UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award

** Updated: July 2024 **

Program Purpose:

Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDFs) are an important post-PhD training opportunity, affording recent graduates an opportunity to establish an independent research program with the mentorship of a postdoctoral supervisor. The Office of the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation's (OVPRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides up to 3 two-year awards annually—1 in the Humanities, 1 in the Social Sciences, and 1 in the in Sciences.

Postdoctoral fellowships provide early career researchers with an opportunity to build their research network outside of their home institution. The program requires that the proposed supervisor be someone other than the dissertation supervisor or PhD committee member. Applications from scholars who are not already post-docs at UTM, and/or who have earned their graduate degrees from institutions other than the University of Toronto, will receive priority consideration. We encourage applications from candidates whose research aligns with UTM’s Strategic Framework and whose research will benefit our campus and community.

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual and gender minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. UTM views these Fellowships as an important tool to ensure diverse groups have access to research support at this important early career stage.

Value and Duration

The duration of the award is two years. Each UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship award will include $48,000 per year to be used to supplement a PDF’s salary, plus an extra $2,000 per year as a research grant. The $48,000 award does not represent the total value of a PDF stipend but is intended as a contribution to the PDF’s salary, which can be assembled from various funding sources (internal or external). The actual salary of a UTM Postdoctoral Fellow will be determined by the faculty supervisor in accordance with departmental norms and the CUPE 3902 Collective Agreement.

If awarded, the Fellowship needs to be taken up prior to September 1, 2025

The award is for a maximum duration of 24 months, which begins as of the above-noted September 1 start date (e.g., if an awardee does not begin their fellowship until, for example, January of the following year, there will be only 20 months remaining in the award).

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is governed by the terms of the CUPE 3902, Unit 5 Collective Agreement. As such, potential supervisors and applicants should be aware of all provisions within the collective agree and that UTM Postdoctoral Fellowships are posted in accordance with the CUPE Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

Eligibility Guidelines:

To be eligible for a UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship, potential applicants must first and foremost be eligible to be appointed as a Postdoctoral Fellow following all University of Toronto definitions and policies. UTM Postdoctoral Fellows may not concurrently hold another post-doctoral fellowship award, such as NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR or equivalents. Once appointed, UTM Postdoctoral Fellows cannot concurrently hold a tenure-track or continuing faculty position at a college or university.

Applicants may be citizens of any country and from any university. Successful international candidates must meet all Canadian immigration requirements.

UTM Postdoctoral Fellowships will only be tenable at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and proposed supervisors must have a tenured or tenure-track appointment in a UTM Department.

Departmental Pre-Selection Process:

Each UTM academic department may submit one PDF nominee per discipline (Humanities; Social Sciences; Sciences).

Academic departments will set their own internal deadlines and processes in order to facilitate the departmental review and selection process.

Candidates should submit their part of application packages to their proposed supervisors. The complete application, consisting of the applicant package and the proposed supervisor package, should be sent to the department by the departmental internal competition deadline. 

The deadline for UTM departments to submit complete application packages to the UTM OVPRI for their PDF nominees is Thursday, October 17, 2024.

Adjudication Process & Evaluation Criteria:

The OVPRI will establish an Ad-Hoc adjudication committee to review and rank the departmental submissions.

The Ad-Hoc adjudication committee will use three evaluation criteria: (1) Challenge; (2) Capability; and (3) Contribution. Evaluators scores will be weighted at 40% Challenge, 50% Capability, and 10% Contribution.

1.   Challenge (40%):

In the two-page research/scholarly activity proposal section of the application, applicants must describe the specifics of the proposed research or scholarly activity to be undertaken. The applicant should propose a new research project, distinct from the dissertation research. The proposal should be written in clear language that non-specialists can understand. The proposal should 1) pose clear research questions and/or describe the research challenge; 2) describe the main objectives of the study; 3) situate the topic in the relevant literature/research in the field and 4) describe the methodology. The supervisor, in their 2-page submission, must also clearly explain the significance of the proposed work.

2.   Capability (50%):

Evaluators will review the applicant’s CV and the supervisor’s submission to determine the capability and potential of the applicant.

3.   Contribution (10%):

The faculty supervisor, in their 2-page submission, must provide details on how the proposed UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient will contribute to the UTM academic community.

The UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Application:

On or before Thursday, October 17, 2024, academic departments must submit a complete application package for their Fellowship nominees via an online application form. All text must be in 12pt Times New Roman font. Margins must be set at a minimum of 3/4 inch (1.87cm). Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The application package submitted to the OVPRI office must include the following:

From the department...

  • The number of applications received
  • A brief overview of the processes used to rank the applications
  • The top applicant's package.

The top applicant's package should include:

Part 1 - Provided by applicant

  • Cover sheet (1 page)
  • CV, using any academic format
  • Research Proposal (2-page maximum). (References on an additional page, 1-page limit.)
    If the applicant has already been at UTM for more than 6 months, they must justify the decision to remain at UTM. Applications from scholars who are not already post-docs at UTM, and/or who have earned their graduate degrees from institutions other than the University of Toronto, will receive priority consideration.

Part 2 - Provided by the proposed UTM-appointed faculty supervisor…

  • A completed commitment form (1 page)
  • A letter (2-page maximum) which includes:
    • a description of the applicant’s research potential;
    • the research environment and resources that will be available to the applicant;
    • how the fellowship will advance the applicant’s career development;
    • how the applicant will contribute to the UTM academic community.
    • how the supervisor plans to top up the postdoc salary and at what rate.
  • Two referee/recommendation letters (2-page limit each), addressed to UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award Adjudication Committee. (It is applicant's responsibility to arrange these two letters to be sent to supervisor before departmental internal deadline).

Competition Results:

Results will be e-mailed to the faculty supervisors and their respective Chairs. The UTM OVPRI will not communicate directly with the PDF nominees. Individual scores/rankings cannot be provided, but if reviewers provide comments in their adjudication documents, that feedback can be shared with the faculty supervisors upon request.

Past competition results are available here.

Post-Award Details:

$48,000 will be transferred to the UTM Supervisor’s commitment fund centre (CFC) following the OVPRI'S receipt of a copy of the fully signed PDF-appointment letter.

$48,000 must be earmarked to supplement/support the UTM Postdoctoral Fellow’s salary, while the remaining $2,000 may be spent at the Postdoctoral Fellow’s discretion in support of their research goals and in adherence with applicable Tri-Council expense eligibility guidelines.

Please note, that while it is not the OVPRI's intention that this award be the sole source of salary support, if the Postdoctoral Fellowship Award is the sole source of funding for a PDF, then the true salary will be approximately $43,000, depending on departmental norms, as benefits and other employer costs will need to be accounted for and deducted from the $48,000 award.

During the period of the Fellowship Award, the OVPRI will need to be kept informed of any changes, such as deferral, cancellation, or early departure, and the award payment will be adjusted accordingly.

Final Report: UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients must submit a 1-2 page final report, describing what was accomplished, to the OVPRI after fellowship has been completed. 

Acknowledgment: The UTM affiliation of researchers and support from the OVPRI should be acknowledged in any research outputs arising from this award.


View past recipients of the UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award.