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Chairholder Profile

Jennifer Jakobi

Jennifer Jakobi

School of Health and Exercise Sciences
The University of British Columbia

Chair title

NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (British Columbia and Yukon)

Chair program

Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program


Chairholder since 2021


Dr. Jennifer Jakobi is the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in the BC and Yukon region, and Professor in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. Her NSERC-funded research program focuses on understanding how the neuromuscular system is altered with age and how these changes might be associated to sex-related differences. Dr. Jakobi applies this knowledge to design interventions that improve functional movement for men and women. She developed the integrative STEM Team Advancing Networks of Diversity (iSTAND) program to promote diversity in STEM and explore neuroscience, coding, robotics, and broad sciences with learners of all ages and backgrounds. With the goal of empowering individuals to lead organizational change, she collaborates with profit and not-for-profit partners to offer workshops and presentations that identify positive factors and forces that increase diversity and inclusion in STEM. A SSHRC-funded research collaboration exploring girls’ and young women’s positive experiences in being in STEM classrooms contributes evidence-based knowledge to many of the directions she will be advancing through this Chair program.

The overall goal of the British Columbia and Yukon program is to support intersectionality and diversity, and to provide equitable and inclusive learning and working environments for underrepresented persons in science and engineering.

The Chair program is grounded within the themes of Inclusion, Collaboration and Innovation.

Inclusion: Excellence in innovation and discovery depends upon diverse perspectives and equitable opportunities and approaches. In this theme, a core commitment of the Chair is fostering paths to access STEM experiences, education and careers.

Collaboration: This theme recognizes the need for cultivating, co-ordinating and engaging academic, industry and professional associations partners. Collaboratively, the Chair will build support networks to strengthen connectedness that contributes to retention of underrepresented persons within and between STEM academic degrees and industry.

Innovation: Within this theme, evidence-informed knowledge will be applied to science translation activities and professional workshops. The program will increase knowledge of the positive social, cultural and personal experiences that contribute to the choices of girls, women and underrepresented persons to pursue and remain in STEM fields.

The goals of the program are to generate:

  • a new generation of girls who are aware, engaged and excited to make informed choices about STEM education and careers;
  • a mentoring network to support girls and women transitioning between secondary, post-secondary and careers in STEM; and
  • enhanced knowledge and conviction of the value of equity, diversity and inclusion to increase the number of underrepresented persons thriving in STEM education and careers.

With the in-kind and cash contributions of her academic and industry partners, Dr. Jakobi’s program will extend into new regions of BC, and will excite and empower young Canadians to engage in academic programs and careers in science and engineering.


  • University of British Columbia Okanagan
  • Westmar Advisors, Inc.
  • Women in Consulting Engineering Vancouver (WCE) Society

Contact information

School of Health and Exercise Sciences
The University of British Columbia


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