Academic leaders are often promoted into roles based on their academic expertise with little, if any, leadership development. NEAL is specifically designed to fill that gap. The goal of the NEAL program is to foster a productive, visionary and collaborative academic leader in the Academic Health Science Network. Participants will have the mindsets and capabilities to successfully lead their division, program, research, education or other academic unit and help their faculty be successful. Specifically, they will be competent in the four practices of academic leadership: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and system.

The NEAL program is a scholarly endeavor. Applicants who are accepted to the program are given the opportunity to consent to participate in research related to program impact and outcomes.

The next cohort of the program will begin in September 2015. Applications for the 4th cohort beginning in September 2016 will be accepted as of January 2016. Applications are due April 15, 2016 (early bird discount) and June 3, 2016.

Watch this video to understand the value of the NEAL program from the perspective of our 2014-2015 cohort.


Participants will have the mindsets and capabilities to successfully lead their division, program, research, education or other academic unit and help their faculty be successful. Specifically, they will be competent in the four practices of academic leadership: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and system.

We invite applications from individuals, both nationally and internationally, with faculty appointments in Faculties of Medicine or Health Sciences. Applicants must have been in a faculty position for at least 3 years and have academic leadership roles and/or responsibilities. Such leaders, with or without formal institutional roles, are engaged in the academic mission of research, education or program development.

Their roles or responsibilities can be formal or informal and could include, but are not restricted to: vice-deans, chairs, vice-chairs, and chiefs of academic departments or units; Directors or leads of research programs or institutes; or Education leaders such as: clerkship, residency, graduate program, clinical education, work placement, curriculum or centre leaders or any leadership role that pursues an academic agenda such as research, education or program development.

Past participant roles have included: Department Chairs or Vice-Chairs, Associate or Vice-Deans, Program Directors, Division Heads, Academy Directors, Site Chiefs / Coordinators, Heads or leads of Research Programs or Institutes.

Enacting leadership is essential to the program as there is a leadership project requirement that participants will need to fulfill.

Three 4-day modules over the course of one year with coaching and web-based distance learning in between. Each day is 8-9 hours long including breakfast, lunch and breaks. The 3rd cohort will begin in Sept 2015 with subsequent modules in January and May 2016. The 4th cohort will begin in Sept 2016.

Unique aspects of the program include:

  • 360 degree assessment of your academic leadership performance
  • Focus on academia-specific leadership activities or roles within the academic health science network
  • Workplace-based learning
  • Application of learning to an academic leadership project
  • Working on context relevant stretch goals and shared issues
  • Individual coaching
  • Leadership shadowing
  • Leading change or innovation
  • Building collaborative leadership capacity
  • Completion of the program will result in a University of Toronto certificate of added qualification

Participants will learn to:

Module 1 - Getting Started

  1. Reflect on their strengths and gaps in academic leadership and set development goals
  2. Apply current frameworks for 21st century leadership to their work
  3. Describe how to utilize their style to enable connections
  4. Discuss the design and maintenance of high performing academic groups
  5. Appreciate the relevance of complexity for understanding academic health science networks work
  6. Practice compelling communication techniques
  7. Develop their initial strategy for enabling academic change and innovation
  8. Describe how to design effective decision-making processes

Module 2 - Building Capacity and Momentum

  1. Deepen their understanding of their strengths and the coherence of diverse individual approaches to effective academic leadership
  2. Practice negotiation techniques for academic health science system issues
  3. Develop strategies for dealing with challenging conversations
  4. Describe approaches to promoting high performance and mediating conflict
  5. Identify strategies for leading across academic health system boundaries
  6. Apply a variety of reflective and Integrative Thinking strategies to academic issues
  7. Apply complexity informed strategies to enabling change and innovation
  8. Recognize the power of diverse perspectives for solving organizational dilemnas

Module 3 - Creating Resilience and Adaptability

  1. Develop vision and strategy skills for their academic unit
  2. Apply economic principles to academic resource management
  3. Design for an adaptable and resilient academic unit
  4. Discuss approaches to managing and supporting faculty and academic unit success
  5. Describe the leaders role in facilitating the transitions that accompany academic innovation and change
  6. Discuss how to lead across differences
  7. Map the academic health care environment
  8. Apply a strengths based and resilient approach to their leadership and ongoing development

  • Nouman Ashraf, PhD, Research Fellow at the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Adalsteinn Brown, AB (Harvard), DPhil (Oxford), Associate Professor-Director, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • Cate Creede, PhD, Consultant, The Potential Group
  • Michael Gardam, MSc MD, CM, MSc FRCPC, Chair, Medical Advisory Committee, UHN, Director, Infection Prevention and Control, UHN and Women's College Hospital, Director, Ignite Consulting, Associate Professor, Dept of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Delaine Hampton, PhD, Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence, Rotman School of Management
  • Jeffery Hoch, MA PhD, Scientist - Keenan Research Centre of the Li KaShing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael's Hospital, Research Scientist, Centre for Research on Inner City Health, St. Michael's Hospital, Director, Pharmacoeconomics Research Unit, Cancer Care Ontario, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Bruce Kidd, PhD, Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto
  • Geoff Leonardelli, PhD, Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Karen Leslie, MD, MEd, Director, Centre for Faculty Development, Associate Professor, Dept of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Susan Lieff, MD, Med, MMan - Professor and Vice- Chair of Education, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; Director, Academic Leadership Development, Centre for Faculty Development
  • BA Millar, MBChB, Associate Director, Education Scholars Program, Centre for Faculty Development, Assistant Professor, Dept of Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Danny Nashman, MBA, Consultant, The Potential Group
  • Doug Reeve, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto
  • Carol Rolheiser, PhD, Director, Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation
  • Liz Rykert, President, Meta Strategies
  • Anthony Suchman, MD, MA, FACP, Senior Consultant, Healthcare Consultancy, The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Lynn Wilson, MD CCFP - Associate Professor and Chair, Dept of Family and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, U of T
  • Mary Yates, BA (Hons), MEd, Director Physician Workplace Support Program, Ontario Medical Association

Participants must be able to commit to attend all three modules listed below.

Dates for our 4th cohort for the 2016-2017 year are:

  • September 26 - 29, 2016
  • January 16-19, 2017
  • May 8-11, 2017

Each module consists of 8-9 hour days which include breakfast, lunch and breaks. There is approximately 10 hours of pre-work assigned prior to each module which includes preparation of mandatory assignments.

Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This document lists a number of hotels in close proximity to the venue. Please note that there are many more hotels in downtown Toronto which you may choose to book with and that this list is only a selection.

  • Early bird application rate - $11,500*
  • Full application rate - $12,000*

subject to change

Those who submit their application package by the early bird deadline will be guaranteed the early bird tuition rate should their application be successful. All successful applicants whose packages are received after the early bird deadline will be subject to the full tuition rate.

  • Early bird application deadline - April 15, 2016
  • Final application deadline - June 3, 2016

We are now accepting applications for our 4th cohort to begin in the fall of 2016. Go to the application details for the application requirements

Apply Now


Susan Lieff
Course Director
(416) 864-6060 x77413
Email Susan Lieff

Cate Creede
Course Associate Director
Email Cate Creede

Jackie McCaffrey
Project Coordinator
(416) 864-6060 x77418


NEAL Brochure

NEAL Program Brochure