skip to Main Content

Application Process

Back to NEAL Program

Application Process

  • Review the program description and details of the NEAL Program here.
  • Highly recommend that you meet with whomever is supporting your participation – either financial or with your protected time/schedule – in order to secure their commitment of support. This will need to be validated upon conditional acceptance into the program as they will serve as your program sponsor.
  • Underrepresented faculty members from the Temerty Faculty of Medicine who are sponsored by their departments to participate in the NEAL Program, are eligible to have 50% of their tuition funded by the Dean’s Office.  For more information, Temerty Medicine department chairs and prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean at
      • Complete the online application form (click here to complete the form)
      • Submit the following documents via email to
        1. Short CV (maximum 4 pages)
        2. Statement of Expressed Interest- Please consider the question prompts provided in the instructions document to help scaffold your preparation of your statement. 4-page maximum (12-point New Times Roman, single spaced)
        3. Signed Learner Contract
Submission deadline for completed applications to receive Early Bird rate is: April 16, 2024*

Final Deadline for completed applications for consideration is: May 16, 2024

*Early bird deadline and tuition rates are only applicable to CFD Members. You must be registered as a CFD member prior to submitting your application to receive the member rates. CFD General Membership is $90/person for the year. Membership is FREE for Unity Health Toronto staff, physicians, learners and patient/family partners and Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto staff, faculty (incl. status only) and learners. Click here to sign up or for more details.

**For information on how your information is collected and stored, please see the Application Package

  •  Your completed package will be reviewed by our NEAL Selection Committee. The committee is made up of program alumni, and those identifying themselves as academic or system leaders nationally (at various levels of development).  The committee will be reviewing your application based on demonstration of the CFD’s values of Collaborative, Reflexive, Inclusive, Innovative, and Courageous. The rubric for your application can be found within the instructions of the Statement of Expressed Interest.
  • Conditional offers of acceptance will be extended to successful applicants by mid-June 2024. At that time, with the conditional offers, program sponsors will be contacted and asked to validate the provision of protected time and/or financial support.
  • Final offers of Acceptance will be extended to successful applicants whose support has been validated by July 8, 2024. This will include a “Welcome” package with details around registration, tuition payment, and next steps.


Q: I want to apply to NEAL. Where do I start?

Thank you for your interest in NEAL. To start, please review the application instructions above. For more information about the program visit the NEAL Program Page.  As our process this year has changed significantly, please ensure that you are familiar with the new steps in the process and share them with your program sponsor.

Q: Is there an application fee?

No. You may apply at no cost.

Q: Don’t I need formal letters of support? I thought this was part of the NEAL application process.

It used to be but is no longer a requirement.  The CFD has internally examined its processes for program application and has removed components that might impede participation from a more diverse pool of applicants.  Formal letters of support have now been replaced with a more extensive Statement of Expressed Interest, which is submitted as part of the application process.

Q: What is the format of the Statement of Expressed Interest?

The Statement of Expressed Interest is an essay to be written by you outlining the reasons for why you wish to join the NEAL program, and how the program will align with your goals, experiences, values and intentions to positively impact the system. To help you with preparing this statement, the application package contains a number of reflective questions you can consider. These questions are not all required to be answer except the first one, which asks you to briefly describe a change project in an academic context that you wish to develop while in the program. The other questions are rather meant to scaffold you in your reflection and writing process. Your Statement should be maximum 4 pages, single-spaced, and font should be Times New Roman size 12.

Q: Do I need institutional support before I apply?

We recommend that as you consider applying to the NEAL program you meet with whomever is administratively or financially supporting your participation to secure their commitment of support.  They are a part of ensuring that you can fully participate in the program, and we will need to validate their commitment of support upon your conditional acceptance into the program.  Support can include tuition, and/or time to participate/release time from other responsibilities that conflict with program dates.

Q: How do I submit my application?

The application package consists of 4 components. Please start by completing the online application form. After submitting that, please download the instructions for the other 3 components, and please submit those items via email to the NEAL Coordinator at

Q: How is my application data stored/protected?

When you submit your application documents to us via email, we will be downloading it and storing it in a Dropbox folder, where it is stored until it is time for the selection committee to review. The committee is only able to view your application and not download it onto their personal computers. Once the committee has reviewed and decisions have been made, the applications are removed from Dropbox and stored in our secure drives which are only accessible by the Centre for Faculty Development Coordination, Research and Leadership team members.

Q: I submitted my application. Can I make changes? When will I hear back?

You can make changes up until the final application deadline. Unfortunately after this date, applications  are then circulated to the selection committee members for review and so no further changes can be made. The selection committee meets in June to make their decisions, so you should hear back regarding your application by July.


Cate Creede
Program Lead

Manpreet Saini
Education Program Coordinator, Leadership and Special Projects

Back to NEAL Program
Registration Details

Prerequisites: Applicants are leaders (with or without formal institutional roles/titles) who are engaging in advancing the academic or system innovation/equity missions of education, research or program development in the health sciences.

Who should apply: NEAL is designed for people in academic health science contexts who either have formal roles as leaders or who are working to shape and shift our broader system for positive health outcomes.  We encourage those who are working in community-based settings, academic units, research settings, and hospital-based settings to consider the NEAL program. Participants should have a commitment to becoming change agents in their spheres of influence and beyond by centering principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, Indigeneity and accessibility in their leadership practice.

Upcoming Dates:
Module 1:
September 25-27, 2024  In-person in Toronto
October 21-22, 2024  Virtual
Module 2:
January 27-30, 2025  In-person or virtual TBD
Module 3:
April 24-25, 2025  Virtual
May 6-9, 2025  In-person in Toronto

What our alumni say about the program

"If you are looking for an opportunity to build your academic leadership skills in a safe and supportive environment, then NEAL is for you.  Before NEAL I was in a leadership role; after NEAL I felt like a leader. NEAL helped me increase my competence and confidence as an academic leader. "

Karen Weyman MD, MEd, CCFP, FCFP (NEAL 2017), Chief, Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, Associate Professor, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I recently completed the NEAL Program; all done virtually. The program helped me gain the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to advance in academic leadership positions. I learned a great deal about myself, team-building and social/professional interactions with others who have their own values and belief systems. Participating in the course virtually was fantastic. It increased efficiency of knowledge translation, limited travel and preparations time and allowed the possibility for participants and teachers to join from anywhere in the world. The virtual social events were a blast! I very highly recommend this program."

Fuad Moussa MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS, FCCP (NEAL 2021), Physician Lead, Schulich Heart Centre Education Council , Curriculum Lead, Cardiac Surgery Residency Program, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I attended the 2020-2021 NEAL program and thoroughly enjoyed the course. The organizers adapted the course online seamlessly and provided us with a comparative experience to in person. This course was an excellent learning experience and has allowed me to use many of its teachings in my daily work. I recommend this course to all who want to learn about the art and science of leadership within an academic setting."

Dr. Ahtsham U Niazi MD, MBBS, FCARCSI, FRCPC (NEAL 2021), Vice Chair of Education, Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

"The NEAL program helped me re-align my leadership trajectory. The small groups sessions, mentorship meetings, fire-side chats by academic leaders, and project-based learning assisted me to reflect on my leadership learning opportunities. I believe the NEAL program gave me the leadership training that is allowing the team I am part of to succeed in academic health care."

Kent Stobart MD MSc FRCPC CCPE (NEAL 2017), Vice-Dean of Education, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan

"For those that aspire to lead equitably and by inclusion of multiple perspectives, NEAL helps attendees develop the skillsets to listen and communicate authentically, and lead based on principles and values. As satisfying as one’s personal growth is, it was truly a pleasure to witness virtually all of my classmates develop their leadership vision and distinctive voice."

Susanna Mak MD, PhD (NEAL 2020), Division Director, Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto

"I had held leadership positions before, but Neal allowed me to exercise my leadership through deliberate practice. I acquired new perspectives, agile tools and creative methods that are useful to me on a daily basis. The team of teachers was able to quickly create a climate of psychological safety that allowed us to explore in a reflective way our achievements and our challenges. Individual and group coaching sessions, work on a personal project, fireside chats with leaders, active learning activities, renowned lecturers have contributed to my growth as a person and as a leader."

Luce Pélissier-Simard MD, MSc, CMF (NEAL 2020), Director, Office of Social Responsibility, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke

"I attended the NEAL program amid the pandemic in 2020-21. Although the learning opportunities were all remote, the program provided me with a solid leadership training and resources to take into my new leadership role. Focused on reflection and discussion, this program emphasised self-awareness and authenticity, rooting them in solid evidence gathered from various relevant disciplines. The program successfully created a sense of cohort and a great deal of connection and camaraderie among the learners. I highly recommend the NEAL program as a steppingstone in your personal journey as an academic leader – you will not regret it! "

Yana Yanusova PhD, CCC-SLP (NEAL 2021), Vice Dean (Acting) Students, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

"I completed NEAL in the fall of 2020. Despite the pivot we had to make due to the pandemic, it was one of the most transformative learning experiences I’ve ever had. The combination of lectures, mentors and support from my peers helped me grow as a leader, particularly with regards to my self-awareness and situational assessment. As a result, I was able to take those learnings and become the co-founder of the Black Health Education Collaborative. And as the President of the Black Physicians’ Association of Ontario, I was better equipped to support my team and the growth of our organization, all during the pandemic. It's a fantastic leadership program!"

Onye Nnorom MDCM, CCFP, MPH, FRCPC (NEAL 2020), Black Health Theme Lead, MD Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, President, Black Physicians' Association of Ontario, Host, Podcast

"I took the NEAL course in 2020-21 and it was amazing. I had planned to travel to Toronto, but in the end had the convenience of doing it from my home! I really think the virtual experience was excellent. We had some amazing discussions in breakouts and the overall class together. Even the social events were excellent. I felt like I got to know my colleagues in the course well. In terms of content, it covered so many aspects of leadership, it is hard to imagine there was anything that was not addressed. After each module, the ability to give feedback, and have it incorporated into the next module was excellent. It really made the course exactly what we were all looking for. Overall, I would highly recommend the NEAL course!"

Donna Johnston MD, FRCPC, FAAP (NEAL 2021), Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Vice Chair, Clinical Operations, Department of Pediatrics. University of Ottawa

“NEAL was an incredibly valuable experience, which taught me things that I had been unaware of. This awareness made me a more effective and authentic leader. One of the aspects I appreciated most was that the program equipped me with new tools and strategies to handle and thrive in leadership situations. Importantly, NEAL allowed me to meet and build a connection to other leaders across the system; a new community to continue to grow with. The instructors and the format made it incredibly engaging and a joy to participate in. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to change their leadership trajectory in a meaningful way.”

Laura Rosella PhD, MHSc (NEAL 2019), Director, Population Health Analytics Lab, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

“The program helped me to recognise that academic administration and academic leadership are different concepts. That recognition has enabled me to create safe places to share ideas; empower talented people and work to span boundaries for the purpose of creating new possibilities. It inspired me to change my thinking and enabled me to build new resiliency to my leadership challenges.”

Todd Duhamel PhD (NEAL 2016), Associate Dean (Health Sciences), Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba

“The NEAL program is a must have for those interested in any type of academic leadership as it provides insight into your own style as well as prepares you with the tools needed to manage a host of leadership challenges. Beyond the excellent education received, you join a community of other leaders that will provide years of ongoing support. For years, I thought I did not have the time to get through the program, but the time spent was not only well worth it but profoundly enjoyable.”

Michelle Hladunewich MD, BSc(med), MSc, FRCPC (NEAL 2015), Chief of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Medical Lead, Glomerulonephritis and Specialty Clinics, Ontario Renal Network

Upcoming Events

  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding__Workshop_Card_Blank.png
    This workshop provides foundational knowledge on how communication and language can create barriers to accessibility. We will identify problematic terms, understand how ableism informs the use of these term and apply this knowledge to our everyday practices to create an inclusive community.
    • Stepping Stones
    • Workshop
    • loc_virtual
    Start 01:00 pm EDT
    End 04:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding__Workshop_Card_Blank.png
    Are you someone who is in a leadership role or responsible influencing people/change and looking to enhance the performance or support the development of another in the areas of teaching, leadership, scholarship and advocacy? In this applied workshop, we will explore how you can enhance your skills as a coach through Brief Solution Focused Coaching to support a colleague develop themselves at work or in the clinical academic environment.
    • Stepping Stones
    • Workshop
    • loc_virtual
    Start 09:00 am EDT
    End 12:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online
  • CFD13-%20CFDLogo_SubBranding__Workshop_Card_Blank.png
    This workshop engages participants in reflective activities and discussions about desirable and undesirable professional behaviours and the bi-directional relationships that exist between these behaviours, healthcare professional wellness, and the creation of psychologically and culturally safe environments.
    • Stepping Stones
    • Workshop
    • loc_virtual
    Start 09:00 am EDT
    End 12:00 pm EDT
    Delivery Online


Q. How do I create and/or activate my account to log into the site?

A. To create a CFD user account please click here. If you have already created an account, click here to log in. Please note you will be required to set up a new account and password for our new website. We will connect your account with your previous CFD event records.

Q. Is there a cost to attend your programs?

A. There is a cost to participate in some of our programs. The cost of each of our programs varies and in some cases, the cost varies depending on your status with the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at University of Toronto and/or in which hospital you work as well as whether or not you have an annual CFD Membership.

Q.I do not have a faculty appointment in the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Can I still attend your workshops, programs and/or events? Is there a fee?

A. Anyone whose education activities include teaching, leading, scholarship and advocacy are welcome to attend our workshops, programs and/or events. Specific pre-requisite criteria may apply. Please refer to each workshop, program or event page for details. All fees and discounts (where applicable) can be found in the workshop, program and event pages.

Q.I am interested in having one of your workshops offered at my home site/department. Do you offer this type of service?

A. Please contact us for further information.  The availability of this service is dependent on the resources and capacity of the CFD at the time the request is made.

Q: Is having a CFD Membership the same as having a CFD account?

A: No, a CFD Membership is not the same as a CFD account. However, in order to complete your CFD Membership registration you will be prompted to create a CFD account if you do not already have one. To register for a CFD General Membership and create your account click here.

Need more help?

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Our Programs

The CFD offers a number of exceptional programs to meet current and emerging faculty development needs across the health system. View the full listing of CFD’s programs to determine which may best meet your interests and needs.

Centre for Faculty Development
Li Ka Shing International Healthcare
Education Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital
209 Victoria Street, 4th floor

Mailing Address:
30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 1W8


Subscribe to our newsletter to receive communications about our Centre.

Back To Top