Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship

* Deadline for departments: March, 4, 2022 *


University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies announced Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program to provide funding to Graduate Faculties 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. While the nomination/application process will normally begin with faculty advisors/mentors, funding for the successful nominees will be provided to their respective Faculty Research Office for administration.

Read about the recipients of the Provost's Postdoctoral Fellows.

Value and Duration:

Funding will be available to engage seven postdoctoral fellows per year. Each award will provide $70,000 per year to Faculties to support up to two years of postdoctoral's 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 UTM Provost's PDF recipients.

New for 2022 competition: At UTM, the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research will provide the employer costs (10% Standard Benefit Rate, and $50/month Green Shield contribution, which is $7,600 per year) for the UTM 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 January 2023;
·        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 (Independent Development Plan), and submit to SGS 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 Friday, March 4, 2022, all in the order as listed in the cover sheet in a single .pdf document to

The nomination package for each nominee should be scanned as a single PDF file, containing all application materials in the order as listed below. Please use the file naming convention of “Last name, First Name_PPFP2022” for the nomination packages.

  • A support letter from the graduate unit/department Chair, as per the selection criteria above (maximum two pages). Be sure to clearly state in the letter, with which underrepresented group (Indigenous and/or Black) the nominee identifies;
  • A nomination letter from the faculty advisor/mentor, as per the selection criteria;
  • Statement of research intent from the nominee (maximum two pages);
  • Nominee’s C.V. (no page restriction); and
  • A short personal biography written by the nominee (150-words limit), which may be used on the SGS Postdoctoral Fellows website or other communications, should they be successfully selected as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow.

Note: A draft engagement letter is no longer required for the nomination package.

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 complementarity 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, and provide details concerning the applicant's proposed research environment, clearly stating the supervisor's and laboratory/department's commitment.
  • 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/department, as well as the mission of the University. The letter should outline support of the nominee by demonstrating how the Faculty/unit/department 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/June 2022. The OVPR will not communicate directly with the PDF nominees.


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