Life Science Fellowships

The Life Sciences Fellowship helps research and technical talent transition into meaningful careers as entrepreneurs through funding, research and development infrastructure, and professional development support.

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Program at a Glance

Program Status: Inactive
Business Area: Health Innovation
Priority Area(s): Helps research and technical talent transition into meaningful careers as entrepreneurs.


Program Status: Inactive
Alberta-based: Yes
Organization Type: Small to Medium Enterprise


The Life Sciences Fellowship program provides the necessary tools to help life sciences researchers develop entrepreneurial skills so they can navigate the commercialization process and create successful startups. These startups are driven by strong, emerging co-founder teams supporting viable technologies that meet a distinct and unmet need. 

Through the program’s support, fellows will receive extensive entrepreneurial training and professional development programming, one-on-one mentorship from expert advisors, and access to lab space in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub. Each company will receive up to $200,000 in startup funding, including a stipend of $55,000 per year. The program gives rise to next generation research and business leaders and that can successfully bring a life sciences or digital health solution to market. 

This program is supported by Alberta Innovates, Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Calgary Economic Development’s Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and the Government of Canada (PrairiesCan).


Startups must meet the following criteria to be eligible: 

Fellow Eligibility 

  • The fellow must be legally able to work in Canada. 
  • The fellow is committed, as a full-time founding executive of the startup and owns at least 25 per cent or a simple majority, whichever is greater, of the shares outstanding in the venture. 
  • The fellow has advanced knowledge and deep technical expertise in a life science-related field and is looking to build entrepreneurial skills by driving the business development of the startup.

Startup Eligibility 

  • The startup aims to deliver a technology-driven product or service to solve an unmet need in digital health or life sciences. 
  • The startup has a tangible and timely plan to bring a commercially viable product or service to market. 
  • The startup recently incorporated in Alberta or nationally. 
  • Startups do not need to be affiliated with the University of Calgary, but the fellow must reside in Alberta during the fellowship and maintain a company presence at the Life Sciences Innovation Hub. 

How To Apply

  1. Fill out an application in SmartSimple, our online application portal, linked here.
  2. Applications are reviewed. Shortlisted applicants are invited to pitch to a review panel. Successful applicants receive offers.
  3. Final due diligence review and completion of initial agreements. 

Evaluation Process

Applications are assessed for relevance to program focus areas (i.e., Life Sciences or Digital Health), strength of the solution (e.g., differentiation and viability of the technology), market viability, strength of the team (e.g., technical expertise, entrepreneurial aims, leadership), and strength of the initial plan for commercialization. 

For specific questions related to the fellowship competition and application, please use the contact information on Innovate Calgary’s program webpage linked here. 

Nicole Mardis

Director, Health Innovation Talent

Closed Intakes

​​Life Science Fellowships​ - Intake

Current Life Science Fellowships intake is closed


Registration closed: January 30, 2021 12:00 am