Students from both York University and Queen’s University, with faculty input, organized the annual Ontario Exercise Physiology (OEP) Conference, which will bring together over 180 trainees from Ontario and Quebec to share their passion and research in exercise physiology and related fields.
The core purpose of the OEP Conference, running July 25 to 27, is to help trainees develop their research aptitude, presentation skills, career development strategies and build a network through a program that gives them time to talk and have discussions about their work and common interests.
A fundamental characteristic of the conference is that it is student organized and oriented, intent on creating something that benefits their peers across the province. (Input from Associate Professor Christopher Perry from the School of Kinesiology & Health Science at York and Christopher McGlory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University was provided).
Instead of principal investigators, only undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral Fellows, present their research to their peers and to volunteer faculty in attendance. Trainees receive feedback on their theses to help develop their perspectives and stimulate new ideas. Feedback is provided during a standard question-and-answer period, but also through the structured program that brings students and faculty together through additional activities.
The conference also features two keynote faculty speakers to serve as an early career and established career mentor at the meeting. Rather than present their research, both mentors will share their path from undergraduate studies to their present-day roles as faculty, including their experience of journeying through uncertainties and identifying passions through each step of their process.
The CEO of the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology will also provide an exciting presentation on careers that can be pursued with a kinesiology and health studies degree. This talk will emphasize the many ways that trainees can make an impact on improving the lives of people through exercise prescription and related professions. There will also be a mentor from industry to talk about the experience of transitioning from graduate school to a career outside of academia.
The event wasn’t just organized, in part, by York students, but the University helped sponsor the event, spanning all major tiers of the institution including the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, the Faculty of Health and the Office of the Vice-President, Research.
Further information about OEP can be found here.