Application guide

Applicants should read the Selection committee guide prior to commencing their application. This guide lists the three evaluation criteria and has useful information on how the criteria are evaluated.

The Secretariat has curated a list of resources to help applicants, institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers consider equity, diversity and inclusion in the applications they prepare or evaluate. All applicants are encouraged to review the resources before they begin preparing their application.

To be considered eligible for funding, applicants must attain an average score of at least 5.1 in each of the three criteria.

Before beginning to prepare an application, applicants should read the Application guide carefully. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships selection committees are multidisciplinary, and applications should therefore be written with a non-specialist research audience in mind.

Individual application documents can be submitted in either English or French.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete; this includes ensuring that all host institution documents and referee assessments have been submitted.

An application is completed through the following tasks:

Table of contents

Task 1 Confirm eligibility

Confirm that you meet the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program's eligibility criteria. Applications that do not meet all the eligibility criteria will not be accepted.

Task 2 Contact your desired host institution

Applicants must contact institutions that they think will be a good fit for them and their research and confirm that the desired institution is eligible to host a Banting Fellow. For those hoping to be hosted at a Canadian institution, please see the Universities Canada website for a list of Canadian academic institutions and their research areas.

Applicants already affiliated with the proposed host institution must provide justification for remaining in the same research environment (see Special circumstances).

Applications must be completed in full collaboration with the potential host institution.

The host institution must provide the applicant with two documents that will be included in the application. Applicants are responsible for uploading the documents to ResearchNet as part of their complete application submission. For more information on these documents, please refer to the appropriate sections found at the end of Enter proposal information and supporting documents.

Task 3 Register for Canadian Common CV (CCV) and ResearchNet accounts

Make sure you have the following or click the links to register:

You need a CCV account to create a validated CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template). See Create CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template) and link to ResearchNet application.

Task 4 Create CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template) and link to ResearchNet application

You must create a Vanier-Banting academic CCV on the Canadian Common CV (CCV) website and link it to your ResearchNet application.

Free-form CVs are not accepted. A CCV is required regardless of the citizenship of the applicant.

The CCV website stores data in a secure database that you can access at any time and from any computer. You may save your CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template) in progress and return to complete it at your convenience. The data you enter can be reused in future applications that use the CCV.

The CCV website will validate your CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template) and provide you with a confirmation number. You must input the confirmation number in ResearchNet in order to link your CCV to your Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship application.

To create a CCV (Vanier-Banting academic template) and link it to your Banting application on ResearchNet:

Task 5 Start a ResearchNet application

After launching an application in ResearchNet, you will be presented with the ResearchNet login screen. If you login using your ResearchNet account, you will arrive at the main Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application menu. This menu lists a series of tasks that must be completed before you are able to submit your application. Information on how to complete these tasks is provided in the sections below.

You should only have one Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application. If you have already started an application, login to your ResearchNet account. You will find your Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application in the Current Activities tab under the Applications heading. Clicking on it will bring you to the main Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application tasks list.

Task 6 Identify area of research

This task serves to determine to which selection committee your application will be assigned. Applications related to health research will be channeled to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) selection committee, those related to natural sciences and/or engineering to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) selection committee, and those related to social sciences and/or humanities will go to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) selection committee. For more information, please refer to Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency. When applying to the SSHRC area of research, please also consider the information found on SSHRC's website.

If you aren't sure of the most appropriate research area, please send an email to banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca with a one-page summary of the proposed research to get confirmation; this process can take up to 5 business days.

Task 7 Identify participants

In this task, you will enter information about yourself and the institution you are affiliated with at the time of application. You must also input the confirmation number of the CV you created in the Canadian Common CV system in order to link your CV to your Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships application.

Under this task, you will attach the following documents:

Attachment: Significance of research contributions

(Maximum of 1 page; must follow the specifications found in the instructions provided in Presentation standards for documents)

From the contributions listed in your CCV, choose up to three that you judge to be your most important research contributions and describe their significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity within the target community and in terms of significance to, and use by, other researchers and knowledge users.

This application element speaks directly to the following selection criterion: Applicant’s research excellence and leadership in the research domain.

Attachment: Significance of leadership contributions

(Maximum of 1 page; must follow the specifications found in the instructions provided in Presentation standards for documents)

From the activities and memberships listed in your CCV, choose up to three that you judge to be the most significant and relevant to your proposal and your professional intent. Describe their significance in terms of demonstrating your leadership and sphere of influence at the institutional level and beyond. Discuss the impact and importance of these activities in terms of your career aspirations.

Examples of leadership activities:

This list is not intended to include all possible categories; it is provided for guidance only.

Attachment: Fulfillment of degree requirements form

(Maximum of 1 page)

Fulfillment of degree requirements formPDF (153 KB)

Upload the Fulfillment of Degree Requirements Form that has been completed by the institution that conferred the PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree you have entered in the Enter degree information section.

Applicants who have not completed their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree at the time of application but expect to do so on or before September 30, 2019, must also upload to ResearchNet a Fulfillment of Degree Requirements Form that has been completed by the institution that will confer the PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree entered in the Enter degree information section. Upon completion, applicants must once again provide a Fulfillment of Degree Requirements Form that has been completed by the institution that conferred the PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree entered in the Enter degree information section. This form must be scanned and sent by email to the banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca address no later than 8:00 p.m. (EDT) October 15, 2019, or the application will be withdrawn.

Attachment: Special circumstances

(Maximum one page; must follow the specifications found in Presentation standards for documents)

Career/research delays

Identify any circumstances that might have delayed or interrupted your academic and/or career advancement, scientific research, other research, dissemination of results, training, etc. Common examples of an interruption/delay are parental leave, child rearing, illness, disability, cultural, community or family responsibilities, socio-economic factors or relocation of your research environment. Applicants can include any post-degree training that is not research-focused (e.g., clinical training, residency) in this section.

Justification for extensions to the eligibility window for degree completion

Note that your eligibility window will only be extended by the duration of the eligible delay(s)/interruption(s), as indicated in the Eligibility section. It is essential that you provide specific dates for your delays and/or interruptions, including the exact number of months or days of these interruptions.

Justification for remaining in PhD research environment

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 from which they obtained their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree must provide a strong justification for this exceptional circumstance which will be assessed as part of the selection committee review process. The more similar the proposed research environment is to that of the PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree environment, the stronger the justification is required to be. Examples of valid justifications are:

Justification for remaining in the same research environment (other than PhD)

At the time of application, if the applicant is affiliated with the proposed host institution (e.g., postdoctoral position) they must justify the decision to continue at the same location. The longer the applicant has been at the same institution (or research environment), the stronger the justification is required to be.

Task 8 Identify referees

This task seeks to collect information on the three referees whose assessments will accompany your application. Note that when identifying referees, the language specified will determine the language in which they will receive their assessment form; the assessments must be completed in either English or French.

Applicants should contact their selected referees to seek their assessment well in advance of the application deadline date. Applicants are required to enter the name and contact information for each referee in ResearchNet. ResearchNet will then send email requests to the referees providing a secure link to each referee to complete their assessment online.

You will not be able to submit your application until this task is completed. It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with referees to ensure the assessments are submitted prior to the deadline date and thus ensure the application's completeness. Prior to the application submission deadline you can delete a referee from your list and add a new one, if needed.

Once an assessment is submitted, it will automatically attach to your application. Applicants do not have access to the content of the assessment submitted by referees. However, you may follow the status of the assessment under this task and are encouraged to follow up with your referees if the task is not completed shortly before the deadline.

Mandatory: Arm’s Length Referee

At least one of the 3 referees must be at arm’s length.

The purpose of the arm’s length referee is to provide the selection committee with an unbiased review of your application. The arm’s length referee should be an expert in your field of research and should be able to assess your proposal and CV in that capacity. Examples include, but are not limited to, the external examiner from your doctoral defense or a specialist you met at a conference. Note that you do not need to have met the arm’s length referee.

The arm’s length referee cannot be:

Generally speaking, the greater the distance between the applicant and the arm’s length referee, the better.

Identify the referee as “Arm’s length referee” in the Relationship to the Candidate question in the application/referee form.

This is a mandatory requirement. The absence of an arm’s length assessment could therefore adversely affect the review of your application.

New: An assessment cannot be completed by the proposed supervisor unless that person is currently your supervisor or has been your supervisor in the past.

There are no other restrictions on who can serve as the other two referees, but applicants are encouraged to consider the full range of potential referees (e.g., from different institutions, with varied research expertise for multi-disciplinary applications). Referees should be chosen from individuals best able to provide relevant evidence, perspectives and insight to support the review of the application in light of the selection criteria.

Please refer to Information for Referees section for instructions provided to referees.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide referees with the information that they need in order to complete their assessments.

The referees' letters are governed by the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

Task 9 Enter degree information

This task seeks to collect information on your PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree.

Task 10 Enter proposal information and supporting documents

This task has four sub-tasks to collect information related to your research project.

Overview

The Title of Research Proposal is used by the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program to identify your research project (maximum of 640 characters).

The Lay Title will be used to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. Provide a title that is accessible to a lay audience (Maximum of 200 characters).

The Lay Abstract will be used for promotional purposes outside the research community to inform the public and Parliament about the valuable research supported through public funds. Provide a summary of your research proposal written in clear, plain language. It should be written in non-technical terms that can be clearly understood by reviewers/readers with various areas of expertise (i.e., minimal academic terminology and references to methodology).

Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the work to be done. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how your field and Canada will benefit (maximum of 2000 characters).

New: If your proposed research involves or impacts Indigenous communities, please include “This research involves Indigenous Peoples” (in bold) at the beginning of the lay abstract. The program administrator for each selection committee (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) will then endeavour to ensure that the primary or secondary reviewer on these applications has expertise in Indigenous research.

Details

Enter information on the Host Institution that is endorsing your application, your expected Start Date to take up the award and the Language in which your Research Proposal is written. Please note that the list of institutions provided in the lookup feature is not exhaustive. If the institution you are proposing does not appear on the list, please verify that it meets the criteria of an eligible host institution and then enter it into the Other box. If you are uncertain whether the institution is eligible, please send an email to banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca to confirm.

Descriptors/keywords

Provide descriptors/keywords to describe your research proposal. Complete all subsequent fields using the drop-down menus; choose one that most closely matches your proposal.

Attachments

Under this sub-task, you will attach the following documents:

Attachment: Research proposal

(Maximum of 4 pages including graphs and images; must follow the specifications found in the instructions provided in Presentation standards for documents)

All applicants, including those in the areas of applied research, research-creation, or knowledge translation, must provide a detailed description of their proposed research, addressing the following elements, as applicable:

If the proposed research is closely related to, or a continuation of the PhD thesis, explain how it will develop and expand on the thesis. If the proposed research is outside your documented expertise, outline the steps taken to address this to ensure feasibility of the research.

You are also encouraged to indicate, when applicable, how diversity (gender, sex, age, culture, religion, etc.) has been taken into account in your proposed research. While accounting for diversity is not an evaluation criterion, doing so has the potential to increase the rigour and usefulness of the research. Resources to assist applicants with this endeavour will be available on this website by July 1, 2018.

New: The Secretariat has curated a list of resources to help applicants, institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers consider equity, diversity and inclusion in thei applications they prepare or evaluate.

If you are proposing to conduct Indigenous research, the research proposal should reflect that you and your host institution are aware of and referring to relevant principles and protocols established for this kind of research.

This application element speaks directly to the following selection criterion:

The proposal must be written by the applicant and with the understanding that it will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary selection committee (i.e., a non-specialist audience). Your communication skills are reflected in the clarity of this writing and speak to the following selection criterion:

Attachment: Bibliography

(Maximum of 4 pages; must follow the specifications found in the instructions provided in Presentation standards for documents)

Provide a bibliography that includes citations for all works referenced in the research proposal, as well as a literature review if appropriate for your area of research. These citations should be in the format used by the primary discipline of the proposed research. Ensure that all citations are clear and complete to allow reviewers/readers to easily locate the sources.

This application element speaks directly to the following selection criterion:

Attachment: Letter of endorsement – to be completed by host institution

(Maximum of 1 page; must follow the specifications in Presentation standards for documents)

  1. Describe the process by which the institution chose to endorse the applicant, including the number of applications that were reviewed.
  2. Confirm agreement with the supervisor's statement of synergy between the institution's strategic priorities and the applicant's proposed research program.
  3. Confirm the institution's commitment to gender equity, and outline the existing equity involvement in the endorsement process.

This document must be signed by the institution's president (equivalent or designate) and must be on the institution's letterhead. If signed by someone other than the president (or equivalent), it should be clearly indicated in the letter that the signee has this institutional authority. All applications involving a given host institution must be signed by the same official – president (or equivalent) or a single official delegate.

In the rare instance when the institution’s president (or equivalent or designate) is also the proposed host supervisor, the applicant should contact the Vanier-Banting Secretariat for guidance.

This application element is for administrative use to determine eligibility to apply to the program and will not be sent to the selection committee for review.

Attachment: Supervisor's statement – to be completed by your proposed supervisor

(Maximum of 4 pages; must follow the specifications found in Presentation standards for documents)

You must select a primary supervisor from the proposed host institution. If your research could benefit from having a co-supervisor, you may include details about both supervisors here. The level of detail included about each supervisor depends on the extent of the co-supervision.

  1. Supervisor's biography

    Describe the supervisor’s academic and research background, key contributions/accomplishments and funding to date.

  2. Appropriateness of the supervisor(s)

    Discuss the significance of the applicant's contributions and proposed research. Describe the fit between the research interests/background of the supervisor and applicant, and the anticipated mutual benefits. In the description, provide specifics about how the proposed research complements the supervisor’s ongoing projects and/or new research directions.

  3. Research environment

    Provide details concerning the applicant's proposed research environment, clearly stating the supervisor's and laboratory/department's commitment. Examples of commitment include (but are not limited to) mentorship, opportunities for collaboration, dissemination, and/or knowledge translation, resources (e.g., funding, facilities, personnel) that will be available to support the applicant as they carry out their proposed research and develop their leadership potential.

    In the case of applications involving Indigenous research, outline any support provided to facilitate collaboration between the applicant, the host institution and Indigenous communities/partners.

  4. Professional development

    Describe the institution's commitment to the applicant's professional leadership development, clearly indicating the resources and/or mentoring activities that are available through the institution to support career development. These could include, but are not limited to:

    • career counselling
    • training in preparing grant proposals, publications and presentations
    • training in knowledge translation/mobilization
    • training in intellectual property regulations
    • guidance on ways to improve teaching and mentoring skills
    • guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers and knowledge users from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas
    • opportunities for collaboration and networking
    • training in responsible professional practices
    • teaching opportunities
  5. Institutional synergy

    Describe the institution's documented strategic priorities, and illustrate the synergy between these priorities and the applicant's proposed research program. Clearly justify the institution's endorsement of the applicant in light of the institution's strategic priorities, and articulate how the institution and applicant will benefit from this engagement.

This document will be used to assess the degree to which the institution and supervisor are committed to the applicant, their capacity to enable the applicant to become a future leader in their chosen field, and their potential to build upon the institution's strategic priorities.

Supervisors should be highly selective and recommend only the highest-calibre postdoctoral researchers.

This document must be on the institution's letterhead and signed by the supervisor.

This application element speaks directly to the following selection criterion:

Task 11 Preview application materials

Review your application. If a task is incomplete, you must provide the missing information to successfully submit your application.

Note: If any of the documents provided (including attachments) do not conform to the requirements stated above and/or if they exceed the page limit, the additional pages will be removed from the application prior to selection committee review.

Task 12 Consent and submit application

You must indicate your consent to the terms listed in ResearchNet before you submit your application.

You must click Submit to send your application to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program. If you performed this task correctly, you will receive an email entitled "Successful Submission – Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program / Soumission acceptée – Programme de bourses postdoctorales Banting." No further confirmation will be provided.

Task 13 Presentation standards for attached documents

All attachments to your application must be prepared according to the standards provided. Applications submitted that are not prepared according to the instructions provided may be deemed ineligible.

If you have supporting documents written in a language other than English or French, you are required to submit a certified translation of these documents.

Formatting instructions to prepare your documents:

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