Researcher Mobility Awards – Call for applications

The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) aims to support the next generation of infectious disease research leaders by providing trainees with opportunities to enhance their training, explore new topics and build new connections.  

The EPIC Researcher Mobility Awards support high-calibre doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows to develop new skillsets and strengthen global linkages by providing financial support for them to undertake research training or complete collaborative field work outside of Toronto. Through these opportunities, Researcher Mobility Award recipients will bring back new knowledge and techniques to our local infectious disease research community and strengthen our research network’s ties to national and international research partners. 

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 Researcher Mobility Awards will be invited to present a poster at the annual EPIC research symposium to share their experiences and key learnings from their research travels.  

Eligibility

The applicant must:

  • Be registered as a full-time graduate student at U of T or employed as a postdoctoral researcher at one of EPIC’s partner institutions 
  • Be pursuing a research project with an infectious disease focus 
  • Complete majority of the travel between January 1st and December 31st, 2024 
  • Return to complete your degree or employment term at your EPIC partner institution. 
  • Have a supervisor who holds 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)  
    Host/Collaborating Institution and Supervisor

    A key element of the EPIC Researcher Mobility Award program is expanding and nurturing our community’s collaborative reach. Information regarding the key collaborators and place where the research will be conducted (i.e., host institution or field site) is required as part of the application process.  

    Host/collaborating institutions can include universities, inter-university research centers, international or national research institutes or laboratories, or other institutions, such as government or non-government organizations, with a research mandate. They can also include field sites.  

    A host/collaborating supervisor will be a researcher affiliated with and employed full time at the host/collaborating institution.  

    The choice of host institution/organization and host supervisor must be justified in your application. The application must also explain how the research travel experience will further your research and training goals. 

    Note: If you have questions about the details of your host supervisor and/or host institution, contact us (epic@utoronto.ca) prior to submitting your application. 

    Value and Eligible Expenses

    The value of EPIC Researcher Mobility Awards for training or field work undertaken at North American host institutions/sites is up to $4,000 CAD. For training or field work undertaken at international research institutions/sites, the applicants can request up to $6,000 CAD. The award will be paid directly to the recipient’s primary supervisor at their home institution as a one-time payment. The awards are non-renewable. 

    Eligible expenses include travel, living and other expenses including accommodation, meals, insurance, training and/or course fees, and other necessary costs associated, unrelated to research during the research travel period. Costs directly related to research must be covered by other sources. 

    Note: If you have questions regarding the eligibility of an expense, please contact us (epic@utoronto.ca) before applying.  

    EPIC anticipates supporting between eight and twelve Researcher Mobility Awards for the 2024 term.  

    Recipient Responsibilities

    EPIC Researcher Mobility Award recipients will automatically become members of EPIC and be expected to participate in EPIC programming and activities with other recipients. Students who receive the Researcher Mobility Award are expected to complete the U of T Safety Abroad requirements before their trip or a similar module at their home institution. Upon return to Toronto, awardees will submit a short report of the activities and learnings from the trip, as well as a financial report on the use of the EPIC funds. Awardees will be expected to present their work from their research travel period at the EPIC trainee seminar series and a poster at the EPIC research symposium.  

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

    Selection Criteria

    Applications for the EPIC Researcher Mobility Awards will be evaluated on a rolling basis using the following selection criteria: 

    • Linkage between applicant’s thesis project and/or future career plans and the proposed research activities for the research travel period  
    • Significance, feasibility, and merit of proposed research activities at the host institution 
    • Justification of the choice of host institution/field site and/or host supervisor
    • Relevance and anticipated benefits of the proposed activities to the applicant’s training and to the EPIC community at large 

          Application materials

          Please submit the application and all supporting documents, including letters of support, as a single, combined PDF via email to epic@utoronto.ca. PDF documents should follow the naming convention: Mobility_Last name_First name. 

          For any questions or concerns, please email epic@utoronto.ca with “Researcher Mobility Award” in the subject line. 

            Please download and complete the PDF application form with information about yourself, your supervisor, your co-supervisor (if applicable) and your research project. You will also be asked to provide details about your proposed travel including the dates, name and location of the host/collaborating institute and information about your host/collaborating supervisor.

            Project description (maximum 500 words): Describe your research project and the research activities you intend to undertake at the host institution. Please also include a description of how the proposed field work or research experience relates to your research and of the potential benefits you will gain from the experience. Include a description of how you will share the knowledge and expertise you gained with other members of the EPIC community.  

            Budget justification (not included in the word limit): Provide a budget justification and an approximate budget breakdown to support the planned research work, in form of a table. Eligible expenses include, travel, accommodation, meals, insurance, training and/or course fees, and other necessary costs associated, unrelated to research during the research travel period.  

            Applicant CV (Canadian Common CV style preferred)

            Transcript (graduate students only; an unofficial transcript is acceptable)

            Primary supervisor letter (maximum one page): Provide a letter from your primary supervisor detailing their support for your research travel period, their connection to collaborators at the host institution/organization and confirming that your proposed research aligns with your thesis project. 

            Host supervisor letter (maximum one page): Provide a letter from your host supervisor detailing their support for your research study period and the resources they have available to support your planned research activities. These resources can include equipment, supervision, access to samples/data, training with new techniques/technology, etc… 

            Demographic Survey

            Both the applicant and primary supervisor 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.

            Deadline

            The applications will be assessed on a rolling basis until May 31, 2024, 11:59 pm EST or until all available funds have been disbursed.  

            Results