As a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar, you will receive:

•  $100,000 CDN in undesignated research support
A two-year appointment to a CIFAR research program
Specialized leadership and communication skills training

The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is a two-year appointment designed to support young investigators at a pivotal time in their careers. Each scholar will become part of a global network of leading researchers pursuing answers to some of the most difficult challenges facing the world today. They will have the opportunity to be mentored by a senior researcher, to network within a community of top-tier research leaders, and to form new collaborations with colleagues from diverse disciplines. Training in leadership and communication will position scholars as leaders and agents of change within academia and beyond.

(+) Eligibility

Applicants can be from anywhere in the world, but must hold a PhD or equivalent degree and be within five years of their first full-time academic appointment. Scholars’ research must align with the themes of an eligible CIFAR research program. In 2017, the eligible programs are:

Successful Societies
Institutions, Organizations & Growth
Cosmology & Gravity
Learning in Machines & Brains
Bio-inspired Solar Energy
Quantum Materials
Genetic Networks
Child & Brain Development
Humans & the Microbiome
Molecular Architecture of Life
Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness

(+) How to Apply

Applications are submitted online through CIFAR’s application system and must include three letters of recommendation from at least one faculty member or equivalent and preferably one non-academic leader.

The application will require you to answer questions about:

• Your research and how it complements the CIFAR program you would like to join
• Ideas for collaboration with fellows in the program
• Your leadership experience to date
• Your engagement with non-academic communities or interest in such engagement

(+) Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does my research need to be aligned with a CIFAR research program?

Yes, an applicant must apply to participate in one of the 11 eligible programs accepting Global Scholars in 2017. Eligible programs are listed under Question 2 below. CIFAR’s research programs are described in some depth at: . Profiles of participating Fellows and Advisors are also provided with each program description. CIFAR strongly encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives not presently represented in our programs. Applicants are encouraged to make the case for how their research could contribute to a CIFAR research program, and also how their research could benefit from interaction and collaboration with other disciplines represented in the program.

2. Which CIFAR research programs are eligible to receive CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar applications?

In 2017, the eligible programs are:

Successful Societies
Institutions, Organizations & Growth
Cosmology & Gravity
Learning in Machines & Brains
Bio-inspired Solar Energy
Quantum Materials
Genetic Networks
Child & Brain Development
Humans & the Microbiome
Molecular Architecture of Life
Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness

3. What is a CIFAR research program?

CIFAR’s global research programs connect many of the world’s best minds – across borders and between disciplines – to shape new perspectives and spark ground-breaking ideas. By helping innovative pioneers push further, and inspiring young research leaders to join them, CIFAR’s programs are able to expand the boundaries of understanding in ways that would otherwise not be possible.

A central feature of each CIFAR research program is the sustained interaction among its fellows.  Each program assembles a unique combination of researchers with different disciplinary perspectives and research approaches to collectively tackle a complex challenge facing the world. Programs hold one to three meetings per year over a five-year, renewable period.  Sustained interactions create a “safe” environment that becomes highly conducive to sharing preliminary ideas and sparking innovative new collaborations.  Fellows are inspired to think creatively, disruptively and without limitations.

4. Applicants to the Cosmology & Gravity program will be considered for the renewed and renamed program, Gravity & the Extreme Universe.  What is the focus of this renewed program?

The new program in Gravity and the Extreme Universe (G+EU) will focus on profound questions about the nature of extreme gravity and other fundamental physics and astrophysics using the new revolution in gravitational wave detection, together with a variety of forefront electromagnetic and particle experiments and observations. The G+EU program will achieve its goal by bringing together researchers from diverse but inter-related fields to address three specific research questions: 1. What is the nature of extreme gravity? 2. What is the origin of the universe and how did it evolve? 3. What is the structure of compact objects, particularly the universe’s population of black holes and neutron stars?

5. Are postdoctoral fellows (or equivalent) eligible for this program?

CIFAR requires all applicants to hold a PhD (or equivalent terminal degree) and be in a full-time faculty position, including research and teaching responsibilities, at an institution of higher education or research. They must be appointed to their first faculty position no earlier than May 1, 2012. Special consideration will be given to those with exceptional circumstances or leaves. Typically, applicants will be at an Assistant Professor level or equivalent in other academic systems.  Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply to this program.

6. If I do not have the title of Assistant Professor, would I be eligible?

CIFAR recognizes that different academic systems around the world assign different titles to junior faculty positions. To be eligible, CIFAR requires applicants to be employed no more than five years in their first full-time faculty position, with both research and teaching responsibilities, at an institution of higher education or research.  Applicants requiring assistance to determine their eligibility may contact: .

7. If I was appointed to a full-time faculty position more than five years ago, but I spent a portion of time away on a parental/medical leave, would I be eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants should be appointed to their first full-time faculty position no earlier than May 1, 2012. Applicants who were appointed earlier than May 1, 2012, but who have taken parental/medical leave during this time will be expected to provide an explanation in their application form as to why they should still be considered for the program. CIFAR reserves the right to make the final determination of eligibility.

8. If I am an early career researcher based in a country outside of Canada, would I be eligible?

CIFAR is seeking to develop a global cohort. There are no geographical restrictions on who may apply to this program. In particular, applicants from developing countries are encouraged. 

9. Do I need to re-locate from my current institute to be part of this program?

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars remain at their home institution and country throughout their two-year appointment. The research funding associated with the award is administered through the recipient’s institutional department. Global Scholars are expected to attend meetings of their designated CIFAR research program (usually 2-3 per year, depending on the program) in Canada and various locations around the world, as well as the annual meeting of Global Scholars.

10. If I am unable to attend the in-person interview on September 16-17, 2017 in Toronto due to a prior commitment, should I apply?

The interview process involves a series of interactive group activities, taking place over a day and a half, as well as brief individual interviews. This interview process requires in-person attendance on September 16-17, 2017. Applicants unable to be present at the in-person interview cannot be properly assessed and will not be considered. 

11.  How will CIFAR support me as a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar?

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars receive:

• $100,000 (CAD) in undesignated research support
• A two-year appointment to a CIFAR research program, a network of top-tier research leaders
• Opportunities to network and collaborate with colleagues from diverse disciplines
• Mentorship from a senior researcher within a CIFAR research program
• Specialized leadership and communications skills training
• Annual meetings to network and collaborate with other Global Scholars

12. What is expected of a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar?

During their two-year funded appointment, Global Scholars are expected to:

• Attend meetings of their designated CIFAR research program (usually 2-3 per year, depending on the program) in Canada and various locations around the world.
• Where appropriate, interact and collaborate with fellow program members on research areas of interest to the scholars and their research program.
• Attend annual Global Scholar meetings (usually in held in May).
• Submit a web-based annual report on research and related activities.
• Acknowledge CIFAR as a funder in research publications and presentations supported by this funding, and include the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars title in their professional signature, presentations, website and publications.

13.  How can I use the $100,000 CDN in research support?

The research support aims to enhance the scholar’s capacity to conduct research. CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars are provided these funds over the two-year appointment. Possible uses include, but are not limited to:  teaching release, support for trainees, research assistant salary, summer salary (where applicable) and laboratory supplies (major infrastructure excluded). CIFAR does not support indirect costs.

14.  What is the purpose of the annual meeting of Global Scholars?

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars from across CIFAR’s research programs meet annually for activities focused on strengthening core leadership and communication skills. The annual meeting aims to build a community of early career researchers and supports peer-to-peer sharing and collaboration. Over three days, scholars engage in targeted, interactive skill-building workshops led by expert facilitators.  Invited guests representing leadership in a range of fields provide opportunities for cross-sector engagement, mentorship and enhanced learning. Group activities, excursions and session times provide opportunities to explore potential collaborations and develop a spirit of community.

15.  How are applicants selected?

CIFAR reviews applications for completeness and basic eligibility requirements. Then selection committees assembled from each CIFAR research program review the applications. The committees assess applicants based on their research excellence, potential to contribute to the program and leadership potential, and provide their recommendations to CIFAR.

CIFAR invites all short-listed nominees to attend a two-day interview meeting in Toronto on September 16-17, 2017. The interview meeting consists of a series of interactive group activities and brief individual interviews. Assessments will be conducted by a diverse committee of researchers and non-academic leaders with backgrounds in policy, communications or other areas.  The Interview Committee evaluates nominees’ capacity, potential and desire to actively engage with peers across a full spectrum of disciplines, and to grow their existing leadership and communication skills to extend the impact of their research to communities beyond academia. In-person attendance at the interview meeting is mandatory.

After the interview meeting, the Interview Committee ranks the nominees for the available positions. One to two successful candidates may be selected per program.

16.  What has been the success rate of applicants?

CIFAR is presently issuing its second annual call for applications to the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program. In 2016, we received 192 completed applications from 31 countries. Thirty-five candidates were invited to attend in-person interviews in Toronto, and a total of 18 Global Scholars were selected. CIFAR anticipates that each CIFAR research program will support up to a maximum of three Global Scholars at any given time, resulting in one or two available openings in a program per year.

The 2017 Call for Applications is now closed. 

Please contact us with any questions.

(+) 2017 Global Scholars

Parameswaran Ajith, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Gravity & the Extreme Universe

Khanh Huy Bui, McGill University, Molecular Architecture of Life

Hannah Carter, University of California, San Diego, Genetic Networks

Judy Cha, Yale University, Quantum Materials

Kyunghyun Cho, New York University, Learning in Machines & Brains

Brian Dias, Emory University, Child & Brain Development

Douglas Fowler, University of Washington, Genetic Networks

Nathaniel Gabor, University of California, Riverside, Bio-inspired Solar Energy

Daryl Haggard, McGill University, Gravity & the Extreme Universe

Kristi Kenyon, University of Winnipeg, Successful Societies

Alexander Kwarteng, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Humans & the Microbiome

Kristin Laurin, University of British Columbia, Successful Societies

Sara Lowes, Bocconi University, Institutions, Organizations & Growth

Katherine McAuliffe, Boston College, Brain, Mind & Consciousness

Thomas Vidick, California Institute of Technology, Quantum Information Science

(+) 2016 Global Scholars

Katherine Amato, Northwestern University, Humans & the Microbiome

Nir Bar-Gill, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Quantum Information Science

Natalie Bau, University of Toronto, Institutions, Organizations & Growth

Craig Chapman, University of Alberta, Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness

Giulio Chiribella, University of Hong Kong, Quantum Information Science

Ami Citri, The Hebrew University, Child & Brain Development

Alona Fyshe, University of Victoria, Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness

Gerhard Kirchmair, University of Innsbruck, Quantum Information Science

Corinne Maurice, McGill University, Humans & the Microbiome

Kieran O’Donnell, McGill University, Child & Brain Development

Kate Ross, Colorado State University, Quantum Materials

Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, University of California at Berkeley, Institutions, Organizations & Growth

Gabriela Schlau-Cohen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bio-inspired Solar Energy

Mikko Taipale, University of Toronto, Molecular Architecture of Life

Graham Taylor, University of Guelph, The Vector Institute, Learning in Machines & Brains

Jeffrey Warren, Simon Fraser University, Bio-inspired Solar Energy

Luyi Yang, University of Toronto, Quantum Materials

Joel Zylberberg, University of Colorado Denver, Learning in Machines & Brains

This program is generously supported by the Azrieli Foundation and the Love Family Leadership Development Fund.

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