Ontario Brain Institute launches program to help neuroscience grads go 'beyond the bench' into the non-profit sector

Invests $250,000 to kick off a new initiative that gives top neuroscience graduates business and management skills.

TORONTO, March 26, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) announced the start of a program designed to offer young brain scientists the opportunity to train in managing not-for-profit organizations concerned with brain disorders.

The Graduate Opportunity Management Fellowship program provides $50,000 to each of five Ontario neuroscience post-graduates (M.Sc., Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellows) for one year to develop their skills as leaders of brain-disorder-related not-for-profit organizations. The inaugural recipients are: Dipa Basu, Ph.D., Nathalie Goodfellow, Ph.D., Anna Han, Ph.D., Mojib Javadi, Ph.D., and Tiffany Scarcelli, M.Sc.

Said Dr. Donald Stuss, OBI President and Scientific Director: "these five exceptional people represent a much larger body of untapped talent in Ontario. In fact, Ontario boasts one of the highest concentrations of neuroscientists in the world. Our challenge is to create a new generation of neuroscientists who have skills 'beyond the bench,' and this program is one OBI initiative to help young scientists take their first steps in a non-academic career path."

The Fellowships consist of two six-month placements which provide hands-on experience in the areas of research management, commercialization, knowledge translation, governance and policy. During their placements, the Fellows are first embedded within OBI and then join one of several placement partners, including the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, Brain Canada, Keiretsu Forum Toronto, Let's Talk Science, and Ontario Cancer Biomarkers Network.

The first year of the Graduate Opportunity Management Fellowships is partially underwritten with generous support from the former Innovation Institute of Ontario (IIO).

"IIO is pleased to donate funds to support this program which is designed to train and mentor future leaders in the not for profit sector, a sector which IIO spent 12 years supporting," said Janet Faas, former Chief Operating Officer of IIO.

The Management Fellows program is part of OBI's larger Experiential Education Initiative designed to broaden career opportunities for highly-trained neuroscience graduates and develop the human capital that will continue to drive Ontario's strength in neuroscience innovation.

"Supporting tomorrow's neuroscience leaders will help ensure that Ontario remains on the cutting edge of research and innovation," said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. "That is why we announced a $100 million commitment to the Ontario Brain Institute in March 2013. The OBI provides strategic direction for brain research in Ontario and is helping raise Ontario's international profile in neuroscience scholarship. Building our knowledge economy is a key part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow".

About the Ontario Brain Institute
The Ontario Brain Institute is a provincially-funded, not-for-profit research centre seeking to maximize the impact of neuroscience and establish Ontario as a world leader in brain discovery, commercialization and care. We create convergent partnerships between researchers, clinicians, industry, patients, and their advocates to foster discovery and deliver innovative products and services that improve the lives of those living with brain disorders.

SOURCE: Ontario Brain Institute

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