Postdoctoral funding can come from a variety of sources. In some cases, postdoctoral fellows are paid directly by their supervisor who has funding to support their research; in other cases, fellows will receive funding through external agencies in order to support them while they work with University of Waterloo's world-renowned faculty members. While not exhaustive, this website offers future postdoctoral fellows information about some key fellowship opportunities.

University of Waterloo funding opportunities

The best and brightest are drawn to Waterloo for renowned academic programs, world-leading professional education, and teaching and research excellence. Our diverse community supports each other to develop academically, professionally, and personally within a collaborative environment that prioritizes well-being, growth, and achievement.

Institutionally, we are pleased to present Waterloo-specific funding opportunities below. 

Applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria for the three programs (below) before submitting their application; applicants may only apply to one of the three funding opportunities. 

The 2024 competition has now closed. 

University of Waterloo faculty-specific funding opportunities 

Funding external to the University of Waterloo

    Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

    This fellowship, valued at $70,000 per year for two years, is the most prestigious and competitive of all the Canadian tri-agency postdoctoral opportunities, with only 70 available annually across Canada. Interested applicants must apply through and receive endorsement from the institution where they anticipate holding the fellowship. The annual competition for this fellowship normally launches in April. Applicants of the Banting competition are not automatically considered for other agency-specific fellowships. Applicants who wish to apply for both the Banting and other agency-specific funding opportunities must apply separately for each if eligible to do so.

    Further details on Waterloo’s application process, and timelines can be found on the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship web page.

    Caivan Communities Postdoctoral Fellowship

    Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunities will be made available through a donation from Caivan Communities starting in 2021 through to 2023. Normally a duration of two years, these fellowships will be valued at $60,000 per year with the possibility of an additional $3,000 to support research-related expenses. Further details about this opportunity, including eligibility criteria and application process, can be found on the Faculty of Environment website.

    John Charles Polanyi Prizes

    Five prizes, each valued at $20,000 are available annually through the Council of Ontario Universities. The prizes support researchers who are in the early stages of their career who are conducting research in the areas broadly defined as Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Economic Science. Interested applicants must apply through and receive endorsement from the institution where they anticipate holding the prize. The annual competition for these prizes normally launches in late September. Further details on Waterloo’s application process, and timelines can be found on the John Charles Polyani Prizes web page.

    Lupina Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 

    First established in 2021, these distinguished postdoctoral opportunities are available through a donation by the Lupina Foundation.Two fellowships will be awarded annually, each valued at $70,000 per year for two years, plus a research stipend totalling $5000. Both internal and external funding models are available. Applications are encouraged from outstanding early-career scholars investigating the social determinants of health, particularly at the intersections of health, society, and technology. Lupina postdoctoral fellows will be supervised by any faculty member within Waterloo’s Faculty of Arts, with interdisciplinary collaboration potential across the University.  Learn more about the Lupina Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellows, including eligibility and application details. 

    William T. Tutte Postdoctoral Fellowship

    The William T. Tutte Postdoctoral Fellowship, valued at a minimum guaranteed $75,000 for up to two years plus a research stipend of $15,000 per year intends to attract high-calibre scholars to conduct research in Applied Mathematics, Combinatorics and Optimization, Computer Science, Pure Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science or any related fields. Up to three Fellowships per year will be awarded, recognizing postdoctoral researchers with the potential to transform their field of research. For more information, please visit Faculty of Mathematics website.

    Tri-Agency Postdoctoral Fellowships

    Postdoctoral fellowships are available through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

      Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowships

      The competition for the CIHR Fellowship, normally launches in July every year. Stipend levels and maximum duration depend upon the background of the applicants; trainees holding a PhD may receive stipend of up to $40,000 per year for up to 3 years (plus benefits), and licensed health professionals may receive up to $50,000 per year for up to 5 years (plus benefits). All CIHR fellowships receive $5,000 per year research allowance. Applicants complete an application in the CIHR portal ResearchNet. Once complete, the applicant submits the application online which is electronically directed to the proposed host institution for review and electronic approval. At the University of Waterloo, the Office of Research is responsible for this review, and will ensure eligibility and compliance with guidelines, before electronic approval and submission to CIHR.

      View our CIHR Frequently Asked Questions

      Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships

      The competition for the NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship, valued at $45,000 per year for two years, normally launches in July every year. Applicants must complete an application available through NSERC’s online system by the advertised agency deadline. The application is submitted directly to NSERC. There is no institutional adjudication process or administrative involvement in the application process. Further details can be found on NSERC’s website.

      View our NSERC Frequently Asked Questions

      Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowships

      The competition for the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, valued at $45,000 per year for one or two years, normally launches in July every year. Applicants must complete an application available through SSHRC’s online system by the advertised agency deadline. The application is submitted directly to SSHRC. Further details can be found on SSHRC’s website.

      View our SSHRC Frequently Asked Questions

      Tri-Agency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

      Ontario Women's Health Scholars Award

      Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, a Scholar Awards Program in Women's Health has been established to ensure that Ontario attracts and retains pre-eminent women's health scholars. The community of women's health scholars fostered by this Awards program will excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge about women's health and its translation into improved health for women, more effective health services and products for women, and a strengthened heath care system. Visit the Ontario Women's Health Scholars Award GSPA website for additional details.  

      Mitacs

      Mitacs is a national not-for-profit organization that works with institutions, companies and the federal and provincial governments to promote and support innovation. Postdoctoral opportunities available through Mitacs include the following programs: Globalink Research Award, Accelerate, Elevate and the Canadian Science Policy Fellowship. For further information about these opportunities, you are encouraged to contact the Mitacs advisor(s) for the University of Waterloo.

      Accelerate

      The Accelerate program helps provide funding for collaborative research projects between the University and industry or non-profit partners. Current postdocs work with their supervisor(s) and external partner to submit a proposal for an innovative project, which can receive $15, 000 in funding for each four-month period, up to a maximum of three years. Visit the Mitacs Accelerate website for additional details. 

      Canadian Science Policy Fellowship

      The Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship offers PhD holders from all disciplines an opportunity to help solve public policy challenges in Canada. It involves a 12-month immersion program into the policy making process with participating government departments. Visit the Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship website for additional details.

      ON HOLD: The call for 2023-2024 applicants is on hold until further notice.

      Elevate

      Mitacs Elevate is a postdoctoral fellowship with an exclusive professional development curriculum component. It involves a one or two-year research project with a partner organization in need of high-level expertise, as well as a research management training program developed by Mitacs that prepares Elevate fellows for success as leaders in research and industry. Fellows progress through the program in a cohort, giving them cross-disciplinary networking and peer-learning opportunities they might not have otherwise in their careers. 

      This award is valued at $60,000 per year, for up to two years. Applications are accepted all year round, and the program is open to all sectors and disciplines. Visit the Mitacs Elevate website for additional details.

      Globalink Research Award

      The Mitacs Globalink Research Award (GRA) supports research collaborations between Canada and select partner organizations and eligible countries and regions. Each year, Mitacs puts out a thematic call, inviting applications on a variety of important subjects. Under the joint supervision of a home and host professor, postdoctoral fellows will receive a $6,000 research award to conduct a 12- to 24-week research project in the other country. Visit the Mitacs Globalink Research Award website for additional details and the latest thematic call for applicants. 

      Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS)

      The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) hosts an external website containing valuable resources for Canadian postdocs including annual events, meetings, memberships and job/funding opportunities. Visit the CAPS website for more information. 

      Scholarships Canada

      Scholarships Canada is an external scholarship database housing thousands of scholarship opportunities, including postdoctoral fellowships. Check out the Scholarships Canada website and see for yourself!