Policy Fellowship FAQ

 “Tapping into the first-class expertise and talent at the University of Guelph has elevated my knowledge of this dynamic industry…dedicating an enriching three days to discuss high-level research and policy implications has formed lasting connections and opened new doors that I could not have anticipated before beginning the program.”

Frequently Asked Questions

The Policy Fellowship program matches decision-makers and faculty with complementary interests for dialogue and knowledge exchange. The program is offered either fully virtually or in a hybrid format 3 times per year.

Each cohort focuses on one major theme and includes lectures and presentations, as well as one-on-one or small group meetings between Fellows and faculty who are carefully selected to answer their key questions. Upcoming cohort themes include:
-    One Health – Spring 2023
-    Food Security – Summer 2023

To become a Fellow in one of these cohorts, please download an application and email it to policyfellows@uoguelph.ca. You can also nominate others who may be interested in the program.

Learn more about the Fellowship by reading the FAQ below!

Each Fellowship takes place over 6 weeks and requires a commitment of approximately 15-20 total hours. Programming includes:
-    Week 1: A full day of presentations/lectures from experts on key thematic topics; networking opportunities between decision-makers working in the theme area, and tours of relevant University of Guelph research facilities (offered in-person).
-    Weeks 2-5: Approximately 2 meetings per week (one-on-one or small group) with faculty, who have been hand-picked by the organizing team to address the thematic questions you submit (currently offered virtually only).
-    Week 6: Thematic roundtable discussions with other Fellows; closing meeting and debrief, and other activities as scheduled.

This customized program offers an exceptional opportunity for Fellows to meet with world-class researchers, research institutes and University staff working in relevant disciplines. You will be matched with researchers who can speak to the key challenges you identify in your application – giving you an overview of the current state of the science, insight about future innovative research directions, and helping you to connect with experts working on relevant thematic issues.

Other benefits include:
•    Build long-term networks of experts to advise about issues that may emerge in the future 
•    Share information about your key priorities with academic experts, potentially stimulating targeted new research
•    Network with peers from government, industry and civil society who have an interest in agri-food
•    Access to the University of Guelph research library for one year after your Fellowship
•    A better understanding of the University of Guelph ecosystem and focus areas
•    Ongoing networking opportunities with other Fellows
•    Updates about agri-food research, events and activities from the University of Guelph

Registration for other cohorts is $499 CAN (including HST). Participants  may apply for a Food from Thought bursary to cover the costs of participation; bursaries are limited in number and requests will be prioritized based on financial justification, fit with program goals and potential impact.

We also offer limited sponsorship opportunities for each cohort; contact us to learn more about whether this is right for your organization.

Policy Fellowships are open to anyone who can make or influence decisions about issues related to agriculture, food and biodiversity in Canada. Priority will be given to applicants who are mid- to senior-career professionals working at the interface of science and policy in government, industry or NGOs (local, provincial or national in scope). Traditionally, cohorts have been composed of individuals working in food production, processing, retail, food security or environmental sustainability and biodiversity. 

International Fellows are welcome to apply, but an additional fee for participation will apply. Please contact us to learn more.

Because the Fellow’s questions influence the meetings and tours created for the program, it is very important that they are as detailed and focused as possible.  When creating your questions:

  • reflect on the key challenges your team or organization faces or anticipates facing in the future.
  • choose questions that can be informed by science or research insights.
  • consider providing a few sentences of background or context, to help us match you with the most appropriate researchers.
  • share questions that are specific enough to give our team the information necessary to match Fellows with relevant expertise.

For more information, please contact us to discuss your potential questions or browse some of the questions asked by past Fellows.