UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award Program


Program Purpose:

Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDFs) are an important post-PhD training opportunity, affording recent graduates an opportunity to establish an independent research program. The UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship program will provide 6 awards annually—2 in the Humanities, 2 in the Social Sciences, and 2 in the in Sciences - that have a duration of one year.

The University of Toronto Mississauga is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual 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.

Each UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship award will include $40,000 to be used to supplement a PDF’s salary, plus $2,000 as a research grant (subject to the conditions of the UTM Postdoctoral Research Grants Program). The $40,000 award will 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.

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, 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.

Applicants cannot currently 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.

Adjudication Process & Evaluation Criteria:

The UTM Research Council—a multidisciplinary group that includes one representative from each academic unit—is responsible for establishing a 6-person sub-committee to review and rank applications. The sub-committee will be established after all applications have been received, and will include two scholars from each of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Ad-hoc (non-UTM Research Council) members may be recruited to participate on the adjudication sub-committee.

Each UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship will be reviewed and ranked by the discipline-appropriate members of the sub-committee. To be successful, applicants must write their applications for non-specialist reviewers. Applications written in a highly specialized or technical prose may receive a lower ranking.

There are 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 to the reviewers the specifics of the proposed research or scholarly activity to be undertaken. The supervisor, in their 2-page submission, must also clearly explain the significance of the proposed project.

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:

A complete application must be submitted by the competition deadline as a single PDF document, using standard typeface and spacing, by e-mail to Rong Wu (rong.wu@utoronto.ca).

Applications for the first competition are due November 15, 2018.

The application package must include the following:

From the potential UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient…

  • Cover sheet (1 page)
  • Applicant CV, using any academic format
  • Research Proposal (2-page maximum)

AND, from the proposed UTM-appointed faculty supervisor…

  • A completed commitment form (1 page)
  • A letter 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; and how the applicant will contribute to the UTM academic community (2-page maximum)
  • Two referee/recommendation letters (2-page limit each)

Competition Results:

Results will be e-mailed to the Supervisors by the Office of the Vice-Principal Research (OVPR). Individual scores/rankings cannot be provided, but if reviewers provide comments in their adjudication documents, that feedback can be shared with applicants upon request.

If awarded, PDF Fellowship Awards need to be taken up prior to September 1 of the following year.

Post-Award Details:

$42,000 will be transferred to the UTM Supervisor’s commitment fund centre (CFC) following the receipt of any necessary certifications (see below). $40,000 must be earmarked to supplement/support the UTM Postdoctoral Fellow’s salary, while the remaining $2,000 may be spent at the UTM Postdoctoral Fellow’s discretion in support of their research goals and in adherence with applicable Tri-Council expense eligibility guidelines. (While not intended, if the UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award is the sole source of funding for a PDF, then the true salary will be approximately $35,000, as benefits and other employer costs will need to be accounted for and deducted from the $40,000 award.)

Certifications: University certifications for research using human subjects, animal subjects, or biohazards are required (as necessary) before funds can be transferred. Certifications need not be appended at the time of application; however, funding cannot be released until confirmation of the necessary certification is received by the OVPR.

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

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