Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars - Application and selection process

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This competition closed on Friday, December 1st at 9:00 AM ET.
We are no longer accepting applications.

How to apply

1.  Complete the Letter of Intent (LOI) form

Scholars interested in applying must complete a Letter of Intent (LOI) form which will be submitted to the proposed Waterloo host faculty member. Applicants are encouraged to visit the University of Waterloo faculty/departments/school pages, which provide a list of faculty members and their respective research areas. Applicants should consider the proposed faculty member’s research and the alignment with their own research expertise and background prior to contacting the prospective faculty member.

Prospective applicants may initiate the LOI or a prospective host supervisor may request a candidate to complete the LOI form. Please refer to the appropriate steps below:

Option 1: Applicant completes the LOI form

  • Form will be sent directly to the proposed supervisor.
  • Form will also be sent to the applicant and Craig Logue (Events and Communications Specialist, GSPA).
  • Applicant follows up with an email to the proposed supervisor to send along their current Curriculum Vitae (CV) for review.


Option 2: Prospective host supervisor requests a prospective candidate to apply

  • Supervisor sends the Letter of Intent (LOI) form to the proposed scholar (applicant) with the recommendation that they consider applying to the program; following receipt of email with the LOI form, proposed scholars submit the LOI and steps above are followed to ensure proper review and confirmation of eligibility.

Please connect with your proposed supervisor prior to submitting the LOI in order to ensure that your application will be supported.

It is recommended that this step be completed and submitted at least one week before the December 1st deadline in order to allow sufficient time to complete the other steps in this process.

2.  Submit the supervisor endorsement form

Once a partnership has been arranged between a proposed scholar (applicant) and a University of Waterloo faculty member, the proposed supervisor*, who is in support of the candidate’s application, will complete and submit the supervisor endorsement form.

It is recommended that this form be completed and submitted at least 1 week prior to the application deadline in order to allow sufficient time to complete the other steps in this process.

* Although there is no limit as to how many applicants a proposed supervisor can endorse, given the competitive nature of this opportunity, and the expectations there will be on the supervisor to provide the strongest possible support of the applicant, faculty members are encouraged to be very selective in who and how many they endorse.

3. Receive an invitation to complete the Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars application form

Following the receipt of the supervisor endorsement form, Craig Logue (Events and Communications Specialist, GSPA) will send an email to the applicant inviting them to complete the next steps in the application process (as below).

4. Obtain reference letters

The Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars application requires two reference letters, one of which must be from a referee who is at arm’s length from the applicant.

The arm’s length referee should be an expert in the field of the proposed research and should be able to assess the research proposal and academic CV in that capacity. Examples of an arm’s length referee include but are not limited to, the external examiner from the applicant’s doctoral defence or a specialist that the applicant met at a conference. Whenever possible, the adjudication committee welcomes assessments from arm’s length referees in the applicant’s field of study. Given the nature of the scholarship community for Black and indigenous, the arm’s length requirement will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Examples of those who would not qualify as an arm’s length referee would include:

  • A relative, friend, or anyone else with whom the applicant has a personal relationship;
  • Affiliated with the applicant’s current and/or proposed institution(s);
  • Professionally affiliated with the applicant as a result of but not limited to:
    • Being the applicant’s supervisor or trainee,
    • Collaborating, publishing or sharing funding with the applicant or proposed supervisor.

The proposed supervisor may be able to assist the applicant in identifying a colleague to write the arm’s length reference letter.

The second referee must be either the applicant’s doctoral research supervisor, committee member, or the internal/external reviewer. The proposed postdoctoral supervisor may only provide a reference if they’ve supervised the candidate in the past (e.g., as their PhD supervisor).

Referees must be able to provide relevant evidence, perspectives and insight to support the review of the application. The assessments contribute to a major part of the evaluation of the application and its potential success. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide the referees with the information they require in order to complete an informed and strong assessment.

Reference letters must address the following criteria:

  • Applicant’s research excellence and demonstrated leadership in the research domain;
  • Merit of the applicant’s proposed research program;

Referees will be required to send a PDF copy of their letter (signed and on letterhead) that addresses the above criteria, to Craig Logue by 9:00 am EST on December 1, 2023.

5. Submit the application

Interested applicants, who have received an invitation to apply from Craig Logue (step 3 above), must complete and submit the online application form by 9:00 am EST on December 1, 2023.

The components of the application require the following:

  • Completion of the application form
  • Uploading an up-to-date copy of an academic curriculum vitae (CV); applicants are encouraged (but not required) to complete a CCV using the Canadian Common CV (CCV) website
  • Uploading a research statement* that has been reviewed and supported by the proposed supervisor that:
    • Articulates the expected research program to be conducted with sufficient clarity that the adjudicating committee may assess the feasibility and significance of the work (where applicable, identify appropriate institutional areas of strength);
    • Describes the outreach and dissemination plans that will be undertaken to ensure the appropriate impact is obtained;
    • Proposes novel academic engagements for existing University of Waterloo graduate (and potentially undergraduate) students to be implemented through the scholar’s program;
    • Identifies expected resources (broadly defined) that will be necessary;
    • Identifies how their proposed project fits with one of the identified areas of concentration, if appropriate.
  • Uploading a special circumstances statement, if applicable, with regards to the window of eligibility criterion; it is essential that the applicant provide specific dates for delays and/or interruptions, including the exact number of months or days of these interruptions.
  • Uploading a copy of the PhD degree/diploma or a letter from the institution from where they completed (or intend to complete) their PhD degree requirements that confirms the date (or expected date) of fulfilment of all degree requirements.
  • Identifying two referees (and have completed step 4 of the application process).
  • To protect the integrity of Indigenous candidates, applicants who identify as Indigenous are required to provide documentation confirming their Indigenous identity. This supporting documentation will be verified by the Indigenous Relations Office at the University of Waterloo. Examples of acceptable documentation include Status card, Band membership card, citizenship card issued by a Métis National Council governing member or the Manitoba Métis Foundation, land claim beneficiary card, a letter from an Indigenous community, an affidavit which explains why you claim Indigenous citizenship/membership without documentation.
  • Applicants who identify as Black must provide a written attestation that they identify as belonging to the respective community, including an explanation how their lived experiences demonstrate their inclusion in one of these communities. This statement will be reviewed by the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Anti-racism (EDI-R) in the evaluation of Black applicants.

* Research statement details:

  • Statement can be a maximum of 5 pages (excluding references) with 11-point font, single-spaced, 1” margins on all sides.

The selection process

All applications received will be evaluated based upon the above selection criteria by an adjudication committee consisting of a diverse group of senior leaders and academics at the University of Waterloo. All committee members will be required to undergo unconscious bias training and will be supported in competency and capacity building, including training for equitable recruitment and selection, Indigenous ways of knowing, anti-oppression, and anti-Black racism. It is anticipated that training will support selection committee members in developing criteria and ensuring an equitable, anti-oppressive and anti-racist recruitment process.

  • The University acknowledges that best practices in evaluating inclusion in Black or Indigenous communities are constantly evolving. In its efforts to ensure that the Fellowship program is meeting its, the University’s and societal goals, the University commits to revisiting and updating annually its criteria and processes such that:
    • Eligibility criteria remain consistent with and guided by all legal requirements;
    • Eligibility considerations are primarily informed by the lived experiences of the scholars;
    • Eligibility assessments are made consistent with currently identified best practices;
    • Those applicants who warrant inclusion in the pool have the highest likelihood of inclusion;
    • Those applicants who do not warrant inclusion in the pool have a satisfactory likelihood of being excluded.

A shortlist of candidates will be identified by early to mid-January 2024. The shortlisted scholars may be invited to participate in an interview either on campus or remotely with the committee, with decisions and offers being made by mid-February 2024. Scholars will have until March 31, 2024 to accept the position. The University of Waterloo is eager to host scholars as early as July 1, 2024 and no later than January 1, 2025.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Considerations

The University of Waterloo regards diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to employment equity and accessibility for all employees. As such, we encourage applications from women, Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) peoples, Black people and People of Colour, persons with disabilities, members of diverse gender identities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. At Waterloo, scholars will have the opportunity to work across disciplines and collaborate with an international community of scholars and a diverse student body, situated in a rapidly growing community that has been termed a “hub of innovation”.