Skip to main content

GradProSkills receives a $93,000 grant to nurture new leaders

Workshop series will help grad students make the jump to the job market
September 30, 2015
By Meagan Boisse

The team behind GradProSkills' new leadership program: Kathleen Boies, Kristy Clarke and Frederica Martin.

Concordia is developing new leadership training that will benefit both its own graduate students as well as those enrolled at McGill University.

This dual-institutional initiative is supported by a $93,000 grant from Entente Canada–Québec, a federal/provincial funding agreement that provides financial help for projects in post-secondary educational establishments in English.

The first of its kind in Canada, the new offering will expand Concordia’s GradProSkills services, which provides skill-development workshops for graduate students.

Frederica Martin, manager of Academic Programs and Development with the School of Graduate Studies at Concordia and author of the grant proposal says the program will respond to a general lack of tailored leadership training for students in research fields at the graduate level.

“The main objective is to prepare our budding researchers to take on positions outside of academia, and to become leaders in those positions,” says Martin, who notes that 80 per cent of those who receive doctorates in research fields will not end up working as professors.

To develop the program, Martin and her team will be interviewing research leaders at labs, research and development companies, and national and governmental organizations to determine the specific competencies required for researchers to rise to leadership positions outside of the professoriate.

“The way we envision it, some of the people we interview might be the subject of case studies, which can then be discussed in the workshops,” says Martin.

One of the conditions for the funding was that the project have an impact on another English institution, which prompted Concordia to approach McGill. While Concordia is heading the undertaking, partners from McGill’s SKILLSETS program will provide input throughout the development process.

“McGill has different programs and approaches, so looking at the needs of their students along with ours gives us more perspective in understanding the general needs of research students at the PhD level and helps us further assess the job market,” says Kathleen Boies, an associate professor of management in the John Molson School of Business and Concordia University Research Chair in Leadership Development, who is heading the project alongside Martin.

“The more heads the better when developing programs and content, so we’ll benefit from their expertise.”

The new research leadership program is set to launch in September 2016, with GradProSkills holding a number of pilot workshops this spring.


Check out GradProSkills’ mostly-free workshops for graduate students.


Back to top

© Concordia University