Aspiration Post-doctoral Fellowships

The Vice President Research and Innovation provides competitive match-funding for faculty to recruit new outstanding postdoctoral 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 two-year awards will provide critical salary support ($50,000/year), research training, and recognition for individuals at this unique career stage. Preference will be given to postdoctoral candidates who advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in their respective discipline(s).

Aspiration 2030 is UVic’s new 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. These awards will advance research in one or more of the five Impact Areas of Aspiration 2030.

Who is eligible?

The award must recruit a new postdoctoral fellow to UVic. Eligible proposals will nominate one postdoctoral 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 one application. Postdoctoral candidates must have fulfilled all degree requirements for a PhD or PhD-equivalent degree prior to commencing their postdoctoral appointment, but no longer than three 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

  • Notice of Intent Due: December 15, 2021 (Noon, Pacific Standard Time)
  • Invite to Full Application: January 5, 2022
  • Full Applications Due: February 1, 2022 (Noon, Pacific Standard Time)
  • Results Announced: March 2022
  • Fellowships Begin: April 1 to September 1, 2022

How to apply

In this inaugural competition, approximately 10 fellowships will be granted in a competitive process. The primary supervising UVic faculty member must submit the Notice of Intent form to by noon (PST) on December 15, 2021.


Full details of the program and application process

Notice of intent form

Frequently asked questions

Can a higher salary be provided?

The salary provided through the funding opportunity is $50,000 per year (plus $5,000/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).

How else can the careers of these postdoctoral fellows be advanced?

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.

What if the external partner organization is in a position to make a financial contribution?

Great news! If an external partner organization can financially support a postdoctoral fellowship with a cash contribution, then a direct application to Mitacs should be made (e.g. Mitacs Accelerate, Mitacs Elevate). This opportunity is intended to leverage resources already held at UVic.

Why and how will preference be given to postdoctoral candidates who advance commitments to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) their respective discipline?

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”. Using the Notice of Intent as well as Candidate and Supervisor Statements in the Full Application, reviewers will be asked to consider how a candidate and their research have and could advance EDI in their discipline, especially at UVic.

Do I need to have the specific postdoctoral candidate identified by the Notice of Intent deadline?

No. We recognize that it can take time to identify a new postdoctoral candidate. If you have the candidate identified, please complete the additional information requested on the Notice of Intent. If you do not, please update that section of Notice of Intent Form and submit before the Full Application deadline.

What if we don't have a candidate by the NOI deadline?

You are not required to identify the postdoctoral candidate by the NOI deadline. This will not effect our decision on invitations to a Full Application.

Can I change the postdoctoral candidate between the NOI and Full Application?

Yes, it would be fine to change this individual between application stages. However, it cannot be changed after the Full Application (and award decisions are made). Please inform ASAP if a candidate is changed.

Can teaching responsibilities be included in the fellowship?

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.