Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a two-week intensive, residential, leadership program for students and young professionals from across Canada and beyond. Participants gain the skills to lead effective change across the health system. Since 2016, ELP has had a transformative impact on global healthcare by nurturing a community of future leaders.

ELP focuses on leadership development through a teams lens. Participants work closely with each other to build and lead a collaborative team of engaged and supportive peers. Together interdisciplinary teams take on health-focused challenges in change management, conflict resolution, team engagement, strategic foresight, and design thinking.

ELP is also a personal journey. Self-awareness and reflection through assessments, peer feedback, and a one-on-one coaching session encourage participants to understand their own leadership capabilities and potential. Throughout the program, participants build a personalized leadership portfolio; a living evolving document that can be used to record experiences, aspirations and to chart one’s progress toward one’s goals.  

ELP creates innovative leaders who can respond to the changing health landscape, disrupt the status quo, and lead innovation and meaningful change. The Emerging Leaders Program is a life-changing experience which will challenge your thinking and give you the tools to become a better leader.


“Evolving a new generation of innovative healthcare leaders.”


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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Emerging Leaders Program you will have:

  • Enhanced self-awareness of who you are as leader and your unique leadership style
  • The ability to work effectively in and across teams, communicate with others and think creatively
  • The confidence and skills to make a meaningful contribution as a leader in health
  • An understanding of the challenges currently facing health systems and healthcare in Canada
  • A network of supportive peers and leaders you trust and place in the HLA alumni community
  • A detailed leadership development portfolio to record your experiences, chart your goals and  continuously expand upon as you venture on your leadership journey
  • A plan and commitment to continue your leadership development through practice and the support of others

Who is the Emerging Leaders Program for?

With a health context focus, ELP attracts many participants from the health sciences, engineering, business, and the arts. The diversity of perspectives, experiences, and expertise lends itself to dynamic interdisciplinary team and learning environment.

ELP participants are primarily senior undergraduate students, many are recent graduates, medical residents, and other young professionals eager to take on leadership roles in health. ELP students are high achieving, and successful in their academic and extra-curricular activities. 

What do Emerging Leaders Alumni Do?

The majority of ELP alumni go into healthcare as physicians, nurses, or allied health professionals. Alumni can also be found in administrative and policy-making roles, as well as entrepreneurship and business. Others ventured into tech, law, and higher education.

Hear from the members of the 2019 ELP cohort:


Sample Program Outline

This is a sample outline of the topics covered during the two-week Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). All ELP programming has a health focus. The HLA brings in industry speakers to share insights into current health challenges, innovations and practices. Topics range across a holistic spectrum including anything from mindfulness to entrepreneurship to social capital.

Week 1

  • Leadership
    • Leadership and Healthcare are both team sports
    • Personal Leadership
    • Teams v.s. Individuals: Why teams?
    • Moral Reasoning and Social Decision Making
  • Foresight & Innovation
  • Building Effective Teams
  • Developing Strategies for Innovation
  • Design Thinking for Innovation
  • Leading Personal & Organizational Change
  • Managing, Coaching and Mentoring Self & Others

Week 2

  • Conflict Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Leadership Portfolio
  • Dynamic Decision Analysis
  • Persuasive Communications & Negotiations
  • Field Trips
  • Change Management & Organizational Culture
  • Management Essentials in Finance
  • The Ecology of Organizing: Complex Adaptive Systems
  • 1-on-1 Coaching Sessions
  • Peer Feedback & Graduation

Emerging Leaders Program Faculty and Guest Speakers

Emerging Leaders Program participants learn from, and interact with, faculty from both the McMaster Faculty of Health Sciences and the DeGroote School of Business. Each year, experienced and innovative guest speakers draw connections between the concepts students learn and challenges across the health landscape.

Over the years, ELP has engaged over 50 speakers from a variety of professions and industries. 

Facilitators & Faculty

Greg McQueen, PhD

John Rankin, MBA

Haniyeh Yousofpour

Haniyeh Yousofpour, PhD

Sean Park

Sean Park, PhD

Linda Morgan

Linda Morgan, MA

Michael Hartmann

Michael Hartmann, PhD

Eva Klein

Eva Klein, PhD

Recent Guest Speakers

Karel Vredenburg

Karel Vredenburg

Dr. Michael Gardam

Michael Gardam, MD

Ritesh Patel

Ritesh Patel

Dr. Teresa Chan

Teresa Chan, MD

Lisa Schwartz

Lisa Schwartz, PhD

Jennifer Zelmer

Jennifer Zelmer, PhD

John Dalla Costa

John Dalla Costa

Application Process

 The application process consists of an online application, followed by a personal interview with a selection panel of faculty and staff.  The selection panel looks for well-rounded applicants who can demonstrate leadership capabilities in their life, education, or work. Applicants will be contacted to confirm next steps within 5 business days of their application submission. Acceptances are made on a rolling basis.

There is no fee to apply to the program. 

Program Fees

Program fee: $3,995 CAD + HST

Student* fee: $2,995 CAD + HST

*Any current student enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at any institution.

The fee includes:

  • Two weeks of in-class programming
  • 1-on-1 session with an executive coach
  • All course materials and assessments
  • Shared hotel accommodation (single accommodation available at an additional cost)
  • Off-site transportation
  • Several in-course meals

The program fee is subject to increase after the 2020 season.

Important Dates and Deadlines

SPRING: May 2-15, 2021 

Final application deadline    April 1, 2021

SUMMER: August 8-21, 2021

Final application deadline    June 1, 2021

More Information

For more information, read our frequently asked questions page or contact us at hlainfo@mcmaster.ca