Career Transition Awards 

The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) is training the next generation of infectious disease research leaders that will help stop future pandemics in humans and reduce the societal burdens of infectious disease. 

EPIC Career Transition Awards support postdoctoral trainees and research associates who are ready to lead an independent project. The support will establish a discrete fund for the recipient to facilitate an achievable, small-scale project led entirely by the applicant, while being mentored by their supervisor and a dedicated mentor in the EPIC community. This work is intended to become a cornerstone of their independent program as they develop the next stages of their career. 

EPIC is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. 

EPIC Career Transition Award recipients will be invited to participate in the EPIC annual symposium to highlight their independent work. They will become full members of EPIC and receive priority access to EPIC events, including networking and career development sessions. During the course of the award term, academic career mentoring will be provided by EPIC faculty members on a one-on-one basis.  

  • Demonstrate an excellent research track record during their post-graduate research training 
  • Have a minimum of 3 years experience as a postdoctoral fellow and/or research associate 
  • Propose an innovative project focused on existing high impact human infectious disease or zoonotic pathogens with human pandemic potential
  • Display independence from the supervisor’s research program 
  • Primary supervisor must have a primary affiliation at the University of Toronto or one of EPIC’s partner hospitals (the Hospital for Sick Children, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Unity Health Toronto and the University Health Network)  
    Value and Duration

    EPIC Career Transition Award recipients will receive $120,000 in research operational funding over a 2-year term. This award is non-renewable. 

    We anticipate funding up to two Career Transition Awards in the March 2023 competition.

    Awardee Responsibilities

    EPIC Career Transition Award recipients will present at the EPIC Research Talks lecture series during the award term. They will also enter the pool to serve as adjudicators for the following year’s award competitions. At the conclusion of the funding term, a progress report will be required outlining major outcomes, budget reporting and planned future work. Award recipients are also required to acknowledge EPIC support in publications and presentations resulting from the funded work. 

    Selection Criteria

    Proposals submitted to the EPIC Career Transition Awards competition will be evaluated using the following criteria:   

    • Strength of the research track record of the applicant 
    • Indication of independent research project management abilities 
    • Significance, feasibility and merit of proposed research activities  
    • Strong potential to impact human health, societal resilience and/or pandemic readiness. 
    • Probability that the project will form the basis for an independent research program  
    • Incorporation of values of equity, diversity and inclusivity in the research environment and the project implementation, where appropriate. 

      Application materials

      Please submit the application form and all supporting documents as a single, combined PDF via email to PDF documents should follow the naming convention: CareerTransition_Last name_First name.  

      All materials should be easily legible, in a minimum of 11-point font with standard document margins (top/bottom: 2.5cm, left/right: 1.9cm) 

      For any questions or concerns, please email with “Career Transition” in the subject line. 

        Please download and complete the PDF application form with information about yourself, your supervisor and your research project. The form also needs to be signed by your supervisor and your institutional or departmental chair.

        Plain language summary (maximum 250 words): Provide a summary in non-specialist language of the proposal, highlighting project objectives, outcomes and impact. The plain language summary may be posted on EPIC’s website and should be understandable by a general lay audience. 

        Project proposal (maximum 2000 words, not including references): Provide a description of the proposed research, including background, rationale, aims, methods, expected outcomes and timelines. Outline how this project aligns with the EPIC’s mandate. The inclusion of up to two figures is permitted, but figure legends will count towards total word count of the proposal. Please also include how this research project links to your past work, and how it could be built into a larger independent research program, including an overview of future studies.  

        List of collaborators: If this project engages collaborators beyond the primary supervisor(s) and their teams, please download and complete this table.

        Budget (maximum 1 page): Provide the breakdown and rationale of the total budget requested for the project as aligned with Tri-Agency funding reporting (see Tri-Agency Form 300 for category examples). Note: large equipment purchases are not eligible expenditures.  

        EDI statement (maximum 250 words): Please share your reflections on the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the research environment and how it applies to your work. If relevant, please comment on how EDI considerations has been or will be factored into the project’s design and execution.  

        CV: Please provide a ‘CIHR Academic’-formatted Canadian Common CV for the applicant 

        Provide two reference letters (one typically provided by the current supervisor) from individuals who can attest to the scientific excellence as well as potential of the nominee to become an independent investigator. The referees should have a direct relationship with the nominee such that they can comment on the qualities, experiences and achievements that make the nominee an excellent candidate for the EPIC Career Transition Award.

        Referees should email their letter of support as a PDF to with “Career Transition” in the subject line. Please save the PDF using the following naming convention: CareerTransition_applicantLast name_applicantFirst name_LOS_Referee last name.  

        Demographic Survey

        Applicants and supervisors will be asked to complete our demographic survey. While this survey is required, there is an option to select “Prefer not to answer” for all questions.


        The 2023 Career Transition Awards competition has closed. Please stay tuned for more information about the results and the 2024 competition.