Doctoral Student Fellowships

*** Please note: The deadline for this call has now passed. Thank you to all the applicants and for your interest. The below information is being left up for reference.***

Award Overview
Application Deadline
April 11, 2022 (20:00 EST)
Value and Duration
CDN $25,000 per year up to 3 years
Level of Study
Doctoral
Required Legal Status
Domestic or International
Results
May

Purpose

The Data Sciences Institute (DSI) is a central hub and incubator for data science research, training, and partnerships at the University of Toronto. Its goal is to accelerate the impact of data sciences across disciplines to address pressing societal questions and to drive positive social change. DSI is focused on training the next generation of data science scholars.

The DSI Doctoral Student Fellowships are designed to support multi/interdisciplinary training and collaborative research in data sciences. In addition to their thesis supervisor, students will select a co-supervisor that can include faculty from the University of Toronto and DSI’s partner sponsoring institutes. 

To be considered for the Fellowship, applicants in PhD programs must pursue a research project that has a data sciences focus, through the development of novel methodology or the innovative application of existing approaches. Applicants must identify at least two faculty members from complementary disciplinary backgrounds to serve as co-supervisors, who together can supervise the different multidisciplinary aspects of the research project. At least one supervisor should have a track record supporting the training and development of novel statistical or computational tools. Co-supervisors can be drawn from the same academic unit as long as they represent different disciplines and one is focused on the development of a novel methodology.

An applicant’s primary and co-supervisors must have a budgetary appointment (i.e., they are directly employed) at either the University of Toronto OR an external funding partner institution and:

Faculty budgetary appointments for the University of Toronto are continuing, full-time academic appointments with salary commitments from a University of Toronto academic unit.

The DSI is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Accepted applicants will form an integrated cohort and will be expected to participate in the networking activities of the DSI, present their research at the annual DSI Research Day, and provide a yearly activity report and exit survey. Fellows are required to acknowledge the DSI in publications, presentations, and communications resulting from the Project.

Value and Duration

DSI Doctoral Student Fellows will receive stipend support of $25,000/year for up to 3 years. Fellows will have access to travel awards, administered through the DSI, to present their work at scientific meetings, or to participate in workshops/training courses.

Further Information

How to apply

The award is open to both domestic and international doctoral (PhD) students enrolled at the University of Toronto. Successful international candidates must meet all Canadian immigration requirements.

 

Applicants must:

  1. Be registered in their second or subsequent year of their doctoral program at the University of Toronto;
  2. Demonstrate strong academic performance and a high potential for success in their chosen fields and provide evidence of training and strength in quantitative skills;
  3. In addition to their supervisor, engage a co-supervisor from a U of T unit or external funding institution (see Supervisor Eligibility below);
  4. Have one member of their supervisory team involved in the development of novel statistical or computational tools, or the innovative use of existing methods, for data science applications;
  5. Have a focus on building or using quantitative tools to solve their primary research question;
  6. Not hold concurrently another major fellowship;

 

The expectation is that successful applicants will be nationally competitive for external awards.

 

DSI Doctoral Fellows may not concurrently hold another major doctoral fellowship. As this award is competitive, however, Canadian citizens and permanent resident applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the appropriate CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC doctoral awards in addition to their DSI Doctoral Student Fellowships.

 

Supervisor and Co-Supervisor Eligibility:

 

The primary and co-supervisors must have a budgetary appointment either at the University of Toronto OR an external funding partner institution, and:

 

Faculty budgetary appointments for the University of Toronto are continuing, full-time academic appointments with salary commitments from a University of Toronto academic unit.

Applications should be submitted to the DSI Office: awards.dsi@utoronto.ca

 

Email subject line: Last name, First Name DSI Doctoral Student Fellowship APPLICATION

 

Application Components (please submit as one merged PDF file):

  • Application Form that includes:
    • Applicant information and co-supervisors’ information.
    • Candidate Statement summarizing suitability for the Fellowship, training goals, and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. This resource provides an overview of EDI considerations for context; the candidate should explain how their proposed project responds to or reflects prevailing EDI considerations (750 words).
    • Thesis description (1200 words, not including references) in plain language to describe your work in terms that are accessible to people outside of a specific discipline, and with enough detail to allow informed assessment by the review committee members. Include:
      • Thesis Title.
      • Project rationale and alignment with the DSI including the development of novel statistical or computational tools, or the innovative use of existing methods, for data science applications; and relevance to the DSI Thematic Programs, if applicable.
      • Research objectives.
      • Methodology.
      • Research approach.
      • Impact.
      • Note: Reference lists or bibliographies are not necessary for the proposal
      • Interdisciplinary and/or cross-disciplinary nature of the proposed research and training.
      • Figures and supporting material (maximum 1 page).
  • Supervisor form
    • The primary and co-supervisors must provide their commitment to supervise and to guide the research work of the candidate on the proposed research program. The supervisory team, together with the applicant, are required to describe the multi-disciplinary training plan for the term of the Fellowship.
    • Describe each of their expertise and contributions to the development of novel statistical or computational tools, or the innovative use of existing methods, for data science applications and their application.
  • Abbreviated CVs of applicant and co-supervisors (three-page maximum using the required format for each). Please use the template provided here.
  • Reference: Name, institutional, affiliation and email of (1) referee who will be asked to provide a reference based on a structured reference form.
    • Reference should be submitted directly to the DSI Office from the referee at: awards.dsi@utoronto.ca with the subject heading Reference for “Applicant Name” DSI Postdoc
  • Graduate transcript(s): As part of the application applicants will provide unofficial transcript(s).

Members of the DSI’s Research & Academics Committee will review eligible proposals received by the submission deadline.

 

Applications for a DSI Doctoral Student Fellowship will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The extent to which the training and project are multidisciplinary;
  • The extent to which the proposed project includes the development of novel methodology or the innovative application of existing approaches;
  • Alignment to the DSI’s commitment to EDI as laid out in the Candidate Statement;
  • Alignment to the DSI mandate including, if applicable to the Proposed Project, alignment with the DSI Thematic Programs;
  • Strong academic performance, research record of accomplishment, and future potential.

Application deadline: April 11, 2022

 

Notification: Decisions will be reported by May 2022

 

Fellow Responsibilities

 

Fellows must fulfill the academic requirements of their degree program and plan of study. Through their plan of study, Fellows will be required to gain skills in quantitative and domain-specific areas, depending on their primary program of enrollment. Fellows will gain a core set of data science skills through coursework or DSI trainee offerings and event attendance, tailored to their program of research. 

 

DSI Doctoral Fellows will be expected to participate in DSI programming with other Fellows and present their research to the DSI community and at profiled events. Fellows will be expected to participate in the DSI activities, take part in the Meet the Investigator series, and present their research at the DSI trainee Research Day.

 

Fellows are required to present an annual activity report; continued funding is depending on the presentation of the annual report. Fellows must also present an exit survey.

 

Fellows are required to acknowledge the DSI in publications, presentations, and communications resulting from their Fellowship.

Applications should be submitted to the DSI Office: awards.dsi@utoronto.ca

 

Applicants should prepare a single PDF document that merges the following materials:

 

Email subject line: Last name, First Name DSI Doctoral Student Fellowship APPLICATION

 

Along with providing DSI with their Referee’s information, applicants should send the Reference Form to be filled out and submitted directly to awards.dsi@utoronto.ca by the referee:

Laura Rosella

Professor Laura Rosella, Associate Director, Education & Training hosted a webinar on the Doctoral Student Fellowship competition on March 3, 2022.

The webinar’s recording and slides are available here.

For more information, please contact: awards.dsi@utoronto.ca