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Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Recruitment Fellowship intake open until Feb 3, 2023

Alberta is taking the lead in transforming postdoctoral supports and opportunities to reflect a changing research and innovation landscape.

Through the Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, UCalgary is pleased to be opening applications for the Alberta Innovates Recruitment Fellowship.

Applicants must be pursuing research in alignment with one of the following four priority areas:

  • Digital & Data-Enabled (D&DE) Health Research
  • Advancing D&DE Tools and Methods
  • Health Technology Acceleration
  • Technology & Data-Enabled Health System Transformation

Winter intake will be open until February 3, 2023. Three intake periods will be held per year. The next intake will be in May 2023. 

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Questions?

If you have additional questions about the AI Postdoctoral Fellowships Program, please contact the Postdoctoral Office at postdoc@ucalgary.ca. 

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AI Priority Areas

To ensure the AI PDF Program builds capacity in areas of strategic importance to the province, the following areas are prioritized for investment and applicants must demonstrate which priority area their research program falls within. 

Leveraging advances in connected devices, computational intensity, and data generation to enhance health research. The following types of projects are of strong relevance:

  • Combining large-scale and heterogeneous sources of data (e.g., clinical, biological, or omic data) to deeply characterize individuals and diseases, or enable analyses of complex biological, social, and environmental factors,
  • Deploying machine learning to predict health outcomes (e.g., hospital readmission, future deterioration) or enhance diagnostic and intervention research,
  • Exploring ways to enhance health and wellness monitoring and decision-making through connected devices,
  • Leading-edge projects involving virtual and augmented reality, mobile-health applications, big data analytics, connected devices, sensors, wearables, 3D printing, and advanced computer simulation and modelling, 
  • Using digital tools and connectivity to optimize and expand the effectiveness and reach of clinical research.

Note: the following do not represent advanced engagements with D&DE technologies: conducting interviews via video conferencing software, running online surveys, or using applications like Stata, SPSS, or MATLAB to run common statistical tests on sparse, static, or poorly relational data sets.

Developing advanced approaches to unlock greater value from health information. The following types of projects are relevant: 

  • Developing highly automated processes to collect and transform health-related data from connected devices, sensors, wearables, smart phone apps, diagnostic tools, or relevant databases,
  • Advancing health-related data linkage or simulation tools and approaches,
  • Training software algorithms to learn from and act on health-related data,
  • Enhancing the retrieval and annotation of clinically relevant information from connected devices or health records,
  • Enhancing use case development for employing computation and automation (e.g., Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning) to improve health care or promote health and wellbeing, 
  • Addressing practical, regulatory, or ethical issues related to the collection and use of personal health information for research and innovation.

Activities to increase the rate at which discoveries and promising academic outputs (e.g., IP, data assets, processes) are transformed into commercially viable health products or services. The range of relevant activity includes: 

  • Advancing early-stage health research that demonstrates high commercial potential, 
  • Accelerating the commercialization of health technologies through the early validation phase (e.g., proof of concept testing, prototype development),
  • Carrying out feasibility studies, implementation projects, or clinical trials of innovative health technologies, 
  • Exploring ways to enhance health technology development in Alberta (e.g., developing and testing tools and supports for innovators, addressing regulatory challenges, and improving understandings of talent gaps and opportunities).

Note: due to the need to build capacity in Health Technology Acceleration overall, this priority area is not restricted to Digital & Data-Enabled (D&DE) technologies.

Advancing the use of health technologies to enhance health and wellness outcomes, health system sustainability, or health care. This is restricted to:

  • Exploring the use of D&DE technologies for prevention, to collect and distribute health information more effectively and efficiently, or to support the delivery of innovative models of care,
  • Conducting a systematic evaluation (e.g., Health Technology Assessment or Health Economic Evaluation) to address health system evidence needs regarding use of a health technology (excluding pharmaceuticals, but not limited to D&DE technologies), 
  • Advancing the use of computation and automation (e.g., Natural Language Processing) in Health Technology Assessments and/or evidence synthesis,
  • Building capacity within the health system to identify and adopt D&DE technologies with the greatest potential to improve health and wellbeing, 
  • Assessments of governance structures and approaches for more integrated and successful deployment of D&DE technologies in the health system,
  • Implementing or scaling up use of a promising D&DE technology with demonstrated potential to improve health and wellbeing.

Note: developing clinical guidelines is not a strong fit for this priority area, unless it involves the use of D&DE technologies (either as part of a clinical intervention or in enhancing the generation of evidence for systematic evaluations).

Recruitment Fellowship

2 years, $70k CAD/year
The AI PDF Recruitment Fellowship is intended for postdocs who will be new to UCalgary at the time of receiving the Fellowship. It is designed to increase institutional research capacity, and attract and develop new talent in areas of strategic importance.

  • PhD at implementation
  • Applicant must be an incoming postdoctoral appointee to the University of Calgary:

    • Those with postdoctoral appointments at the University of Calgary with a start date before November 1, 2022 are not eligible to apply.

    • Applicants must not currently hold, or have held in the past, a postdoc position at the University of Calgary at the time of application.

  • Not have applied more than once before for a postdoctoral fellowship from Alberta Innovates;
  • Have been shortlisted for funding consideration through any one of the following ways:
    • Ranked Excellent in the university-based fellowship competition or triaging process, and/or
    • Scored among the top 15% of Trainees in a fellowship competition run by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (the “Tri-Agency”) for the proposed project
  • Must start award within 6 months of appointment
  • Proposed project must be performed while appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Calgary

Ranked Excellent in a university-based fellowship competition or triaging process.

Applications will be reviewed by an internal selection committee comprised of experts in the priority areas identified by Alberta Innovates.

Projects will be selected for funding based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with one of the four strategic priorities
  • Strength of proposed project as reviewed by selection committee
  • Capacity of applicant and project to contribute to the discovery or development of innovations that have high potential to improve the health of citizens while creating opportunity for economic diversification in Alberta
  • Excellence of application as demonstrated by ranking in the top 15% of past competitions including Eyes High Match Funding Fellowship, NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR, Banting, Vanier or Killam, as well as research contributions
  • Alignment with proposed supervisor’s research activities and available resources (i.e. capacity for mentorship, lab facilities, equipment, databases, or other resources)
  • Strength of endorsement from purposed supervisor and external references

The minimum Stipend Incentive offered is $15,000 CAD per year. The Stipend Incentive may be increased as necessary to ensure the combined value of the awards does not fall below $70,000 CAD per year.

  • Alberta Innovates Postdoctoral Recruitment Fellowship online submission application
  • Project Proposal
  • Summary of Career Goals
  • Applicant CV
  • Supervisor Statement of Support
  • Copy of Funding Results Letters
  • Annual progress reporting to UCalgary is required for successful applicants
  • Three intakes per year