Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship

University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies announced Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to provide funding to increase opportunities for hiring postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups, specifically Indigenous and Black researchers. These fellowships will enable postdoctoral researchers to grow their scholarly profiles, undertake academic work at the University of Toronto, and strengthen the research environment at the University with diverse perspectives.

This funding is designed to help the University compete with peer institutions for top-tier candidates, and to support the University in meeting its institutional goal of fostering increased diversity and representation at all levels of teaching, learning and research. The funding is being offered as a pilot program for three years which was inaugurated in March 2019.

Nominees must be nominated by their prospective Faculties/divisions following the timeline and processes outlined in the guidelines.

Read about the Spring 2019, Fall 2019, and Fall 2020 recipients of the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellows.

Value and Duration:

Funding will be available to engage seven postdoctoral fellows per year for up to twenty-one postdoctoral fellows over the three-year pilot program.
Each award will provide $70,000 per year to Faculties to support up to two years of postdoctoral salary and benefits. This level of funding exceeds the median postdoctoral salary at the University of Toronto, and is in keeping with Canada’s most prestigious postdoctoral awards. The Fellowship may be used to fund both the PDF’s gross salary and employer costs (10% Standard Benefit Rate, and $50/month Green Shield contribution), or only the gross salary, in which case, the faculty/unit/department would be responsible for covering the additional employer costs. Units/departments have the option, and are encouraged, to augment the salary support from a variety of sources, including operating budget, faculty advisor funds such as research grants, other awards, etc. It is expected that successful postdoctoral fellows will also receive a start-up (salary) fund of $5,000 per year, funded through the Faculty Research Office or faculty advisor. At UTM, the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research will provide that start-up fund for the Provost's PDF recipients.

Eligibility to Apply:

The award is open to both domestic and international post-graduates.
Nominees must:
·        Demonstrate academic excellence and high potential for success in their chosen fields;
·        Identify as Indigenous and/or Black;
·        Have obtained a doctoral degree, at the time the fellowship commences and normally within the last five years from the start of the fellowship; and
·        Not have held a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship previously.

Recipients must:
·        Begin the fellowship by December 31, 2021;
·        Be a postdoctoral employee of the University of Toronto;
·        Be associated with a supervisor appointed to a graduate unit;
·        Register and remain registered with the Postdoctoral Office at SGS;
·        Not hold concurrently another major fellowship;
·        Not hold a faculty position or be on leave from such a position; and
·        Establish an IDP within the first three months of the fellowship. The IDP should be reviewed annually and the revised copy sent to the Postdoctoral Office at SGS; and
·        Submit proof of completion of degree no later than three months after the fellowship commences if they had not fulfilled all requirements for their degree at the time of nomination.

At the University of Toronto, we strive to be an equitable and inclusive community, rich with diversity, protecting the human rights of all persons, and based upon understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of every person. We seek to ensure to the greatest extent possible that all students and employees enjoy the opportunity to participate as they see fit in the full range of activities that the University offers, and to achieve their full potential as members of the University community.

Departmental Pre-Selection Process:

Potential nominees interested in the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program should contact the nominating supervisors. Each UTM academic department must review and rank all the PDF applications prior to their submission to the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR). Academic departments will set their own internal deadlines and processes in order to facilitate the departmental review and ranking process

The deadline for UTM departments to submit complete application packages, plus their ranking sheet, to the OVPR is Thursday, March 4, 2021, all in the order as listed in the cover sheet in a single .pdf document to

Adjudication Process & Evaluation Criteria:

The OVPR will establish an Ad-Hoc adjudication committee to review and adjudicate the Provost’s PDF applications based on the following selection criteria.

·      Excellence of the research proposal and nominee’s CV;

·      Nomination letter from the supervisor, demonstrating the fit between the research interests/background of the supervisor and applicant, and the anticipated mutual benefits. Provide specifics about how the proposed research complements the supervisor’s ongoing projects and/or new research directions.

·      Support letter from the graduate unit/department Chair, addressing how the nominee meets the eligibility criteria and confirming that the nominee intends to accept the offer if funding is made available. The letter should illustrate the synergy between the research proposal and the research goals of the supervisor/unit, as well as the mission of the University. The letter should outline support of the nominee by demonstrating how the faculty/unit and applicant will benefit from this engagement.

In selecting Provost's Postdoctoral Fellows, preference will be given to nominees who have not yet held a postdoctoral fellowship. In addition, the School of Graduate Studies will be seeking to balance diversity of the candidates and distribution of Postdoctoral Fellows across academic divisions to ensure that program goals and objectives are met.

Competition Results:

Results will be e-mailed to the faculty supervisors and their respective Chairs in May 2021. The OVPR will not communicate directly with the PDF nominees.


Click here to view the past Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients.