Doctoral Completion & Postdoctoral Awards

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​< back to Scholarships & Awards

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To apply for these awards, you must be preparing to defend your doctoral thesis, or have had your thesis accepted by​ SGS and/or be performing postdoctoral fellowships. Please consult with your department supervisor or principal investigator when reviewing these applications.

Doctoral Completion Awards

Doctoral Completion Award (DCA)

The aim of the DCA is to support full-time PhD and SJD students who are beyond the funded cohort but within the time limit for the degree.

Students who have experienced a delay in their program due to unfortunate personal circumstances should refer to the SGS Emergency Grant​ program.

Changes were made to the DCA in the 2012-2013 academic year. The award is now administered by individual graduate units. Please be sure to check with your home unit about applying.

Value & Duration

The DCA value is determined by the graduate unit, and it may not be the same for every award holder. Students must be registered to receive award payments and will not receive any payments once degree requirements are completed. A student who withdraws mid-session is expected to return any award funds received in that session.

Eligibility to Apply

In addition to graduate unit criteria, applicants for the DCA must be:

  • beyond the funded cohort as established by graduate unit practice

  • within time limit for the degree

  • in good academic standing as defined by the graduate unit

  • a full-time PhD or SJD student (DMA, EdD, and flexible-time PhD students are ineligible).

Application Procedure

The award is administered by individual graduate units. Please contact your graduate unit for all application procedures and details.

Contacts & Resources

Please contact your graduate unit for all application procedures and details.


Dissertation Awards

CAGS/ProQuest-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Unit:

Date set by graduate unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

February 24, 2017

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

​Domestic and international


Two prizes each $1,500​ nationally


The CAGS/ProQuest-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards annually offer two awards:

  • One for engineering, medical sciences, and natural sciences

  • One for fine arts, humanities, and social sciences

The awards are granted by the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) and are sponsored by Proquest-UMI (University Microfilms International).​


Two prizes of $1,500 each will be awarded, as well as a citation certificate and travel expenses of up to $1,500 to attend the 2017 CAGS Annual Conference.


2017 candidates must:

  • Demonstrate work (through their dissertation) that makes significant, original contributions​ to both the academic community and to Canadian society

  • Have completed and had their dissertation accepted by SGS between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016

Nomination Process

Graduate nominations for this competition occur in the Winter session.

Interested applicants must submit a copy of their entire application package—scanned and saved as a single PDF (in the order provided below)—to their graduate unit by the unit’s established deadline. Applicants from doctoral collaborative programs should submit their application to their home graduate unit.

Completed applications will consist of the following:

  • A letter from the applicant’s supervisor or graduate coordinator describing the reasons for the nomination, and why the dissertation constitutes a significant piece of original work;

  • A copy of the external examiner's pre-defence report, signed and dated by the examiner (or authenticated by SGS);

  • An abstract of the dissertation (in non-technical language) not exceeding 350 words, written and signed by the applicant; 

  • New: A statement written by the applicant summarizing the dissertation in non-technical language that can be understood by individuals outside the field, and clearly addressing how the research is unusually significant and makes an original contribution to the field; and

  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae (no page restrictions); updates to the CV are not permitted after submission. The pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.

Note: Letters of support from the Dean of Graduate Studies will be prepared and included with the applications of those candidates selected by SGS to compete in the final CAGS national competition.​


Nominees will be notified by SGS in late March. CAGS/ProQuest-UMI will announce the winners of the national competition in June.

Contacts & Resources

For complete program information, please refer to the Canadian Associate for Graduate Studies’ (CAGS) website.

For inquiries regarding the nomination process, please contact:

Graduate Awards Office
School of Graduate Studies​

Council of Graduate Schools/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Unit:

Date set by graduate unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

June 16, 2017

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

​Domestic or International




The CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards recognize Canadian doctoral dissertations that represent original work, making an unusually significant contribution to their disciplines. Two awards are given annually in rotating fields of study. Both methodological and substantive quality of the dissertation will be judged.

The 2017 fields of competition are:

  • Biological and Life Sciences

  • Humanities and Fine Arts


Two CGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, each consisting of an honorarium of $2,000 and a certificate of citation, will be presented at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools. Reasonable travel expenses of the recipients will also be paid.


All applicants must have completed and had their dissertation accepted by SGS between July 1 (up to two years earlier) and June 30 of the competition year.

Application Process

Graduate nominations for this competition occur in the Summer session.

Contacts & Resources

For further details and/or if you have questions about this award competition, please visit the CGS ​website or contact:

Graduate Awards Office

Governor General's Gold Medals

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Unit:

Date set by graduate u​​nit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

April 6, 2017

Level of Study:

Master's and doctoral

Required Legal Status:

​Domestic or International

U of T Governor General's Gold Medallists

The Governor General’s Gold Medal was first awarded in 1873 by the Earl of Dufferin and has since become one of the most prestigious awards that a student at a Canadian educational institution may receive. At U of T, the Gold Medal is awarded to three students who achieve the highest academic standing at the graduate level.

The 2016 Governor General's Gold Medallists:

Dr. Brett Story defended her dissertation "Dis-placing the Prison: Carceral Space, Disposable Life, and Urban Struggle in Neoliberal America" in August 2015, under the supervision of Prof. Deborah Cowen in the Department of Geography & Planning.

Dr. Gail Teachman defended her dissertation "Interrogating Inclusion: Critical Research with Disabled Youth who use Augmentative and Alternative Communicat​ion" in February 2016, under the supervision of Profs. Barbara Gibson and Colin Macarthur in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and with the guidance of committee member Prof. Peggy McDonough from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Dr. Jianhua Zhao defended his dissertation "Study of the Vacuolar-type ATPase by Electron Cryomicroscopy" in January 2016, under the supervision of Prof. John Rubinstein in the Department of Medical Biophysics.

​Read more about the current and previous Gold Medallists.


At U of T, one Gold Medal is awarded to a candidate from Division I or II; one medal is ​awarded to a candidate from Division III or IV; and the third medal is awarded to an outstanding candidate in any division.

All nominated candidates are invited to attend the awards ceremony in May, hosted by the Dean, Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education. The winners will be announced and presented with the medals at this ceremony.

Eligibility to Apply

2017 candidates must have graduated or will graduate at one of the following convocations:

  1. November 2016

  2. March 2017 (in absentia)

  3. June 2017

Students who wish to graduate at the June convocation must submit their final thesis by April 21, 2017.​

Application Process

Each graduate unit is invited to nominate their very best graduate, either at the master's or doctoral level, for this prestigious award. Interested candidates should contact their graduate unit early in the Winter session regarding the unit’s nomination process and deadline.

Nominees will be asked to submit one PDF file of their entire application (in the order below) to their graduate unit by the unit’s established deadline.

A complete nomination will include the following documents:

  1. One letter of recommendation (on letterhead, signed and dated), preferably from the Department Chair or Graduate Coordinator, describing the reasons for the nomination and why the candidate should be recognized for his or her outstanding scholastic achievements—to be provided and attached by the nominating graduate unit;

  2. Curriculum vitae (no page restrictions), including a list of publications, presentations, and awards;

  3. Current graduate transcript(s) (ROSI printouts are acceptable);

  4. ​For doctoral nominations only: A copy of the external examiner's pre-defence report signed and dated by the examiner (or authenticated upon submission to SGS)

Contacts & Resources​

Lisa Fannin
Acting Awards Officer, Internal


Postdoctoral Researc​h​ Awa​rds​​

​Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Faculty:

Date set by Faculty research office (see table below)

Faculty Nomination Deadline to SGS:

August 26, 2016 (not for applicants)

Student Deadline to Submit Fulfillment of Degree Requirements form to SGS:

September 9, 2016; completed forms to be returned to applicants by September 16, 2016

Letter of Endorsement Made Available:

September 16, 2016 (to successful nominees)

Nominee Online Submission Deadline:

​September 21, 2016 (8 pm EDT)

Level of Study:


Required Le​gal Status:

Domestic and international

Value & Duration:

$70,000 per year for two years


The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program is intended to attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally; develop their leadership potential; and position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow, positively contributing to Canada's economic, social, and research-based growth through a research-intensive career.

Seventy fellowships are awarded annually, divided evenly between Canada's three federal granting agencies (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC). There is a total of 140 awards active at any one time.

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is unique in its emphasis on the synergy of research goals and projects between the following:

  • applicant—individual merit and potential to launch a successful research-intensive career

  • host institution—commitment to the research program and alignment with the institution's strategic priorities

Eligibility to Apply

Applicants and the proposed host institution must meet specific eligibility criteria within several categories. Applications that do not meet all of the eligibility criteria will not be accepted. View complete requirements on the Banting website.

  1. Applicant eligibility:

    • Citizenshipand location of host institution

    • Eligibility window for degree completion

  2. Host instutition eligibility

  3. Other eligibility restrictions

Endorsement Process

Given the limited number of fellowships awarded annually, universities are encouraged to carefully consider and support only the highest quality applicants from both Canada and abroad. In keeping with the aim of attracting postdoctoral fellows to Canada, units are encouraged to endorse new foreign candidates. In addition, careful consideration must be given to ensure gender equity in the endorsement process. U of T Faculty Research Offices receive allocations and are therefore limited in the number of applications they may put forth for endorsement by the School of Graduate Studies.

Supervisors wishing to support a candidate's application should contact their affiliated Faculty Research Office to inquire about the Faculty's internal deadline, application and selection process (see faculty contact info under “Contacts & Resources” section).

Selection Criteria

Applications received by Banting will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria. Applicants, supervisors, departments and faculties are encouraged to consider these criteria when developing their applications and when selecting nominees to be forwarded:
  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.

  2. Quality of the 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).

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

    • demonstrated commitment of institution to support the development of the applicant’s research and leadership capacity through institutional support

    • 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

See the Banting Postdoctoral Fellows selection committee guide for further information.

Application Process (See Application Guide)

  1. The Banting application is initiated by the applicant through the ResearchNet Application System with the CV data components created using the Common CV system.

  2. Applicants intending to take up the fellowship at the University of Toronto should first contact their fellowship supervisor to request the support of their application and if granted, inquire about the specific nomination/selection process and associated deadlines implemented by their Faculty Research Office.

  3. Applicants must be nominated by their Faculty (e.g. Faculty Arts and Science) to the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to receive the endorsement of the university. Those nominated to SGS will be issued a Letter of Endorsement signed by the Dean of Graduate Studies necessary to complete the online application process by September 16th. Only applications endorsed by the Dean of Graduate Studies will be accepted by Banting.

  4. Nominees must also obtain (from the institution that conferred their degree) a Fulfillment of Degree Requirements Form and attach this completed document to their online application. Applicants who require this document from U of T must request it by email from the Graduate Awards Office before Sept 9th.

  5. Candidates are responsible for uploading all required documents to ResearchNet to complete the application and submission process. Only the referee assessment forms are to be completed and submitted online by the referees. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all components of the application are complete (including references) and the application is submitted via ResearchNet by the deadline of September 21, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).

NEW for 2016-17: Important changes to application requirements

In Banting’s continuous efforts to improve and simplify the application and review processes, some important changes are being implemented in this competition:

  1. Window for degree completion: The eligibility window for degree completion has been extended until the last day prior to the final allowable start date of the award (September 30, 2017). For health professionals who have engaged in post-degree non-research related clinical training (e.g. residency), the eligibility window can be extended by the duration of this training.

  2. Mandatory arm’s length referee: All applications must have at least 1 arm’s length referee from among the 3 invited referees. The arm’s length referee cannot be:

    • a relative or close friend, or have a personal relationship with the applicant;

    • in a position to benefit from the funding of the application;

    • affiliated with the applicant’s current and/or proposed institutions;

    • professionally affiliated with the applicant, as a result of (but not limited to): being their supervisor or trainee; collaborating, publishing or sharing funding with the applicant, or having plans to do so in the immediate future.

Contacts & Resources

U of T nomination and selection process: see the Faculty Research Office contact information in the table below.

Banting Program information:​

Banting PDF Review process (Overview and Selection Committees Guide​)

​School of Graduate Studies contact:
Fong Di Caterina

Faculty Deadline for Bant​ing Applications (Expected Month)
Applicants Submit Application Directly to:
Point of Contact for Applicants and Supervisors:
Faculty Administrative Contact
Additional Instructions (for Applicants and Supervisors)
Applied Science and Engineering​August​Faculty office
​Faculty office
Laura Debartolo​
​​​​​​​​​Architecture, Landscape, and Design—​DanielsAugustFaculty o​fficeFaculty office Shirley ChanAdministrative contact info subject to change.
Arts and ScienceAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Research Office 
DentistryAugustGraduate ​unitGraduate unit Lisa Hutchinson 
Faculty officeFaculty office Amalia Venziano
InformationAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Anna PralatContact the Dean to discuss proposed applications early.
Kinesiology and Physical EducationAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Marisol D'Andrea 
LawAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Associate Dean, JD Program 
Faculty officeFaculty officeTBD 
MedicineJulyFaculty officeFaculty office Debbie Chau
Students wishing to have their fellowship administered via an affiliated hospital must contact the research office at the hospital for their application and deadline.
MississaugaAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Carla DeMarco or Rong WuUTM typically runs an internal adjudication process to determine which applications are going forward from the UTM campus, based on the allotment they have.
MusicTBDFaculty officeFaculty office Gina Garcia
NursingTBDFaculty officeFaculty office Shefali Ram
OISEAugustFaculty officeFaculty office​​Office of the Associate DeanThere will be an internal adjudication process to determine the applicants who can apply for this fellowship. Communications will be sent out to the Faculty closer to the deadlines.
Pharmacy—​Leslie DanAugustGraduate unitGraduate unit Tammy Chan 
Public Health—Dalla LanaAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Melodie Buhagiar 
ScarboroughAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Suzanne Jaeger
Instructions for supervisors:

1) Supervisors wishing to support a candidate's application must notify the UTSC Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (UTSC VPRO) of the planned application in advance of the UTSC internal deadline.

2) Supervisors are responsible for the preparation of the supervisor's statement in consultation with their chair/director.

3) The UTSC VPRO will carefully select only the highest-quality applicants from both Canada and abroad within its allocation in accordance to the stated selection criteria.
Social WorkAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Lin Fang ​

L'Oréal USA Fellowships For Women in Science​

L'Oréal Canada has announced the For Women in Science Research Excellence Fellowships, with the support of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which will give two fellowships of $20,000 CAD each to female postdoctoral researchers in the field of Engineering/Pure and Applied Sciences. This fellowship is a part of the For Women in Science Program which recognizes the importance of the contributions of women in the progress of science. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of scientists, including representatives from the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and L'Oréal Canada.

Full application procedures and guidelines are provided through the L'Oréal website.

China Scholarship Council Awards

The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is a non-profit institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education. In partnership with the University of Toronto, the CSC offers scholarships to outstanding Chinese students who will pursue postdoctoral studies at U of T.

Please note that the CSC postdoctoral award (approx. CDN $15,000 per year) does not meet the U of T policy regarding stipend levels for postdoctoral fellows. Postdocs who obtain a CSC scholarship will be required to obtain another award or to investigate top-up funding with their U of T supervisor. Please refer to U of T's policies and guidelines on postdoctoral fellows.

For further information, please visit our International Student Awards page and the China Scholarship Council website.

Azrieli Fellows Program

The Azrieli Fellows Program welcomes the best and brightest postdoctoral scholars who wish to undertake postdoctoral research in Israel. Scholars may undertake research in any field of study. Applicants must be Canadian citizens or have completed a doctorate at a Canadian university.

The fellowships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence. Candidates are assessed on their potential to make cutting-edge contributions to their respective fields. Aspects of personal merit and leadership abilities are also taken into consideration without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or age.

Eligible applicants are encouraged to visit the program's website. For more information, please contact the Azrieli Foundation at

Government of Canada Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), as part of the Government of Canada Awards (GCA), the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program (CCSP) and the Canada-Mexico Awards (CMA), offers one-year post-doctoral research fellowships tenable at recognized public Canadian universities and affiliated research institutes.

Based on reciprocal agreements between Canada and Foreign governments, the PDRF will award approximately 40 to 60 fellowships to selected candidates from twelve countries. These fellowships will provide research opportunities to promising recent doctoral graduates in the natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The program description including eligibility requirements and application information can be found on the Government of Canada's International Scholarships website.

John Charles Polanyi Prizes

Congratulations to U of T's Dr. Riccardo Comin, an NSERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has recently been announced as the recipient of the2015 John Charles Polanyi Prize.​

Award Overview

Applicant Deadline to Grad​uate Unit​​​:

December 1, 2016

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS​​​:

December 8, 2016

Value & Duration:


Level of Study:

​Postdoctoral or has a faculty appointment

Required Legal Status:

​Domestic (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)


​November 2017​; communicated directly to winners by COU


In honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Government of the Province of Ontario has established a fund to provide up to five prizes to outstanding researchers in the early stages of their career who are continuing to postdoctoral studies or have recently started a faculty appointment at an Ontario university.

One prize is available in each of the​ five areas broadly defined as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science ​(the areas of the award are the same as the Nobel Prize areas).​


Read about the 2015 ​U of T Prize winner​ and past recipeints of the 20​14 Prizes in Literature and Economic Science​, ​the 2013 Prizes in Literature and Physics​, and the 2012 Prizes in Physics and ​Physiology/Medicine​​.


  1. Any person who is planning to continue to postdoctoral studies (or has a faculty appointment) in a recognized Ontario university who meets the following criteria may apply for one of the prizes:

    • is normally a resident in Ontario and has completed or is near completion of doctoral studies in any recognized university in the world, or has completed or is nearing completion of doctoral studies in an Ontario university; and

    • has received the doctoral degree between September 1, 2013 and April 30, 2017, or if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, will have completed all the requirements for the doctoral degree by April 30, 2017. Applicants holding faculty appointments within these time limits may apply. (Note: Applicants who have been on parental leave between the time of completion of the doctorate and the time of application may have their period of eligibility extended by six months.)

  2. The prizes are awarded to recognize truly outstanding researchers and scholars for their work during their PhD program and/or in their post-doctoral research

  3. The Selection Committee reviews the record of research and publications as well as a description of planned research when it makes its decisions about the applicants to be awarded the Prizes. The Committee looks for the evidence from past research in very concrete terms and sees a plan for future research – both are considered but a good plan without a truly meritorious record of past achievement would not be recognized with a Polanyi Prize.

  4. The tax-exempt Prizes are awarded directly to recipients who have discretion over the use of the funding. The prizes may be held along with any other financial support or research funds received by the winners.

  5. It is hoped that the prizes will be conferred by September 2017.

Application Process

All applicants must submit to their graduate unit or their supervisor’s affiliated graduate unit an electronic copy of the following documents in a single PDF package by December 1, 2016:

  1. The completed application form – available from Council of Ontario Universities’ (COU) website:

  2. Curriculum vitae (no page restrictions), including information concerning the application. Updates to curriculum vitae will not be accepted after submission;

  3. A brief summary of the doctoral thesis (1 page max, to be written by the applicant);

  4. A statement of research (or writing) to be undertaken during the period of the award (maximum of 2 pages, plus an additional 1 page for diagrams, bibliography, etc., to be prepared by the applicant);

  5. A non-technical summary (maximum 500 words, to be written by the applicant) ;

  6. Confidential letters (on letterhead and signed) from four assessors (emailed directly to your unit’s graduate administrator before December 1, 2016).

    • Letters should focus on an evaluation of the applicant’s research (or writing) to date, and the research (or writing) being undertaken.

    • Assessors must read and comment on the statement of research (or writing) being submitted as part of the application.

    • Two of the assessors must not have been associated with the candidate as either a supervisor, or a member of the applicant’s supervisory committee, or a co-author and should preferably be from another university.

Note: Only those applications selected to receive the endorsement of the University will be forwarded to the COU accompanied by a letter from the Dean of Graduate Studies at the university at which the candidate will undertake the research supported by the award.

Contacts & Resources

For further details and/or if you have questions about this award competition, please refer to the Council of Ontario Universities website or contact:

Stacey Kwan
Awards Officer (Provincial)

SSHRC Impact Awards

The five annual SSHRC Impact Awards (Gold Medal, Talent Award, Insight Award, Connection Award, Partnership Award) recognize the highest achievements in social sciences and humanities research, knowledge mobilization, and scholarship supported by SSHRC.

The SSHRC Talent Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual who, at the nomination deadline, holds a SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral fellowship or scholarship (including, but not limited to, a Canada Graduate Scholarship, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship ,or Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship). For more information on the application process and eligibility, visit the SSHRC Talent Award​ page.​​​

Each institution may submit only one nomination for each Impact Award in each category in a given year. See previous SSHRC Impact Award winners.

​Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship P​​rogram

​The Faculty of Arts & Science is offering postdoctoral fellowships designed to provide outstanding recent doctoral students with advanced training in their field of study. These fellowships are not discipline specific, but rather can be held in any department or research unit across the Faculty of Arts & Scie​nce at the University of Toronto.

Applicants must secure sponsorship of a supervisor or supervisors from​ the professoriate within the Faculty of Arts & Science. These fellowships pay a stipend of $45,000 per year for a maximum of two years.​

​Submit completed forms and supporting documents to the office of the Vice-Dean Research & Infrastructure at​