Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships in Canada

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program is administered by Canada’s three research granting councils (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada).

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth. 70 ellowships are awarded annually, a total of up to 140 awards are active at any time.

The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is to:

  • attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally
  • develop their leadership potential
  • position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow

Value & duration: $70,000 per year (taxable) for 2 years (non-renewable)

Eligibility: Canadian citizens, Permanent residents of Canada, Foreign citizens

Areas of research: Health research, Natural sciences and/or engineering, Social sciences and/or humanities

Selection criteria:
Applicants will be evaluated and selected based on the following three criteria, weighted equally:

1. Research excellence and leadership in the research domain – demonstrated capacity for research excellence based on track record as defined by quality of applicant’s research contributions, and demonstrated capacity for leadership in the research domain defined by the sphere of influence achieved to date by the applicant.
The candidate’s research history and the impact of their activities in their area of expertise to date are important indicators of their potential as research leaders of tomorrow. Reviewers should consider the sphere of influence of candidates relative to others along the following continuum of expanding impact:

  • Research program
  • Institution
  • Research community
  • International research community
  • Society at large

In evaluating this criterion, both the nature/prestige of this award and the stage and nature of the applicant’s career should be considered. In the case of health professionals, consideration should be given to standards of research productivity, etc. for their level of experience/qualifications relative to those with a PhD. For applicants who have relevant work experience, scientific productivity prior to graduate school should be considered.
Supporting evidence to be evaluated for this criterion:

  • Applicant CCV
  • The clarity with which the applicant writes their proposal to a multi-disciplinary committee (non-specialist audience)
  • Three referee assessments (Research excellence and demonstrated leadership section)
  • List of contributions (in CCV)
  • Description of significance of up to three research contributions (maximum one page)
  • Leadership contributions of applicant (maximum one page)
  • Description of significance of up to three leadership contributions (maximum one page)
  • Supervisor’s statement (discussion of the significance of the applicant’s contributions)
  • Special circumstances (maximum one page – optional)
  • To address any career/research delays
  • Justification for remaining in PhD Research Environment
  • Only in exceptionally rare circumstances will a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship be awarded to an applicant who is staying at the same institution or within the same research environment where they completed their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree. Applicants who wish to undertake postdoctoral level research training in the same institution (or its affiliated hospitals, research centres and other laboratories or within the same research environment) at which they received their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree must provide a strong justification in the Special Circumstances attachment. The more similar the proposed research environment is to that prevailing during the applicant’s PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree, the stronger the required justification. This should be balanced against any indicators of a broad, cross-institutional outlook (e.g., inter-university collaborations, participation in international networks, etc.).
  • Justification for remaining in the same research environment (other than PhD)
    Any time an applicant proposes to remain at the same research environment that they were affiliated with at the time of application submission, they are required to justify this lack of mobility.

2. Quality of applicant’s proposed research program– examined in terms of the potential of the proposed research program (taking into consideration feasibility, timelines and novelty of research), executed in the proposed institutional environment, to position the applicant for significant impact through a research-intensive career (potential for significant impact).

The potential contribution of the proposed research to the advancement of knowledge in the field is dependent on the promise and quality of the proposal, the environment in which it will be conducted, and the aspirations of the candidate. Reviewers should consider the potential for significant impact presented by the above-noted combination of factors.

  • Supporting evidence to be evaluated for this criterion:
  • Three referee assessments (Merit of proposed research section)
  • Supervisor’s statement (discussion of the significance of proposed research)
  • Research proposal (maximum four pages)
  • Lay abstract of research proposal (maximum half a page)
  • Bibliography, citations included in the Research proposal (maximum four pages)

3. Institutional commitment and demonstrated synergy between applicant and institutional strategic priorities– examined in terms of:

  • demonstrated commitment of the institution to support the development of the applicant’s research and
  • leadership capacity through institutional support (funding, facilities, equipment, etc.) and professional development
  • demonstrated research capacity in the area of the applicant’s proposed research, which will enable the institution to provide an intellectually stimulating environment to position the candidate as a research leader
  • demonstrated alignment and synergy between the applicant’s research ambitions and the institution’s potential to benefit strategically from its engagement with the applicant (alignment with institution’s strategic priorities)
    This should not be an assessment of the institution per se, but rather of its commitment to the applicant, its capacity to enable the applicant to become a future leader in their chosen field and its potential to build upon its strategic priorities.

Supporting evidence to be evaluated for this criterion:

  • Three referee assessments (Suitability of the research environment section)
  • Supervisor’s statement (maximum five pages)
    1) To be completed by the proposed supervisor
    2) Provide evidence that the institution and supervisor are well-positioned to provide the required support to the applicant in relation to the research proposed
    3) Include supervisor’s description of their academic and research background, key contributions/accomplishments to date (note that a full CV for the supervisor is not required)
    4) Clearly describe the fit between the research interests/background of the supervisor and candidate, and the anticipated mutual benefits
    5) Provide details concerning the applicant’s proposed research environment. The details should clearly state the institution’s commitment, for example in terms of the funding, facilities/resources and personnel that will be available to support the applicant
    6) Describe the institution’s commitment to the applicant’s professional development, clearly indicating the resources and/or mentoring activities available through the institution to support career development
    7) Describe the institution’s documented strategic priorities and illustrate the synergy between these priorities and the applicant’s proposed research program

Important dates

April – September: Applicants seek endorsement from host institution to apply, prepare and submit application (institutions may have internal deadlines).
September 23, 2015 (20:00 EDT): Deadline for complete application submission
October to December 2015: Evaluation of applications
February 4, 2016: Anticipated announcement of results
April to October 2016: Payments begin

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