What do you get out of the Science Leadership Program?

Article by Nina Rafeek

Are you an academic scientist, engineer or a social scientist from U of T or another Canadian research-intensive university? If so, the Science Leadership Program was created just for you.

The Science Leadership Program is a 2+ day workshop that is designed revolutionize your potential as a communicator of research and science.  It will give you the tools to engage policymakers, the media, decision-makers, and the general public about your research.

The workshop is directed by Molly Shoichet, Senior Advisor on Science and Engineering Engagement (SEE) to University of Toronto President Meric Gertler, and is funded by the Connaught Fund.  This year, the workshop will begin with a special art-themed opening reception at 4:30pm on April 19th and will end with a group dinner on April 21st 2017.

Here is a list of things you will receive from the Science Leadership Program:

  • Creative instruction on effective communication and presentation skills

Nancy Houfek, formerly head of voice & speech at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University, will provide four 90-minute sessions entitled The Performance Art of Science Presentation.

  • A series of communications workshops facilitated by Peter Redstone and Dr. Martin Bloxham of The Barefoot Thinking Company

They are internationally recognized for leadership programs to scientists and researchers.  They will provide six 30-90min workshops on: Thinking Styles, Leadership Situations, Leadership Gearbox, Giving & Receiving Feedback, Strategic Communications Canvas and Action Planning

These workshops are designed to give you the communications tools to influence others, give and receive constructive feedback and to develop a plan for critical strategic communications issues.

  • A 60-second Pitch Exercise

Master your 60-second pitch and have fun with your peers while you are doing it! Participants get an opportunity to pitch their research to a panel of experts from science and media organizations (CBC, Daily Planet, Ontario Science Centre) and are given both written and oral feedback on each pitch. The SLP 2017 panel of judges will be announced in the new year.

  • A Fellowship with the SLP

This means that you will be able to expand your network and continue your development after you attend the SLP Program. You will have the chance to reunite with the SLP participants in your cohort to informally share your work and your thoughts on the SLP program at an annual SLP Fellows Reunion. The Reunion usually features an inspiring key note speaker or a refreshing professional development session. You will also have a chance to discuss ways to better improve the program for future SLP participants.

  • A headshot from a professional photographer

Jeremy Sale Photography will be on-site to take your professional headshot.  You will be given a digital file so that you can use this portrait on anything from your CV to your Twitter account.

Here is what some had to say about last year’s events:

“Learning the importance of capturing the energy of the audience and making meaningful connections. It was very powerful to see before and after examples of posture styles we tend to slide into.”

“The leadership gearbox and communication strategies were very useful and appropriate for scientists. I have seen other models that did not resonate as well with scientists/academics. This worked well.”

“Thank you for a truly transformative three days. I am excited to bring these skills back into my life.”

Here is a link to apply TODAY! Deadline for applications is Oct. 31st 2016.