All you need to know

Fields supported

This funding supports research in the areas delineated in our Canada First funding proposal: data science in the broad sense, encompassing methodological research in data science (machine learning, operations research, statistics) and its applications in multiple sectors, including our priority sectors (health, transportation and logistics, energy, business, and finance) and any other sector of application (e.g., sociology, physics, linguistics, engineering).


The goals of the program are to:

  • Train future researchers and professors and, more generally, future actors in the field of digital intelligence, mainly in our IVADO members’ areas of excellence: operations research, machine learning, and decision science;
  • Promote mobility, recruitment and retention of young researchers;
  • Foster development of collaborative and applied cutting-edge research.


  • Opening of the competition: October 13, 2021, 9 a.m. ET
  • Application deadline: November 17, 2021, 1 p.m. ET
  • Expected results notification date: February 2022
  • Funding start date: February 1 or May 1, 2022

Amount, duration and terms

Amount and duration

The terms and conditions of the postdoctoral research funding competition have been modified to address the needs expressed by our academic community and the IVADO Scientific Committee. To support a larger number of postdoctoral researchers, IVADO will fund up to 50% of the postdoctoral researcher’s salary, to a maximum of $35,000/year, for a maximum cumulative amount of $70,000/year (including employment benefits).

Funding complementary to the IVADO funding may originate from various sources including: research funds, funding from industrial or institutional partners, etc., and must enable the postdoctoral researcher to focus on their research project full-time. Complementary funding from NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR is therefore acceptable per the conditions specific to those organizations. Your application must include a funding plan covering the full period over which funding is requested; i.e., one or two years.

For early-career professors (who received their first faculty appointment within the last three years) or in exceptional circumstances, and where the principal investigator can fully establish that complementary funding would not be available, the applicant may submit a request for $70,000/year in funding for up to two years. This funding option will be subject to the approval of the IVADO Scientific Committee, which will review the justifications provided. The Scientific Committee may request additional supporting documents at a later date, such as the list of funding/sources of income of the professor submitting the application (supervisor).

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

The funds will be transferred to the research office of the supervisor’s home university, and the university will pay the postdoctoral researcher 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). Funding may be reduced, withheld, delayed, or rescinded under specific circumstances, which will be outlined in the letter of award.

Eligibility criteria

For the postdoctoral applicant

  • You intend to enrol in a postdoctoral program at HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, McGill University or the University of Alberta.
  • You have:
    • earned your first doctorate less than five years prior to the first funding start date listed for the competition (see Calendar section); or
    • you expect to earn it by the date on which the IVADO funding is to begin (see Calendar section).
  • Priority will be given to candidates with principal PhD affiliations outside Québec. This measure aims to help attract talented international researchers.
  • Some flexibility will be granted in the case of applicants who provide adequate explanation for a career interruption or particular circumstances. Please include this explanation (e.g., parental leave, sick leave) in your application.

For the professor filing the application (supervisor)

  • You must be a faculty member at HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal or Université de Montréal;
    • If you are a faculty member at the University of Alberta or McGill University, you may be a supervisor provided that you are also a full member of one of our research groups (Mila, CIRRELT, GERAD, CERC in Data Science for Real-Time Decision-Making, CRM, Tech3Lab);
  • You must have one of the following eligible statuses: assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, research professor, or visiting professor. Adjunct professors are not eligible;
  • You must not have been the applicant’s PhD thesis director or co-director;
  • You may not submit more than one application for this competition.

For the eventual co-director, there are no restrictions.

For the funding plan

  • A full funding plan must be provided, accompanied by all supporting documents, covering the full period over which funding is requested; i.e., one or two years. You must provide a guarantee that this funding will be available for the chosen period.

Submitting an application

Go to our dedicated platform to apply.

/!\ Applications submitted by e-mail will be automatically rejected.

Your application package must include:

  • A questionnaire to be completed on the dedicated platform, INCLUDING a description of the 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 employment benefits;
  • Your C.V. (free format);
  • 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, including one from the postdoctoral internship supervisor (current or potential).

Evaluation of applications

Applications will be reviewed to ensure compliance with the program criteria (e.g., applications must be complete, must comply with the page limit, and must list eligible applicants and supervisors only) and alignment of the research project with the field of digital intelligence.

Only applications that meet all criteria will be forwarded to the Review Committee.

The Review Committee will be made up of university professors well versed in the IVADO areas of excellence, none of whom must be listed as a director/supervisor by any of the applicants. Subject to availability of reviewers, we will constitute an inclusive Review Committee.

The Review Committee will then rank the applications based on excellence as well as the projects’ alignment with IVADO’s overarching framework, which aims to promote multidisciplinary collaboration and diversity in digital intelligence.

With regard to excellence, the committee will specifically assess:

  • The applicant’s contributions to research (scientific impact, quality of research, and previous funding awarded);
  • The quality of the applicant’s doctoral thesis and their academic excellence,
  • The depth and breadth of their experience: multidisciplinary and professional experience, extra-academic activities, collaborations, contributions to the scientific community and to society as a whole, etc.;
  • Alignment of the applicant’s experience with the proposed project.

The Review Committee will rank the applicants and select those chosen to receive funding. The results must subsequently be approved by the IVADO Scientific Committee. For applicants requesting full funding by IVADO, the IVADO Scientific Committee will review the supporting documents provided and make recommendations on the amount awarded by IVADO.

Following a resolution of the IVADO Scientific Committee, the review committee will not produce any comments on the evaluation.

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.


  • Maintain a full-time focus on the research project;
  • Provide prior notice to IVADO of any change to the funding plan as submitted. 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 competition.
  • Contribute to the IVADO community and our activities, including, e.g.:
    • Giving presentations on your research;
    • Taking part in consultations as well as training and knowledge dissemination activities;
    • Providing support during various activities that are normally undertaken by career researchers (e.g., mentorship, participation in evaluations, co-organization of events);
  • Acknowledge that you are a member of an academic community to which you contribute;
  • 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 / Apogée when disseminating research results and, more broadly, in all activities in which you take part.


  • Provide a work environment conducive to completion of the project;
  • Oversee the postdoctoral researcher’s work.

Our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion

To ensure all members of society draw equal benefit from the advancement of knowledge and opportunities in digital intelligence, we promote 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 Review 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. A letter from the postdoctoral internship supervisor is mandatory condition of eligibility for the competition.

  • 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.

  • Can I engage in any other paid activity, e.g., consulting, while doing my postdoctoral work?

IVADO complementary 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.

As such, no paid activity that is not related to your research may serve as funding complementary to that provided by IVADO.

  • What happens if my supervisor changes status or affiliation during the funding period?

The eligible statuses for supervisors are: assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, research professor, and visiting professor. Adjunct professors are not eligible.

/!\ A change in the principal investigator’s status or affiliation during the funding period may result in the cessation of funding.

  • I am receiving funding that does not include employment benefits. Can I still put together a funding plan with that funding?

Yes, but be aware that the complementary amount provided by IVADO will include employment benefits.

  • I am applying for the regular funding category (= maximum IVADO contribution of $35,000/year), what does the funding plan that I must include with my application look like?

Here are some examples of funding plans:

Complementary funding per year Funding provided by IVADO per year Total funding per year
$30,000 $30,000 $60,000
$35,000 $35,000 $70,000
$40,000 $30,000 $70,000
$50,000 $20,000 $70,000
$60,000 $10,000 $70,000
$70,000 or more 0

The complementary funding cannot come from other IVADO funds (for example, Fundamental Research Project Grants). We do not place any other restrictions on the source of complementary funding provided that it enables the applicant to focus on their research project full time. Complementary funding from NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR is therefore acceptable per the conditions specific to those organizations.

The IVADO funding will be provided in equal monthly instalments over the full funding period.

  • I am applying for the full funding category ($70,000/year under conditions), in this case, can IVADO’s funding be combined with other funding?

IVADO full postdoctoral funding cannot be held concurrently with other NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR or IVADO fundings. If you are successful in our competition and also in a competition from one of the organizations mentioned, you will have to choose one funding or the other, but not both.

  • I am an applicant from one of the countries eligible for official development assistance from Canada. How do I apply for reimbursement of relocation expenses incurred in beginning my postdoctoral training in Montréal?

You must submit a budget to us outlining the expenses for which you wish to be reimbursed. Once you received approval from IVADO, you may address your reimbursement request directly to your institution, with all necessary supporting documents, and the institution will then send an invoice to IVADO.

  • I’ve previously been awarded an IVADO postdoctoral research funding. Am I eligible to this year competition?


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In the event of any differences in translations or interpretations, the French version shall prevail.