RNA Innovation NSERC CREATE Program


Gain real-world, hands-on research experience.

Not sure what to do with your BSc degree? Add value to your degree and become a part of the emerging RNA industry! RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program.

Now accepting applications for Sept 2021 start. Apply by April 1, 2020!

To learn more, visit: RNAInnovation.ca

Research Excellence

RNA Innovation is a unique partnership between two leading RNA research institutions (University of Lethbridge, Université de Sherbrooke) and industry collaborators, providing trainees with an exceptional learning experience during their graduate studies program.

This NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program aims to produce highly qualified personnel with skills in advanced RNA research, scientific leadership, and industry experience.

The NSERC CREATE RNA Innovation Program supports trainees in:

  • Emerging RNA research and product development.
  • Adding value to their degree through on-site training.
  • Developing skills in management, leadership, communication and ethics.
  • Fostering an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Facilitating access to leading industry collaborations.

Industry Experience

The major advantage of RNA Innovation is the access to industry collaborations. Each trainee cohort will work together with an industry partner to solve a research and development (R&D) problem as part of the deepYellow Challenge. Together, trainees will learn to apply their research training, work as a team, and develop a final product.

Trainees will also receive funding for on-site industry training and project development through the Twinning Program. All participants will be matched with a specific internship, receive mentorship and a personalized networking experience. This program provides on-site training and fosters connections to future employers.

Professional Skills

In addition to academic and research skills, trainees will develop skills in management, leadership, communication, teaching, integrity and ethics through complementary workshops and courses.

Participation in the deepYellow challenge will encourage development of project management and entrepreneurial skills. Additional workshops providing some theoretical foundation in management will supplement the trainee’s learning experience.

All trainees will be required to participate in a new graduate level Scientific Leadership course. Modules will include professional communication, integrity & ethics, and leadership with respect to gender and minority representation.

Highly Qualified Personnel

Graduates of the RNA Innovation program will be uniquely trained,  “job-ready” with knowledge of applied and basic research, and possess a diverse set of leadership skills. This multidisciplinary background will make them ideally suited to careers in a multitude of biotechnology fields.

RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program. Funding is available for graduate students (MSc and PhD) and post-doctoral fellows.


RNA Innovation is an intensive two-year program and requires commitment from the trainee and support from their supervisor. All RNA Innovation commitments are in addition to any graduate program thesis requirements. For more information, please visit our website: RNAInnovation.ca

How to Apply

Applications for the RNA Innovation program are open until April 2, 2021 at 11:59 pm MST. Students currently enrolled or accepted into graduate studies are encouraged to apply. Students accepted into RNA Interested applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their last two years of undergraduate studies, although applicants with a lower GPA are still encouraged to apply if they have sufficient research and/or industry experience.

Application requirements:

  • Completion of application form (available online).
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable).
  • For full application details, please visit our website: RNAInnovation.ca


Supporting Institutions


University of Lethbridge


Université de Sherbrooke


We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).