GLSE and Dr. Nana Lee Announce an Innovative PhD Leaders Program

PhD Leaders

GLSE PhD Leaders Meeting: Nick Demers (PhD student, Biochemistry) shares his leadership tips in communication with the rest of the Leaders Together Group. Photo taken in 2019

Meet Our Leaders

Mission: To empower core leadership and design skills to PhD students in the goals of training Canada’s future scientific thought and team leaders.

Students who excel in the program will develop design thinking skills, form a peer leadership cohort, create and lead their own internships or experiential learning opportunities while building a valuable, scientific network for their future careers.

The elite leaders program will provide:
1) interactive workshop training from Toronto’s experts and your trained peers
2) mentorship opportunities from within and outside of academia
3) yearly one-on-one consultation with Dr. Nana Lee using Science Careers individual development plan
4) the training to potentially create individualized experiential learning engagements with campus, industry or non-profit sectors.

The workshops will be led, advised or hosted by Dr. Nana Lee, Director of Mentorship and GPD, former industry Director of Application Science. Concepts will be generative, in that the ideas will build on the former workshop material. You and your inclusive cohort will be together for 3 years or until your graduate.  All students accepted into the program are expected to attend monthly, 2 hour meetings. Some prework, Informational interviews, and experiential learning opportunities will be on the students’ own time. The outline of the program is shown below, but may change according to speaker availability and current events. The first month will involve individual consultations with Dr. Nana Lee to determine the topic area in which each student may lead the group discussion. All students will be receiving an individualized experience, specific to their needs and aspirations. Student who complete the program will be given a Letter of Leadership by GLSE, Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

A draft of the Skills Development Map is outlined here.


Year 3: Design Thinking, Process, Career Options-Informational interviews.  What got you here? Strengths approach, CARs

Year 4: Building rapport, creating opportunities, find mentors in and outside academia

Year 5+: Self Leader: Implement Experiential Learning Opp for YOUR dream career in industry or academia, resume


Year 3: Manuscripts, doctoral awards (NSERC, OGS)

Year 4: Policy reflection, business report

Year 5+: Business proposals, grants proposals


Year 3: Seminars, talks, speaker from theater and dance, outreach Improv, dance

Year 4: The Pitch, 3MT, Storytelling, press release

Year 5+: Designing Collaborative, interactive workshops


Year 3: Micro-teaching, Mentee-driven mentorship, THET* participant, mentoring across differences

Year 4: Models of mentorship programs/design or optimize current mentorship program, THET facilitator opp

Year 5+: THET leader opportunity,, inclusive teaching


Year 3: Building own niche, Networking, Intro to EQ, conflict management, observation activity

Year 4: Coaching in EQ, speaking up, difficult conversations

Year 5: Coaching in EQ, Negotiating, Job Applications


Year 3: Flow, IDP meet, learning from failure, self-care, building a leadership identity, gratitude journal, exercise, work-life integration, self awareness

Year 4: Diversity and Equity, IDP meet, PhD package strategy, IDP Mentor

Year 5+: IDP Leader, mentor 3rd years

*Teaching in Higher Education Together.

Students interested in this program must be in their third or fourth year (if you have taken GPD) of a Faculty of Medicine PhD program. You must be a team-player, excellent communicator, open to innovative approaches to solve problems, able to have fun, and an active listener.

Applications are due by Jan 17, 2020 by noon to with the subject heading of the email “PhD Leaders 2020W Application_Your Last name” and an attached single pdf file containing an 1) Application form and 2) your CV. The content of the email should be addressed to Dr. Nana Lee.

Interviews will be held during January.

Successful candidates will be notified by Feb 1.

Program will start in mid November at St. George Campus, near or at MSB.

Applicant’s Last Name:

Applicant’s First Name:
Applicant’s Department:
Month and year of reclassification or qualification exam:

Names of 3 reference with their emails and phone numbers who can speak about your character, work ethic, or leadership:

Please answer the questions below in 200 words or less.
Q1. Why are you applying for this leadership program?
Q2. Describe an event you made an impact in. How did you measure the impact?
Q3. What are three adjectives your mentees or coworkers would describe you with?
Q4. Why are you enrolled in a PhD program?
Q5. What do you hope to accomplish in the future