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Aspiration post-doctoral fellowships

The vice-president research and innovation provides competitive match-funding for faculty to recruit new outstanding post-doctoral fellows to conduct cutting-edge research at UVic. This investment advances our world-class training and commitments to develop the next generation of research leaders.

These 2-year awards will provide critical salary support, research training and recognition for individuals at this unique career stage. Adjudication will consider how post-doctoral candidates advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in their research, leadership, and discipline(s).

Aspiration 2030 is UVic’s Research and Creative Works Strategy, which identifies the university’s research aspirations, actions, outcomes and impact areas. UVic’s vision is creating a better world through curiosity, engagement and innovation. The aspirations and actions outlined in Aspiration 2030 reflect the university’s unwavering institutional commitment to research and creative work in all its forms.

The Aspiration 2030 PDFs can be in any research area. Proposed research will be evaluated in part on its ability to make an impact through fundamental inquiry or impact that is aligned with Aspiration 2030’s impact areas. Those that have the potential to raise the external profile of the university in high impact areas will be prioritized.

Who is eligible?

  • the award must recruit a new post-doctoral fellow to UVic
  • eligible proposals will nominate 1 post-doctoral fellow candidate in collaboration with a primary supervising UVic faculty member (research stream)
  • a secondary co-supervising faculty member may be included
  • UVic faculty members may only serve as a supervisor (either as primary or secondary co-supervisor) on 1 application

Post-doctoral candidates must have fulfilled all degree requirements for a PhD or PhD-equivalent degree prior to commencing their postdoctoral appointment, but no longer than 2.5 years prior to the start of the award.

To support equity, extensions to these time parameters will be considered in cases where applicants have experienced other career interruptions as defined by the tri-agencies.

Key dates

  • applications are due June 5, 2024 (noon, PST)
  • results announced in early July 2024
  • fellowships must begin by December 1, 2024

How to apply

Refer to the call for proposals for the application procedure and full terms.

All intake applications must be submitted by the primary supervising UVic faculty member to by noon (PST) on June 5, 2024.

Note: The UVic Banting pre-selection process and UVic Aspiration Postdoctoral Fellowship program will use the same application format and timeline. If you intend to apply for both Banting and Aspiration Fellowships, you must indicate this on the first page of the application coversheet. See the Banting program information for more information on how the application processes are related.


The salary provided through the funding opportunity is $50,000 per year ($25,000 from the Aspiration Fellowship, $25,000 from PI, plus $7,500/year for non-discretionary benefits), which is higher than a typical Tri-Council post-doctoral fellowship (e.g. SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR). Additional salary and benefits expenses may be provided by the supervising faculty member(s).

Aspiration Fellows could be hired as Sessional Instructors to teach courses (maximum 1 per year) as well as appointed as Adjunct Faculty at UVic (e.g., to support their ability to apply for and hold external research funding) and/or to Faculty of Graduate Students (e.g., to support their participation in graduate student supervision). Relevant academic unit, faculty, and university policies and procedures apply. Faculty members should check with their Chair or Director. 

The vision of Aspiration 2030 is guided by several values, including Inclusion & Respect. A Research Community action identified in Aspiration 2030 is to, “embed equity, diversity and inclusion in research processes and activities to overcome systemic barriers and build and support a diverse research community”. The "Evaluation Process” PDF provided on the website outlines how reviewers will consider how a candidate, their research, and their leadership activities have and could advance EDI. 

Yes, a specific candidate must be identified as this comprises a majority of what is evaluated. We recognize that it can take time to identify a new postdoctoral candidate, which is why we have added an additional intake allowing applications to be submitted by January 15th or June 5th. Further, and for the same reasons, it is not possible to change the individual postdoctoral candidates once awarded.

Yes, a maximum of one course (1.5 units) per year can be included in an Aspiration Postdoctoral Fellowship. This may allow funds to be leveraged to help meet the required internal match funding requirements or can be provided in addition to / on-top of the Aspiration Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

Yes. Aspiration 2030 PDF award winners are appointed as Internal PDFs under UVic’s Postdoctoral Fellow Policy (HR6310). The supervisor is responsible for paying the employer's portion of the mandatory employment related costs (CPP, EI, etc) and extended health and dental.

Aspiration PDFs 2021-22

The inaugural year of the program saw 10 Aspiration PDFs welcomed to UVic. Learn more about their work.