PROMOTE is an NSERC CREATE-funded graduate student training program. PROMOTE provides both cross-functional and multidisciplinary training in nucleic acids, synthesis and biomaterials chemistry as well as job-ready skills to students to meet the needs of current biomedical, materials, environmental, agricultural and green chemistry industries.

The PROMOTE program enriches graduate student training by providing value added employment ready skills and knowledge to address important challenges of concern, such as detecting cancer in its early stages, overcoming antibiotic resistance, delivering therapeutics only to diseased cells, developing low-cost, portable diagnostic devices and sensors that monitor water, crops and food.

The program provides essential learning opportunities for translation of a lab discovery into a commercialized product. The program curriculum and mentors will support trainees to pursue start-up ventures, entrepreneurship, collaborations, internships (industrial, academic and professional), intellectual property, regulatory affairs, bioethics, effective communication, interpersonal skills and leadership. In addition, a major objective of PROMOTE is to provide a support network for women trainees to break gender barriers in science and technology and to become role models.

Program Structure

In addition to the student’s academic program, PROMOTE trainees are required to complete the following 9 modules. Click the links or scroll down for more information on each module.

Check out our News section and Twitter feed to see upcoming activities organized by PROMOTE.


New Trainee Orientation

The orientation is a half-day workshop comprising presentations on Lab Notebook Keeping, Academic Integrity, and Time Management. It also allows new trainees to get to know eachother and share ideas in an informal setting.

Core Courses

Students are required to pass two advanced courses at their respective universities from the following list:

Mobility Internships

Mobility internships are 3–6 week periods. Options for internships in academic, professional, and industrial settings will be provided.

More information about Mobility Funding (offered by many of our affiliate Universities) can be accessed through the following links:

Professional Development Workshops

Numerous workshops will be organized by PROMOTE and other university groups throughout the year. Students are expected to attend at least six workshops per year (including two PROMOTE-specific). Details of workshops on offer at our affiliate universities can be accessed here:

International Conferences

PROMOTE trainees are encouraged to present at an international conference relevant to their research area. Many of our affiliate universities provide travel awards to help fund expenses associated with travelling to conferences; more information is available through the following links.

Management and Entrepreneurship

Trainees will be required to take the MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 course (details here). Trainees will also be encouraged to enter either a Mini-MBA program or a Start-Up Competition.

Selected Start-Up Competitions organized by our affiliate universities:

Mini-MBAs and similar training programs offered by our affiliate universities:

Incubators and other resources on entrepreneurship and innovation:

Networking Events

PROMOTE will organize networking events per year, to give students an opportunity to meet and discuss their work with other researchers in their fields.

Annual Summer School

Each year, PROMOTE will organize a two-day Summer School for trainees and other interested students.

Day 1: Professional Development

Day 2: Trainee Research Talks

Women in Science

This module has two key components:

Trainees may be interested in the following links: