Skip to main content

Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Management and Innovation (G.Dip PHMI)

The Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Management and Innovation is targeted to enhance the competitiveness and employability of graduate students interested in pursuing careers in pharmaceutical and related health industries. Graduates of this program will possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to make them ideal candidates to enter progressive career positions. The diploma will offer a combination of course work and practical experience to recent graduates in the health and science sectors (e.g. MD, PhD, PharmD) from across Canada and internationally.

  • Six-month paid internship
  • course content created by industry experts
  • Interaction with health sector professionals
  • Team-based discussions and case studies.



Program Contacts

Program Director
Dr. Chandra Tayade
Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
Phone: 613-533-6354

Program Assistant (for application queries)
Mary White (


This program offers that critical opening step for interested students to start to work within the medical roles in pharma, from field to head office, from medical affairs to regulatory and other affiliated roles. - Dr. Mark Lundie, Director, Medical Affairs, Rare Diseases at Pfizer Canada


This program is developed to specifically enhance relevant industry or institutional experience, practical knowledge of the process of commercializing medical innovation, and business acumen that would strengthen the competitiveness of new applicants for early-stage industrial career opportunities. In the coursework component, students will learn from and interact with pharmaceutical and related health industry experts, engage in case studies of real-world problems and challenges, and prepare oral and written submissions that demonstrate effective teamwork and problem-solving skills. The internship with industry will provide an opportunity for the student to be immersed on a full-time basis with an employer in the private or government sectors, to acquire valuable hands-on experience and apply the knowledge and skills acquired during coursework.

Career Paths - Employment opportunities

Graduates of this diploma will have the knowledge and skills required to pursue advanced career prospects in the broader health sector, including but not limited to, opportunities with: Federal health departments and agencies (e.g. Health Canada, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health); Provincial health ministries; Corporations (e.g. private insurance/pharmacy benefit management companies, pharmaceutical/medical device companies, contract research organizations or health service corporations that provide biopharmaceutical and commercial outsourcing services); Entrepreneurial ventures (e.g. start-up companies).

  • Graduate Diploma in Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Management and Innovation

The program will be 10 months in duration. Students will complete two online courses over one academic term, followed by a six month, full-time paid internship position with an external partner. It is anticipated that internship start dates will be in January.

Successful completion of the online courses is a requirement for progression into the internship.

Term 1 (4 months) complete:

  • Online – PHMI 871 (3.0 units) – Healthcare Innovation and Development
  • Online – PHMI 872 (3.0 units) – Healthcare Management and Commercialization

Term 2 (6 months) complete:

  • Internship – PHMI 873 (6.0 units) – Internship in Healthcare Management & Innovation 

Guest Lecturers

  • Babak Abbaszadeh, Vice President Medical Affairs, BMS
  • Rima Al-awar, Director and Senior Principal Investigator, Drug Discovery Program, Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)
  • Patricia Folkins, Partner, Bereskin & Parr LLP, Chemical Practice Group
  • Mark McGovern, Medical Science Liaison, Merck Canada
  • Elaine Vandenberg, Vandenberg Quality Consulting
  • Rocelyn DelCarmen, Director Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance, AstraZeneca
  • Lorenzo Biondi, Consultant, Past Vice President Medical and Regulatory Affairs, Roche
  • Paul Brennan, Principal, Pacific BioPartners
  • Vita Peri, BioStrat Consulting
  • Tina Maio-Twofoot, Medical Advisor, Ophthalmology Franchise, Novartis Canada
  • Laura Knuckle, Vice President & Chief Canadian Counsel, Innomar Strategies
  • Erin Murphy, Head Operational Excellence, EMD Serono
  • Mike Duong, Director, Evidence Generation - Medical Affairs, Roche
  • Clive Ward-Able, President, Clintell Inc

Academic Prerequisites

  1. A MD, PharmD, or PhD in biomedical, pharmaceutical or public health sciences from a recognized University

  2. A minimum of an A- standing in the highest obtained Degree is required for program entry

  3. A Curriculum Vitae that includes information on relevant academic, extracurricular, or work experience. Up to two references from individuals familiar with the candidate’s academic or professional performance which will be considered by Admissions Committee.

  4. Applicants will also be required to submit a Personal Statement that outlines how the learning objectives of the program align with their career aspirations. Details on how to complete the Personal Statement will be sent to applicants shortly after their application is submitted.

  5. International applicants would only be eligible to apply if the internship position can be secured without the requirement for a work permit in the country where the internship position would be taking place.

Test Requirements

English Language Proficiency: English is the language of instruction at Queen’s University and candidates must be able to communicate competently in English, both orally and in writing. Therefore, applicants whose native languages do not include English will be required to obtain satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process, and before final acceptance is granted as per School of Graduate Studies regulations.

Key Dates & Deadline

Application Deadline: May 15th for a September 1st start. If you are eligible and interested in our programs, please submit your online application via the School of Graduate Studies

NB: International applicants would only be eligible to apply if the internship position can be secured without the requirement for a work permit in the country where the internship position would be taking place.


  • Application Fee: $110
  • Program Tuition Fee:
    • Domestic - $15,000 CAD ($7,500 per term)
    • International - $25,000 CAD ($12,500 per term)
  1. Acquire and apply knowledge of historical approaches to, and contributions of, medical innovation to identify potential future directions of medical innovation and processes for commercialization.

  2. Develop a broad understanding of the regulatory and compliance landscape in Canada and beyond to support approval of new therapeutics.

  3. Gain exposure to leading roles in private or institutional healthcare organizations to build an understanding of the many scientific, medical, and commercial functions of these organizations, their responsibilities, and how they interface to develop and commercialize healthcare innovations.

  4. Identify and utilize required professional skills to successfully interact with key stakeholders, colleagues, and customers in the healthcare ecosystem.

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website

Am I guaranteed an internship in industry if I am accepted into the PHMI program?

Yes! Every student we accept will interview with companies from the private healthcare sector interested in hiring them for the six-month internship.

How are applicants selected for the PHMI Diploma program?

Following the deadline, the Admissions Committee will review all completed applications. A selection of candidates will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee over video call or may be asked to travel to Queen’s University for an in-person interview. Candidates will be notified of their acceptance into the program within two weeks following the interview.

How is the program organized? 

The course portion of the program runs from September to mid-December. During this time, students take two online courses over 14 weeks. Interviews with companies will also take place at this time. Students will be matched with companies no later than December. Internships begin in January, and are six months long.

Can I remain with my current employer/University while taking the online course portion of the program?

Yes. You may remain at your current position until the internship begins.

How is my internship chosen?

You will be invited to interview with companies interested in hiring you as an intern. The intern-company matching process takes into account the preferences of the companies as well as the students.

Which companies are offering internships?

The list of companies taking interns for the PHMI program changes every year, as does the number of interns each company takes. Many are well-known global firms with Canadian headquarters.

Where will the internship take place?

The most likely locations for the internship are Toronto, Ontario and Montréal, Québec. Other locations across Canada are possible.
What type of internship is offered?

Each company ultimately decides where to place the intern based on their needs. Possible roles include Medical Affairs, Regulatory, Market Access, Reimbursement, Pharmacovigilance, and healthcare consulting.  

I am currently working for a healthcare company. Can I do my internship with them?

Yes; if your company agrees to hire you for the six-month duration of the internship, you may remain with them. Please mention this in the appropriate section of the application. Applicants will need to provide proof that the internship has been secured prior to being accepted into the program.

Can international students apply to this program?

International students are only eligible for the PHMI program if they can secure an internship with their current employer (see previous question). Otherwise, only Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada are eligible.

Do the references for my application have to be academic/appointed faculty?

No; in fact you are encouraged to submit professional references (from industry or other employers) if possible.

Is the PHMI program eligible for OSAP funding?

YES. As of 2020, PHMI is eligible for OSAP.

How much does the internship pay?

Each company agrees to pay interns a minimum of $25,000 for the six-month internship.

Can I remain with the company following the six-month internship?

Yes; however that decision is up to the company, not the University.