The NSERC CREATE in M3 has been specifically designed to improve the job readiness of our trainees in the industrial sector. This is achieved by maintaining excellence and depth in advanced research and adding courses specifically designed for the business-ready graduate. The communications and leadership courses provide students with that core knowledge and are complemented with courses on entrepreneurship and one-on-one counseling through STEM Counsellors. 

Professional skills are complementary to disciplinary knowledge and will enhance the graduate's ability to successfully transition into a career in industry. The M3 program will provide professional skills development in the areas of communication, entrepreneurship and leadership.

  1. Trainees in the M3 program will take a one-term communications course. For example, Debby Repka offers a course on the fundamentals of grammar and style, for s scientific writing. The goal of the course is to teach trainees how to extract key insights from laboratory results while integrating them with a complex web of ideas from the literature and then expounding them clearly. Each trainee will have the opportunity to make three oral presentations with feedback from their peers and their instructor with individual critiques from an acting coach to refine their delivery. Debby Repka, Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto, has 20+ years experience working with engineering trainees to transform their communication skills. Students can replace this course with an equivalent communication course such as the School of Graduate Studies' Communication and Interpersonal Skills Offerings.
  2. The Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead) at the University of Toronto offers several courses that provide intensive training focused on leadership and entrepreneurship. Trainees in the M3 program will take one of the courses that ILead provides in these categories. In addition, MaRS Discovery District (MaRS DD) created the Entrepreneurship 101 to provide essential information for emerging entrepreneurs. Trainees in the M3 program can participate in Entrepreneurship 101, if it tailors to their interests. These sessions are available in-person at MaRS DD in Toronto or online and are available to trainees at all institutions. A sampling of these sessions includes marketing for tech start-ups, product development, market research and analysis, intellectual property and how to make a pitch.
  3. Soft skills workshop: All M3 students are required to participate in a 2-day soft skills workshop where, via lecture-style, group work and participation. The focus is placed on topics such as: conflict resolution and negotiations, project management tools and budgeting, business conduct excellence, and proactive communications. 

Optional Courses

  1. Trainees will be encouraged to participate in various ILead seminars and graduate level courses: (i) Cognitive and Psychological Foundations of Effective Leadership; (ii) Concepts and Applications of Authentic Leadership; and (iii) Leadership and Leading Groups in Organizations (iv) Leadership in Project Management (v) and Project Management. 
  2. To allow for fine-tuning of key professional skills, M3 trainees will have access to a variety of half- and full-day seminars in a wide variety of skill areas. This will be available through the School of Graduate Studies, Professional Skills Program for trainees located at the University of Toronto. MITACS' seminars and workshops will be available to trainees at all institutions.
  3. In order for trainees to gain the personal and professional development to get the most out of their internship experience, they will all have access to counseling support through STEM Counsellors. Trainees can attend group sessions focused on resume and cover letter preparation, interview skills, LinkedIn, and then attend counseling sessions based on the amount of counseling required to allow for a successful transition into the workplace. Trainees at all institutions will have access to this program.

NSERC CREATE M3 trainees will be located at the University of Toronto, York and McMaster Universities and will gain the advantage of the knowledge base and experience of these three institutions. Trainees are encouraged to participate in national and international conferences such as the Till and McCulloch meeting which already brings together engineers with stem cell biologists. Importantly, industrial collaborators are actively engaged in this conference as well.