New collaborative master's program bridges gap between science and policy

Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2015

Society is now confronted with a wide range of complex challenges, including public health questions such as antibiotic resistance, environmental questions such as climate change and technology-related questions such as the rapid emergence and availability of nanotubes and big data. With this in mind, the Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP) of the University of Ottawa is launching a collaborative master's program to bridge the gap between the policy and science communities.

“These difficult global challenges require increasingly interdisciplinary teams to identify solutions — they cannot be addressed by any single discipline in isolation. This is why we have created this new program,” says Professor Patrick Fafard, ISSP interim graduate program director. 

Starting this September, the ISSP will offer a master's-level collaborative program titled Science, Society and Policy (SSP). It will bring together science, technology and policy through interdisciplinary education.

The SSP Collaborative Program aims to provide students with the knowledge needed to handle the decision-making challenges at the interface of science and policy. In addition to a comprehensive core course, students will have the opportunity to complete a practicum enabling them to work with leading policy experts from government, academia, non-governmental organizations and industry.

Graduates of the program will have a breadth of knowledge that will give them an advantage in the workplace. “For example, science graduates seeking employment in the public sector will be able to complement their basic scientific research skillset with an understanding of how their research contributes to the broader policy-making process,” says Fafard.

Students in participating primary programs can now apply to the new program.

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