2023-2024 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships competition launch

The 2023-2024 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships (Banting PDF) competition has just been launched. This memo serves to inform you of program news for this competition.

1. 2023-2024 competition timelines

Key dates are highlighted below.

  Banting PDF
Competition launch April 19, 2023: Posting of updated program literature on program website and activation of ResearchNet (electronic application system)
Application deadline September 20, 2023 (8:00 p.m. EDT)
Anticipated funding decision release Mid-February 2024

2. Competition administration

Single signatory for the institutional letter of endorsement For action

As part of the Banting PDF application process, each institution is required to identify the individual who is responsible for signing the letter of endorsement on behalf of the entire institution (i.e., the President, their equivalent, or a single delegate). Having this information will help us to ensure that the proper, single authority has signed off on all applications from your institution. Please provide the name of your institution's signatory by sending it to program staff at banting@cihr-irsc.gc.ca no later than September 1, 2023.

For more information specific to host institutions, please consult the Information for host institutions page of the Banting PDF website.

3. Program news

San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) New

The three federal granting councils have signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), a global initiative whose purpose is to support the development and promotion of best practices in the assessment of scholarly research. As signatories of DORA, the agencies recognize and value a broad range of contributions and emphasize their quality and impact.

Applicant and peer review guidance has been aligned with DORA recommendations. Applicants can highlight a range of contributions in their applications. Reviewers are asked to assess research excellence broadly (i.e., not just based on publications) and to avoid using journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research publications.

Equity, diversity and inclusion Reminder

The Banting PDF program encourages equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), as part of the agencies' broader commitment to excellence in research and research training in Canada. EDI considerations must be taken into account throughout the Banting PDF competition, including during the selection committee member recruitment process and during the selection, endorsement and review processes of an application.

The EDI page of the Banting PDF website provides guidelines and resources geared towards applicants, host institutions, referees, and reviewers and readers, and addressing the following topics: research respectfully involving Indigenous communities; reducing unconscious bias; and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion more generally.

An important component ensuring EDI in our selection process is the careful consideration to each applicant's career interruptions and personal circumstances. The review of applicant's track record will take into consideration the availability of research and leadership opportunities.  Applicants are thus encouraged to identify any circumstances that might have delayed or interrupted their academic and/or career advancement (if applicable) in the Special Circumstances attachment of their application.

Tri-Agency Statement on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are committed to excellence in research and research training. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. Read more.

International recruitment Reminder

In keeping with the aim of attracting postdoctoral researchers to Canada, we encourage you to continue strengthening your efforts to endorse new international candidates. Your collaboration is essential in branding the Banting PDF program as Canada's most valuable, prestigious and sought-after postdoctoral funding opportunity.

Sex- and Gender-based Analysis Plus (SGBA+) Reminder

In order to ensure the research we fund is impactful and relevant to the diversity of the population, we now require applicants to systematically examine how differences in identity factors, such as sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability, affect the outcomes of research and the impacts of research findings. Applicants are encouraged to take SGBA+ principles into account in their proposed research (see Application guide -Task 10 – Research Proposal).

Research respectfully involving Indigenous communities Reminder

The proposed research must be in accordance with the policies and principles outlined in the following two main documents:

  • Tri-Council Policy Statement: Chapter 9: Research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada
  • SSHRC Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research
  • CIHR's Research Involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada –Webinar
  • Proposed supervisors must describe how collaborations are developed and provide details corroborating information included in the research proposal.

    In order to be funded, research involving and engaging with Indigenous communities must fulfill the pillars for respectful research engaging with Indigenous Peoples.

    Institutional endorsement (selectivity and diversity) Reminder

    We would like to remind you to continue being highly selective in your endorsement of applications. In this way, we can work together to ensure that we receive very high-quality applications and, in turn, that the program is indeed supporting world-class postdoctoral researchers 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 equity in the endorsement process.

    Confirmation of the institution's commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion must be included in the letter of endorsement.

    Eligible referees Reminder

    An assessment cannot be completed by the proposed supervisor unless that person is already the applicant's primary supervisor at the time of application or has been their primary supervisor in the past.

    One of the three referees must be at arm's length (see Application Guide-Task 8).

    Subject matter eligibility (research area) Reminder

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

    Supervisor's statement (support from institutions) Reminder

    Given the competitive nature of the Banting PDF 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. The supervisor should explain how this support goes above and beyond what is offered to regular postdoctoral researchers. Furthermore, the support should be reasonable and appropriate to the institution and should meet the applicant's needs and the requirements of the proposed research.

    Task 10 of the application guide provides instructions for this document.

    Postdoctoral researchers must complete the Banting End of Award Report, which includes follow-up questions to confirm whether the support outlined in the application was granted to them during their award.

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