Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) seeks to foster cross-disciplinary research collaborations to advance innovative approaches to infectious diseases that pose a threat to human health. A key focus for EPIC is the training and development of highly skilled researchers who can integrate multidisciplinary approaches in their studies and throughout their future careers.

The EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships support post-doctoral trainees who are driving innovative infectious disease-focused projects that bridge two research disciplines. These senior trainees are expected to engage faculty from at least two different departments and/or divisions, with formal co-supervision by each. By linking together expertise from different research areas, EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships will help strengthen the connectedness and interdisciplinarity of EPIC’s research community while advancing leading-edge research.

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.

Recipients of the EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships will be invited to participate at the EPIC annual symposium to highlight the cross-disciplinary research projects they are leading. They will receive full membership in EPIC and priority access to EPIC events, including networking and career development sessions. They will have opportunities to participate in the adjudication of future EPIC funding calls as well as EPIC strategic planning committees.

Special funding call

Thanks to a generous gift from Pfizer Canada, we are pleased to announce a special funding call in the 2024 Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships competition to support innovative, cross-disciplinary research on vaccines. The Pfizer EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowship in Vaccinology will provide $120,000 in funding over two years to a postdoctoral fellow leading a vaccine-related project that bridges two research disciplines.

For the purposes of this special funding call, vaccinology is defined as the science of vaccine development and how the immune system responds to vaccines, as well as the ongoing evaluation of immunization programs, vaccine safety and effectiveness, and surveillance of the epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases.

  • Be engaged in a research project that integrates perspectives from diverse areas of study.
  • Research questions should address existing human infectious disease or zoonotic pathogens with human pandemic potential.
  • Be co-supervised (or formally advised) by two faculty members from distinct departments or divisions.
  • Maintain full-time employment status on the research project duration of the fellowship.
  • Demonstrate an excellent research track record.
  • Cannot concurrently hold another major award ($25,000/year or more) for the full duration of the fellowship term.
  • Supervisors must have a primary affiliation at one of EPIC’s partner institutions (Hospital for Sick Children, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Unity Health Toronto, University Health Network and University of Toronto).
Value and Duration

EPIC Convergence Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipients will receive $120,000 to support their salary, benefits, and direct research expenses over a 2-year term.

EPIC anticipates funding two fellowships in the 2024 Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships competition and one additional fellowship within the special funding call for the Pfizer EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowship in Vaccinology.

Fellowship Responsibilities

Fellows must continue as full-time employees in their research projects of study for duration of the term of their fellowship. Any leaves or breaks in the project should be reported to EPIC as soon as possible. They are expected to take part in at least one EPIC funding review panel the year following their success in the Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships competition.

Fellows will be required to submit an annual progress report as well as a final comprehensive report on the project at the end of the funding term. 

Fellows are also expected to acknowledge EPIC support in publications, presentations and communications resulting from their funded work. 

Selection Criteria

Proposals submitted to the EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships competition will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Benefits that the proposed multidisciplinary approach brings to the research question.
  • Clear integration of at least two research disciplines.
  • Significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research activities.
  • Strong potential to impact human health, societal resilience and/or pandemic readiness.
  • Incorporation of values of equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the research environment and/or the project implementation, where appropriate.

The career stage of the supervisors will also be considered as we aim to fund at least one fellowship co-supervised by an early career investigator.

Early career investigator is defined as anyone who is within seven years from the start of their first independent academic appointment, with adjustments given for career interruptions. Career interruptions include, but are not limited to, parental leaves, extended sick leaves, medical leaves and family care leaves. Please indicate any career interruptions in your CV.

    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: Convergence_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 Convergence PDF” in the subject line. 

      Please download and complete the PDF application form with information about yourself, your supervisors 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. Highlight how a multidisciplinary approach will advance the project and what qualifies you to translate between the two research perspectives. The plain language summary may be posted on EPIC’s website and should be understandable by a general lay audience.

      Project proposal (maximum 1000 words, references not included in word limit): Please describe your research project, including rationale, aims, methods, analysis, timelines and expected outcomes. The inclusion of one figure is permitted, but the figure legend will count towards total word count of the proposal. The proposal should also comment on the justification and benefits of the proposed collaborative approach. Please also include an impact statement on the significance of the work to the field of infectious disease research.

      EDI statement (maximum 250 words): Please share your reflections on the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) 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.

      CV: Provide an applicant CV (Canadian Common CV style preferred).

      The supervisor and co-supervisor should email their letters of support as PDFs to Please save the file using the following naming convention: Convergence_applicant last name_applicant first name_LOS_Supervisor/Co-supervisor last name.

      Letters of support should comment on the applicant’s development of research skills throughout their research training, including their accomplishments to date, their ability to deliver impactful research findings and their leadership potential. Also reflect on how they are positioned to act as a cross-disciplinary research translator to increase connectivity between the research groups and promote collaborative, interdisciplinary aspects of the distinct fields of study that make up this project.

      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: March 25, 2024, 11:59 pm EST

      Anticipated review period: April/May 2024

      Anticipated Notice of Award: June 2024

      Funding start date: July 2024