2015-2016 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competition launch

Memorandum

The 2015-2016 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships competition has been launched! This memo is to inform you of program news for this competition.

2015-2016 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition timelines

Apart from an earlier launch, the timelines are similar to the last competition. Please find some important dates below:

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Competition Launch April 8, 2015: Posting of updated program literature on program website
April 8, 2015: Activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
Application Deadline September 23, 2015 (8:00 pm EDT)
Funding Decision Release February 4, 2016

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program news (summary of important changes are provided in Appendix 1)

NEW: Revised eligibility requirements

For candidates who have completed their PhD outside the eligibility window, the allowable reasons for extensions have been expanded to include mandatory military service.

NEW: Important changes to application requirements

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

  1. The number of institutional documents that are required to be attached to the application have been reduced from four to two:
    1. the Institutional endorsement letter, and
    2. the Supervisor's statement – this document has been expanded to include details about the research environment and professional development of the applicant.
  2. The separate Research environment and Professional development documents have been eliminated from the application requirement.
  3. The Career aspirations and Choice of institution page has been eliminated from the application requirement.

NEW: Important changes to the scoring process

To continue our commitment to fund only the most meritorious of postdoctoral researchers, we have instituted a minimum threshold score for funding. In order to be considered fundable, all applicants must achieve a score of at least 5.1 in each individual criterion.

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 fellows who will become the research leaders of tomorrow.   

Proposals from all research areas and in both official languages are encouraged. In addition, careful consideration must be given to ensure gender equity 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 branding the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program as 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.

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. Supervisors are requested to help applicants with this important element. If in doubt, please consult with the Vanier-Banting Secretariat well 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 (the President, their equivalent, or a single delegate). This information must be sent to program staff at Banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca by September 1, 2015. 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.

Appendix 1

Summary of main changes the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship program website

Website Changes
http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/app-dem/elig-adm-eng.html Allowable career interruptions for extension of PhD eligibility window includes mandatory military service
http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/app-dem/guide-eng.html#a11 Special Circumstances – element added includes
  • Justification for remaining in the same research environment (other than PhD)

Career aspirations and choice of institution attachment is no longer required

http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/app-dem/guide-eng.html#a2 Research proposal – updated elements to address, including rationale for selecting the proposed host institution and supervisor
http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/app-dem/guide-eng.html#a3 Bibliography – page limit changed from 5 to 4 pages
http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/app-dem/guide-eng.html#a4 Only 2 institutional documents required instead of 4:
  • Letter of endorsement – institutions to add the number of applications reviewed internally in the selection process
  • Supervisor statement –elements added include: research environment and professional development. Page limit changed from 4 to 5 pages

Separate research environment and professional development documents are no longer required

http://banting.fellowships-bourses.gc.ca/rev-eval/guide-eng.html#g3.2 Minimum threshold score for funding is 5.1 for each individual criterion
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