Postdoctoral fellow's collaboration is the key to success

Tamara Vineberg - 28 January 2020

Qualitative research is Marghalara Rashid's passion and it's also her focus for her post-doctoral fellowship.

Marghalara Rashid has discovered through her post-doctoral fellowship in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry that collaboration is key to successful research. Her collaborative work happens while she teaches qualitative research methodologies and conducts extensive research in medical education and health professional scholarship. 

Besides conducting her own research, Rashid collaborates with faculty on their qualitative research projects and mentors residents and medical students. “I work with people whose backgrounds are so much different than mine. We come together, work on a project and make it successful. We apply for funding. We present the work at national and international avenues and sometimes even get media attention, which is amazing,” says Rashid.

When clinicians approach her with their projects, Rashid is ready to assist. “I can take on that role of giving them methodology guidance and expertise. My position is really unique at this point as a research scientist because of my training,” she adds.

Rashid’s academic path started with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She proceeded with a master’s in psychiatry and then was given the option to fast track into a PhD. The focus of her PhD with supervisors Amanda Newton in the Department of Pediatrics and Vera Caine in the Faculty of Nursing was experiences of parents who have a child with traumatic brain injury. Following her PhD, Rashid took a position as a postdoc in rehabilitation medicine and then went to Toronto for a multi-site project. She needed to gain additional teaching experience before applying for faculty positions and was introduced to Carol Hodgson, associate professor in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics.

Rashid was guided by Hodgson for providing training for approaches to teaching in medical education. “My courses are a combination of activities that are involved in research where you actually go out, do exploration, bring in data or conduct interviews,” says Rashid. “So what I have learned is that a good teacher knows her/his students and she/he will tailor their teaching methods to best serve their needs.”

Her two-and-a-half-year postdoc will be ending in March 2020, but she has gained a world of experience from the Department of Pediatrics that she plans to take to her next role. “ I think overall the beauty of the Department of Pediatrics is that there are folks with diverse backgrounds who are involved in research and a lot of students do benefit from that. It’s been an amazing and beautiful experience,” says Rashid.