Osnat Wine, '20 PhD


Student: Osnat Wine
Program: PhD
Convocation date: November 20, 2020
Supervisor: Alvaro Osornio Vargas

What is your background and what led you to graduate studies in the Department of Pediatrics at the U of A?
I did a master's in environmental studies in Toronto, and I was interested in communication and how we communicate about environmental health. When I moved to Edmonton, I became involved with the Children's Environmental Health Clinic. I worked as a research coordinator in this context of environmental health. That’s how I started working with my supervisor, Alvaro. It was a natural development of wanting to know more about what I'm doing and how processes are done. I found that entire area of the collaborative aspect of research teams’ knowledge production and translation fascinating.

What is your thesis title and a brief lay summary of your PhD research?
The title of my thesis is Better Together - The Essential Components of the Integrated Knowledge Translation Collaborative Process for an Interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Project in Environmental Health. I followed a research team in environmental health for five years, and what I wanted to do is to learn about the collaborative processes and what shapes the team’s performance. The members were diverse and some were non-academic. I observed how those members from different backgrounds work, collaborate, create new knowledge and engage in knowledge translation. My research identified and described eight essential components of the collaborative process (such as relationship building, trust, team, and individual capacity and joint ownership) that together contributed to the team’s growth and productivity.

How did the Department of Pediatrics prepare you for the next step in your career?
It really challenged me and my supervisor challenged me to push forward. It’s the way you think, how you look at the world, the way you research, and how you approach problems. It’s how you overcome different challenges. When you overcome those, you become stronger and more confident.

Were there challenges or things that were harder than you imagined?
The challenge is finding your boundaries because the breadth of the knowledge is enormous. Every time you ask a question, so many doors of knowledge open up, and there are multiple ways to examine your project. How far do you investigate? And how are you exploring?

Do you have any tips for new graduate students just beginning here or those who are nearly completed?
It's a big undertaking going into a PhD. You need to collaborate with individuals you love working with, and with supervisors who inspire you, challenge you, and support you. You want to connect well with them. You want to be truly passionate about your project, it keeps you going. Have a lot of patience and be flexible for all the developments in your study because it may not go as you planned. You need perseverance because there are ups and downs.

Has your journey's "destination" changed or morphed from what you thought it would be at the beginning?
It's a process. You start somewhere and you only know part of the facts you need. It's all for the best because I came to this with an open mind. I wasn't completely sure how it was going to work but it's dynamic and it changes all the time.

What will you miss about the Department of Pediatrics and your time here?
It’s the relationships that developed through time. I miss the people who I worked with. I'll miss those hallways talks.

Where are you headed next?
I am starting a postdoc as part of a collaboration between engineering and pediatrics, focusing on environmental health.