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Award Winner Interview: Lisa-Marie Collimore

Mitacs offers congratulations to Lisa-Marie Collimore, a post-doctoral fellow from the University of Toronto at Scarborough who partnered with publishing giant Pearson to conduct research on the potential marketability of a peer- and self-assessment tool called Cogneeto for students in K-12, during her Mitacs-Elevate fellowship.

The research led to the rebranding and further development of a former product which is now marketable to every elementary and secondary school in North America.  Below is an exclusive interview with Ms. Collimore, who won the Mitacs-IRAP Award for Commercialization, presented by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario at the 2nd Annual Mitacs Awards Reception, held November 28th in Ottawa.

 

What is the greatest advantage you gained through Mitacs Elevate?

I gained experience working in an industry environment, which is very different from an academic one. Industry environments are much more structured and team-oriented, whereas in academia, we tend to work on our own, at our own pace. The Mitacs Elevate program gave me the opportunity to work collaboratively with others and it opened my eyes to the industrial world of "deliverables" and "milestones".

Which skill do you think is most important for postdoctoral fellows to learn before entering an industry environment?

I think it is important for postdoctoral fellows to understand that an industry environment can have different goals than we academics do and that sometimes, getting on the same page can take a bit of effort. I also think that all postdoctoral fellows need to learn how to give their '5-minute elevator pitch' of their research projects because that is not something we practice during our graduate training!

What advice would you give other recent PhD graduates currently considering Mitacs Elevate?

Go for it! My time with the Elevate program has been amazing! I have met so many new colleagues in all areas of academia and industry through the program and have met so many wonderful staff at Mitacs. It has allowed me to connect with industry contacts that are interested in my research – a difficult task to do on your own.

What are your future plans?  Where do you see yourself in five years?

I plan on continuing on as a research scientist in the area of Educational Psychology and supporting Cogneeto, the online peer-assessment tool, with Pearson Canada and the peerScholar team (Dwayne Pare and Steve Joordens) at the University of Toronto Scarborough.