What kind of support does this program provide?
The Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories (VF) Program provides promising emerging scientists and engineers with the opportunity to work with research groups or leaders in Canadian government laboratories and research institutions. Fellowships are awarded for one year with the possibility of renewal for a second and third year, at the discretion of the government department concerned.
The number of awards varies according to the budgets of participating departments and agencies.
Are you eligible for a Visiting Fellowship?
- You must have received a doctoral degree in the natural sciences or engineering from a recognized university within the past five years. Your application will be accepted if you are currently enrolled in a doctoral program at a recognized university; however, you must expect to complete all requirements for your degree (including the thesis defence) within six months of submitting your application.
- If you have withdrawn from the workforce and active research for maternity leave, or to raise a child for at least one year, after you received your doctorate, NSERC will extend the eligibility period to six years.
- You can apply only twice for a Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Government Laboratories.
You will not be allowed to take up your award until confirmation of completion of degree requirements is received. You may hold only one Visiting Fellowship.
There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants, but awards are subject to a citizenship quota: two-thirds of awards must be made to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Successful candidates who are not Canadians or permanent residents of Canada must satisfy Canadian immigration requirements.
Applications are processed and reviewed as they are received.
Announcement of competition results
Decisions are announced approximately three months after receipt of complete applications.
Review procedures and selection criteria
Selection committees, appointed by the individual government departments, will be responsible for the pre-selection of applicants, recommending only the most meritorious applicants.
Note: Candidates should be aware that successful evaluation does not guarantee a fellowship; it is a preliminary requirement only.
Approved candidates to be offered a fellowship will be selected by the individual government departments. Successful applicants will be notified by NSERC or by the interested government department. Approximately three months after receipt of a complete application, departments may request additional information (e.g., interviews) before offering a fellowship.
The selection committee will rate the applications according to the following criteria:
- academic excellence
- scholarships and awards held;
- duration of previous studies;
- research ability or potential
- quality of contributions to research and development;
- relevant work experience and academic training;
- critical ability, capacity for critical thought and analysis;
- ability to apply skills and knowledge;
- judgment, originality, and curiosity;
- initiative and autonomy;
- enthusiasm for research;
- determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time;
- communication skills
- ability or potential to communicate scientific concepts clearly and logically in written and oral formats (e.g., quality of presentation of application, participation in the preparation of publications, special awards for oral presentations or papers);
- interpersonal and leadership abilities
- professional and relevant extracurricular interactions and collaborations (e.g., mentoring, teaching, supervisory experience, project management, chairing committees, organizing conferences/meetings, and elected positions held);
- justification for location of tenure and potential benefits to the government department (e.g., specific skills or experience that relate directly to ongoing research in participating government departments).