VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowships

OVERVIEW
Value Fellowship

  • Minimum $55,000/year + benefits for up to 24 months
  • + Annual research allowance $7,500
  • + Annual networking allowance $1,000
Distinguished Fellowship

  • Minimum $70,000/year + benefits for up to 24 months
  • + Annual research allowance $7,500
  • + Annual networking allowance $1,000
Application Deadline April 16th and September 7th
Application Procedures See below
How to Apply
  • Apply to the VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship competition;
  • Applicants for the VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship may be considered for the Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship with the inclusion of additional documentation as outlined below;
  • Identify and confirm a VISTA Core Member as your supervisor. VISTA Associate Members are eligible as co-supervisors with a Core Member;
  • VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship Application
    • To create an application, please complete:
  • VISTA Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship Materials
    • Applicants to the Distinguished award should also include a letter of support from the Proposed Supervisor. This is in addition to the materials outlined above.
    • To view instructions, select instructions
    • Use the application checklist to ensure your package is complete
  • Email the application to applyvista@yorku.ca
  • Letters of Reference should be sent directly from Referee to applyvista@yorku.ca
For More Information See below

ABOUT VISTA

Vision: Science to Applications (VISTA) is a collaborative research program funded by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF, 2016-2023) that builds on York’s world-class interdisciplinary research in biological and computer vision. VISTA spans five York faculties (Health, Engineering, Science, Arts Media Performance & Design; Liberal Arts & Professional Studies), five research centers (including the Centre for Vision Research), and over 50 partners in the international research community and non-academic sectors such as healthcare and industry.

The central scientific question that drives VISTA is ‘How can neural and/or machine systems be integrated to provide adaptive visual behavior in real-world conditions’. Answering this question will provide fundamental advances to vision science and exciting, widespread applications for visual health and technologies. Our overarching aim is to advance visual science through research that spans computational and biological perspectives and results in real-world applications.

Fellowships will be awarded competitively based on the strength of the candidate, the strength of the research proposal, and fit with the goals of the VISTA program. Distinguished Fellowships will be awarded competitively to the very best candidates, (nationally or internationally), provided they have met the additional standards for excellence expected of the program.

OBJECTIVE

The VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship will provide financial support to high-caliber scholars doing postdoctoral research that is aligned with the VISTA program under the supervision of a VISTA core member.

The VISTA Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship will provide financial support to the highest calibre applicants. These may be awarded to individuals with PhDs from other national or international institutions, doing postdoctoral research that is aligned with the VISTA program under the supervision of a VISTA core member. Evidence of excellence in their field may include publications in high impact venues, best paper awards, or other measures of recognition and achievement.

DESCRIPTION

VISTA will support interdisciplinary training programs across its core fields and will support training opportunities with partners in industry and public service that will enhance the postdoctoral experience. Funding is available for up to two years. The selection process and post-award administration are carried out by the VISTA Training Committee and the VISTA Administrative Staff in collaboration with the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University. Following review of the eligibility criteria, and confirmation of a VISTA core member supervisor, applicants should submit their application to applyvista@yorku.ca by the application deadline.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicant

To be eligible to apply:

  • Your application must be supported by a VISTA Core Member who would become your supervisor. VISTA Associate Members are eligible as co-supervisors with a VISTA Core Member;
  • You must hold a doctorate in an area that falls within the VISTA mandate;
  • A PhD or equivalent degree must be completed by the start date;
  • Postdoctoral Fellows who hold an external award (e.g. NSERC) at York, and who have not previously held a VISTA Postdoctoral Award, are eligible to apply for a one year extension from VISTA during the final year of their award;
  • Postdoctoral candidates who are employed at York University under the category of 'Postdoctoral Visitor' are only eligible to apply to VISTA during their first 6 months of employment (or until the first available VISTA Postdoctoral Award application deadline, whichever comes first);
  • VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship or Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship applicants may NOT apply to work within the same research environment (i.e. institution or supervisor) where they completed their PhD.
  • You must accept an offer with a start date:
    • April applicants: No earlier than July 1 and no later than December 1
    • September applicants: No earlier than December 1 and no later than July 1
  • You must conduct research in the vision sciences that is aligned with the VISTA program.

 

Program of Study Eligibility

The research should contribute to VISTA’s mandate, which is to support fundamental and applied vision research that combines biological and computational perspectives and has translational potential for health, industry, or other applications.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applicants must complete, sign and email an application to applyvista@yorku.ca. The supervisor (and applicable co-supervisors) must complete and sign (electronic signatures accepted) the Postdoctoral Supervisor and Co-supervisor forms. Applicants may consult the application instructions for more information on how to complete an application.

Applicants are also asked to complete and submit a self-identification survey. Personal information in connection with this survey will be used for educational, administrative and statistical purposes only and will be stored by the VISTA Administration Staff to maintain confidentiality. The form is completely voluntary and will not be used in the evaluation of the application.

VISTA Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applicants who wish to be considered for the VISTA Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship must submit materials as described under VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship, in addition to:

  • Letter of support from Supervisor(s) (5 pages maximum). Supervisors should describe the significance of the applicant’s research contributions and proposed research as it pertains to the VISTA mandate. Describe the fit between the research interests/background of the supervisor and the applicant, and the anticipated mutual benefits. Provide specifics about how the proposed research complements the supervisor’s ongoing projects or new research directions in the context of VISTA. Describe the supervisor’s commitment to the applicant’s professional leadership development, clearly indicating the resources and/or mentoring activities that they will provide to support career development. Note that only exceptional candidates should be put forward for the Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship. The level of excellence considered should be similar to what is expected of other highly competitive programs (e.g. Banting PDF) and should demonstrate evidence of such excellence in their academic CV.

DEADLINE

  • Application deadline: April 16th and September 7th. Applications must be submitted by the deadline to applyvista@yorku.ca.
  • Results deadline: Results can be expected to be communicated by May 31st and October 26th.
  • Acceptance and declines of offers: Applicants will have 21 days from the date of each offer of award to accept or decline. Replies can be sent to applyvista@yorku.ca. The status of offers not accepted or declined within the 21 days will automatically be considered Declined.

SELECTION PROCESS

The VISTA Training Committee at York University is responsible for coordinating the selection process for the VISTA Postdoctoral Award applications, and for performing the preliminary review and ranking. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will review and make decisions on awards, and will communicate the results to the Training Committee.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The merit review of VISTA Postdoctoral Award applications will be carried out by the VISTA Training Committee and will be based on the following criteria:

Criteria Description Weight
Research Ability or Potential
  • Quality of contributions to research and development
  • Relevance of work experience and academic training to VISTA mandate
  • Scholarships and awards held
  • Duration of graduate studies
  • Ability to think critically
  • Ability to apply skills and knowledge
  • Judgment
  • Originality
  • Initiative and autonomy
  • Enthusiasm for research
40%
Excellence of the Research Proposal and Training Plan
  • Research proposal is of high quality on a topic that aligns with VISTA’s mandate.
  • Proposals that include a current or potential future VISTA partner (private, academic or public sector) are not mandatory but will be considered a strength.
30%
Transdisciplinarity of proposed research
  • Research focuses on fundamental and applied vision research
  • Research combines biological and computational perspectives
  • Research involves a range of techniques
  • Supervision committee is crosses multiple disciplines
15%
Potential for Knowledge/Commercial Translation
  • Research has translational potential for health, industry, or other applications.
  • Research has the potential to develop immediate/short-term applications
  • Research has the potential for fundamental breakthroughs with long-term applications
  • Research has non-academic partnership(s)
15%

The merit review of VISTA Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship applications will be carried out by the VISTA Training Committee and will be based on the following criteria:

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Criteria Description
Ranking in VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship Competition
  • The candidate is the highest ranking Distinguished applicant from the VISTA Postdoctoral Fellowship competition.
  • The candidate meets a level of excellence in research productivity, quality of outputs and leadership activities that approach what would be expected for other highly competitive programs (e.g. Banting PDF) and are commensurate with their stage of their career. For example, a new PhD graduate would be expected to have a different level of output compared with an individual applying from a preceding Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Quality of the proposed research, supervisory commitment and demonstrated synergy between applicant and VISTA's strategic priorities
  • The proposed research and alignment with VISTA will position the applicant for future significant impact in the vision sciences.
  • There is demonstrated commitment of the Supervisor(s) to support the development of the applicant’s research and leadership capacity.
  • There is demonstrated alignment and synergy between the applicant’s research ambitions and VISTA’s potential to benefit strategically from its engagement with the applicant.