NMIN’s Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Program seeks to cultivate the next generation of nanomedicine scientists and entrepreneurs, and to train the skilled workforce required by the growing nanomedicines industry in Canada.
The program benefits from the input of the HQP Program Advisory Committee (HPAC).
The HQP Program is a top priority for the Network and will be the most immediately transformational program NMIN offers.
The Priority Areas and Strategic Goals of the NMIN HQP Program
Priority Area 1: Nanomedicine Research Skills and Experience
Strategic Goal 1: To equip trainees with core, cutting-edge research skills in world-class research environments (also addressed through the Research Program).
Priority Area 2: Intellectual Property (IP) Creation and Commercialization Skills and Experience
Strategic Goal 2: To familiarize trainees with key concepts and processes in IP creation, identification, protection, and commercialization.
Priority Area 3: Entrepreneurial and Leadership Skills and Experience
Strategic Goal 3: To provide hands-on/experiential learning opportunities for the development of entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
Priority Area 4: Communication and Knowledge Mobilization Skills and Experience
Strategic Goal 4: To prepare trainees to communicate their research effectively to diverse audiences and potential knowledge users, including the public, policymakers, and industry representatives.
Priority Area 5: Genetics, Ethical, Environmental, Economic, Legal and Social (GE3LS) Issues Awareness and Understanding
Strategic Goal 5: To increase trainees’ awareness and understanding of GE3LS concepts.
NMIN HQP Network (NHN)
The NMIN HQP Network (NHN) is a student-led organization comprising NMIN research trainees and new professionals in all fields of nanomedicine-related research. The NHN fosters networking, knowledge exchange and professional skill development among Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP)—students, trainees, research staff and young professionals—working in the field of nanomedicines.
Governance: The NHN is headed by an Executive Committee comprised of NMIN HQP who play a leadership role in the planning and realization of NMIN’s HQP programs, activities and other opportunities.
Membership eligibility: Trainees and new professionals working on NMIN-funded research projects automatically become NMIN HQP and NHN members. Trainees and new professionals not directly involved in NMIN research, but training or working in the field of nanomedicine research, may apply to join the NHN. Applicants must be working in Canada and be affiliated with a Canadian institution.
Benefits of membership include the eligibility to apply for a range of capacity-building opportunities, including:
Current HQP by level
Advanced Training Certification (ATC)
NMIN Advanced Training Certification (ATC) recognizes an individual’s engagement in diverse capacity-building activities organized by NMIN, its partners, and/or other recognized organizations, where the learning involved goes “above and beyond” the training conventionally provided in an academic program and supports the formation of a well-rounded professional.
As a qualification listed on your CV, NMIN ATC provides a competitive advantage by formally recognizing national-level network experience as well as training and experiential learning across a broad range of professional and interpersonal skills.
All NMIN Trainees/HQP (including undergraduate students, research support staff and NMIN HQP Network members) are eligible to complete the program and receive NMIN ATC.
Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working on NMIN-funded research are expected to work towards NMIN ATC.
If you are uncertain about your status, contact email@example.com.
CREDITS: Participants must complete at least 20 credits to receive the NMIN ATC.
Every activity eligible for recognition within the ATC is given a credit value. As HQP complete each activity, they earn the corresponding number of credits. See the ATC Credits Overview.
Certification is available at three levels, according to the number of credits accumulated:
- ATC Level I: Silver (20 credits)
- ATC Level II: Gold (20 additional credits)
- ATC Level III: Platinum (10 additional credits, with trainees earning credits in all five of the priority areas across all 50 accrued credits)
RECOGNIZED ACTIVITIES: Most activities organized by NMIN and/or its HQP Program partners will have an assigned credit value. See the ATC Credits Overview.
Credits may be awarded for non-NMIN/non-partner events and programming if these are: 1) aligned with NMIN’s HQP Program Priority Areas; and 2) delivered by a reputable source able to provide organizational confirmation of program/activity completion.
Requests for non-NMIN/non-partner credit recognition towards NMIN ATC must be made in writing to the NMIN Administrative Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org). See the instructions for making such requests.
A maximum of 25% of ATC credits (i.e., 5 credits) may be accumulated from non-NMIN/non-partner sources.
RANGE OF TOPICS: Participants must ensure that the activities they complete for credit toward the ATC span the five Priority Areas of the NMIN Strategic HQP Program (detailed in the HQP Program description):
1. Nanomedicine Research
2. Intellectual Property (IP) Creation & Commercialization
3. Entrepreneurial and Leadership
4. Communication and Knowledge Mobilization
5. Genetics, Ethical, Environmental, Economic, Legal & Social (GE3LS) Issues
REGISTRATION: There is no application/registration process for ATC. All NMIN HQP (trainees and research staff working on NMIN projects and other members of the NHN) are automatically included in the program. If you are uncertain about your status, contact email@example.com.
TRACKING ACTIVITY/CREDITS: The NMIN Administrative Centre will track completion of eligible activities for certification (see Requirements for certification, above, for details).
Participation in any NMIN activity, or in any NMIN partner group activity, will automatically be tracked and recorded. Other activities may be accredited upon written request.
HQP can check in at any time with the HQP & Events Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ascertain the number of credits they have accumulated and/or to ensure all their activities have been accurately captured.
COMPLETION/CERTIFICATION: When a participant completes the required number of credits (20) across the span of NMIN’s five HQP Program Priority Areas, an NMIN ATC certificate will be issued. Credits for ATC can be earned until the end of NMIN’s NCE tenure (31 March 2025).
NMIN’s NanoMedicines Translated Program engages NMIN HQP in a hands-on learning process to produce clear-language summaries of their NMIN-supported, peer-reviewed research publications.
These summaries provide, in accessible language, information on:
- What the published research is about;
- What the researchers did in the study;
- What the researchers found; and
- How the research results can be used.
Participants in the program not only produce a communications tool by which to disseminate their research to the broader public, but also acquire knowledge translation skills.
The NanoMedicines Translated program aims to make NMIN-supported research findings more accessible to a broad audience; to highlight novel, high-impact findings to specific audiences for whom these results may be particularly useful; and to hone the knowledge translation and plain-language writing skills of NMIN HQP.
NMIN HQP whose papers are selected for the NanoMedicines Translated Program will:
HQP: Funding & Training Awards
NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Gene Therapy
One award, providing a stipend of $40,000 a year for a maximum of two years, is available in the area of Gene Therapy.
The goal of the NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award is to enable exceptional postdoctoral fellows (PDF) to pursue nanomedicine academic research training with Canadian experts. The quality of the research project and training opportunity is the principal criterion on which applications will be judged.
Eligible academic foci include Proof-of-Concept (PoC) and Proof-of-Principle (PoP) nanomedicine projects. Preference will be given to projects jointly funded by industry partners, or projects that exhibit a high potential for commercialization.
The application deadline for this opportunity has closed.
The NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of its NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards.
Dr. Miffy Hok Yan Cheng has been awarded the 2021 NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Gene Therapy for two complementary projects: Synthesis and screening of a new generation of ionizable lipids for LNP formulation, which she will pursue under the supervision of Dr. Pieter Cullis at the University of British Columbia; and Facile one-pot synthesis to radiolabel and formulate lipid nanoparticles using a microfluidic platform, which she will pursue independently.
“My research program aims to apply the principles of rational design to develop new generations of ionizable and functionalized lipids that more effectively deliver siRNA for cancer therapy,” says Dr. Cheng.
“I envision that combining traditional molecular synthetic chemistry methods with emerging nanoscale approaches will yield the next generation of lipids and LNPs with enhanced endosomal escape abilities and transfection efficacies.”
Dr. Yih Yang (Ian) Chen has been awarded the inaugural NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Diagnostics for his project: An At-home, Self-Administered, Nucleic Acid Diagnostic Device for SARS-COV-2, which he will pursue under the supervision of Dr. Warren Chan at the University of Toronto.
“The successful completion of this project,” says Dr. Chen, “will yield an at-home nucleic acid test for SARS-COV-2 usable by people without specific training or expensive lab equipment, that will let individuals know that they are infected before they show symptoms. By promoting widespread testing, we hope to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
The NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards.
Dr. Noorjahan Aibani has been awarded the NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Targeted Drug Delivery for her project Lipidic nanoparticle formulation of a triple adjuvant for intranasal vaccines for pertussis, which she will pursue under the supervision of Dr. Ellen Wasan at the University of Saskatchewan.
Dr. Jayesh Kulkarni has been awarded the NMIN Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Gene Therapy for his project Design of lipid nanoparticles for gene therapy, which he will undertake at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Drs Christian Kastrup and Pieter Cullis.
NMIN congratulates its inaugural Postdoctoral Fellows.
NMIN-Mitacs Internships & Fellowships
Open, ongoing call for proposals partnering NMIN HQP with companies or not-for-profit organizations for nanomedicine-related research projects.
NMIN-Mitacs Internships & Fellowships enable opportunities for NMIN HQP who wish to work with non-academic partner organizations on research projects that involve nanomedicines. Through partnership with Mitacs, 430 internship/fellowship units (valued at approximately $6.5 Million) have been made available for NMIN HQP.
- Interested NMIN HQP: Complete a draft application for an internship or a fellowship and send it to the Mitacs Business Development Representative (MBDR) for your institution prior to obtaining all signatures and submitting. Inform NMIN of your intention to apply.
- If you plan to work with a not-for-profit partner, seek partner and project eligibility approval from an MBDR before applying.
- Send your completed application package (application form, CVs as required, budget, other supplementary material as applicable), with all the required signatures, to BOTH of the following emails:
- Mitacs: MBDR (be sure to indicate that you are an NMIN trainee)
- NMIN: email@example.com
NMIN Undergraduate Studentship in NanoMedicines Research
The NMIN Undergraduate Studentship in NanoMedicines Research program provides undergraduate students an opportunity to advance their careers and enhance their employability through hands-on nanomedicine-related research experience with NMIN investigators.
The program aims to:
- strengthen the Network’s ability to develop innovative nanomedicines and related technologies;
- promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Network; and
- foster interest in nanomedicine research among undergraduate researchers and motivate them to continue in a related field of study at the graduate level and in their future careers.
2021 Competition is now closed
The 2021 Call for Proposals from Members of Groups Underrepresented in Nanomedicine Research closed on 19 May 2021.
2021 Competition Call
Call for Proposals from Members of Groups Underrepresented in Nanomedicine Research
NMIN invites outstanding students from underrepresented groups and their Supervisors to apply to this Call for Proposals.
Six awards of $1,500 a month for up to three months are available.
Please refer to the Application Guidelines for details regarding eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, and the application process and timeline.
Application deadline: 19 May 2021
2021 Undergraduate Studentship Awardees
The NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of its NMIN Undergraduate Studentship Awards.
University of Toronto
Supervisor: Dr. Warren Chan
Project Summary: Nanoparticles can deliver imaging and therapeutic agents to diseased cells. Cells can take up nanoparticles using endocytic vesicles; however, it is currently unclear what endocytosis pathways are used more abundantly by a given nanoparticle type. My research project aims to develop an analysis pipeline to identify nanoparticle localization in cells. This project will teach us how nanoparticles are internalized by cells.
Career Aspirations: As a future bioengineer, I want to develop new drugs. I am excited about designing therapeutics that will more effectively tackle our biggest medical mysteries, such as cancer. Beyond undergraduate, I wish to work at the intersection of nanotechnology and cancer immunotherapy. I aspire to become a principal investigator of my own research lab.
University of British Columbia
Supervisor: Dr. Sabrina Leslie
Project Summary: I will be working in Sabrina Leslie’s group to develop a molecular beacon to identify single-stranded regions in plasmid DNA. This beacon will improve single-molecule CLiC microscopy by reducing background fluorescence allowing higher concentrations of probe molecules to be used. With the improved kinetics and sensitivity, we hope to apply this tool to detect rare single-stranded nucleic acids of interest.
Career Aspirations: My undergraduate studies and work have made me very interested in biotechnology, especially the development of therapeutics. Following my degree, I hope to pursue grad studies and work in research and synthesis of small molecule drugs or biologics.
University of British Columbia
Supervisor: Dr. Kenneth Harder
Project Summary: The Lyn tyrosine kinase is involved in a wide range of signalling pathways, including those regulating the development of patrolling monocytes (pMos), a population of terminally differentiated white blood cells that scavenge vasculature and pick up debris. pMos have been implicated in attenuating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis and cancer. Our group is working on a knock down of Lyn in vitro using LNP-delivered siRNA, to lay the groundwork for future investigations in vivo.
Career Aspirations: I hope to pursue graduate studies in biomedical sciences. I am incredibly excited to work with LNPs, an exciting new frontier for targeted drug therapies, and am grateful to NMIN for the opportunity to undertake this project.
University of Toronto
Supervisor: Dr. Gilbert Walker
Project Summary: The project I am part of aims to identify new formulations of calreticulin (CRT) enhancing drugs for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML). For the in vitro testing portion of the project in which I will take part, different drug combinations are delivered with LNPs to AML cells co-cultured with macrophages. The levels of CRT expression on AML cells following various drug treatments are then measured; formulations with the highest responses will be further tested.
Career Aspirations: I am currently thinking that I want to become a teacher. I enjoy science, and I also understand how science is behind every part of our daily life. As such, I wish to help children and teenagers develop their interest in science and build a solid scientific foundation.
University of British Columbia
Supervisor: Dr. Colin Ross
Project Summary: Genome editing is a relatively new technology, currently limited in its safety and efficacy. I will work closely with Dr. Colin Ross and his research team in performing optimization experiments using in vitro reporter cell models to improve gene editing efficiency. The goal of our research is to optimize the use of novel CRISPR/Cas9 gene editors.
Career Aspirations: I am entering my third year in a BSc in Integrated Sciences at UBC. I am studying genetics and neurobiology. I hope to pursue a career in healthcare and medicine.
University of Toronto
Supervisor: Dr. Gilbert Walker
Project Summary: I will work in the Walker Lab to help develop innovative nanomedicines to improve the prognosis of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients by testing the concept of a device to assess AML cells, deploying in vitro tests to identify drug combinations that can enhance AML treatment, and characterizing drugs that will improve immune responses to cancer cells.
Career Aspirations: I hope to enter the cosmetics industry and blend my passions for chemistry and business to formulate natural skincare products that target market needs. I am ultimately interested in developing topical therapeutic applications using nanomaterials (e.g. liposomes) that guarantee enhanced properties while also being EWG-safe and natural.
NMIN congratulates its inaugural Undergraduate Studentship Awardees.
HQP: Capacity-Building Events
HQP Research Presentation Series
The HQP Research Presentation Series gives NMIN HQP the opportunity to collaboratively develop their poster presentation skills, deliver a presentation in a supportive environment, and to receive constructive feedback from qualified professionals.
The activity – participants will:
- join a team of four colleagues to help each other improve their presentations in a peer-mentoring meeting;
- present their posters during a monthly online Poster Presentation session; and
- receive formative feedback from NMIN researchers, committee members and staff.
The benefits – participants who present a poster will:
- be eligible for an NMIN HQP Research Presentation Travel Award of up to $400 to attend an in-person conference to present their research;
- earn 4 credits towards NMIN Advanced Training Certification (ATC);
- strengthen their presentation, peer-mentoring and formative feedback skills; and
- network and build community with other NMIN participants.
All NMIN HQP (including undergraduate and graduate students, Postdoctoral Fellows, research support staff and other NMIN HQP Network members) are eligible and encouraged to participate in the HQP Research Presentation Series.
If you are uncertain about your status, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HQP may present in the series only once in a 12-month period.
APPLICATION: Apply to participate in the HQP Research Presentation Series by submitting an abstract to the NMIN Administrative Centre (email@example.com).
Applicants will be assigned to an HQP Team (with three other HQP), and the Team will be scheduled to present at an up-coming monthly Poster Presentation session.
NOTE: You may present only once in the series within a 12-month period. If you wish to participate again during a subsequent 12-month period, you must submit: a significantly updated or new abstract; and an outline of how the formative feedback from your previous presentation will be integrated into your next.
PEER MENTORING: The four members of an HQP Team will meet for at least one two-hour peer-mentoring session in advance of the group’s Research Presentation session. Team members will present their posters and provide each other formative feedback. These sessions will be chaired by Leah Graystone, NMIN’s HQP and Events Coordinator.
POSTER SUBMISSION: Team members will submit their posters, incorporating improvements from the peer-mentoring process, to NMIN at least one week before their scheduled Poster Presentation session. Their posters will be posted on the NMIN website for review by, and online feedback from, the larger Network.
POSTER PRESENTATION: Team members will present their posters in a one-hour online session hosted by NMIN, with one HQP Team (four HQP) presenting per session. Each Team member will present for 10 minutes, with five minutes for Q&A.
FORMATIVE FEEDBACK: During the Research Presentation session, qualified NMIN participants (researchers, HQP Program Advisory Committee members, the NMIN HQP Network Executive Committee President, and Administrative Centre Staff) will provide formative feedback, which will be compiled and provided in writing to HQP after the session.
TRAVEL SUPPORT: After completing a Research Presentation, participants will be eligible for an NMIN HQP Poster Presentation Travel Award of up to $400 to attend an in-person conference to present their research. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research presentation sessions are planned for the following dates:
- November 25, 2021 from 3:30-4:30 pm ET
- January 27, 2022 from 3:30-4:30 pm ET
- February 24, 2022 from 3:30-4:30 pm ET
Descriptions of upcoming sessions can be found here.
If you are interested in presenting on any of these dates contact: email@example.com.
Confidential Information (IP Disclosure):
Abstracts, posters, and presentations may be published on NMIN’s website and should not unduly disclose intellectual property (IP).
PIs and Supervisors should review HQP abstracts, posters, and presentation scripts/slides prior to submission to ensure that no IP is unduly disclosed.
PIs, Investigators, and HQP should refer to the NCE Network Agreement; specifically, Section 3.2 regarding disclosures, and Sections 6, 7, 8 regarding IP, Commercialization and Revenue Sharing.
Questions or concerns around IP and/or requests for assistance with IP and the commercialization of NMIN-funded research can be directed to Diana Royce, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, or April O’Connell, Manager, Research and Partnerships, email@example.com.
Publications arising from NMIN’s investments (in whole or in part) must acknowledge NMIN as a supporting organization. The required NMIN attribution statements can be found here on NMIN’s website.