The Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium (EPIC) awards career development and research funding to support infectious disease-related projects led by investigators at our partner institutions through a strategic and competitive process. We launch funding calls throughout the year to support our community of clinicians, engineers and scientists who are working to advance innovative and multidisciplinary solutions to some of the world’s biggest health challenges. Initiatives range from scholarships and travel supports for trainees to seed funding for new ideas to collaboration grants that foster new partnerships to rapid responses that address emerging threats.
Read on to learn more about our different funding initiatives and the projects they have supported.
Career Transition Awards
EPIC Career Transition Awards support postdoctoral trainees and research associates who are ready to lead an independent project. The $120,000 awards 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.
Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships
EPIC Convergence Postdoctoral Fellowships support postdoctoral 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.
EPIC Doctoral Awards are designed to support a cohort of multi/interdisciplinary trainees engaged in collaborative research in infectious disease. These competitive, $10,000/year awards support excellent students supervised by faculty from the University of Toronto and EPIC’s partner research institutes.
Inspire Summer Studentships
EPIC Inspire Summer Studentships aim to foster inclusive excellence by providing third-year Black and Indigenous undergraduate students with opportunities to engage in infectious disease research with and receive mentorship from EPIC’s faculty members. These awards support Black and Indigenous students who are interested in infectious diseases and to create a more diverse talent pool for the next generation of infectious disease research leaders.
Mpox Rapid Research Response
In response to the global mpox outbreak in 2022, EPIC launched a collaborative rapid research response to address gaps in our understanding about the disease. The mpox rapid research response is supported by funds from EPIC, the Institutional Strategic Initiatives office at the University of Toronto, the McLaughlin Centre, Sunnybrook Research Institute, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine at U of T, Unity Health Toronto and University Health Network.
New Connections Grants
EPIC New Connections Grants support innovative projects that are fostered through cross-disciplinary collaboration across at least two research groups. Successful proposals will feature joint lead investigators from different university divisions and/or departments and/or EPIC partner institutions coming together for their first significant research collaboration.
EPIC Proof–of–Principle Grants support early stage and pilot level projects that show promise in developing novel understanding or innovations in the area of infectious disease and/or pandemic preparedness. This funding is intended to be agile and adaptive so that it can be deployed as rapid response funding when needed or provide seed funding within the EPIC community to support a strong pipeline of innovations in infectious disease research.
Researcher Mobility Awards
EPIC Research Mobility Awards supports high-calibre doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows developing new skillsets and strengthening global linkages by providing financial support for them to undertake research training or complete collaborative field work outside of Toronto.