IVADO is looking for national and international postdoctoral fellows with an excellent track record. These IVADO Postdoctoral Fellows will contribute to the R3AI initiative, Shifting Paradigms for a Robust, Reasoning and Responsible Artificial Intelligence and its Adoption, funded by the Canada First Excellence Research Fund. This high visibility program will draw individuals who will make significant contributions to advancing the R3AI initiative and will offer a unique springboard for their career.
A high-level description of the R3AI initiative and its scientific framework are provided on the Fund’s website.
IVADO is looking for applications that lead to a more robust, reasoning and responsible AI and its adoption, especially in the following fields and topics, but not exclusively:
- Fundamentals of machine learning and optimization;
- Data science and operational research;
- Synergies between AI and neurosciences;
- Responsible adoption of AI and its impacts on society;
- Relationships between AI, EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Indigenous Peoples;
- Applied research in the fields of natural language processing, molecule discovery, health systems, environment and climate change, and supply chains and decision-making under uncertainty.
IVADO has a strong commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and wishes to improve the diversity of the AI research community. Many large groups in our society, particularly women and Indigenous Peoples, are currently underrepresented. The lack of diversity hampers excellence and sustainable development, and poses major risks to innovation. The reproduction of biases and perpetuation of discrimination based on gender or ethnic or social origin are examples of these risks. Thus, we aim at awarding a significant number of fellowships to members of Underrepresented Groups (including racialized individuals, African, Caribbean and Black individuals, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, gender equity-seeking groups and individuals from 2SLGBTQIA+ communities) over the duration of the R3AI initiative.
If you still have questions after reading the program below, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IVADO joins forces with its partners for postdoctoral funding
The International observatory on the societal impacts of AI and digital technology (Obvia), one of IVADO’s academic members, has its own postdoctoral funding program in which IVADO participates. Candidates funded as part of the Obvia program who also have a profile and project aligned with IVADO could benefit from complementary funding. For all the details regarding this offer, consult the Obvia website.
The goals of the program are to:
- Attract from around the world some of the best young researchers in the fields and topics of relevance to R3AI initiative (see above) and future leaders in the multisectoral field of AI and its applications;
- Promote the mobility, recruitment and retention of young researchers;
- Foster the development of collaborative and applied cutting-edge research;
- Provide an immersive experience in the Québec AI ecosystem.
Opening of the competition: October 16, 2023
Application deadline: November 27, 2023
Expected results notification date: end of February 2024
Funding start date: between March 1, 2024 and September 1, 2024
Conditions of the award
Value and duration
The annual amount of the fellowship is $105,000. It comprises:
- $75,000 of postdoctoral fellow’s salary (including social benefits)/year funded by IVADO;
- $30,000 of research funds/year (i.e. students’ salaries, travel and subsistence) funded by an eligible supervisor (see Eligibility of the potential supervisor). These funds may come from grants, contracts or philanthropy.
The total duration of the fellowship is two years.
IVADO aims to award 10 postdoctoral fellowships each year.
This fellowship cannot be combined with another nominative fellowship from a granting agency (ex. NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR).
Upon request, applicants from countries eligible for official development assistance from Canada may be reimbursed for their relocation expenses to begin their postdoctoral training in Montréal.
Terms of payment
Funds will be transferred to the research office of the supervisor’s university, and the university will pay the postdoctoral fellow according to its specific rules. For projects requiring ethics approval, funds will not be released until approval is granted. Some projects, for example those conducted in partnership with businesses, may require specific agreements (e.g., pertaining to intellectual property).
International postdoc fellows must obtain the appropriate permits (i.e. work permits) for the duration of their stay in Québec.
For the postdoctoral applicant
The applicant intends to enroll in a postdoctoral program at one of the 5 following universities: HEC Montréal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal or Université Laval. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to be in Québec for the duration of the fellowship.
- Has earned their doctorate less than five years prior to the beginning of the IVADO funding (see Calendar section); or
- Expects to earn it by the beginning of the IVADO funding (see Calendar section);
- Maintains their postdoc status during the whole duration of the funding (2 years).
Applications from candidates of Underrepresented Groups are strongly encouraged.
Applications from a variety of disciplines, including social sciences and humanities, are strongly encouraged.
Applications from candidates with principal PhD affiliations outside Québec are strongly encouraged.
Career interruptions and particular circumstances will be taken into account in the evaluation, provided they are well explained (e.g., parental leave, sick leave, COVID impact, …) in the application. Dates of delays and interruptions should be provided.
Eligibility of the potential supervisor
The supervisor must be:
- A regular faculty member at HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, Université Laval or McGill University;
- Must have one of the following eligible positions: assistant professor, associate professor or full professor;
- Must not have been the applicant’s PhD thesis director or co-director, or be the current supervisor or co-supervisor if the applicant is already a postdoc.
- The supervisor should be affiliated to one of the IVADO academic members, or, if not, be a Faculty of one of the 5 institutional partners significantly involved in the R3AI initiative.
Applicants must submit their application on our dedicated Portal (please note that the inscription page will become active Monday, October 16). Applications submitted by e-mail will not be accepted.
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.
The application package must include:
- A form to be completed on the IVADO Portal, INCLUDING a description of your potential project (maximum one page; references may be listed on a second page);
- A funding plan compliant with the competition terms and conditions; note that the amounts provided by IVADO include social benefits;
- Your CV (free format in PDF);
- Your official PhD transcripts (please explain the grading scale in the case of non-Canadian universities) to be uploaded;
- At least two but not more than three letters of recommendation;
- A list of maximum 3 potential eligible supervisors (see above);
- Optional: A letter of support from a potential eligible supervisor, if this person has already accepted to support your application.
Applications can be submitted either in English or French.
- Applications will first be reviewed by IVADO staff to ensure compliance with the program’s eligibility criteria;
- Eligible applications will be forwarded to potential supervisors (as listed in the application package) and academic members;
- Supervisors will identify which applications they wish to support;
- Applications supported by supervisors will then be forwarded to the Evaluation Committee for evaluation and ranking.
The Evaluation Committee will be multidisciplinary and compliant with EDI principles (e.g. toolbox on unconscious biases).
The Evaluation Committee will rank applications based on the excellence of the applicants as well as the projects’ alignment with the R3AI initiative (see fields and topics above).
The following criteria will be used to assess the applications:
- The applicant’s contributions to research (scientific impact, quality of research, previous funding awarded, etc.);
- The quality of the applicant’s academic excellence and doctoral thesis;
- The depth and breadth of their experience (multidisciplinary and professional experience, extra-academic activities, collaborations, contributions to the scientific community and to society, etc.);
- Alignment of the applicant’s experience with the proposed project and the R3AI initiative.
With this Postdoctoral Fellowship program IVADO aims to attract talented international researchers, thus priority will be given to candidates with principal PhD affiliations outside Québec.
The Evaluation Committee will take into consideration special circumstances that could have affected candidates’ research, professional career, record of academic or research achievement, or completion of degrees. The IVADO EDI advisor will be assisting the committee in this process.
The Evaluation Committee will rank the applicants and make recommendations for funding. The final decision will be taken by the IVADO Scientific Committee.
For more information on the process and general evaluation practices of our programs, please consult the “EVALUATION OF GRANT AND SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS” section of the Conducting Research Responsibly Handbook.
As a fellow:
- Dedicate 100% of research time on the IVADO Postdoctoral Fellowship;
- Provide prior notice to IVADO of any change to your postdoc situation. IVADO reserves the right, after reviewing a modification request, to adjust its financial contribution or even suspend it if the modifications are no longer compatible with the terms and conditions of the award.
- Contribute to the IVADO community and activities, including, e.g.:
- Giving presentations on your research;
- Taking part in consultations as well as training and knowledge dissemination activities;
- Taking part in various activities that are normally undertaken by career researchers (e.g., mentorship, participation in evaluations, co-organization of events).
- Comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. You are encouraged to publish your research findings (e.g., papers, recordings of presentations, source code, databases) in compliance with the intellectual property rules governing your specific situation;
- Acknowledge the support of IVADO and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.
As a supervisor:
- Provide complementary funds to IVADO funding;
- Provide a work environment conducive to the completion of the project;
- Oversee the postdoctoral fellow’s work.
IVADO commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion
To ensure all members of society draw equal benefit from the advancement of knowledge and opportunities, IVADO promotes principles of equity, diversity and inclusion across all of our programs, and we commit to providing a recruitment process and research setting that are inclusive, non-discriminatory, open, and transparent.
Does my CV need to be in a specific format?
No. There is no particular CV format to be followed. Note, however, that each element of your application package must help the members of the Evaluation Committee to form an opinion. A CV that is too long or confusing may make assessment more difficult.
Are there any specific rules for the letters of recommendation?
No. There are no specific rules for the letters of recommendation. However, they should address the evaluation criteria.
As an applicant, can I send the letters of recommendation myself?
No. Letters of recommendation may be uploaded only by their authors, via the dedicated platform.
Can I send in my unofficial transcripts?
No. You must use the dedicated platform to upload all your official transcripts, including all current results.
I earned my PhD in a country that does not provide a transcript for that degree. What should I do?
Please include a note to that effect in your application and provide the transcript for your master’s degree instead and a copy of your PhD Diploma.
What does the “funding plan” requested as part of the application package consist of?
This plan explains how you would spend the $30,000/year in research funds (e.g. hiring students, purchasing equipment, etc.). This plan can be in the format of your choice.
Can I engage in any other paid activity, e.g., consulting, while doing my postdoctoral work?
The funding is provided solely for full-time research activity. The cumulative funding amount is meant to be sufficient to allow you to focus exclusively on your research. However, complementary activities are equally important to your training. To balance these two aspects, it is acceptable for you to engage in paid activities that:
- Are compliant with the policies of the home institution regarding other sources of income; and
- Do not prevent you from doing the work for which you are receiving IVADO funding as if you were doing it full time.
What happens if my supervisor changes status or affiliation during the funding period?
A change in the supervisor’s status or affiliation during the funding period may result in the cessation of funding. However, we will always try to find a solution at the benefit of the postdoctoral researcher and the research to be done.
You must inform IVADO of any such changes.
I’ve previously been awarded an IVADO postdoctoral research funding through a previous postdoc competition. Am I still eligible to this competition?
I’ve previously been awarded an IVADO postdoctoral research funding through research funds like the IVADO-PRF program. Am I eligible to this year’s competition?
If my application is not financially supported by an eligible supervisor, can I receive the IVADO postdoctoral fellowship?
No. You must receive complementary funding from one eligible supervisor.
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