The NSERC CREATE LEAP program has four main elements that serve to equip program trainees with skills, knowledge, and experience that are closely related to and connected to the North.

1. Foundational knowledge

Integrated through a shared framework, co-applicants, collaborators, and northern experts contribute and deliver online, interdisciplinary modules from their field of expertise. Trainees learn theoretical and applied knowledge, key contributions, and current trends at the intersections of various fields of specialization from each module.

2. Professional skills

This program focuses on the development of professional skills and contextual knowledge relevant to research and practice in the North to ensure trainees successfully transition to the workforce.

3. Northern field school

Trainees, instructors, and partners participate in person at an annual northern field school, organized jointly with northern partners. The northern field school includes (1) excursions led by northern partners, (2) practical training, (3) student project presentations, and (4) community-led, participatory, problem-based learning.

4. Mentorship, internships, and research co-development

Elements 1-3 of this program aim to foster informal and long-term mentoring relationships to reduce barriers and support trainees as they advance in their careers.