Emerging Leaders Program

Gain the skills to lead across the health system

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is a one-week, intensive leadership program for students and young professionals from across Canada and beyond. Participants gain the skills to lead across the health system. 

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 development portfolio; a living, evolving document that can be used to record experiences, aspirations and leadership journey 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 health leaders.”

Apply Today

Request an information package

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • 2021 Session Dates
    • Summer program: August 15 to August 22, 2021 (virtual)
        • August 10: Pre-program orientation, team meet & greet, and networking (virtual)
        • + Post-program leadership portfolio refinement and coaching (virtual)

Apply Today



Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Emerging Leaders Program, you will have developed:

  • 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 health care in Canada

Upon completion of the Emerging Leaders Program, you will have created:

  • A network of supportive peers and leaders you trust and a 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

Upon completion of ELP you will receive a certificate of completion from McMaster University.

Participants who complete ELP can apply it towards their CHE credential with the College of Canadian Health Leaders (CCHL). Learn more about applying for the CHE Program. Contact CCHL at che@cchl-ccls.ca for more details.



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 interested in understanding more about the fundamentals of leadership. The diversity of perspectives, experiences, and expertise lends itself to a dynamic interdisciplinary team and learning environment.

  • Senior undergraduate and recent graduates who are high achieving, and successful in their academic and extra-curricular activities
  • Graduate students, post-doctoral students, medical residents and young professionals eager to take on leadership roles in health

What do Emerging Leaders Alumni Do?

The majority of ELP alumni go into health care 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 2021 ELP cohort:

Sample Program Topics 

This is a sample outline of the topics covered during the one-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.

  • Personal Leadership
  • Building Effective Teams
  • Moral Reasoning and Social Decision Making
  • Foresight & Design Thinking for Innovation
  • Leading Personal & Organizational Change
  • Managing, Coaching and Mentoring Self & Others
  • Conflict Management
  • Dynamic Decision Analysis
  • Persuasive Communications & Negotiations
  • The Ecology of Organizing: Complex Adaptive Systems


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. 

Recent Facilitators & Faculty

Greg McQueen, PhD

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









Emerging Leaders Information Session

Want to learn more about the Emerging Leaders Program?

Watch our information session here.

Application Process

 The application process consists of an online application, followed by a personal interview with a selection panel of faculty and/or staff.  The selection panel looks for well-rounded applicants who can demonstrate leadership capabilities in their life, education, or work.

Applications are open and are being accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews and admission decisions will be communicated during the admission window. Applicants will be contacted within 5 business days of their application submission. Interviews will be scheduled and selection committee decisions will be communicated as soon as possible. 

Apply Today


Program Pricing

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:

  • One week of programming
  • 1-on-1 session with a leadership coach
  • All course materials and assessments

The Health Leadership Academy has a limited number of Exceptional Leadership Scholarship Awards available for ELP participants. Scholarships are distributed based on academic merit and an application process. Please contact us at hlainfo@mcmaster.ca to learn more about the application process. 

For applicants who are seeking financial assistance, please consider contacting your respective academic financial aid office, graduate program supervisor and/or employer.  You may also contact us at hlainfo@mcmaster.ca to discuss and explore other avenues of support. 

More Information

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