Postdoctoral fellows share program benefits at Mitacs Elevate retreat

‘Leadership in Innovation’ workshop provided professional development training

Mitacs Elevate participants from Alberta, BC, and Manitoba came together recently for a three-day professional development workshop. Titled Leadership in Innovation, the unique and intensive retreat was designed for new Elevate PDFs as part of their Mitacs fellowship orientation. The event provided attendees with principles and concepts they can use to understand leading, mobilizing, and managing creativity and innovation.

Mitacs Elevate is a two-year training program for postdoctoral fellows, in which participants lead and undertake a research project.  During this time, fellows receive experiential training in R&D directly through their industry-academic research collaboration and leadership training and business acumen through the program’s training curriculum.

Postdocs’ feedback:

“Mitacs has really encouraged me to work with multiple partners for my Elevate fellowship. The project management workshops are ideal in providing me with the right skills to work with different levels of government.”

— Paul Weidman, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Hidden River Environmental Management Ltd.


 “To me, this fellowship represents the connection between basic science and the applied world. Mitacs Elevate is transforming those values and championing the idea that being able to interact with and manage people is of equal of value to my technical skills.”

— Heath Garris, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Thompson Rivers University
Mount Polley Mining Corporation


 “Mitacs Elevate provides a better understanding of industry needs. The training workshops teach researchers how to be leaders in industry, improving business skills and growing as professionals.”

— Ameneh Gholami, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta
Supra Research and Development

 “Mitacs Elevate brings together two worlds — academia and industry. This presents a unique opportunity for postdocs to be the interface between both while working together to achieve a common goal.”

— Antonio De Brito Silva, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria
Pharmaster Laboratories Ltd


 “I’m so glad that I applied for Mitacs Elevate because my project is demonstrating the value of education and philosophy research for other partners outside the university. I am applying my skills and knowledge of philosophical approaches to education in a completely different way.”

— Mahboubeh Asgari, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education, University of British Columbia                                          
ARC Programs Ltd.

“Mitacs Elevate gives us the opportunity to develop professional skills, such as leadership and management, through workshops and events that we wouldn’t otherwise get from a typical postdoc experience.” 

Jennie Eastcott, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation (AFCC)


 “Mitacs Elevate gives me opportunities to develop my management abilities and other professional skills that will not only help me to be more successful in research but also help my career.” 

Mohsen Akbarzade, Mitacs Elevate fellow
Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba
Myera Group Inc.   


Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for their support of the Elevate research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Elevate program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities:


Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems. By driving economic growth and productivity, we create meaningful change to improve quality of life for all Canadians.