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 become members of an interdisciplinary community of leaders who have the mindsets and capabilities to successfully lead their research, education, division or other academic unit. The next cohort of the program will begin in September 2015. We will begin accepting applications in January 2015. Applications are due April 20, 2015 (early bird discount) and June 1, 2015.

Meet course director Susan Lieff and hear her thoughts on What Makes a Good Leader.


The program goals are to:

1. Prepare academic health science leaders for the full scope of their role

  • To hold and deal with multiple perspectives and complex systems
  • To create an engaged and committed faculty community
  • Both as managers of people and departments and as system change agents

2. Create an interdisciplinary community of academic leaders

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 and 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 next cohort will begin in Sept 2015 with subsequent modules in January and May 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
  • Network development
  • Completion of the program will result in a University of Toronto certificate of added qualification

Participants will learn to:

Module 1 - Getting Started

  • Reflect on their strengths and gaps in academic leadership and set development goals
  • Apply current frameworks for 21st century leadership to their work
  • Describe how to utilize their style to enable connections
  • Develop compelling communication
  • Discuss the design and maintenance of high performing academic groups
  • Appreciate the relevance of complexity for understanding academic health science networks work
  • Recognize and appreciate the power of diverse perspectives on illuminating and solving organizational dilemnas
  • Develop their initial strategy for enabling academic change and innovation
  • Describe how to design effective decision-making processes and influence

Module 2 - Building Capacity and Momentum

  • Deepen their understanding of their strengths and the coherence of diverse individual approaches to effective academic leadership
  • Practice negotiation techniques for academic health science system issues
  • Develop insight and strategies for dealing with challenging conversations that occur in academia
  • Describe approaches to promoting high performance and mediating conflict
  • Identify strategies for leading across health system and academic boundaries
  • Apply a variety of reflective and Integrative Thinking™ strategies to academic issues
  • Describe and apply complexity informed strategies to enable their change or innovation project
  • Discuss the role of design and risk in academic change and innovation
  • Identify and appreciate he competing tensions within academic culture

Module 3 - Creating Resilience and Adaptability

  • Develop a vision and strategy for their academic unit
  • Apply economic principles to academic resource management
  • Design for an adaptable and resilient academic unit
  • Describe how to facilitate the necessary transitions that accompany academic innovation and change
  • Leverage networks and differences for continuous growth and innovation
  • Practice coaching and mentoring for the future

  • Nouman Ashraf, PhD, Research Fellow at the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Zubin Austin, PhD, Associate Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Ontario College of Pharmacists Research Professor in Pharmacy Practice
  • Alan Bernstein, OC, PhD, FRSC, President and CEO, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
  • Adalsteinn Brown, AB (Harvard), DPhil (Oxford), Associate Professor-Director, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
  • Melanie Carr, MD FRCPC - Assistant Professor, Dept of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Adjunct Professor, Rotman School of Management
  • Rosie Goldstein, MD, CM, FRCPC, Vice Principal - Research and International Relations, McGill University
  • Jeffery Hoch, MA PhDScientist - 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
  • Avi Hyman, BSc, MA, EdD, Director of Academic & Collaborative Technology, University of Toronto, Institutional Strategist for Academic Technology, Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation
  • 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
  • Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University
  • 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
  • Danny Nashman, MBA, Consultant, The Potential Group
  • Cheryl Regehr, PhD, Vice President and Provost, University of Toronto
  • Carol Rolheiser, PhD, Director, Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation
  • 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
  • Trevor Young, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Brenda Zimmerman, PhD - Associate Professor of Policy, Director - Health Industry Management Program, Schulich School of Business, York University

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

Dates for our 3rd cohort for the 2015-2016 year are:

  • September 28 - October 1, 2015
  • January 18-21, 2016
  • May 9-12, 2016

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 20, 2015
  • Final application deadline - June 1, 2015

The Final application deadline for the 2015-2016 cohort is June 1, 2015
Access the application details


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
Email Jackie McCaffrey


NEAL Brochure

NEAL Program Brochure