Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Recruitment Fellowships

The Alberta Innovates Recruitment Fellowships (AI RF) are to assist with the strategic recruitment of top postdoctoral fellows (“Trainees”), with health related work, to the University of Alberta and the province of Alberta.

Value
  • $70,000 CAD per year for up to two years. Incoming postdoctoral fellow’s appointment must start within 6 months as of the date of the appliction submission deadline. Refer to Deadline and Timelines for each application submission intake.
  • Top-Up: $15,000 - For Trainees in receipt of any other major comparable award (i.e. Killam, Notley, Tri-Council fellowships, etc.). The Stipend Incentive may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards does not fall below $70,000 CAD per year.
  • The annual stipend does not cover the cost of supplemental benefits (includes health and dental coverage, WCB, CPP and EI) for postdoctoral fellows; the supervisor or department will be responsible for covering the cost of supplemental benefits for the postdoctoral researcher. 
Eligibility

The intent of the AI RF program is to bring outstanding candidates from outside the University of Alberta. There are no citizenship restrictions on this award. All Trainees must:

  • Have completed a PhD at the time of award implementation;
    • Fulfillment of all degree requirements refers to the date that the applicant completed all the steps required for obtaining their degree. Although these requirements may vary by institution and degree type, they normally include thesis defense corrections and thesis deposition. It is not the convocation date.
  • Be an incoming postdoctoral appointee to the University of Alberta. In the context of this competition, "incoming" means having an appointment start date no sooner than the application submission intake in which they applied (refer to Deadline and Timelines for each intake);
    • Applicants must not already hold, or have held, a postdoctoral position at the University of Alberta or be employed at the University of Alberta.
    • Current University of Alberta postdoctoral fellows who plan to start another appointment at the University of Alberta are not eligible to apply.
    • appointments must start within 6 months as of the date of the application submission intake. 
  • Not have applied more than once before for a postdoctoral fellowship from Alberta Innovates;
  • Proposed projects must:
    • Involve health-related R&I activities that are strongly aligned to at least one strategic priority;
    • Be performed at the University of Alberta; and
    • Be approved for funding by Alberta Innovates.
  • Proposed supervisors must commit to cover the cost of supplemental benefits (includes health and dental coverage, WCB, CPP and EI). Applicants and their proposed supervisors should discuss the details of the fellowship appointment prior to submitting an application. Refer to the university’s PDF Collective Agreement and Benefits website for information on postdoctoral fellow appointments. Visit Human Resource Services Compensation Calculator for an estimate of annual benefit costs.
    • A speed code benefits can be charged to will be required to be provided to FGSR if the applicant is offered a fellowship.
Restrictions
Award recipients may not receive simultaneous support from another Alberta Innovates Trainee program.
Application Procedures

Prospective postdoctoral fellows should first contact a Faculty member in the Department to which they wish to apply, who is willing to act as a potential supervisor for the Fellowship. Once a supervisor has been confirmed, applicants must complete the AI RF Application Form & Instructions.

Potential postdoctoral fellows must submit their complete application (points 1-6 noted below) as one PDF via email to grad.awards@ualberta.ca by Monday, October 16, 2023 at 11:59 pm MDT/Edmonton Time. Three letters of reference (point 7 noted below) are also to be sent directly to FGSR by applicants referees by October 16. To avoid lost or emails sent to spam, applicants are to request Award Services to confirm receipt of their application upon email submission. Applicants who do not receive an email reply from grad.awards@ualberta.ca confirming receipt of their application within 2-3 business days are responsible for following up with FGSR.

A complete application includes (refer to the Application form for detailed instructions):

1.      AI RF Application Form
2.      Project proposal with statement on relevancy to AI priority areas (1 page maximum). References may be on additional pages(s).
3.      Summary of career goals (1 page maximum)
4.      Applicant CV
5.      Supervisor statement of support (on institution letterhead and signed by the supervisor; can be included in the application by the applicant). One letter maximum; for co-supervision, either the supervisor or the co-supervisor may provide one letter but not both.
6.      If applicable, copy of fellowship competition results from any competitions that the applicant has applied to previously for the same project (e.g., CIHR competition results)
7.     Copy of doctoral degree certificate. If the degree certificate is not yet available, written confirmation from the Graduate School or Registrar of the university that all the degree requirements have been met and that the doctoral degree is forthcoming. 

- If the degree requirements have not yet been met, but applicants are expected to do so within 6 months of the application submission deadline, written confirmation from the supervisor/department of the expected date all degree requirements will be fulfilled.

8. Three Letters of Reference. As these letters are confidential, they must be submitted directly by the referees via email to grad.awards@ualberta.ca. Letters submitted by the applicant will not be accepted:

- All letters of appraisal must be signed by the appraiser and be on institutional letterhead (electronic signatures are acceptable). They should contain a substantive evaluation of your ability and not be merely testimonials, as the fellowships are intended primarily for those who are seeking to establish themselves in their chosen field
- The three references are in addition to the Supervisor Statement of Support; reference letters should not be from the proposed supervisor (or co-supervisor), as the Supervisor Statement of Support is already provided
- Only have three appraisals sent. Any additional letters will be removed prior to the competition
 
- Applicants are responsible for supplying their referees with the documents necessary for them to write their respective letters. 
- Applicants should contact their referees well in advance of the application deadline date. It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with referees to ensure the assessments are submitted in sufficient time prior to FGSR’s deadline.
- Applicants are to instruct referees to request Award Services to confirm receipt of their letters upon email submission. FGSR will not follow up regarding missing reference letters.
The FGSR may leverage internal review processes for other competitions (e.g., Banting, Killam, tri-council) to triage applications for further consideration by AI for an AI Fellowship. Fellowship applicants identified in this way may be required to submit additional documents to assist in assessing relevancy to AI priorities.
Nomination Procedures
This is a direct application whereby potential postdoctoral fellow applicants are to submit their completed application directly to FGSR. Faculties/Departments are not required to review applications and submit eligible nominees to FGSR, but are to refer to the 2023 AI RF Competition Memo for information on the current intake.
Adjudication Procedures
FGSR will review all applications for eligibility and completeness and forward them to the AI Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee for adjudication. The Committee will evaluate the applicants based on excellence and strategic alignment in the four Priority Areas: Priority 1) Digital & Data-Enabled (D&DE) Health Research; Priority 2: Advancing D&DE Tools and Methods; Priority 3: Health Technology Acceleration; Priority 4: Technology & Data-Enabled Health System Transformation.
Deadline and Timelines

Intake 1 - December 15, 2022: Results made available March 2023.

Intake 2 - March 29, 2023: Results made available May 2023.

Intake 3 - October 16, 2023: Deadline for applicants to submit their complete application (points 1-6 noted above) as one PDF via email to grad.awards@ualberta.ca. The three letters of reference are also due at FGSR by applicants referees by October 16. To avoid lost/spammed emails, applicants are to request Award Services to confirm receipt of their application upon email submission. Applicants who do not receive an email reply from grad.awards@ualberta.ca confirming receipt of their application within 2-3 business days are responsible for following up with FGSR.

  • October 2023: applications will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness. Once the application is submitted to FGSR, no revisions will be permitted. Incomplete applications including those submitted with missing documents and missing signatures will be rejected. FGSR will not follow up regarding applications that are incomplete and the application will automatically be rejected.
  • November/December 2023: Review and final adjudication by Postdoctoral Fellowship Selection Committee members.
  • December 2023/January 2024: Alberta Innovates to approve awardees selected by the Selection Committee. Results letters are sent to all applicants.

January 15, 2024: Intake 4 (final) competition round (TBA). Applications for intake 4 are not yet being accepted.

Acceptance/Decline, Renewals, & Final Reports

Acceptance/Decline
Successful applicants should review the Postdoctoral Fellows Policies and Procedures prior to accepting the Fellowship. Successful applicants are to complete the AI PDF Acceptance/Decline Form and submit it to FGSR Award Services (grad.awards@ualberta.ca).

  • Once the recipient has accepted the Fellowship, FGSR Award Services will initiate the hire/payment process to proceed with a Letter of Offer.
    • A speed code benefits can be charged to will be required to be provided to FGSR.  
  • The regulations of the Fellowship prohibit recipients from holding any other major comparable award during the tenure of the Fellowship. Fellows who are offered a major fellowship from another granting agency are required to accept it. In this case, fellows would be eligible for a Stipend Incentive valued at $15,000 CAD per year. The stipend incentive may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards does not fall below $70,000 CAD per year.
  • All degree requirements must be met before the start date of the Fellowship. Fulfillment of degree requirements may vary by institution and degree type, but they normally include thesis defense corrections and thesis deposition. 
  • Recipients are to refer to the Fellowship Offer Letter for complete details of all acceptance contingencies.
Renewals
Fellowship holders must complete and submit an AI PDF Renewal Report to Award Services (grad.awards@ualberta.ca) at least six weeks before the start of the renewal year.

Final Reports
Alberta Innovates will provide annual surveys to the Fellowship Recipient over five years following the Fellowship completion to measure the impact and benefits of Alberta Innovates’ Investment, in a form to be determined by Alberta Innovates.