Please note - the application deadline has been extended to December 16, 2022.
Alberta Innovates (AI) established the Postdoctoral Fellowships (AI PDF) Program to position postdoctoral fellows for high-impact careers in Alberta’s health research and innovation (R&I) ecosystem. Alberta Innovates’ Postdoctoral Fellowship program is designed to:
- Cultivate a world-class research and innovation system;
- Drive the discovery, development, and use of innovations that have high potential to improve the health of citizens while creating opportunity for economic diversification in Alberta; and
- Increase the competitiveness of Alberta as a destination for training in digital and data-enabled health innovation.
AI’s investment in the AI PDF Program enhances Alberta’s knowledge workforce in areas with high potential to diversify the economy and improve the health and well-being of citizens. To ensure the Program builds capacity in areas of strategic importance to the province, the following areas are prioritized:
Digital & Data-Enabled (D&DE) Health Research
|Leveraging advances in connected devices, computational intensity, and data generation to enhance health research. The following types of projects are of strong relevance:
• Combining large-scale and heterogeneous sources of data (e.g., clinical, biological, or omic data) to deeply characterize individuals and diseases, or enable analyses of complex biological, social, and environmental factors,
• Deploying machine learning to predict health outcomes (e.g., hospital readmission, future deterioration) or enhance diagnostic and intervention research,
• Exploring ways to enhance health and wellness monitoring and decision-making through connected devices
• Leading-edge projects involving virtual and augmented reality, mobile-health applications, big data analytics, connected devices, sensors, wearables, 3D printing, and advanced computer simulation and modelling, or
• Using digital tools and connectivity to optimize and expand the effectiveness and reach of clinical research.
Note: the following do not represent advanced engagements with D&DE technologies: conducting interviews via video conferencing software, running online surveys, or using applications like Stata, SPSS, or MATLAB to run common statistical tests on sparse, static, or poorly relational data sets.
Advancing D&DE Tools and Methods
Developing advanced approaches to unlock greater value from health information. The following types of projects are relevant:
• Developing highly automated processes to collect and transform health-related data from connected devices, sensors, wearables, smart phone apps, diagnostic tools, or relevant databases,
Health Technology Acceleration
Activities to increase the rate at which discoveries and promising academic outputs (e.g., IP, data assets, processes) are transformed into commercially viable health products or services. The range of relevant activity includes:
• Advancing early-stage health research that demonstrates high commercial potential,
Note: due to the need to build capacity in Health Technology Acceleration overall, this priority area is not restricted to Digital & Data-Enabled (D&DE) technologies.
Technology and Data-Enabled Health System Transformation
Advancing the use of health technologies to enhance health and wellness outcomes, health system sustainability, or health care. This is restricted to:
• Exploring the use of D&DE technologies for prevention, to collect and distribute health information more effectively and efficiently, or to support the delivery of innovative models of care,
Note: developing clinical guidelines is not a strong fit for this priority area, unless it involves the use of D&DE technologies (either as part of a clinical intervention or in enhancing the generation of evidence for systematic evaluations).
ORIS is accepting applications for the following fellowships:
Recruitment Fellowships: $70,000 CAD per year for up to two years for the highest caliber incoming postdoctoral fellows.
Postdoctoral Fellowships in Health Innovation (PFHI): $55,000 CAD per year for up to two years for high-ranking postdoctoral fellows (incoming or those who are no more than six months into their appointment).
Alberta Innovates Enhancement Fellowships: $55,000 CAD per year for up to one year for promising postdoctoral fellows/applications ranked just below the funding cut off in PFHI or other major postdoctoral salary award competitions.
Top-Up: Trainees in receipt of any other major comparable award (Banting, Tri-Council fellowships, etc.) are not eligible to receive the full value of the AI Fellowship at the same time. Instead they may be eligible to receive a Stipend Incentive. The Stipend Incentive may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards are equal to or greater than the value of the original award offered by Alberta Innovates.
There are no citizenship restrictions on this award. All trainees must:
- Have completed a PhD at the time of award implementation;
- Not have applied more than once before for a postdoctoral fellowship from Alberta Innovates; and
- Meet the additional eligibility criteria for the type of fellowship award sought (as outlined below)
- Alberta Innovates Recruitment Fellowship. Be an incoming postdoctoral appointee at the University of Lethbridge. For this competition, "incoming" means having an appointment start date no sooner than April 1, 2023.
- Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowships in Health Innovation or Alberta Innovates Enhancement Fellowship. Have accepted or started a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Lethbridge. For applicants already at the University of Lethbridge, they should be within 6 months of their start date at the time of application or having an appointment start date before April 1, 2023.
In addition, proposed projects must:
- Involve health-related R&I activities that are strongly aligned to at least one of the four priority areas;
- Be conducted at the University of Lethbridge; and
- Be approved for funding by Alberta Innovates.
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 Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowship Application form.
Potential postdoctoral fellows must submit their complete application (points 1-4 noted below) as one PDF via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, December 12, 2022 at 11:59 pm MDT. A supervisor statement of support (item 5 noted below) and three letters of reference (item 6 noted below) may be sent directly to the Office of Research and Innovation Services (ORIS@uleth.ca) by December 12.
A complete application includes:
- Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowship Application coversheet
- Project proposal with statement on relevancy to AI priority areas (1 page maximum)
- Summary of career goals (1 page maximum)
- Applicant CV
- Supervisor statement of support (on institution letterhead and signed by the supervisor). The letter should address, at minimum, the fit of postdoctoral fellow candidate's research to own their research interests, the anticipated mutual benefits, and the commitments to support the postdoctoral fellow candidate (e.g., mentorship and professional development opportunities).
- Three Letters of Reference (on institutional letterhead and signed). As these letters are confidential, they must be submitted directly by the referees via email to email@example.com. Letters submitted by the applicant will not be accepted.
Please note the following:
- 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.
- For items 2 (project proposal) and 3 (career goals), please write for a non-technical audience as applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary committee. Use Times New Roman 12 point font, single spaced. Do not condense the type.
- It is the applicant's responsibility to follow up with referees to ensure the letters are submitted prior to the application deadline. ORIS will not follow up regarding missing reference letters.
- ORIS may leverage internal review processes for other competitions (e.g., the Postdoctoral Fellows Recruitment Program) 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.
- December 12, 2022: Deadline for applicants to submit their complete application. Three letters of reference as also due by December 12.
- December 13-16, 2022: Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness. Incomplete applications will be removed from the competition. ORIS will not follow up regarding incomplete applications.
- December 19 to end January 2023: Review and committee adjudication.
- February 2023: Alberta Innovates review and approval of selected awardees.
- March 2023: Notices of Award/Decision sent to all applicants.
- April 1, 2023: Incoming PDFs with appointment start dates between April 1, and September 1, 2023.