Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

endMS Summer School

The endMS Summer School is an annual interactive education program that aims to enhance knowledge and skills in MS research among trainees. Each year, Summer School brings together close to 40 trainees from a variety of disciplines to learn about one central MS-related theme and the focus alternates between basic one year and clinical and population health research the next. Participants explore topics in a small group setting that facilitates networking, collaboration and information exchange.

The program features lecture-based plenary sessions, facilitated workshops, and opportunities to interact with people affected by MS. Summer School involves an interdisciplinary agenda that strives to offer participants a more comprehensive understanding of MS.

The 2018 endMS Summer School, Environmental and Lifestyle Factors Associated With MS: Bench to Bedside, will be held from June 11-14, 2018 in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning. Stay tuned for more information including the call for applications which will be announced in December.

A huge thank you to the 2017 endMS Summer School hosts! The Summer School was titled Moving MS Research Forward through Clinical and Biomedical Partnerships and was held from June 12-15 in scenic St. John’s, Newfoundland on its Memorial University campus.

With medical researchers applying for grants from various national and international organizations, the importance of local and regional partnerships between basic and clinical science is paramount. Forging these key alliances requires dedication, patience and an ambition to seek out collaborations that share an overall mission and vision, while allowing the principal investigator (PI) to retain autonomy and also achieve personal success.

As trainees make the exciting transition to independent researcher, the 2017 endMS Summer School included plenary sessions, workshops and activities to help guide them through the process and realize the significance of bridging basic and clinical science in MS research.

There were also facilitated sessions to help build communication skills and a speed mentoring session addressing CV building, navigating your career, etc.

The workshops included:
- The elements of a neurological exam-the basics
- Brain and spinal cord tissue bench skills including slicing and staining
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation to measure corticospinal excitability
- Gait analysis using an instrumented walkway
- Metabolic fitness testing

For more information on the 2017 endMS Summer School including the agenda, participant lists, and other important information, click here.

For information on former Summer Schools go to the "Summer School Highlights" section below:


The endMS Summer School is open to applicants generally studying at Canadian universities who are enrolled in a graduate program or who hold a postdoctoral/clinical fellowship. This includes international students and international postdoctoral fellows studying at Canadian universities.

The endMS Summer School has accepted trainees who are studying outside of Canada, but who are also recipients of MS Society of Canada Studentships or Fellowships. Students currently registered in an undergraduate program (e.g. MD) who have already completed graduate training are also eligible.

Please refer to the program guidelines for complete eligibility criteria.

Application and Program Guidelines

Application Guidelines will be available shortly
Program Guidelines will be available shortly

Important Dates

  • Competition Opens: December, 2017
  • Application Deadline: February, 2018
  • Anticipated Notice of Decision: April, 2018

Summer School Highlights

For more information on each Summer School, click on the corresponding year below:

Year Location Theme Involvement
2009 Université de Montréal Neuroimmunology and Neuropathology of MS 32 participants
2010 Dalhousie University Clinical and Behavioural Aspects of MS 40 participants
2011 University of Calgary Neuroprotection and Repair 44 participants
2012 University of Manitoba Gaining Insights from Special Populations and Other Complex Diseases 43 participants
2013 University of British Columbia Multiple Sclerosis Continuum: Imaging and Pathogenesis of MS 46 participants
2014 Dalhousie University Translational MS Research: From Ideas to Innovation to Implementation 45 participants
2015 Université de Montréal and
McGill University
The Biology of Attack and Repair in MS 43 participants
2016 University of British Columbia Dates: June 13-16, 2016
The Evolving Art and Science of MS Care
40 participants

What participants have said about their experience

When asked what they liked about Summer School, some participants said:

"I liked that it was not focused on one specific aspect of MS research. The sessions were
applicable to all fields." (2017 participant)

"This was a great Summer School. I liked the focus on presentation skills, collaboration, patient
involvement, and career development." (2017 participant)

"I loved that it was focused on providing us skills and perspectives that would not get in our
regular academia setting." (2017 participant)

" I feel inspired to go back to my institution and think about things in a different way. Thank you so much for the opportunity." (2016 participant)

"As a grad student, my work is so "zoomed-in" that it's nice to sit back and take in the larger picture of MS and MS research." (2016 participant)

"I appreciated the opportunity to gain exposure to a broad array of MS research in a way that built from the bottom up and touched on the most current findings." (2016 participant)

"EVERYTHING! Specifically, the workshops were amazing! The researchers that took their time to organize the hands-on workshops were fantastic. I learned so much about the ways other labs do procedures that I do in my lab differently (and as I learned, less efficiently!) They were so helpful!" (2015 participant)

"I LOVED interacting with MS patients. As someone who works in the lab, we don't always see the patient side. Very very motivating. I also liked the career panel at the end of the day. All workshops are EXACTLY what we are doing in our lab. Very relevant." (2015 participant)

"This was my first summer school and I really enjoyed it. I think what I liked most about it was the fact that it was so interdisciplinary and as a clinical researcher, I learned a lot of new stuff from the basic sciences and started to identify opportunities for collaboration even within my own field." (2014 participant)

"The caliber of researchers who attend the summer school really helped to motivate and drive my passion for MS research. The organizers were amazing, I learned an immense amount AND had a lot of fun." (2014 participant)

"I loved just about everything about it. I like the hands-on workshops, I really liked being able to interact with MS patients, media, and MS Society organizers, and see MS research from their point of view; I loved all the social opportunities to network (this is the BEST conference/event I have ever attended in terms of networking); I loved the knowledge transfer/communication sessions; the food was excellent; I really liked learning about other fields of MS research besides MRI... the list goes on!!" (2013 participant)

"Fostering relationships amongst trainees - this is really promoting a collaborative environment amongst the next generation of MS researchers in Canada.” (2012 participant)

"In addition to the fact that Summer School was a great opportunity to learn, it provided me with a chance to interact directly with trainees and faculty from all different avenues of MS research." (2011 participant)

Contact information

Program Manager: Ms. Anik Schoenfeldt
Tel: (514) 843-1442/ 1-877-288-2570

Program Director: Dr. Christina Wolfson
Tel: (514) 934-1934 ext. 44739

endMS Network Training Office
Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
1025 Pine Avenue W., AMI - P2.028
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A1
Fax: (514) 934-4458