Doctoral Awards


The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) is an integrated network for researchers, trainees and partners working to confront infectious disease challenges. We unite members across the University of Toronto (U of T) and its hospital partners to accelerate cross-disciplinary work in understanding and development of new countermeasures against pathogens. A key pillar of EPIC’s work is training the next generation of infectious disease research leaders that will help stop future pandemics and reduce the societal burden of infectious diseases. 

EPIC Doctoral Awards are designed to support a cohort of multi/interdisciplinary trainees engaged in collaborative research with an infectious disease focus. These competitive awards support excellent students supervised by faculty from U of T and EPIC’s partner research institutes. Applicants for these merit-based awards will be evaluated using the submitted application package. 

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. 

Successful applicants will form a unified cohort and will be expected to participate in EPIC’s networking and educational activities, present their research at various EPIC research events and provide a yearly activity report and exit survey. Awardees are required to acknowledge EPIC support in publications, presentations, and communications resulting from their EPIC-funded project. 

  • Registered as a full-time graduate student in a program with the U of T School of Graduate Studies for the duration of the award (January – December 2024) 
  • Successfully completed qualification or reclassification exam for Ph.D. candidacy in 2023 or have completed their second year of a direct entry PhD program in 2023. 
  • Pursuing a research project that has an infectious disease focus 
  • Supervised by a faculty member having a primary affiliation at the University of Toronto or one of EPIC’s partner hospitals (the Hospital for Sick Children, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Unity Health Toronto and/or University Health Network)  

Please note that to qualify to receive an EPIC Doctoral Award, the applicant cannot concurrently hold another major award ($10,000 or more) for the full duration of the award term (January – December 2024). An overlap of up to four months is allowed. 

Value and Duration

EPIC Doctoral Award recipients will receive stipend support of $10,000 for one year. Awardees will be eligible for additional EPIC student support, such as travel awards to develop field or experimental skills at other sites, and will have priority access to EPIC workshops, networking events and training courses. 

Awardee Responsibilities

Awardees must fulfill the academic requirements of their degree program. Awardees will gain a core set of interrogative skills in the area of infectious disease research through their independent project research plan and coursework and/or attendance and participation at EPIC trainee events and programs, tailored to their program of research. 

EPIC Doctoral Award recipients will automatically become EPIC members and be expected to participate in EPIC’s programs and activities with other awardees, including presenting their research to the EPIC community at profiled events. In particular, awardees will be expected to present their ongoing work at the EPIC trainee seminar series. 

Awardees are required to submit an annual activity report and must also complete an exit survey after their PhD defense. 

Awardees are required to acknowledge EPIC funding and support in publications, presentations and communications resulting from their award. 

Application materials

All materials, except for the supervisor form(s), should be submitted online at the same time through the application form. For any questions or concerns, please email with “Doctoral award” in the subject line.

    Please complete the online application form with relevant details about yourself, your supervisor(s) and your course of study. The form also includes sections to upload your supporting documents (proposal, CV, transcript, progress report, etc.) as outlined in the tabs to the right.

    Note that your application will not be considered complete until we have received a completed supervisor form. More details about how to download and submit the supervisor form can be found under the “Supervisor form” tab.

    Applicants are required to upload a PDF containing the following information through the online application form:

    Candidate Statement (maximum 250 words): summarize your personal training goals and how your research aligns with and supports EPIC’s mandate  

    Thesis Description (maximum 1000 words): Please include the following: 

    • Project rationale  
    • Research objectives 
    • Research approach 
    • Feasibility and timeline 
    • Anticipated outcomes and impacts 

    EDI Statement (maximum 250 words): summarize your capacity and plans to advance equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) during your studies. For example, your integration of EDI considerations into your research question and methods; any EDI-related social outcomes from your research; and/or your work and reflections about the importance of promoting EDI in research, training, and mentoring environments relevant to your thesis program. 

    Submit as a PDF or Word document using the following naming convention: [Last name][First name][Student number]_proposal. 

    Applicants are required to upload a PDF version of their CV (Canadian Common CV style preferred) and transcript through the online application form. An unofficial transcript is fine.

    Please note, applicants finishing their second year of a direct entry PhD program that do not require a qualification exam are also required to submit their most recent progress report from their thesis advisory committee. 

    Submit as a PDF using the online application form and the following naming convention: [Last name][First name][Student number]_[CV/transcript/progress report].

    Download the supervisor form for your supervisor and any co-supervisor(s) to complete.

    The form contains the following sections:

    Applicant Potential (maximum 250 words): comment on the applicant’s research potential. 
    Research & Training (maximum 250 words): As part of the plan of study, EPIC Doctoral Award recipients are required to gain skills in quantitative and domainspecific areas, depending on their primary program of enrolment.  
    Please describe your role as supervisor or co-supervisor(s) in training and supporting the applicant’s development of novel approaches to infectious disease research, or the integration of cross-disciplinary perspectives in the applicant’s research project. 
    Signatures: to be signed by the supervisor. 

    Submit as a PDF document using the following naming convention: [Last name][First name][Student number]_[Supervisor last name]_form. The completed form should be submitted by the supervisor via email to with “Doctoral Award supervisor form” in the subject line.

    Demographic Survey

    Both the applicant and supervisor(s) will be asked to complete our demographic survey. While this survey is required for the applicant, supervisor and co-supervisor(s), there is an option to select “Prefer not to answer” for all questions.

    Important Dates

    Call for applications: October 17, 2023 

    Deadline to submit all application forms and supporting materials through the online system: November 17, 2023, 11:59 pm EST

    Anticipated review period: November/December 2023 

    Anticipated Notice of Award:  January 2024

    Funding start date: January/February 2024 via ROSI