Postdoctoral Awards

Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Arts & Science Postdoctoral Fellowships provides outstanding recent doctoral students 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 full-time supervisor, or supervisors, from the professoriate within the Faculty of Arts & Science (St. George Campus).

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

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 are 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

China Scholarship Council: Scholarships

In partnership with the University of Toronto (U of T), the China Scholarship Council (CSC) offers scholarships to outstanding Chinese students who will pursue doctoral or postdoctoral studies at U of T under the established collaborative program: China Scholarship Council – University of Toronto Joint Funding Program.

The CSC aims to fund in its annual competition:

  • 20 Chinese students for U of T’s PhD program for up to 48 months
  • 20 Chinese visiting PhD ​students at U of T, for up to 24 months
  • 10 postdoctoral fellows for up to 24 months
  • 10 visiting scholars for up to 12 months

For the 2019-20 academic year, CSC received 12 applications for U of T, of which 6 were successful. The average U of T success rate for receiving a CSC has been approx. 50%. Successful applicants typically have excellent grades and one or more publications.

John Charles Polanyi Prizes

To honour 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 valued at $20,000, will be conferred in the fall of 2021. 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 2019 U of T Prize winners, and past the UofT recipients of the 2018 Polanyi Prize, 2017 Polanyi Prize, 2016 Polanyi Prize and 2015 Polanyi Prize.

Latin American Scholarship Programs (CALDO)

Today, U of T is home to approximately 650 students from Latin America, many of whom are graduates of the region’s leading universities.

International PhD students in most programs at U of T are charged the same tuition fees as our domestic students. To further attract and support Latin America’s best and brightest students, U of T has established a number of scholarship agreements with government agencies and foundations in Canada and Latin America.

Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Awards

The Ontario Women’s Health Scholars Award is administered by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) on behalf of Ontario government ministries. It is open to master’s students, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows. Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a Scholar Awards Program in Women’s Health has been established to ensure that Ontario attracts and retains pre-eminent women’s health scholars. The community of women’s health scholars fostered by this awards program will excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge about women’s health and its translation into improved health for women, more effective health services and products for women, and a strengthened heal​th care system.

Other Funding Resources for Postdoctoral Fellows

There are many opportunities internal and external to the University that have programs to fund postdoctoral research. Consult each sources website for specific information on the programs that they offer. International postdocs are strongly encouraged to check first with agencies and foundations in their home country.

Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program​

The University of Toronto Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides funding to Graduate Faculties to increase opportunities for hiring postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups, specifically Indigenous and Black researchers. These fellowships will enable postdoctoral researchers to grow their scholarly profiles, undertake academic work at the University of Toronto, and strengthen the research environment at the University with diverse perspectives.

This funding is designed to help the University compete with peer institutions for top-tier candidates, and to support the University in meeting its institutional goal of fostering increased diversity and representation at all levels of teaching, learning and research. Nominees must be nominated by their prospective Faculties/divisions following the timeline and processes outlined below. While the nomination/application process will normally begin with faculty advisors/mentors, funding for the successful nominees will be provided to their respective Faculty Research Office for administration.

Read about the Spring 2019, Fall 2019, and Fall 2020 recipients of the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellows on the PPFP webpage.

Schmidt Science Fellows Award

The Schmidt Science Fellows program, is an initiative of Schmidt Futures supported and funded by the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Strategic Fund for 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 develop the next generation of science leaders to transcend disciplines, advance discovery, and solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Fellows engage and co-produce with diverse thinkers in science, politics, society, and business to catalyse new ideas and connections. The Fellowship year is the beginning of their membership to a lifelong community of Schmidt Science Fellows, their partners and supporters, all of whom are committed to furthering interdisciplinary science to achieve greater global impact.

For the 2022 cohort selection process, the Program is inviting nominations from approximately 100 leading science, technology, and engineering institutions around the world to join the community of 56 current and Senior Fellows; the University of Toronto may nominate nine candidates.

About the program

Infectious disease. Climate change. Food insecurity. An aging population. Species extinction. The crises that face our planet and our society are broad, deep, and multi-faceted. They recognize none of the neat boundaries that are often and traditionally applied to science. In this new era, the Schmidt Science Fellows Program feels the best scientists should draw insights from across numerous disciplines, be able to apply new techniques, and possess a broad worldview informed by the intersections between science and society. This is the space they work in. Schmidt Science Fellows are pioneers, trailblazers, and risk-takers who enjoy unparalleled intellectual and scientific freedom and membership of a supportive, lifelong community that provides a safe place to take scientific risks and push the boundaries of science.

The program seeks the brightest minds in the natural sciences, mathematics, engineering and computing who are interested in broadening their horizons, pivoting away from their PhD research area and pursuing a challenging and rewarding period of study in an alternative discipline with the world’s leading academics, scientists and institutions. The full-time year-long program is delivered through a combination of group sessions at some of the world’s leading universities and a special postdoctoral study in a field different from a Fellow’s existing expertise. Fellows are awarded a stipend of $100,000 a year and receive personal and scientific mentoring to enable them to maximize the opportunities from their Fellowship.

The program has relationships and committed support from internationally-leading research leaders and laboratories to ensure fellows are placed into a stimulating, challenging and rewarding environment. Throughout the placement year, Fellows will have access to personal and scientific mentoring to enable them to maximize the benefits of their fellowship and to support their career development.

Schmidt Science Fellows attend five weeks of meetings as a cohort during their fellowship. The Global Meetings Series is held around the world or virtually to enable Fellows to engage with new concepts, to visit leading science facilities and to have dialogue with internationally-renowned thought-leaders from science, business, policy, and society. Through the Global Meetings, the Fellows receive the training required to become scientific leaders, including:

  • Leadership, management, and ethics
  • Personal effectiveness and communication
  • Funding and finance
  • Broadening interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Engaging in society and how to tackle global challenges
  • Collaboration, engaging with diverse teams, and community development

To learn more about Schmidt Science Fellows, the science, and motivations of some of the Fellows, see the ‘We Are Schmidt Science Fellows’ features and film series.

The program has relationships and committed support from internationally-leading research leaders and laboratories to ensure fellows are placed into a stimulating, challenging and rewarding environment. Throughout the placement year, Fellows will have access to personal and scientific mentoring to enable them to maximize the benefits of their fellowship and to support their career development.

Schmidt Science Fellows attend five weeks of meetings as a cohort during their fellowship year. The Global Meetings Series is held around the world to enable Fellows to engage with new concepts, to visit leading science facilities and to have dialogue with internationally-renowned thought-leaders from science, business, policy, and society. Through the Global Meetings, the Fellows receive the training required to become scientific leaders, including:

  • Leadership, management, and ethics
  • Personal effectiveness and communication
  • Funding and finance
  • Broadening interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Engaging in society and how to tackle global challenges
  • Collaboration, engaging with diverse teams, and community development

To learn more about Schmidt Science Fellows, the science, and motivations of some of the Fellows, see the ‘We Are Schmidt Science Fellows’ features and film series.

Candidate Requirements

Schmidt Science Fellows are encouraged and supported to take an ambitious scientific risk when considering their postdoctoral placement. Their proposed research pivot should represent a genuine, ambitious and innovative disciplinary departure from their PhD studies, with a clear goal towards gaining new skills in a new area and establishing field-leading interdisciplinary lines of research with potential for high reward and societal impact.

Research placements are not restricted to any group of institutions. Schmidt Science Fellows may choose to complete their Fellowship at a laboratory of their choice, subject to program approval and assurance that the host organization meets the Fellows individual training and research needs. This is a unique opportunity to study in a world-class lab anywhere in the world and candidates are encouraged to consider the unique freedom, flexibility, and global outlook this opportunity provides.

Schmidt Science Fellows are expected to become science leaders and should demonstrate a keen interest in harnessing interdisciplinarity and interacting with wider society. Candidates must possess the drive to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems and the personality to lead, inspire, and galvanize cross-disciplinary collaborations to accelerate discovery leading to impactful solutions.

The Schmidt Science Fellows Program is committed to equality of opportunity for all candidates. Applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity, parental status marital or civil partner status, race, color, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief.

Please note, the application and selection process as well as the delivery of the Schmidt Science Fellows program is only available in English and all engagement with the program must be in English.

SGS Sponsorship Fund

The SGS Sponsorship Fund supports two types of initiatives designed, led, and attended by graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows at U of T: (a) the SGS Events Fund and (b) the SGS Innovation in Graduate Professional Development Fund.

(a) The SGS Events Fund supports the planning and implementation of an event at U of T that contributes to the SGS mission of:

  • Working collaboratively to advance excellence and innovation in graduate research and education.
  • Fostering an outstanding graduate experience for our diverse student population.
  • Creating and promoting opportunities for graduate student and postdoctoral fellow professional development.
  • Advancing integrity and ethical conduct in graduate research and education.
  • Establishing policy and promoting best practices for graduate research and education.

For the 2020-21 cycle, the School of Graduate Studies is calling for proposals for virtual initiatives involving U of T graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows focused on community-building, engagement, and networking across programs and disciplines with particular interest in events focused on students from under-represented groups. Preference will be given to events that have significant U of T student/fellow participation in planning and implementation and/or prioritize U of T students and fellows as participants.

(b) The SGS Innovation in Graduate Professional Development Fund supports the development of new or expanded Graduate Professional Development initiatives by and for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that contribute to the SGS mission of:

  • Working collaboratively to advance excellence and innovation in graduate research and education.
  • Fostering an outstanding graduate experience for our diverse student population.
  • Creating and promoting opportunities for graduate student and postdoctoral fellow professional development.
  • Advancing integrity and ethical conduct in graduate research and education.
  • Establishing policy and promoting best practices for graduate research and education.

The SGS Innovation in Graduate Professional Development fund supports virtual initiatives for the U of T graduate students and postdoctoral communities. Preference will be given to initiatives that have significant U of T student/fellow participation in planning and implementation and/or prioritize U of T students and fellows as participants.

UTM Postdoctoral Fellowship Award Program

Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDFs) are an important post-PhD training opportunity, affording recent graduates an opportunity to establish an independent research program. The Office of the Vice-Principal Research’s (OVPR) Postdoctoral Fellowship program aims to provide up to 6 awards annually—2 in the Humanities, 2 in the Social Sciences, and 2 in the in Sciences.

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. UTM views these Fellowships as an important tool to ensure diverse groups have access to research support at this important early career stage.

UTSC Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The University of Toronto Scarborough (U of T Scarborough) Postdoctoral Fellowships are designed to provide outstanding recent doctoral students 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 U of T Scarborough (http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/home/academic-departments-and-programs). Applicants must secure sponsorship of a supervisor (or supervisors) from the professoriate at U of T Scarborough.