December, 2020
Happy holidays one and all!

As this year comes to a close, I think the world deserves to feel a sense of accomplishment on so many levels! It’s been a rough one, but we all continue on. I hope this FER community brings you a little bit of connection under the common cause of research partnership.

We recently wrapped up another FER cohort with a group of incredibly talented grads whom I know are going to do great things! There has been ample opportunity for our FER team to share at a variety of research conferences and events speaking to the benefits of community collaboration. It’s been a privilege to be able to continue to contribute to these learning opportunities throughout the year!

We try to bring you FER resources from a variety of platforms in order to keep the conversation going. If you have any pressing questions that need answering, have an upcoming conference or speaking engagement, or if you recently published something, by all means please get in touch with the team and we will add it to the newsletter! I can be reached at or through our Twitter page @FERCourse.

Our next FER grad check-in will be January 22nd, so keep an eye out for invites through Facebook and Twitter! This event will be a collaborative event on utilizing social media platforms for community engagement so stay tuned!

We wish you a happy holiday season. We hope it will be safe, restful, and connected with loved ones!

Rachel Martens,
Research Engagement Strategist
Kids Brain Health Network and CanChild
The FER Community continues to grow!
Our FER community continues to grow as we congratulate 34 students from the Fall 2020 cohort for their completion of the FER Program. After five cohorts, we now have 132 graduates!

We are also excited to welcome another 34 students to the upcoming Winter 2021 cohort!
Luke's Legacy Lecture
To commemorate the life of Luke Martens, the son of Rachel and Nick Martens, we hosted Luke's Legacy Lecture at the KBHN 2020 Conference moderated by Donna Thomson and Connie Putterman. This panel presentation featured Rachel Martens, and three FER Grads, Alison Martens, Jaime Lougheed-Winkler, and Francine Buchanan.
Luke's Legacy Lecture was an opportunity for everyone to reflect on how genuine partnerships with families are all about informing meaningful research for families.
Calling all family FER graduates!
KBHN is recruiting 1 – 2 Family FER Course Grads to join KBHN’S Research Management Committee (RMC)
KBHN is a network of researchers and clinicians seeking to understand brain development, with the specific goal of mobilizing this knowledge to improve the lives of children living with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. KBHN is in the third phase of Network-life with a focus on implementing innovations and realizing impacts in clinical and community settings.
The Research Management Committee (RMC) is a Network standing committee that reports to the KBHN Board of Directors and is responsible for active research program evaluation and oversight and providing expertise specific adjudication and recommendations for new Network research project funding applications. The RMC plans for the next year include at least two oversight/adjudication meetings (approximate timing, February-March and September-October). A new member orientation session is also planned for early in 2021. RMC members are expected to serve a two-year term with the possibility for a second term extension depending on availability and continued Network financial support into 2024. Compensation will be provided.
If you are interested in applying to be on the KBHN RMC, please reach out to us at for more information!
Join the Alberta SPOR Unit for a collaborative podcast series!
Featured FER KT Tool

This infographic, created by Yvonne Brandelli and Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, is specifically tailored to graduate students on some of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ of patient engagement in research.

This tool focuses on seven main domains:
  1. Learning the ropes & finding partners
  2. Building relationships
  3. Determining roles
  4. Prioritizing questions
  5. Time management
  6. Expenses & compensation
  7. Education
Click here to view more KT tools by FER Grads!
FER Events and Opportunities in the New Year
There are a number of events and opportunities to look forward to in the New Year!

Keep an eye out for the launch of:
  • Family Research Rounds
  • Family Research Podcast Series
  • Launch of the FER Leadership Academy
Watch the following webinar on ethical considerations!
This webinar, by CHILD-BRIGHT and SPOR, discusses the ethical considerations of involving children and parents in patient-oriented research. Click the video below to watch the webinar recording.
Recent Publications and Resources on Patient Engagement

The impact of public involvement in health research: what are we measuring? Why are we measuring it? Should we stop measuring it?
This commentary investigates the impact of measuring impact and public involvement in health research.

Jill Russel, Nina Fudge, and Trish Greenhalgh (Research Involvement and Engagement)
Ethical Considerations for Partnering in Patient-Oriented Research.
This guide includes information on forming advisory groups, budgeting for patient engagement, community engagement, definitions to better understand ethics, and ethical considerations when partnering in research.
Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit. Patient Engagement Platform.
Want to Contribute to the FER Newsletter? 
Inviting all graduates to share with the FER community!

Have something interesting you wish to share with the FER community? Recently published a paper? Know of an upcoming online conference? Recruiting for a research study? Received an award? Add it to our next newsletter and/or Facebook page!

Fill out this form or email us at to have it considered for the newsletter and/or Facebook page!
Stay in Touch!
As a graduate of the FER course, you are part of our FER Alumni community. We hope you will stay in touch with us through joining the FER Course Fellows Group on Facebook (contact Rachel Martens at if you wish to join).
Stay Connected!
We have so very much appreciated the continued conversation you've started on social media about the course. Your experiences shared on Facebook and Twitter help build the community of course grads ensuring best starts in family partnerships in research. Talking about family engagement in research online? Consider tagging us at: @FERCourse
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