About the Program
The Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program is administered by NSERC on behalf of Canadian government laboratories and research institutions.
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.
Provided value is one year, renewable for up to two more years and makes an amount of $50,503 per year.
- 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- If you have withdrawn from the workforce and active research for maternity leave, or to raise a child for at least one year, after you received your doctorate, NSERC will extend the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. The Department of National Defence can consider applications from Canadian citizens only.
There are no deadlines for application to this program; applications are processed and reviewed as they are received.
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 whose names will be placed on the inventory of approved candidates for a Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Government Laboratories. Applicants will be informed by NSERC if their names have been placed on the inventory.
Note: Candidates should be aware that placement on the inventory 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 names of the approved candidates will remain on the inventory for one full year or until they are offered a fellowship. At the end of the year, if the candidate has not been offered a fellowship, they may request that their name remain on the inventory for one additional year.
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).
Announcement of Results
Decisions are announced approximately three months after receipt of complete applications.
Departments and agencies that support fellowships:
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Canadian Conservation Institute
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency
- Environment Canada
- Fisheries and Oceans
- Health Canada
- Industry Canada
- National Defence
- Natural Resources Canada
- Parks Canada
Note: Some changes may occur in this list.
For more information on application please click on the "Further official information" below.