Twenty-one academic researchers participating in Canadian Science Policy Fellowship

Ottawa, ON Mitacs, a national not-for-profit research and training organization, announces this year’s recipients of the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship. The initiative fosters relationships between government decision makers and academic researchers to help support policy challenges facing Canada.

The Canadian Science Policy Fellowship sees accomplished PhD holders receive hands-on policy training while contributing their unique scientific expertise to government policymaking in 17 Ottawa and Victoria host offices starting this fall.

The recipients of the 2017–18 Canadian Science Policy Fellowship:

Federal cohort, Ottawa

  • Steven Alexander, University of Waterloo
    Host: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Project: Exploring mechanisms of incorporating traditional and local ecological knowledge with science to understand aquatic ecosystems
  • Daniel Cortés-Vargas, Université de Montréal
    Host: International Development Research Centre
    Project: Conducting strategic analysis for informing technology and innovation programming
  • April Killikelly, New York University
    Host: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Project: Implementing a strategic framework for the international coordination of infectious disease emergencies
  • Kelsey Lucyk, University of Calgary
    Host: Employment and Social Development Canada
    Project: Proposing and designing innovative approaches to promoting the Canada Learning Bond among low-income Canadians
  • Catherine Middleton, Ryerson University
    Host: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
    Project: Optimizing evidence in communications policy
  • Vivian Nguyen, Carleton University
    Host: Natural Resources Canada
    Project: Developing tools to support communicating science results that achieve public policy objectives
  • Mohamed Rhouma, Université de Montréal
    Host: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Project: Developing a risk assessment model for hatchery premises related to human health
  • Denys Shumakov, McMaster University
    Host: Health Canada
    Project: Investigating regulatory challenges surrounding the medical uses of 3D printing technology
  • Cary Soares, University of Ottawa
    Host: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Project: Identifying and understanding what data skills can be used to enhance the management of scientific data
  • Sherry Wasilow, Carleton University
    Host: Defence Research and Development Canada
    Project: Reviewing enhanced automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous decision making in military systems

Provincial cohort, Victoria

  • Noémie Boulanger-Lapointe, University of British Columbia
    Host: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
    Project: Informing strategies and best practices for gathering and incorporating First Nations traditional ecological knowledge into decision-making frameworks
  • Jessica Carriere, University of Toronto
    Host: Ministry of Children and Family Development
    Project: Ensuring the academic literature and best practice information is reflected in the planning and actions associated with achieving organizational culture shift
  • Sara Elder, University of British Columbia
    Host: Ministry of Agriculture
    Project: Identifying opportunities to improve agricultural resilience to climate change in BC
  • Maria Giammarco, University of Guelph
    Host: Public Service Agency
    Project:  Applying behavioural sciences to public policy through the Behavioural Insights Group
  • Emily Gray, University of British Columbia
    Hosts: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Emergency Management BC
    Project: Exploring how BC communities can better prepare for and mitigate the effects of emergency events through land use planning
  • Kathryn Jastremski, University of Waterloo
    Host: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
    Project: Developing improved tools for integrated resource decision making
  • Natalie Linklater, Carleton University
    Host: Ministry of Agriculture
    Project: Investigating water infrastructure storage solutions for farmers in the face of climate change
  • Duncan Low, Simon Fraser University
    Host: Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    Project: Improving methodology and consistency for reporting on student financial aid
  • Caelan Marrville, University of Alberta
    Host: Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology 
    Project: Generating insights from integrated data analysis to inform cross-sector policy issues
  • Gillman Payette, University of Calgary
    Host: Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
    Project: Researching the expansion of non-degree credential programs for the BC post-secondary education system
  • Jyoti Upadhyaya, University of Windsor
    Host: Emergency Management BC
    Project: Developing best practices for response actions to enact from an earthquake early warning alert 


Alejandro Adem, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Through our Canadian Science Policy Fellowship, these researchers will have opportunities to experience first-hand the communication, collaboration, and capacity found in evidence-informed policy-making, while cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with their government hosts.”

Loren Matheson, Science Advisor, Office of the Chief Science Operating Officer, Canadian Food Inspection Agency

“It is with pleasure that CFIA is hosting two Canadian Science Policy fellows. This program is a fantastic opportunity for federal departments and agencies, not only to contribute to training highly qualified personnel as future evidence-informed policymakers, but also to create a versatile talent pipeline that can drive Canada’s innovation agenda.”

Quick facts:

  • The Canadian Science Policy Fellowship is made possible thanks to Professor Sarah Otto, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia; the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia; the University of Ottawa’s Institute for Science, Society and Policy; the University of Victoria; and the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship Advisory Council.
  • Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization led by Canadian universities that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for more than 17 years.
  • Working with 60 universities, thousands of companies, and federal and provincial governments, Mitacs builds partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.