The Alberta Epigenetics Network provides the following programs to allow the Network and its members meet their goals of increasing the scale, scope, interdependence and impact of the epigenetics knowledge created in Alberta and to ensure that this knowledge is translated to end-users in a meaningful way.
The annual summit will assemble all stakeholders relevant to epigenetics knowledge creation, mobilization, and use in Alberta along with important stakeholders from outside the province. This meeting will support development of collaborations and partnerships, knowledge exchange, and identifying opportunities for transforming knowledge into action. It will also serve to showcase epigenetics activities in Alberta.
Knowledge Exchange Sessions
Knowledge exchange sessions will be focused on meetings in the areas of health and agriculture. The meetings will act as research retreats and allow investigators to discuss research in progress. Knowledge mobilization will be facilitated by connecting epigenetics researchers with the relevant industry associations, companies, and other knowledge end-users. This process will not only facilitate knowledge uptake but will allow researchers to better understand end-user needs and find relevant partnerships.
The Network will facilitate the development and support the activity of mini-networks. Mini-networks will coalesce around research themes of interest to network members, and act as the functional units of the network. Their goal is to develop strategic research collaborations that work towards research excellence, capacity building, grant writing, policy development, and technology/knowledge mobilization.
Research and Grant Excellence
The research and grant excellence program will, in collaboration with university programs, provide mechanisms that improve grant success in local, national, and international awards competitions. The program will include: the funding of collaboration meetings/workshops, team-sponsored visits from world class researchers or technical experts to share knowledge and expertise, and pre-submission reviews. The network will identify and work towards establishing funding programs at the provincial level to support infrastructure and competitive research competitions in the field of epigenetics.
Campus Alberta Education Program
The goal of the education and training program is to increase Alberta’s capacity to conduct world class epigenetic research. The network will support education and training by: supporting graduate students and Post-Docs obtaining training at other Albertan or international universities, inviting world-renowned experts to share knowledge with Albertan researchers, establishing Campus Alberta courses, and providing workshops to teach particular methods and techniques. Finally, the network will work with partners to institute epigenetics studentships and support trainees.
The residency program will provide opportunities for stakeholders to learn and share their knowledge with individuals outside of the academic realm. For example, Post-Doctoral students or researchers could spend time with a government agency, an industry organization, or a company; such crossovers will provide the individual with new skills, facilitate the clarification of the end‐user needs, and will accelerate the translation of new knowledge, applications, and technologies.
Communication and Outreach
The Network will endeavor to communicate importance and relevance of epigenetics to the public, government, and private sector. Communication activities will include public lectures, profiles of AEN members, promotion of epigenetics activities in Alberta (AEN newsletter), and the creation of a database of all epigenetics resources in Alberta.