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).
- PhD at implementation
Applicant must be an incoming postdoctoral appointee to the University of Calgary:
Those with an existing postdoctoral appointment at the University of Calgary are not eligible to apply.
Applicants must not currently hold, or have held in the past, a postdoctoral 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
- Must start award within 6 months of appointment
- Proposed project must be performed while appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Calgary
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
- 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 including a statement of relevancy with at least 1 strategic priority area (2 pages max)
- Summary of Career Goals (1 page max)
- Applicant CV
- Supervisor Statement of Support (1 page max)
- Copy of results letters from relevant competitions you have applied to in the past 2 years with the same project (e.g. CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, Banting, etc.)
- 2 letters of reference from external referees sent separately to firstname.lastname@example.org *NOTE: The Faculty Supervisor named in this application cannot serve as referee.
- Annual progress reporting to UCalgary is required for successful applicants
- Three intakes per year