2014-2015 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competition launch

The 2014-2015 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competition has been launched! This memo is to inform you of program news for this competition.

I. 2014-2015 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition timelines

As communicated last November, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competition timelines have changed significantly. Please find some important dates below:

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Competition Launch May 9, 2014: Posting of updated program literature on program website, including application guide
May 9, 2014: Activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
Application Deadline September 24, 2014 (8:00 pm EDT)
Funding Decision Release January 30, 2015

An earlier funding decision release date responds to the community's request and aligns the program with other prestigious national and international fellowships programs. The turnaround time for funding decision release will also be shorter than in previous years.

II. Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program news

New: Revised eligibility requirements

We are pleased to announce changes to the eligibility window for degree completion, specifically for:

  1. those who have not completed their degree requirements for a PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree at the time of application; and

  2. health professionals who have engaged in post-degree clinical training.

These changes will allow greater flexibility for the best candidates to apply for the fellowship.

For more details, please consult the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship website.

New: Important changes to institutional documents

In our continuous efforts to improve and streamline the application and review processes, some important changes are being implemented in this competition:

  1. Institutional endorsement letter – has been shortened and will be used for administrative purposes only.

    The letter will be used to determine the eligibility of applicants, verifying that the applicant has been officially endorsed by the institution, as demonstrated by the signature of the President (equivalent or designate). All letters from the same institution must be signed by the same official.

  2. Supervisor's statement – this document has been expanded to include the discussion of synergy between the institution's strategic priorities and the applicant's proposed research program.

For more details, please consult the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship website.

Reminder — Institutional endorsement: selectivity and diversity

With the competitive nature of the program in mind, we would like to remind you to continue to be highly selective in your endorsement of applications. In this way we can work together to control the quality of candidates to help ensure that the program is indeed supporting world-class postdoctoral scholars who will become the research leaders of tomorrow and without adding undue strain on the review system.

In the endorsement process, institutions are reminded that proposals from all research areas and in both official languages are encouraged. In addition, gender equity is important in the endorsement process.

Reminder — International recruitment

In keeping with the aim of attracting postdoctoral fellows to Canada, we encourage you to continue to strengthen your efforts to endorse new foreign candidates. Your collaboration is essential in building strong brand for the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program comparable to the world's most valuable, prestigious and sought-after postdoctoral awards.

Reminder – Mobility and choice of host institution

Only in exceptionally rare circumstances will a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship be awarded to an applicant who is staying at the same institution or within the same research environment where they completed their PhD, PhD– equivalent or health professional degree. If an applicant chooses to apply in collaboration with the same institution (or its affiliated hospitals, research centres and other laboratories or within the same research environment) at which they obtained their PhD, PhD-equivalent or health professional degree, a solid justification – related for example to the availability of highly unique equipment – must be provided by the applicant in the special circumstances attachment. These situations are expected to be exceptionally rare in the context of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program.

In addition, all applicants should clearly justify the choice of institution and supervisor and should highlight the benefits expected with respect to fulfilling their career aspirations. This could include a discussion of other available options for host institutions, as appropriate. If they are already at the proposed host institution, they must justify the decision to remain at the same location.

Reminder — Adjudication and funding: agency mandate

The proposed research project must be eligible within the mandate of the federal granting agency selected in the application. If in doubt, applicants and universities should consult with the Vanier-Banting Secretariat in advance of submitting the application.

Guidelines related to agency mandates

For action — Single signatory for the Institutional letter of endorsement

As part of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship application process, each institution is required to identify the individual responsible for signing the letter of endorsement on behalf of the institution (either the President or equivalent or a single delegate). This information must be sent to program staff at Banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca by September 1, 2014. This information will help us to ensure that the proper, single authority has signed off on applications from your institution.

For more information specific to host institutions, please consult the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship website.

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