Graduate Student Innovation Scholars

Looking to add value to your graduate degree and to your research?

Join Western’s cohort of Graduate Student Innovation Scholars.
Receive a participation award of $500 and vie for pitch and business plan prizes!

About the Program

Apply your discipline-specific knowledge and develop expertise in entrepreneurship, commercialization and knowledge transfer with hands-on training.

The goal of the program is to teach graduate students how to generate value from a research technology. Program training enables students to connect novel, cutting-edge technologies with market opportunities, develop IP strategies, develop a strategic path forward to commercialize the technology and identify challenges of bringing novel innovations to market. Students develop a business plan and pitch the concept to end the program. A unique element of this program is it allows students to work on real-world technology projects.

View an example of the program syllabus for Winter. The Student and Faculty Acknowledgement contains a little more detail on the program and will have to be signed by selected participants prior to the start of the program and supervisor signature is highly encouraged but not mandatory – you can read it here.

Applications open October 27 and close 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 11. Interviews will take place in early December.

Apply your knowledge. Apply today.

collage of GSIS students

Program Content & Delivery

January - April | Conducted in person

Week 1 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Meet & Greet All
Week 2 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Business Plan Workshop Colin Macaulay
Week 3 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Commercialization Process & Tech Assessment Saqib Sachani
Week 4 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Market Research Colin Macaulay
Week 5 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. IP 101 Charles Boulakia
Week 6 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Investor Due Diligence Eric Morse
Week 7 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Go-To-Market Strategy Deniz Edwards
Week 8 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Financials Dave Simpson
Week 9 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Pitch Workshop Eric Morse
Week 10 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Practice Pitch Sessions Eric Morse
Week 11 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Final Pitch Event All

More Details

Apply your knowledge. Apply today.

A $500 award, one term of training
and a certificate of completion

Expertise in commercialization, entrepreneurship
and knowledge transfer

Prizes for the teams with the best
business plan and best pitch

What we offer

GSIS graduates

• Training for up to four teams of three (research graduate students are matched with one business graduate student)

• Learning outcomes: Research Technology Review and Assessment, Market Research, Business Planning, Intellectual Property Strategy, Pitching

What you bring

GSIS finale 2022

• Current Western graduate student

• Evidence of teamwork, creative thinking and presentation skills

• Translational research, commercialization or entrepreneurship experience

GSIS certificate illustration

How to apply

Fill out the application form and submit your CV and a 200-250-word statement of interest. In your letter of interest explain why you are interested in learning about entrepreneurship and technology transfer and how it fits into your career plans.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Graduate Student Innovation Scholars program or ask any questions or request a personal info session, please email


The Student Success Centre can provide help and support such as: help with your resume, CV or cover letter, interview preparation, career counselling for interest statement support. Learn more.

This program is brought to you by

ecommGraduate Student Innovation Scholars