2017-2018 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship competition launch


The 2017-2018 Banting PDF competition has been launched! This memo is to inform you of program news for this competition.

I) 2017-2018 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition timelines

The timelines are similar to the last competition. Please find some important dates below:

Banting PDF
Competition Launch April 19, 2017: Posting of updated program literature on program website and activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
Application Deadline September 20, 2017 (8:00 pm EDT)
Funding Decision Release Mid-February 2018

II) Banting PDF competition administration

For action — Single signatory for the Institutional letter of endorsement

As part of the Banting PDF 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, 2017. 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 PDF website.

III) Banting PDF program news

New: Removal of the 25% cap on the number of Banting PDFs awarded for tenure abroad

The Banting PDF program previously had a limit of 25% on the number of awards granted to postdoctoral trainees for tenure abroad. This limit has been removed, effective as of the 2017-2018 competition. This is in line with the objective of the program to support top-tier postdoctoral talent, and recognizes the importance of diverse research experience in developing leadership potential.

New: Implicit/Unconscious Bias in the Selection Process

Equity and diversity must be considered at all levels of the selection/recruitment, endorsement and review processes of a Banting application. The Vanier-Banting Secretariat is actively engaged in increasing awareness of implicit (or unconscious) bias with everyone involved in the selection of a Banting Fellow. The following links can be very useful:

  1. Overview on unconscious bias that was developed by Westcoast Women in Engineering, Science and Technology (WWest) [ PDF (208 KB) - external link ]
  2. Harvard Test on Implicit Bias: Gender – Science test, and/or the Gender – Career test
  3. CIHR’s Training Module for Reviewers on Implicit Bias
  4. Tips for Banting Selection Committee Members on reducing gender bias in the review process

Reminder: Mandatory arm’s length referee

All applications must have at least one arm’s length referee from among the three invited referees. For more information, please consult the Application Guide: Task 8 Identify Referee.

Reminder — Subject matter eligibility (research area)

The onus is on the candidate and their supervisor to carefully consider which selection committee should review the application. For more details, please consult the Application Guide - Task 6: Identify area of research. If there is uncertainty please send an email to banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca with a one-page summary of the proposed research to receive clarification.

Reminder — Supervisor’s statement: support from institutions

Given the competitive nature of this program, and its role as a premier postdoctoral program in Canada, it is very important that institutions clearly outline the support that will be provided to the applicant. It should be explained how this support is above and beyond what is offered to regular postdoctoral fellows, and this support should be reasonable and appropriate to the institution and requirements of the applicant and proposed research. This was raised as an issue in the recent evaluation of the Banting program. As part of the Banting End of Award Report process, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program will include follow-up questions to confirm whether the support outlined in the application was granted to the Banting Fellow during their award.

Reminder — Institutional endorsement: selectivity and diversity

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 PDF program as Canada’s most valuable, prestigious, and sought-after postdoctoral awards.

Reminder – Mobility and choice of host institution

All applicants should clearly justify the choice of institution and supervisor, and should highlight the benefits expected with respect to fulfilling their career aspirations. If they are already at the proposed host institution, they must justify the decision to remain at the same location. There should be a direct correlation between the strength of the justification and the amount of time already spent at that institution, and only in exceptionally rare circumstances will a Banting PDF 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.

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