Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Call for 2023 Fellows will be announced at the end of October 2022. The below information is for reference based on last year’s call.

Overview

Application Deadline
January 13, 2023, 23:59 ET
Supervisor/Referee Deadline
January 20, 2023, 23:59 ET
Value and Duration
CDN $60,000 per year plus benefits for a maximum of two years
Required Legal Status
Domestic or International
Results
April 2023

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 Postdoctoral Fellowships are designed to support multi/interdisciplinary training and collaborative research in data sciences that include faculty from the University of Toronto and partner sponsoring institutes. Currently, DSI Partner organizations/institutions are: Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, University Health Network, Unity Health Toronto, Baycrest, and The Hospital For Sick Children. 

To be considered for the Fellowship, applicants 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 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.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

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 Postdoctoral Fellows will receive $60,000/year plus benefits for a maximum of two years.  

DSI Postdoctoral Fellows will also have access to $1,500 in travel funds each year reimbursed through the DSI, to present their work at scientific meetings, or to participate in workshops/training courses.  

Fellow Responsibilities

DSI Postdoctoral 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 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.

How to Apply

The award is open to both domestic and international post-graduates. Successful international candidates must meet all Canadian immigration requirements.

Applicants must:

  1. Demonstrate academic excellence and high potential for success in their chosen fields;
  2. Be associated with a supervisor with a tenure or tenure-stream faculty appointment at University of Toronto or as a Principal Investigator eligible to hold tri-council funding at a funding partner institution.
  3. Begin the fellowship between May 1 and December 1 in the year of award;
  4. Have completed all requirements for their doctorate degree by the Fellowship start date;
  5. Must be able to begin the Fellowships within 5 years of their PhD defense;
  6. Not hold a faculty position or be on leave from such a position;
  7. Not hold concurrently another major fellowship.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents must have completed their PhD requirements no later than six months after their start-date of an DSI Postdoctoral Fellowship. International applicants must have completed their PhD requirements before the start date of a DSI Postdoctoral Fellowship. In each instance, proof of PhD completion must be provided within three months of completion if the applicant did not have it in hand at the time of application. Degree completion does not mean convocation, but rather the completion of all the requirements necessary for the PhD.

DSI Postdoctoral Fellows may not concurrently hold another post-doctoral fellowship. Canadian citizens and permanent resident applicants, however, are strongly encouraged to apply for the appropriate CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC postdoctoral fellowships in addition to their DSI Postdoctoral Fellowship. To provide further incentive to apply to such funding agencies, if an applicant is awarded both a DSI Fellowship and a CIHR/NSERC/SSHRC Fellowship, the DSI will top-up the annual tri-council award to reach the funding level of the DSI award for each of the 2 years.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

An applicant’s co-supervisors must have a budgetary appointment (i.e. be directly employed) 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 are submitted via the DSI Good Grants application portal.

Register an account and select “Start Application” for “Postdoctoral Fellowship.”

DSI Good Grants Dashboard

The application is divided into tabs; each tab includes a set of instructions and fields to fill out. These instructions are also highlighted below.



Applicants will need to complete the following fields.

Tab 1: Start Here

  • Thesis Title
Tab 2: Team Information

For each team member, click “Add contributor” and a series of fields will appear. You will need the following information for the PDF and all Co-Supervisors:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Institution
  • Division (if applicable)
  • Unit (if applicable)
You will also need the following information for the PDF:
  • Current institution, division, and unit if different from the proposed Fellowship
  • Graduation date or expected graduation date
A Fellowship proposal should include one PDF and, at minimum, two Co-Supervisors, one of whom should be designated as the "Supervisor." The distinction between "Supervisor" and "Co-Supervisor" is administrative: Supervisors will help to administrate a granted fellowship. In the "Role" field:
  • For the trainee, select "PDF"
  • For the Co-Supervisor who will administrate the grant, select "Supervisor."
  • For all other Co-Supervisors, select "Co-Supervisor."
This form will allow for multiple Co-Supervisors to be added in situations that merit additional team members. Please note the following:
  • Additional Co-Supervisors beyond the required two (one "Supervisor" and one "Co-Supervisor) are not required.
  • All listed supervisors must be eligible to hold DSI funding (see below).
Tab 3: Proposal Candidate Statement (maximum 500 words): summarize your suitability for the Fellowship and your training goals.

Project Description (maximum 1200 words): comment on the following:
  • Project rationale and alignment with the DSI mission
  • Explanation of how the project is relevant for data science applications by either (a) developing novel statistical or computational tools or (b) making innovative use of existing methods
  • Relevance to the DSI Thematic Programs in Reproducibility or Inequity, if applicable
  • Research objectives
  • Research approach
  • Feasibility and timeline
  • Impact
EDI Statement (maximum 500 words): summarize your capacity and plans to advance EDI during your Fellowship. This response can focus on your integration of EDI considerations into your research question and methods; any EDI-related social outcomes from your research; and/or your work promoting EDI in research, training, and mentoring environments relevant to your thesis program.

Figures & Supporting Material (maximum 1 page): upload a 1-page .pdf with figures and supporting material.

Tab 3: Administrative Information
  • Name and email for the proposal supervisor who will fill out the supervisor form.
  • Name and email for the referee who will upload a letter of reference.
Tab 4: CVs

Using the provided template, upload CVs for all team members. You must upload a minimum of three CVs.

Once the applicant has submitted their component of the application on or before January 13, the following things occur:

Supervisor Form

The Co-Supervisor indicated on the tab “Administrative Information” will receive an email requesting that they log into Good Grants to fill out the Supervisor Form. This form includes three components:

Applicant Potential (maximum 250 words): comment on the applicant’s research potential.

Research & Training (maximum 250 words): As part of the plan of study, DSI Doctoral Student Fellows are required to gain skills in quantitative and domain specific areas, depending on their primary program of enrolment.

Please describe your roles as supervisor and co-supervisor in training and supporting the applicant’s development of novel statistical or computational tools, or the innovative use of existing methods, for data science applications.

Unit Head Signature: Using the provided template, upload Unit Head signatures for all listed Co-Supervisors on the application.

Letter of Reference

The Referee indicated on the tab “Administrative Information” will receive an email requesting that they log into Good Grants to upload a Letter of Reference. They should use the provided template.

Demographic Survey

The applicant will receive a confirmation email that includes a link to a Demographic Survey. While this survey is required for each team member, when filling it out respondents have the option to select “Prefer not to answer” for all questions.

While the supervisor and referee have until January 20 to submit their components of the application, and all team members have until January 20 to submit their Demographic Survey, we recommend providing your referee with the template and notifying your Supervisors about their components of the application in advance of submitting your portion.

The DSI will form a Review Committee to lead the review of all eligible proposals received by the submission deadline. Reviewers are asked to consider the following categories:

  • Project rationale and the extent to which it aligns with the DSI mandate including, if applicable, alignment with the DSI Thematic Programs in Reproducibility or Inequity.
  • The extent to which the training (including co-supervisors from different and complementary disciplinary backgrounds) and project are truly multidisciplinary.
  • The extent to which the proposed project includes the development of novel methodology or the innovative application of existing approaches.
  • The applicant's research record of accomplishment and future potential.
  • The extent to which the project considers how to advance EDI in research and training.

All application materials can be submitted directly onto the form. Certain fields on the form ask for uploads and require the following templates:

2022-2024 Cohort

To see what our current Postdoctoral Fellows are working on, click here.

Further Information

A Q&A information session about this funding opportunity will be held on December 1, 2023, from 1:30PM-2:30PM. To register, please use the following links:

UTORID link: https://cris.eve.utoronto.ca/home/events/3008

Public/external link: https://public.eve.utoronto.ca/events/3008

A previous information session’s recording and slides are available here.

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