Being a leader is not just a title, it is a skill to be developed. Leadership is fundamental for those that want to succeed in academia or industry. Despite this, many of those in leadership positions never receive any training on how to effectively lead. This 30-hour certification developed by the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching and Leadership Program in collaboration with the DeGroote School of Business was created to better prepare postdoctoral scholars for the ever-changing leadership landscape. From learning how to effectively communicate, to reflections on leadership influence and emotional intelligence, postdocs will reflect upon their individual leadership style and will develop the tools to help them become the transformational leaders of tomorrow.

For the first time, the McCall MacBain Postdoctoral Fellows Teaching and Leadership Program is offering a FREE intensive one week offering of the Postdoctoral Scholars Leadership Certification. Open to all Canadian postdocs or postdoctoral scholars working in Canada.

Date: July 15-19th 2024

Time: 30 hours for certificate completion

Format: ONLINE (spots are limited) or IN PERSON at McMaster University

*** Apply today to secure your spot! Applications close June 16th at midnight. Online interviews will be conducted between June 17-21 ***

What to expect

Costs and considerations:

This weeklong intensive program is FREE to all postdoctoral scholars. Please note that All in person programming will occur at McMaster University (main campus). Parking and travel costs can be reimbursed to the individual postdoc on a “per case basis” Please speak to the program manager Katie George ( for further details and cost approval.

The program will provide food and refreshments to all in person participants during the time of the program (lunch, refreshments, and snacks).


Program Leadership goals:

GOAL #1: Provide opportunities for postdoctoral scholars to explore leadership styles and theories as it relates to their personal leadership style.

GOAL #2: Provide opportunities for postdoctoral scholars to practice leadership skills and further develop their personal leadership skills.

GOAL #3: Bridge the gap in leadership skills identified by the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars, The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Administrators, and the National Postdoctoral Association.

Deliverables: by the end of this weeklong program, postdocs will complete several deliverables to strengthen and practice practical leadership skills. Deliverables include but are not limited to:

  • 90second elevator pitch
  • Reflective practice exercise: Personal leadership style
  • Emotional Intelligence Quotient: complete EQI and reflective practice exercise
  • Reflective practice: Connect your research to industry using the entrepreneurial leadership theories and models

Program Schedule (July 15-19th 2024)

Date Time Description LO/Deliverable

Day 1:

Mon. July 15



Introductions and leadership icebreaker


Authentic leadership: Join leadership expert Monique Armstrong as she introduces the concept of leadership. Explore your personal leadership style and complete reflective exercises to allow you to engage with leadership theories and explore your individual leadership styles

Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Identify what personal traits create your leadership style through personal introspection

and discussion

LO2: Identify key leadership traits and behaviours through group discussion

LO3: Identify how knowledge translation skills can impact leadership

LO4: Demonstrate effective knowledge translation through a 90sec elevator pitch

12-1pm Lunch (provided to in person participants) Deliverables:

90second elevator pitch

Reflection on personal Leadership style

1-3pm 90second elevator pitch: Knowledge translation is a challenge for many leaders. Effectively conveying your purpose, goals, or research interests in 90seconds is a skill that will greatly benefit any postdoc.

Day 2:

Tues. July 16

12-3pm Leadership Tutorial and Reflection: Work on your 90sec elevator pitches. Receive expert advise from our multimedia expert on how to record a professional video.

Introduction to EQI: this tutorial will also include a brief introduction to the EQI assessment, purpose and outcomes to help you prepare for day 3.

Complete and post your 90sec elevator pitch video for peer review

Complete the EQI for day 3

Day 3:

Wed. July 17

9-12pm Emotional Intelligence and Leadership: Understanding your individual emotional intelligence will allow leaders to better understand their personal leadership style. You will review your personal EQI results and have opportunities to connect your findings to case studies. Learning Outcomes:

LO1: Define Emotional Intelligence

LO2: Reflect upon your personal emotional intelligence through completion of the EQI indicator.

LO3: Identify how emotional intelligence can impact leadership.

12-1pm Lunch (provided for all in person participants) Deliverables:

Complete the EQI indicator assessment.

Write a brief personal reflection connecting your EQ with your personal leadership style.

1-3pm Continuation of EQI exploration and personal leadership styles.
Day 4:

Thurs. July 18

12-3pm Leadership Tutorial and Reflection: Day 4 will allow for reflective practice. Connect and discussion your EQI results. Complete a reflective exercise on EQ (goals for growth and implementation for future leadership success)

Complete reflective exercise on EQ and personal leadership style
Day 5:

Fri. July 19

9-12pm Entrepreneurial Leadership: Join an expert DeGroote facilitator and explore Entrepreneurial leadership. Complete exercises to connect the concept to personal leadership styles. Learning objectives:

LO1: Define Entrepreneurial Leadership

LO2: Identify key skills/traits of an effective entrepreneurial leader

LO3: Assess your personal entrepreneurial skills through discussions and introspective exercises

12-1pm Lunch (provided for all in person participants) Deliverables:

Create a plan for an entrepreneurial enterprise related to your research.

1-3pm From Academia to Industry: Entrepreneur, Brandon Aubie will explore how academics and entrepreneurs share many similar traits. Learn from his personal story of entrepreneur success.