Science Leadership Program 2015

April 22 – 24, 2015, University of Toronto

The Science Leadership Program (SLP) aims to provide outstanding academic scientists with the skills, approaches and frameworks for engaging more effectively with the media, decision-makers and the public throughout their careers. Directed by University Professor Molly Shoichet, Senior Advisor on Science and Engineering Engagement to the President of the University of Toronto, with the guidance of a Steering Committee, the SLP is targeted primarily at a select group of early and mid-career faculty members in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, and medicine. The SLP aims to build a network of top researchers across the U of T and other research-intensive universities in Canada, and to connect them with leaders of relevant external organizations and media to enable a greater understanding of the importance of research.

2015 SLP Description

The intensive program begins with a reception on the evening of Wednesday, April 22nd and ends with a group dinner on Friday, April 24th. The program consists of a series of hands-on training sessions on communications, outreach and leadership, discussion panels and opportunities for interaction. Experienced trainers and prominent practitioners lead the sessions and participate in the panels:

  • Nancy Houfek, formerly head of voice & speech at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University, will run a session on The Performance Art of Science Presentation
  • Peter Redstone and Dr. Martin Bloxham of The Barefoot Thinking Company, a world leader in delivering leadership programs for scientists and researchers, will focus on three key leadership areas:
    • How to influence others
    • The power of giving and receiving constructive feedback and
    • How to plan for critical strategic communications issues.
  • In addition, there will be a panel discussion with leading communicators on effective story-telling focusing on How to Keep Control of Your Message When Speaking with the Public, Media and Government.


Given the intensity and the nature of the training, participants are expected to commit to the full two days of the program, starting in the evening of April 22 and ending after dinner on April 24, 2015.

Over the course of the following year, the SLP Fellows (including participants of the 2013 and 2014 programs) are encouraged to put into practice what they learn at the SLP to further their vision for broad engagement through outreach initiatives, community partnerships, mentoring programs or writing/speaking to the public. They are also invited to attend a gathering to share their experiences and best practices with the other Fellows.

Normally 11 participants from U of T and about 8 more from other research-intensive Canadian universities are selected.

Selection criteria include:

  • excellence in scientific/engineering/medical research and teaching;
  • passion and capacity to exercise leadership and enthusiasm for communicating science;
  • interest, willingness and appropriate professional position to engage with stakeholders; and,
  • commitment to participate fully in the training program and follow-up activities.

Application Deadline: January 26, 2015

Questions? Contact