Call for proposals – 2023 AC postdoctoral fellowships
We’re once again accepting applications for the Acceleration Consortium’s (AC) postdoctoral fellowship program. Based at the University of Toronto, the AC is a global community of academia, government, and industry who are accelerating the discovery of new materials and molecules needed for a sustainable future.
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Fellowship value: $75,000 (salary support of $70,000 and $5,000 for lab consumables) per year for up to 6 fellows
Fellowship duration: 2 years (May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2025)
Example theme areas:
Applications of AI in molecular or materials discovery (including but not limited to energy production and storage, construction materials, electronics, healthcare, life sciences and the circular economy)
Integrating machine learning with computational and experimental methods
High throughput data analysis
Multidisciplinary approaches are required
Deadline: January 27, 2023 by 5:00pm EDT
Submission: Applications are to be submitted via email (email@example.com) by the deadline
How to apply: See complete application guidelines below
Contact us: Have additional questions? Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.
Based at the University of Toronto (U of T), the Acceleration Consortium (AC) is a global community of academia, industry, and government accelerating the discovery of new materials and molecules needed for a sustainable future. The AC builds self-driving labs (SDLs), which combine materials science with the power of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and advanced computing to dramatically reduce the time and cost of bringing materials to market.
The 2023 AC postdoctoral fellowship program will support high-risk, high-reward research projects in accelerated materials and molecular discovery. Through this program, the AC aims to invest in bold ideas from bold people that will help us secure a healthier, more sustainable future.
Collaboration is essential to innovation. For this reason, your AC fellowship must represent a new collaboration between at least 2 AC members (hosts), one of which must have a faculty appointment at U of T. The second host may also be from U of T or from the AC’s extensive pan-Canadian and international membership (see acceleration.utoronto.ca/researcher for a complete list and contact info). Proposed projects cannot be funded by existing grants to the supervising faculty members.
Top candidates will demonstrate outstanding potential to become independent researchers in accelerated materials discovery. Each fellowship award provides up to $70,000 per year in salary support along with $5,000 for lab consumables for 2 years (May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2025). Funds cannot be used for travel or other expenditures. Renewal of funding will not be considered for existing fellows.
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
The Acceleration Consortium strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Diversity is a research strength and so we welcome and encourage applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal Peoples of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who will contribute to research excellence and innovation. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.
Scholars at risk
Special priority will be given to scholars from around the world who are facing persecution. This is open to all groups of people whose work and lives are at risk due to their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, identity, or political opinions. On the application form, you will be asked to identify if you are applying as a scholar at risk.
Applicants are required to be either PhD students expected to graduate from a PhD Program by May 2023 or full-time postdoctoral fellows (with less than 4 years PDF training at the time of application) in a related field (e.g. natural science, computer science, engineering, etc.).
Applicants are not permitted to apply with their previous supervisor(s).
Applicants who received their degree from U of T and postdocs working at U of T are eligible for the fellowship provided their research and host arrangements take them in new directions that are significantly distinct from their PhD research and forge new connections within the University.
Applicants who have already received an offer for a postdoctoral position from U of T will only be considered under exceptional circumstances.
The proposed project must be co-supervised by 2 or more hosts from the Acceleration Consortium, one of which must have a faculty appointment at U of T. The second host may also be from U of T or from the AC’s extensive pan-Canadian and international membership (see acceleration.utoronto.ca/researcher for a complete list). Preference is given to collaborative or cross-departmental proposals.
Applicants must independently secure a commitment of office and lab space from 1 or more U of T faculty members for the 2-year AC Fellowship.
Applicants cannot be awarded an AC Fellowship in conjunction with any other external funding award. Applicants holding an external award at the time of application must openly declare this and indicate the end date of the existing award. Fellows who accept another award during the term of the AC Fellowship must immediately advise the committee of this and return the remaining award funds to the AC.
Awards can be deferred for a maximum of 3 months with approval of the awards committee.
Additional guidelines to note:
Program funding can be used only to support salary and is provided at the amount indicated. Any additional costs (e.g., recruitment, additional salary expenses, and project supplies expenses) will be covered by the hosts.
Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.
Submissions are limited to 1 candidate per host lab.
Fellows who leave their positions for full-time employment or other educational opportunities during the fellowship will no longer be eligible for the award and any remaining award funds will be returned to the AC, effective their end date.
All applications will be adjudicated by the AC review panel. The committee may request input from internal and external reviewers from across academic disciplines. Shortlisted candidates will be required to give a 10-minute presentation to the committee as part of the review process.
Applicants will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Research ability and potential (40%)
Novelty of proposal (40%)
Communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities (20%)
Competition announced: December 1, 2022
Full applications due: January 27, 2023 by 5:00pm EDT
Application review: January 30 – February 17, 2023
Presentations from shortlisted candidates: Week of February 27, 2023
Notice of award: Week of March 6, 2023
Public announcement and fellowship start date: May 1, 2023
Fellowship end date: April 30, 2025
We are committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities. Please let us know if you require any accommodations as part of this application process.
For more information
To learn more about the Acceleration Consortium, please visit acceleration.utoronto.ca or sign-up for our mailing list via accelerationconsortium.substack.com. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Applications should be submitted via the button below on January 27, 2023 by no later than 5:00 pm EDT.
Please download and complete a copy of the attached form to include as the first page of your application:
Research summary (maximum 250 words)
Provide a summary in lay terms of the proposal, highlighting project objectives and deliverables, and describing how the research is globally competitive and translatable to accelerated materials discovery.
Research proposal (maximum 2 pages including up to 20 references; maximum 1 additional page for supporting tables and figures)
Provide an overview of the proposed research, including background, methods, and deliverables.
Curriculum vitae (maximum 4 pages)
The CV must contain the following sections: education, relevant research/work experience, academic awards, conference presentations and other speaking engagements and publications.
Anonymous demographic survey
All survey answers will remain confidential and will not be used as part of the evaluation of your application or any other future application:
Letter of support from U of T supervising host (maximum 1 page)
The letter should address how the project represents an area of high-risk, high-reward research that is not covered by existing grants. It must also state a commitment to provide the fellow with office and lab space for the duration of the program. The letter should be emailed directly by the host to firstname.lastname@example.org with the applicant's full name in the subject line for reference.
Academic letter of recommendation (maximum 1 page)
Letter of recommendation should be emailed directly by the author to email@example.com with the applicant's full name in the subject line for reference.
Application formatting requirements (sections 1 – 4)
Please do not include cover pages.
Please use Arial size 11 font, 1-inch (2.54 cm) margins, and 1.15-line spacing.
Adhere to word and page limits for each section, as indicated above.
Combine all documents (sections 1 – 4) into a single PDF file and send by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not send separate files. Notification of receipt will be sent within 1 week.
REMINDER! Sections 1 through 4 should be completed directly by the applicant and sent to email@example.com; section 5 by the applicant via the link above; and sections 6 and 7 should be sent directly by the authors of the letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.