Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Supporting Researchers from Underrepresented Groups (PDAD&C #62)

From: Joshua Barker, Dean, School of Graduate Studies & Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education
Date: March 6, 2019
Re: Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Supporting Researchers from Underrepresented Groups (PDAD&C #62)


Thank you to all faculty and prospective candidates for expressing interest in the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. We are excited to announce that we have had an immediate and overwhelming response to this award. All successful nominators will hear from the School of Graduate Studies about next steps in the coming weeks. As of March 14, nominations have closed.

We are not reviewing any further nominations for this period. However, we encourage you to consider candidates for the program’s second round, which will launch in fall 2019.

We will circulate details about the next round of nominations to Principals & Deans in June 2019.


The University of Toronto Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides funding to increase opportunities for hiring postdoctoral fellows from underrepresented groups, specifically Indigenous and Black researchers. These fellowships will enable postdoctoral researchers to grow their scholarly profiles, undertake academic work at the University of Toronto, and strengthen the research environment at the University with diverse perspectives.

This funding is designed to help the University compete with peer institutions for top-tier candidates, and to support the University in meeting its institutional goal of fostering increased diversity and representation at all levels of teaching, learning and research. The funding will be offered as a pilot program for three years. 

Candidates must be nominated by their prospective Faculties/divisions following the timeline and processes outlined below. While the nomination/application process will normally begin with faculty advisors/mentors, funding for the successful nominees will be provided to their respective Faculty Dean’s office for administration. 


Funding will be available to engage seven postdoctoral fellows per year, for up to 21 postdoctoral fellows over the three-year pilot program.

Each award will provide $70,000 per year to Faculties to support up to two years of postdoctoral salary and benefits. This level of funding exceeds the median postdoctoral salary at the University of Toronto, and is in keeping with Canada’s most prestigious postdoctoral awards. Units have the option, and are encouraged, to augment the salary support from a variety of sources, including operating budget, faculty advisor funds such as research grants, other awards, etc. It is expected that successful postdoctoral fellows will also receive a start-up fund of $5,000 per year, funded through the Dean’s Office or faculty advisor. (Please note that funding will continue during Year Four for those postdoctoral fellows who received their initial funding in year three of the pilot project.)

For the first fiscal year (2018-19) of the pilot project, funding will be available to the first seven successful nominees, regardless of their Faculty/divisional affiliation. This approach will enable the University to rapidly recruit a cohort of top candidates while gathering information necessary to adjust the nomination/application process in subsequent years of the pilot program. Subsequent years may include a divisional allocation or target to ensure these funds are distributed fairly across Faculties over the full span of the pilot program.

While funding can only be requested at the time of offer, divisions should inform the SGS Dean as early as possible if they have identified a potential candidate.


  • Individuals who demonstrate academic excellence and high potential for success in their chosen fields;
  • Individuals who identify as Indigenous and/or Black;
  • Individuals who have obtained a doctoral degree, normally within the last five years from the start date of the funding;
  • The award is open to both domestic and international post-graduates.

Application process

To request funding support for a fellowship, a division’s Dean’s Office will submit a nomination package to the School of Graduate Studies at Dean’s Offices may wish to establish an internal deadline, application and selection process before forwarding nomination packages to the School of Graduate Studies.

The nomination package must include:

  • A statement of intent from the candidate (maximum 2 pages);
  • The curriculum vitae of the candidate;
  • A nomination letter from the U of T faculty advisor/mentor;
  • A support letter from the Dean addressing how the candidate meets the eligibility criteria and confirming that the candidate intends to accept the offer if funding is made available; and
  • A draft letter of offer (prepared by the Business Officer of the Faculty).

In order to ensure the program goals and objectives are met, the nomination/application process, including potential divisional allocations, will be reviewed by SGS on an ongoing basis.


Nominations will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning March 8, 2019.

Independent Development Plan (IDP)

Postdoctoral fellows and their faculty advisor/mentor must establish an IDP, which should be reviewed and revised annually, if necessary. A copy of the initial and revised IDP must be provided to the Postdoctoral Office at SGS. Postdoctoral fellows must register and remain registered with the Postdoctoral Office at SGS.


Lisa Haley
Postdoctoral Office
School of Graduate Studies
Room 202
63 St. George Street
University of Toronto M5S 2Z9
Tel. 416-978-2780
Brian Desrosiers-Tam
Director, Office of the Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education
School of Graduate Studies
65 St. George Street
University of Toronto  M5S 2Z9
Tel. 416-946-3102