Doctoral Completion & Postdoctoral Awards

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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 Awards & John Leyerle-CIFAR Prize for Interdisciplinary Research

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Unit:

Date set by graduate unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

February 23, 2018

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

Domestic or International


CAGS/ProQuest-UMI: two prizes (nationally)​ each of $1,500 

John Leyerle-CIFAR: one prize of $1000 


The CAGS/ProQuest-UMI and Leyerle-CIFAR awards both recognize Canadian doctoral dissertations that make unusually significant and original contributions to their academic field. 

The CAGS/ProQuest-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards annually present two awards: one for engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences; and 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).

The John Leyerle-CIFAR Prize for Interdisciplinary Research was established to honour John Leyerle, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in the late 1970's, who played an instrumental role in founding the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in 1978. This prize recognizes an excellent student who is clearly performing outstanding interdisciplinary research.


CAGS/ProQuest-UMI: two prizes nationally each of $1,500, plus a citation certificate, and travel expenses of up to $1,500 to attend the 2018 CAGS Annual Conference

John Leyerle-CIFAR: one prize at the University of Toronto of $1,000 and a citation certificate


2018 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, 2017 and December 31, 2017

  • For the John Leyerle-CIFAR Prize: Demonstrate work with strong emphasis on interdisciplinary approach (i.e. combines or involves two or more academic disciplines or fields of study) to an original research topic.

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 clearly addressing why the dissertation constitutes a significant piece of work that has made original contributions to the field and highlight the outstanding nature of the nominee is in comparison to other students in the same program would be helpful;

  • *Nomination letters for the John Leyerle-CIFAR Prize must describe why the applicant's work is deemed interdisciplinary in nature.

  • 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; 

  • 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
School of Graduate Studies

Governor General's Gold Medals

Award Overview​

Student Deadline to Unit:

Date set by graduate unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

April 5, 2018

Level of Study:

Master's or 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 2017 Governor General's Gold Medallists:

On behalf of His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Dean Locke Rowe was pleased to present three of our students with a Governor General's Gold Medal: Dr. Kathleen Fraser from the Department of Computer ScienceDr. Brandon R. Sutherland from the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Dr. Johanna Thoma from the Department of Philosophy.

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

2017-18 candidates must have graduated or will graduate at one of the following convocations:

  1. November 2017

  2. March 2018 (in absentia)

  3. June 2018

Students must submit their final thesis by April 20, 2018 to be eligible to graduate at the June convocation.

Nomination 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 (items 2-5 in the order below) to their graduate unit by the unit's established deadline.

The nomination package will include the following documents:

  1. A nomination letter (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 their outstanding scholastic achievements—to be provided and attached by the nominating graduate unit;

    Using strong and positive language, this letter should focus on:

    • The nominee's outstanding level of achievement compared to other students in the same program, including information relevant to the field of study, degree or culture of the department (e.g. publishing norms, degree requirements, grading practices at specific international universities, unusual accomplishments) that would otherwise not be known outside the field of study;
    • Factors used to determine why the student is deserving of this award, clearly articulating the excellence of the work and how it makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.
  2. Current graduate transcript(s) (ACORN/ROSI printouts are acceptable);

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

  4. New: For research stream students:

    • An abstract of the thesis in non-technical language not exceeding 350 words, written and signed by the candidate. Appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables, are not required (committee members will not be reviewing the appended items); and

    • A statement written by the candidate summarizing the thesis in non-technical language that can be understood by individuals outside the field, and clearly addressing how the research represents original work that makes a significant contribution to the discipline (max. 1 page single spaced);

  5. 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

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
School of Graduate Studies

NAGS Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation Awards

Award Overview

Student Submission Deadline: 

Date set by graduate unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

January 5, 2018


$1,000 for one year

Level of Study:

Master's or doctoral

Required Legal Status:

Domestic or international


Communicated by agency in March


The Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools (NAGS) annually recognizes one outstanding master's thesis and one outstanding doctoral dissertation at one of its member institutions. Each institution may nominate one candidate per category.   

Eligibility to Apply

Master's Thesis Award

  • The 2018 award will recognize a thesis in Physical Sciences, Mathematics, & Engineering
  • Nominees must have completed all master's degree requirements between January 1, 2014 – January 15, 2018
  • The recipient must be present at the annual meeting's award luncheon in April 2018.

​Doctoral Dissertation Award

  • The 2018 award will recognize a dissertation in Agricultural, Biological & Health Sciences
  • Nominees must have completed all doctoral degree requirements between January 1, 2012 – January 15, 2018
  • The recipient must be present at the annual meeting's award luncheon in April 2018.

Application Process

Applicants must ensure that a complete application package is submitted to their graduate unit by the unit's internal deadline.

Application Package

  1. Copy of the thesis manuscript or doctoral dissertation;

  2. 300 word abstract in non-technical (lay) language;

  3. Three letters of evaluation. Note: Letters for a doctoral submission must explain the original contribution to the field made by the dissertation; and

  4. Doctoral submissions must also include a copy of the applicant's resume or C.V.

** NAGS requires that all documentation be submitted in English.


SGS will notify all nominees of the results of the University competition in January.

Decisions regarding the national competition will be announced by NAGS in March.

Contacts & Resources

Visit the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools' website.

For more information, please contact:

Tara Lock
Graduate Awards Officer (Internal)
School of Graduate Studies
(416) 978-2386​​


Postdoctoral Research Awards

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

Award Overview

Student Deadline to Faculty:

Date set by Faculty research office (see table below)

Faculty Nomination Deadline to SGS:

September 1, 2017 (not for applicants)

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

September 8, 2017; completed forms to be returned to applicants by September 13, 2017

Letter of Endorsement Made Available:

September 13, 2017 (to successful nominees)

Nominee Online Submission Deadline:

September 20, 2017 (8 pm EDT)

Level of Study:


Required Legal Status:

Domestic or 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:

    • Citizenship and 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.

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. Supervisors wishing to support a candidate's application must 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). Applications submitted outside of the affiliated Faculty competition and therefore without the official endorsement of Dean of Graduate Studies will be deemed ineligible by the Banting Secretariat.

University of Toronto graduates who wish to pursue their postdoctoral fellowship at another institution must apply through their proposed host institution, abiding to their internal selection process and deadlines. The School of Graduates will complete the Fulfillment of Degree Requirements Form for the candidate, who must request it by email from the Graduate Awards Office. Those who have not completed their degree requirements yet are asked to submit the form to their graduate unit for completion.

Please note:  Each affiliated hospital will hold its own competition as well.  It is separate from Faculty of Medicine (via GLSE) and may have a different deadline and application process.  Applicants will need to decide where to apply because it will determine where award will be held and paid from (if successful):

  1. Applicants who plan to have the Fellowship administered through the University of Toronto must apply through the Faculty of Medicine, GLSE by July 31, 2017.  Applicants will have a supervisor with a primary appointment and graduate appointment in the Faculty of Medicine.

  2. If Fellowship is to be administered by the hospital research training centre (i.e., have it paid/administered there), contact the research office at the hospital directly

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 (funding, facilities, equipment, etc.) and professional development; and

    • 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).

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 at least one week before the ResearchNet application deadline date. Only applications endorsed by the Dean of Graduate Studies will be accepted by the Banting Secretariat.

  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 8th.

  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 20, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. (EDT).

Reminder starting 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, 2018). 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 Banting 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 18, 2017
​Faculty office
​Faculty office
Engineering Graduate Studies
​​​​​​​​​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 Laura Lapchinski
InformationAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Anna PralatContact the Dean to discuss proposed applications early.
Kinesiology and Physical EducationAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Marisol D'Andrea 
LawAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Carla Serpe 
Faculty officeFaculty office Sasha Lucas 
MedicineJuly 31, 2017
Faculty 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 Wu UTM has an internal adjudication process to determine which applications are going forward from the UTM campus, based on their allocation.
MusicAugust Faculty Research Office Faculty Research Office Prof. Sherry Lee The Faculty of Music conducts an internal adjudication process to determine nominations based on the Faculty's quota. Details will be forwarded to faculty members in advance of the deadline. Additional information for applicants may be found on the Faculty of Music’s Research webpage
NursingTBDFaculty officeFaculty office Shefali Ram
OISEAugustFaculty officeFaculty office​​Office of the Associate Dean, Research, International & Innovation There will be an internal adjudication process to determine the applicants who can apply for this fellowship. Communications will be sent out to Faculty.
Pharmacy—​Leslie DanAugustGraduate unitGraduate unit Tammy Chan There will be an internal adjudication process to determine the applicant(s) going forward based on departmental quotas.  Communication will be forwarded to the Faculty closer to the deadline. 
Public Health—Dalla LanaAugustFaculty officeFaculty office Linda D’Souza 
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 Joanne Daciuk ​

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

Award Overview

Applicant Deadline to Graduate Unit:

December 1, 2017

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

December 7, 2017

Value & Duration:


Level of Study:

​Postdoctoral or has a faculty appointment

Required Legal Status:

​Domestic (Canadian citizen or permanent resident)


​November 2018; communicated directly to winners by COU


To honour of the achievement of John Charles Polanyi, recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Ontario Government established a fund to provide John Charles Polanyi Prizes annually to up to five outstanding researchers or scholars who are in the early stages of their career and at Ontario universities. The prizes, each which is currently valued at $20,000, will be conferred in the fall of 2018. They are available in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science, broadly defined.


The John Charles Polanyi Prize is a prestigious award and The University of Toronto is well represented on the list of prize winners. It is our aim to remain successful in this competition and we continue to encourage graduate units to nominate their strongest, eligible candidates.

Read about the 2016 UofT Prize winners, and past the UofT recipients of the 2015 Polanyi Prize, 2014 Polanyi Prize and 2013 Polanyi Prize.​


To be eligibile for an award, applicants must:

  1. Be normally resident in Ontario;

  2. Have received their doctoral degree from any recognized university in the world on or after September 1, 2014, or, if the doctoral degree has not yet been awarded, be confident that they will have completed all degree requirements by April 30, 2018 (an applicant who was 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); and

  3. Either be planning to continue to post-doctoral studies, or hold a faculty appointment, in a recognized publically assisted university in Ontario.

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

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.

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.

It is hoped that the prizes will be conferred by September 2018.

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, 2017:

  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 of research or scholarship written by the applicant (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, 2017).

    • Two of the assessors must not have had any prior personal or professional association with the applicant (e.g. as supervisor or a member of the applicant's supervisory community) and ideally are not at a university at which the applicant is, or has been, a student or employee.

    • 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.

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
Graduate 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.

Schmidt Science Fellows Award

Award Overview

Applicant Deadline to Graduate Unit:

Date set by Graduate Unit

Graduate Unit Deadline to SGS:

November 1, 2017

Value & Duration:

$100,000 for 11 months or longer

University nominations due to Agency:

November 13, 2017

Nominee submission deadline

December 31, 2017 8:00 p.m. (EDT)


PhD Thesis submitted or expected to be submitted to SGS between May 1, 2017 & June 30, 2018

Required Legal Status:

Domestic or International


Spring 2018 directly from Agency


The Schmidt Science Fellows​ program is administered by The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation in partnership with the Rhodes Trust and supported by many of the world’s leading scientific thinkers and institutions. The Schmidt Science Fellows program aims to expand the horizons of the next generation of leaders and innovators in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computing. Its goal is to give the world’s best aspiring scientific minds a broader perspective, the ability to engage in an interdisciplinary way, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact in society. Through a combination of group sessions at some of the world’s leading universities and a special postdoctoral study in a field different from their existing expertise, Fellows will be exposed to new topics, new ways of thinking, and new people that will help guide their future paths to success. The Program will be accepting nominations from a select set of the leading science and engineering universities around the world; the University of Toronto may nominate five candidates.

About the program

The program seeks the brightest minds in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and computing who are interested in broadening their horizons and pursuing a challenging and rewarding period of study with the world’s leading academics and institutions. Fellows will receive a stipend of $100,000 as part of the program. This will include conducting a full-time, 11-month or longer postdoctoral research study in a field-leading laboratory, focusing on a discipline in the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics or computing that is different from their existing area of expertise and planned future focus. The program will also feature four global meetings at the world’s leading academic institutions, interspersed across the duration of the fellowship.

Fellows will select their postdoctoral research laboratory, with assistance from the Schmidt Science Fellows program, the Rhodes Trust, respected researchers, and a number of leading universities. The Program will help Fellows identify leading laboratories that conduct exciting new research and provide the opportunity to “pivot” from their current area of expertise during the fellowship year.

The Global Meetings Series will expose Fellows to new cutting-edge science, provide them the opportunity to interact with each other and with leading thinkers in the sciences and society, and develop new skills that will help them in their future careers.

Program Timeline:

  • July 2018: Schmidt Science Fellows program begins

  • July 2018: United Kingdom All-Cohort Group Sessions

  • August / September 2018: Fellows join their Postdoctoral Research Labs

  • October / November 2018: Massachusetts All-Cohort Group Sessions

  • February / March 2019: Northern California All-Cohort Group Sessions

  • July 2019: Concluding Week at University of Oxford

Eligibility to Apply

Individuals must have received or expect to receive a PhD in natural sciences (including life, physical, and earth sciences), engineering, mathematics, or computing and have their thesis accepted by SGS between May 1, 2017 and June 30th 2018. Nominees should demonstrate seven key qualities as identified by the Program.

Application Timeline & Process

For the 2017-2018 competition, SGS will allow candidates to make use of already completed award applications recently prepared for other competitions (where available). Graduate Chairs are invited to submit their top ranked candidate(s), along with a completed nomination package to SGS for consideration by November 1st, the process is as follows:

  1. Supervisors and/or Coordinators of interested applicants are encouraged to discuss their intent to nominate suitable candidates with the Graduate Chair/Director;

  2. Graduate Chairs/Directors nominate their top candidate(s) and submit the associated nomination package(s) to SGS by November 1st - submission instructions to follow.

  3. The following will serve as a completed nomination package:

    a) A personal statement which demonstrates the candidate's ability to meet each of the seven selection criteria and describes why the applicant is interested in the Program and what they hope to achieve during and after it; and
    b) A nomination letter from the Graduate Chair/Director; and
    c) The complete contents, including associated reference letters from one of the following current competitions:

      • Banting PDF application; or

      • NSERC or CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship application; or

      • John Charles Polanyi Prize application; or

      • If none of the above completed applications are available, candidates are asked to create a nomination package which includes a current CV (no page restrictions); along with any of following suggested supporting documents:

      • A brief abstract or 1-page summary of the doctoral thesis written by the applicant

      • A brief statement of research to be undertaken during a program of postdoctoral research

      • A copy of the external examiner's pre-defence report signed and dated by the examiner (if FOE completed)

      • reference letters – may use those from another recent competition

  4. SGS adjudicates the nominations, selects and submits a list of five endorsed candidates by November 13, 2017;

  5. Individuals nominated by U of T will be sent an invitation by the funding agency to apply;

    • Completed applications will be due no later than December 31, 2017;
    • The application will include a curriculum vitae (CV) with relevant publications or research, reference letters attesting to the student's accomplishments and capabilities, and personal statements on why the applicant is interested in the Program and what they hope to achieve during and after it.
  6. Application packages will first be reviewed by a board of senior researchers who have knowledge of a wide variety of disciplines. The best applications will then be examined by a second board and evaluated on a mixture of criteria that align with the Program's goals;

  7. A group of semi-finalists will be selected and invited to a final session for face-to-face interviews in March 2018;

  8. Final selections will be made following the interviews, and publicly announced shortly thereafter.

Contacts & Resources

More about Schmidt Science Fellows
Schmidt Science Fellows Selection Process

For information please contact:
Fong Di Caterina, Manager, Graduate Awards Office

Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Faculty of Arts & Scienc​e offers 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 & Science 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. Please visit the Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowships page for further details and application forms.

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