WISE Planet Change Leadership Applicant Information

Nominations for Cohort 4 have closed. Applications for Cohort 5 will open in Sept of 2024, and close in Dec. Application Info

Applicant requirements


Applicants should be early career professionals in industry or academia  (graduate students considered) in a STEM field.

Sponsor nomination

Applicants must be nominated by a senior official in one of the WISE Planet sponsor organizations.


Applicants must provide at least one recommendation letter, written by a direct supervisor.


Sept., 2023

Cohort 4 - Application Open (Sept 11th)

Nov., 2023

Cohort 4 - Application Deadline (Nov 27th)


Dec., 2023

Cohort 4 - Notification Sent to Applicants (Dec 11th)

Cohort 3 - Module Sessions Complete


Jan., 2024

Cohort 4 - Official start: access to online materials (Jan 9th) 

Feb., 2024

Cohort 3 - Final Presentations/Completion Celebration

Information for applicants, nominators and references

A strong application demonstrates that the sponsor organization sees leadership potential for the applicant. 

A major part of the program is the Leadership Equity Action Plan (LEAP) Project that the WISE Planet participants will initiate and implement. We strongly recommend the applicants give some advance thought to their proposed LEAP Project - and clearly show how this project will position them as a leader in their organization and will advance equity, diversity, inclusion or innovation (sustainability) in their organization or society at large. Preference will be given to the nominees who join with a LEAP Project already in mind or started. However, those committed to defining a project near the start of the program are still encouraged to apply. 

The applicant should discuss the rationale for seeking leadership roles and the likely impact of their project over the next five years.

Nominations should come from a senior official within the applicant’s organization to ensure that WISE Planet participants are well supported within their organizations and that there is a clear commitment from the organization to the advancement of the applicant. The sponsoring organizations can send up to two participants to the program without any program fees for the period of their sponsorship. The sponsoring institution is responsible for any costs incurred for Leadership Equity Action Plan Projects and any possible travel costs. 

The nominating organization must commit to:

  • Provide time and support for the candidate to fully participate in the program
  • Cover any expenses related to the LEAP Project or possible travel 
  • Connect the participant to leadership in the organization
  • Help the participant develop a leadership program 

In your nomination letter, which is part of the application process, please address the following points: 

  1. Why are you nominating this candidate for the WiSE Planet Program? 
  2. What types of new knowledge or skills would you like to see the candidate learn during this program? 
  3. How will you work with and mentor your candidate during and after the program? 
  4. Which formal and/or informal leadership role(s) do you anticipate this candidate assuming in the next 3 to 5 years? How will you support them in this endeavour? 
  5. Please include additional information about the candidate that you feel would be of interest to the selection committee. 

The letters, once prepared, can be given back to the applicant to submit online with the rest of the application, or, if preferred, the letter writers can email them directly to WISE Planet

In the case of a direct email, please use a subject line of ‘Supporting letter for Applicant <first initial.last name>’


In your recommendation letter, please address the following points: 

  1. Why are you recommending this candidate? 
  2. What are the candidate’s present responsibilities and breadth of experience at their current institution and elsewhere? 
  3. What are the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to their potential as an institutional leader? 
  4. Within their institutions, what is your frank evaluation of the candidate’s potential for leadership? 
  5. What position(s) can you envision them assuming in the foreseeable future?
  6. Please include any additional information that you feel would be of interest to the selection committee.

The letters, once prepared, can be given back to the applicant to submit online with the rest of the application, or if preferred, the letter writers can email them directly to WISE Planet

In the case of a direct email, please use  a subject line of ‘Supporting letter for Applicant <first initial.last name>’


The application for our third cohort will be open from Sept 11th - Nov 27th, 2023

Time commitment

The WISE Planet Change Leadership program is one year in length. Participants will spend an average of 16- 20 hours* each month on:  

  • Themed modules (online), including readings, mini-assignments and remote cohort meetings
  • Bi-weekly learning community (small group) meetups
  • Moving their LEAP Projects forward

*The program is flexible and can be extended if needed by performing some of the independent work after the formal year period. Live Sessions should be prioritized. Note there are scheduled breaks aligned with holidays.

Submitting an application

The application process consists of:

  • The applicant providing personal information in THIS FORM
  • Emailing the following items to wiseplanet@ucalgary.ca:
    • A nomination letter  (to be filled out by someone at the nominating organization),
    • a letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor**  
    • the applicant’s recent most recent CV (cover letter not necessary), and  
    • a .pdf of the applicants answers to three paragraph-length essay style questions found HERE.

Here is guidance for the  nomination and recommendation letters (also listed above)

**In small organizations the direct supervisor and the nominating individual can be the same person and only the nomination letter is required.


Application evaluation

The applications we receive will be evaluated by a panel of program administrators. The applicant’s potential and readiness for leadership, as well as the level of institutional support for the applicant, are the major deciding factors in the selection process. 

Applicants will ideally already have a project that they are working on, that will be their LEAP project. However, not having a project will not be a barrier to participation so long as the applicant and their organization is committed to defining one.

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