it was canceled, the APA has issued guidelines on citing canceled conferences:

NOTE: This is our final Conferences and Grant Opportunities listing. Going forward, we will provide a link to the University of Ottawa’s conferences, grants, and awards:

Conferences 2020-21

Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE)
In-person conference has been canceled; the committee published all Abstracts at:
Researching Medical Education Virtual Conference – Re-thinking Scholarship in Medical Education Research
November 12, 2020
Members: £40.00; Non-Members: £50.00

American Medical Informatics Association
November 14-18, 2020, Chicago, IL
Registration open
ICCH 2020: 14. International Conference on Communication in Healthcare
November 19-20, 2020, Paris, France
Early Bird Registration: October 2, 2020

Frontiers in Medical and Health Sciences Education 2020 Conference: Medical Education Disrupted – Negativity or Creativity
November 27-28, 2020, Hong Kong, China,r11.php?Lang=zh-tw
Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions 2021 Annual Conference 
January 13-16, 2021, Orlando, FL

Continuing Medical Education: Building Resilience in Challenging Times—Trends, Issues, Priorities, Strategies (TIPS)
APMEC 2021 and Centre for Medical Education Singapore
January 22-24, 2021, Singapore

Simulation Summit (The Future is Now)
February 20-21, 2021, Montreal, QC

Setting the New Norm: Current and Future Practice for Health Professions Education
Blended: virtual and in-person options
March 12-14, 2021, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Proposal submissions due: November 15, 2020
Abstract submissions due: December 15, 2020

2021 CREOG &APGO Annual Meeting
April 9, 2021, 11am—4pm, ET
Follow their social media or email apgoadmin[at] with questions

CCME Making Waves: Exploring the Waters of Medical Education
April 15-16, 2021, St. John’s, NL

SGIM 2021 Virtual Meeting: Transforming Values into Action
April 20-23, 2021 
Submissions open: November 19, 2020
Award Nominations open: October 19, 2020

Association for Surgical Education (ASE)
April 27-May 1, 2021, Boston, MA
Abstracts due November 6, 2020 @ 5pm PT:
The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Meeting
June 15-18, 2021, Ottawa, ON
Abstracts, presentations, papers that were accepted for 2020 conference will be given first right of refusal for 2021.

International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) 20th Annual Thinking Qualitatively Conference (featuring Focus on Intersectionality)
July 5-10, 2021, Kelowna, BC

ASM 2021 – Disrupted Medical Education – challenging the norms of medical education
Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting
July 7-9, 2021, Warwick UK
Abstracts due: Follow on social media for abstract, poster, and presenter submission dates

AMEE 2021
Blended: virtual and in-person options
August 27-30, 2021, Glasgow, UK
Pre-conference workshops and Symposia: 15 November (decisions by 15 December 2020)
Research papers: 5 December 2020
Doctoral reports: 5 December 2020
Short communications, e-posters and conference workshops: 5 February 2021 (decisions by 15 April)

Inter-professional Global Conference: All Together Better Health–10th International Conference on Interprofessional Practice and Education
October 22-25, 2021, Doha, Qatar
Abstracts open now

Family Medicine Forum
College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada
November 10-13, 2021, Toronto
Abstracts open December 2020:

Transform MedEd 2021
November 19-20, 2021, London, UK
Registration details to be posted before November 2020
Bot-generated list of conferences, meetings, workshops, training opportunities, seminars, and similar, updated weekly:
Please note: AERO has not reviewed nor vetted the bot list.

Grant Opportunities 2020-21

Spencer Foundation
Large Research Grants on Education Program
The Large Research Grants on Education Program supports education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived, with budgets ranging from $125,000 to $500,000 for projects ranging from one to five years. We anticipate awarding grants with budgets across each of the following funding tiers — $125,000 to 250,000; $250,001 to $375,000; and $375,001 to $500,000. We accept Intent to Apply forms twice a year.
This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, method, or location. Our goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education.
Intent to Apply
January 15, 2021
Full Proposal Deadline
February 5, 2021

Research Practice Partnerships Program
Intent to Apply
November 24, 2020
Full Proposal Deadline
December 17, 2020 12:00 PM (Noon) CT
The Research-Practice Partnership (RPP) Grants Program is intended to support education research projects that engage in collaborative and participatory partnerships with project budgets up to $400,000 and durations of up to three years. We accept Intent to Apply forms once a year in this program.

Max Bell Foundation – Project, Development, and Senior Fellow Grants
“Max Bell Foundation reflects the spirit and intent of its founder to improve Canadian society. We encourage the development of innovative ideas that impact public policies and practices with an emphasis on health and wellness, education, and the environment.”
**No deadlines for initial requests (submit letter of intent, will receive response in 4 weeks to submit proposal or not)

Joule Innovation Grant Program
Nine funding streams; up to $500K in total.
Deadline extended indefinitely.
SMH Research IPBR Small Grants
$5,000 to inter-professional teams for two-year practice-based research study.

Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) Novice Research Grant Program
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP)
Competition opens: Monday, February 1, 2021 at noon (ET)
Competition closes: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 23:59 (ET)

The Stemmler Fund (USA)
Register to see which grants, if any, might apply to your research.
The Letter of Intent (LOI) Description Guide explains the format that should be followed for your LOI. 


AERO launched in 2018, enabled by two new donations to the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation: The Arrell Family Chair in Health Professions Teaching and the Professorship in Technology-Enabled Education. 
We appreciate the financial support that they provide which allows AERO to positively influence healthcare in Canada.

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