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. 

The 2024 EPIC Career Transition Awards will support trainees with an MD who have completed residency training and are doing a fellowship and/or post-graduate training program (eg., Master’s/PhD/postdoctoral), and/or trainees with a PhD and a minimum of 18 months experience as a postdoctoral fellow. Applicants should be 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.  

Our 2024 Career Transition Award competition will focus specifically on clinical, translational, epidemiology, health systems, population, global and/or public health research.    


Applicants will apply to one of two streams.

Stream A:

  • applicants must have an MD with completed residency training and be engaged in a fellowship and/or post-graduate training program (eg., Master’s/PhD/post-doc) AND conduct research in clinical, translational, global health and/or public health research
  • MDs with a PhD are also eligible to apply to this stream

Stream B:

  • Applicants must have a PhD with a minimum of 18 months experience as a postdoctoral fellow and conduct epidemiology, population, global health and/or health systems research

Eligibility requirements for both streams:

  • Demonstrate an excellent research track record during post-graduate research training
  • Propose an innovative project focused on 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)

For Stream A applicants with clinical duties, it is expected that at least 75% of the applicant’s time will be allocated to research during the funding term, however, EPIC recognizes that this may not be feasible at all institutions. In the cases where protected time falls below 75%, EPIC, with input from the review panel, will carefully evaluate the proposed key milestones & expected timelines to ensure alignment with the goals of this funding program.

    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. 

    For Stream A applicants, $15,000 per year can be used for buy-out time from clinical or teaching duties. If buy-out is not required, this amount can be used for project support and/or professional development of the applicant and their group members.

    EPIC anticipates funding two awards (one in each stream) in the 2024 competition.  

    Awardee Responsibilities

    EPIC Career Transition Award recipients will be invited to present their research findings at an EPIC event during the award term. They will also enter the pool to serve as adjudicators for the following year’s award competitions.

    Recipients will be required to submit a short interim progress report and a financial report at the mid-point of the funding term as well as a final report within 90 days of the end of the term 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  
    • 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 all supporting materials as a single, combined PDF via email to PDF documents should follow the naming convention: CareerTrans_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 “2024 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, expected 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 with figure legends counting towards the 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. 

        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 have been or will be factored into the project’s design and execution.    

        List of collaborators (if applicable): 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.  

        CV: Please provide your CV (Canadian Common CV style preferred).

        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 applicant to become an independent investigator. The referees should have a direct relationship with the applicant and be able to comment on the qualities, experiences and achievements that make them an excellent candidate for the EPIC Career Transition Award. 

        Referees should email their letter of support as a PDF to Please save the PDF using the following naming convention: CareerTrans_applicant last name_applicant first 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.

        Important Dates

        Call for applications: February 5, 2024

        Deadline to submit all application forms and supporting materials: April 1, 2024, 11:59 pm EST

        Anticipated review period: May/June 2024

        Anticipated Notice of Award: June 2024

        Funding start date: July 2024