Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

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.


Priority Areas

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:

Priority 1
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.

Priority 2
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,
• Advancing health-related data linkage or simulation tools and approaches,
• Training software algorithms to learn from and act on health-related data,
• Enhancing the retrieval and annotation of clinically relevant information from connected devices or health records,
• Enhancing use case development for employing computation and automation (e.g., Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning) to improve health care or promote health and wellbeing, or
• Addressing practical, regulatory, or ethical issues related to the collection and use of personal health information for research and innovation.

Priority 3
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,
• Accelerating the commercialization of health technologies through the early validation phase (e.g., proof of concept testing, prototype development),
• Carrying out feasibility studies, implementation projects, or clinical trials of innovative health technologies, or
• Exploring ways to enhance health technology development in Alberta (e.g., developing and testing tools
and supports for innovators, addressing regulatory challenges, and improving understandings of talent gaps and opportunities).

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.

Priority 4
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,
• Conducting a systematic evaluation (e.g., Health Technology Assessment or Health Economic Evaluation) to address health system evidence needs regarding use of a health technology (excluding pharmaceuticals, but not limited to D&DE technologies),
• Advancing the use of computation and automation (e.g., Natural Language Processing) in Health Technology Assessments and/or evidence synthesis,
• Building capacity within the health system to identify and adopt D&DE technologies with the greatest potential to improve health and wellbeing,
• Assessments of governance structures and approaches for more integrated and successful deployment of D&DE technologies in the health system, or
• Implementing or scaling up use of a promising D&DE technology with demonstrated potential to improve health and wellbeing.

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).




There are no citizenship restrictions on this award.   All trainees must:

  • Have completed a PhD at the time of award implementation;
  • Be less than five years into a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Lethbridge;
  • Have applied no more than once before for a 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 appointee must start no later than 6 months from the application submission deadline (March 2024).
    • Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowships in Health Innovation or Alberta Innovates Enhancement Fellowship. Have accepted or started a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Lethbridge.  

The 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.


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 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 by Wednesday, September 13, 2023 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 ( by September 13.

A complete application includes:

  1. Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowship Application coversheet 
  2. Project proposal with statement on relevancy to AI priority areas (1 page maximum)
  3. Summary of career goals (1 page maximum)
  4. Applicant CV
  5. 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).
  6. 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 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.


  • September 13, 2023: Deadline for applicants to submit their complete application.  Three letters of reference are also due by September 13.
  • September 14-18, 2023 Applications will be reviewed for eligibility and completeness. Incomplete applications will be removed from the competition.  ORIS will not follow up regarding incomplete applications.
  • September 19 to end October 2023: Review and committee adjudication.
  • November 2023: Alberta Innovates review and approval of selected awardees.
  • December 2023: Notices of Award/Decision sent to all applicants.
  • January 1, 2024: Incoming PDFs with appointment start dates between January 1 and June 1, 2024.
Agency Name: 
Alberta Innovates
Contact Name: 
Angela Rosenau or Esther Ekpe Adewuyi
Grant Amount: 
Fellowship Types ORIS is accepting applications for the following fellowships: • Recruitment Fellowships (RF) $70,000 CAD per year for up to two years for the highest caliber incoming postdoctoral fellows. Incoming postdoctoral fellow’s appointment must start no later than 6 months from the application submission deadline (March 2024). Contact ORIS ( to discuss possible extenuating conditions. Top-Up: $15,000 - For Trainees in receipt of any other major comparable award (i.e., Killam, Notley, Tri-Council fellowships, etc.). The Top-Up may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards does not fall below $70,000 CAD per year. • Postdoctoral Fellowships in Health Innovation (PFHI): $55,000 CAD per year for up to two years. Funding cannot be provided beyond a Trainee’s fifth year in a postdoctoral appointment at the same institution. • Top-Up: $15,000 - For Trainees in receipt of any other major comparable award (i.e., Killam, Notley, Tri-Council fellowships, etc.). The Top-Up may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards does not fall below $55,000 CAD per year. • Alberta Innovates Enhancement Fellowships (EF): $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. Funding cannot be provided beyond a Trainee’s fifth year in a postdoctoral appointment at the same institution. If a Trainee is offered another major award while holding an EF fellowship, they are encouraged to accept the other award even if it is of lower value. A supplement will be provided to ensure the combined value does not fall below $55,000 per year during the duration of the Alberta Innovates award. This differs from the Top-Up for other fellowships in that the combined value cannot exceed $55,000. Top-Up Considerations: 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 Top-Up from Alberta Innovates if they accept the other major award. Restrictions vary based on the type of Alberta Innovates Fellowship offered.
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Internal Deadline: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: