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Program Overview

The New and Evolving Academic Leaders Program (NEAL): Excellence in Academic Health Science Leadership Advanced Certificate

Get the leadership training you need to succeed in academic health care

You are your leadership instrument! In the NEAL program, participants develop the mindsets and capabilities to successfully lead their division, program, research, education or other academic unit and help enable the success of their academic teams. Specifically, they become 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.

Applications are now CLOSED

Note to physician leaders: NEAL is a Canadian Society of Physician Leaders-approved leadership CPD activity required as part of the Academic Route for the Canadian Certified Physician Executive (CCPE) designation.


You are your leadership instrument! In the NEAL program, participants develop the mindsets and capabilities to successfully lead their division, program, research, education or other academic unit and help enable the success of their academic teams. Specifically, they become competent in the four practices of academic leadership: intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational and system.

If the academic part of your job entails engaging people to develop or advance an educational, research or innovation agenda in health care, then NEAL is for you.

We invite applications from both formal and informal leaders, 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.

Unique aspects of the program include:

  • Our faculty are award winning experts in their fields from business, health management, health sciences and the private sector
  • Engagement with colleagues from a diversity of academic contexts beyond your own
  • You will identify your strengths and blind-spots and develop your own authentic leadership style
  • The program has been designed to ensure workplace based learning and application
  • You will work on context relevant stretch goals and shared issues
  • You will receive individual coaching
  • You will have an opportunity to shadow an admired leader
  • 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 to set development goals
  2. Apply current frameworks for 21st century leadership to their work
  3. Describe how to utilize their style and communication to enable engagement
  4. Discuss the design and maintenance of high performing academic groups
  5. Explain the relevance of complexity for understanding leadership in academic health science/care settings
  6. Practice compelling communication techniques to move concepts and ideas forward
  7. Develop their initial strategy for enabling academic change and innovation
  8. Describe how to design effective decision-making processes
  9. Apply complexity informed strategies to enabling change and innovation

Module 2 - Building Capacity and Momentum

  1. Examine diverse individual approaches to effective academic leadership
  2. Practice negotiation techniques to address academic health science system issues
  3. Develop strategies to navigate challenging conversations
  4. Describe approaches to promoting high performance and mediating conflict
  5. Apply a variety of reflective and Integrative Thinking™ strategies to resolve academic issues
  6. Recognize the power of diverse perspectives for solving organizational dilemmas
  7. Explore how foresight can help academic leaders prepare and pivot for opportunities and uncertainties
  8. Apply a strengths based and resilient approach to their leadership and ongoing development
  9. Describe principles to engage others to create momentum towards desired results

Module 3 - Creating Resilience and Adaptability

  1. Identify ways to design your academic unit to support your strategy 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 leader’s 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. Identify strategies for leading across academic health system boundaries
  9. Reflect on the evolution of your own leadership to plan for continued growth and sustainability

  • Nouman Ashraf, PhD, Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion and Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Anita Balakrishna, Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Adalsteinn Brown, AB (Harvard), DPhil (Oxford), Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • Pier Bryden, MD, Associate Professor and Senior Advisor Clinical Affairs and Professional Values, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Cate Creede, PhD, Consultant, The Potential Group; Assistant Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Gabrielle Dang, CFRE, Director of Development, Office of Advancement, University of Toronto Temerty Faculty of Medicine
  • Michael Gardam, MSc MD, CM, FRCPC, Chief of Staff, Humber River Hospital, Associate Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Delaine Hampton, PhD, Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence, Rotman School of Management
  • Geoff Leonardelli, PhD, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, Rotman School of Management and Dept. of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
  • Karen Leslie, MD, MEd, Professor, Dept. of Paediatrics, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Susan Lieff, MD, Med, MMan, Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, 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, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Danny Nashman, MBA, Consultant, The Potential Group

Participants must be able to commit to attend all three modules listed below for the 2021-2022 cohort.

For the 2021-2022 year both modules 1 and 2 will be held virtually as follows:

  • Module 1: September 27-30, 2021 and Oct 28-29, 2021
  • Module 2: January 17-20, 2022 and Feb 24-25, 2022

Each virtual module consists of ~ 6 hour days, which include breaks.

Module 3:

  • If the pandemic permits in person attendance, the dates will be May 9-12, 2022 in Toronto
  • If the pandemic prohibits in person attendance, Module 3 will be held virtually on the following dates: May 9-12, 2022 and June 7, 2022

An in person module would consist of consists of ~ 8-9 hour days, which include breaks.

There is approximately 10 hours of pre-work assigned prior to each module, which includes preparation of mandatory assignments.

Module 1: Pantages Hotel, Toronto, Ontario Canada

Module 2 and 3: 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.

Basic Sciences Tuition Rate: for those with a PhD in the following departments: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Immunology, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Medical Biophysics, Molecular Genetics, Nutritional Sciences, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Physiology.
  • Early Bird Application Rate - $10,050
  • Full Application rate - $10,550
Standard Rate: for MD's and Other Faculty Members
  • Early bird application rate - $11,550
  • Full application rate - $12,050

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.

Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort are now open. To be considered for our 2021-2022 cohort, applications will be due Tuesday April 13th, 2021 to be eligible for the Early Bird tuition rate or by our final deadline of Tuesday, May 25th, 2021.

Applications for the NEAL 2021-2022 are now closed. If you have any questions regarding the NEAL program or the application process please Laura Hayos.



Watch these videos to understand both the value and impact of the NEAL program from the perspective of our graduates.