Background: The 21st-century model of health research is founded on a broad base of multidisciplinary research that is expeditiously and effectively translated into evidence-based practice, education, policy, and advocacy. The key objective is to improve the health of populations.
Dietitians’ roles: Dietitians, whether they are working in clinical or public health nutrition or food science, have a vital role to play in this paradigm of health research. As dietitians’ roles have evolved beyond the traditional ones into subspecialties including epidemiology, nutrigenomics, functional foods, nutraceuticals, toxicology, natural health products, and multidisciplinary research, the need for advanced training in subspecialty fields has become essential.
Opportunities: A dietetics background is an excellent foundation upon which to develop a research career in one of these new areas of nutrition. Opportunities for personnel awards and research funding targeted at nutrition clinician-scientists and other nutrition subspecialists have grown tremendously in recent years.
Conclusion: The information in this paper is intended to inspire dietitians seeking advanced academic training in one of the new exciting avenues for a career in nutrition. These avenues will permit dietitians to contribute to knowledge discovery, translation, and outreach to improve the nutritional status and health of populations in Canada and globally.