Is This For Me? 

Answer YES to the following:

  • I am a patient or family member (as defined by the family)

  • I am open to new ideas and interested in research

  • I want to use my experience to make a difference in healthcare

  • I can commit to completing a four month basic skills training or the full 8 month program

  • Upon competition of the program be willing to contribute to the overall strategic direction for health care and /or health research.

What is Involved?

  • The PaCER Internship Training Program is a blended online program offered through the U of C’s Continuing Education Department

  • Attend a 3-4 day Foundations in PaCER pre-session at the U of C with fellow interns, mentors, and academic staff

  • Groups work online to complete competencies and assignments related to their research topics

  • Acquire key competencies in fieldwork, short interviews, focus groups, and narrative research

  • Design and conduct a research project


Our next PaCER internship class will start in January 2020. We offer a distance based program in collaboration with the University of Calgary’s Continuing Education, which means you do not have to be in Calgary to take part in the program.
Read more. 


  • Advise and Consult with healthcare teams, decision-making bodies, and funding panels

  • Join PaCER research teams to conduct patient-led research with health research teams

  • Work as patient engagement specialist in healthcare, health charities, clinics, and patient education

  • Share results of patient-led research through presentations, publications, and social media


There is no cost to students for the internship; the tuition for this program is covered by sponsorships and grants. If you want to take it for credit, you will have to pay academic tuition. At the graduate level, the tuition fee would be equivalent to 4 courses.

  • The textbook is available on line for free Download from University of Calgary Press

  • You will need a computer that you can bring to class. Digital recorders will be provided and all course materials can be accessed online.

Next steps

If you have any questions and would like to talk to a mentor and PaCER researcher, please contact us at

If you are interested in becoming a patient researcher, please fill out the following application and email to

If you are hoping to take this as part of a university course, we will work with your faculty or department to meet credit requirements. This is not a course to be taken as part of a full course load.