Today, Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) released a study entitled, Training Tomorrow’s Research Leaders, outlining the impacts of nearly 20 years of targeted skills training on Canada’s emergent regenerative medicine sector. The impact analysis tracked 1,500 current and former SCN trainees (Masters, PhDs and Postdoctoral Fellows) to determine the value of SCN training and where their career paths have taken them. An overwhelming 82% have chosen to pursue careers in Canada, with a significant number of women taking on high-quality jobs within the growing biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
Canada is well positioned to be an active player in the global regenerative medicine sector, which is currently valued at USD $28 billion and is expected to grow in the coming years. Canada’s ability to capitalize in this market requires a skilled workforce ready and able to drive innovation. By utilizing training support from SCN and its partners, network trainees have developed the advanced and practical skills needed to succeed and ensure Canada remains competitive. They are also well equipped to respond and pivot to address immediate health research priorities, such as COVID-19.
At a time when the world is in a global fight against COVID-19, our researchers and trainees are quickly applying their knowledge and expertise by developing novel therapies and deepening our understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We are proud that our training programs are equipping our research community to respond as public health requires.”
Dr. Michael Rudnicki, Scientific Director & CEO, SCN
The Stem Cell Network has provided training since 2001, during which time over 3,000 people have taken advantage of specialized opportunities to prepare them to successfully navigate careers within academia and business. Some of the key observations of the SCN impact analysis include:
- 82% of SCN trainees have chosen to remain in Canada and have found employment relevant to their academic background;
- 58% of SCN trainees are working in universities, hospitals or research institutes;
- 25% of SCN trainees are employed in the private sector, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies;
- 55% of trainees identify as female and are more likely to work outside of universities; and
- 61% of SCN trainees who work in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical sector are female.
As part of the impact analysis, a survey was also conducted and those who responded credit SCN training opportunities with building their professional networks and providing mentoring that have been key to establishing career paths.
The training that I received has been first class. As a stem cell student in Canada, there are limited resources available. SCN has not only provided me with training in this critical area but helped me to connect with top experts who are providing invaluable mentoring and career support.”
Joshua Dierolf, PhD Candidate at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry
Overall, the impact analysis demonstrates that SCN’s training programs are providing important value and ensuring the next generation are well equipped to succeed and deliver social, health and economic benefits for Canada.