Western Research Scholars Academy

Deccorative image of a seated Asian woman in the sunlight speaking to a Black woman with her back turned.

The Western Research Scholars Academy is a new mentorship network for Western researchers co-designed with researchers. It will provide support through connection and mentorship with international academic leaders, professional development, and research resources.

In line with Western’s strategic plans, Western Research aims to:

  • Create mentorship and networking opportunities for Western researchers, prioritizing those from equity-deserving groups
  • Build interdisciplinary and international connections between top researchers
  • Support and deepen equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization (EDI-D) in research
  • Make additional resources available to scholars to facilitate their envisioned future success
  • Elevate Western researcher profiles and research programs
  • Formalize a mentorship process connecting Western researchers to one another

The inaugural cohort, which will target Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs in their first terms, will be announced in early 2023. Priority will be given to those who self-identify as members of an equity-deserving group, including Indigenous peoples, women, persons with disabilities, and members of racialized groups.

Mentorship & Networking

Participants will be paired with diverse senior mentors who are top leaders in their fields and are committed to EDI-D. Mentors will be invited to meet with their mentees, interact with other Western researchers and academic leaders, and deliver public lectures. Mentors will be encouraged to work with mentees on scholarly contributions such as policy proposals, grant proposals, etc. over the program term.

Informal networking events will be held throughout the program and a celebratory event will be held at the completion of the program. Networking will also have a focus on creating space for, and facilitating, relationships among researchers who self-identify as belonging to an equity-deserving group.

Learning & Development

The program will support skills development through a monthly seminar series that addresses participant-driven topics, such as conversations with diverse scholars on their experiences in academia, research dissemination and impact, patents, embedding EDI-D in research, and developing multi-institutional strategic grants.

Research Resources

Targeted resources will be developed to support participants in their professional development and to grow their research programs. These will include, but not be limited to:

  • A grants repository for access to successful funding proposals, which will support proposal development and success.
  • An expertise database that enables participants to identify potential collaborators at Western and to foster interdisciplinary collaborations.

Objectives of this program are aligned with strategic priorities to enhance research support, foster relationships, have greater impact and to create a more equitable and inclusive Western that supports multidisciplinary and international collaborations.


For more information or questions regarding the Scholars Academy programming and resources, please contact, Samantha Albanese, Program Coordinator, Western Research Scholars Academy