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By: Rhonda Moore, Senior Advisor of Science and Innovation
In April 2019, the IOG launched its newest leadership program. The Leadership Development Program in Science and Innovation (LDPSI) targets individuals working in scientific or science policy roles seeking to enhance their leadership skills. The program is open to all sectors, including academia, government, non-profit and corporate, and is specifically geared to professionals with some management experience who have the potential to become an executive in the next five years.
Why a program for scientists? While scientists receive a great deal of training, it focuses to a great extent on their research activities and does not always make connections beyond the laboratory walls. As a result, many scientists do not seek leadership opportunities outside the lab, though they have a lot to offer. For example, of the approximately 300,000 Canadians who work for the federal government, about 20,000 are trained scientists or engineers. Yet very few of the executive cadre have a scientific background. Many of the policy challenges facing contemporary Canada find solutions in science. Elevating the profile of science within the ranks of the federal public service – literally and figuratively – brings profile to this important federal function, increases levels of scientific literacy, and advances evidence-based decision making in federal policy.
To encourage scientists to develop their leadership potential, the IOG has created the LDPSI, an intensive nine-day program, offered in three units of three days each. Facilitated by a core team of instructors with experience as science executives, the curriculum blends classroom and hands-on learning, providing participants with opportunities to apply their learning in a variety of exercises and scenarios. Participants study the cultures of science, innovation and policy, where they intersect, how they work together, how they influence Canadian society and how individuals can have impact and results. Participants also receive personal mentoring and coaching throughout the program.
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