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CIFAR Azrieli
Global Scholars

Global Scholars - Ajith Parameswaran

Overview

Accelerating the careers of emerging research leaders worldwide

The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program provides funding and support to help Scholars build their network and develop essential skills to become the next generation of research leaders. Researchers within the first five years of a full-time academic position from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply.

CIFAR invites exceptional early career researchers to participate in CIFAR's network of nearly 400 researchers from over 16 countries, who together are pursuing answers to some of the most complex challenges facing the world today. The CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program provides funding, skills training, mentorship, and opportunities to collaborate with outstanding colleagues from diverse disciplines, positioning scholars as research leaders and agents of change.

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars receive:

  •   $100,000 CAD in unrestricted research support
  •   A two-year term in a CIFAR research program, a global network of top-tier research leaders. Learn what it's like to be a CIFAR Fellow
  •   Opportunities to network, collaborate and form a community with colleagues from diverse disciplines
  •   Mentorship from a senior researcher within a CIFAR research program
  •   Specialized leadership and communication skills training, and support to put their skills into action

Submit an application now 

Eligibility

Applicants can be from anywhere in the world, must hold a PhD (or equivalent) and be within the first five years of a full-time academic position. Scholars’ research interests must be aligned with the themes of an eligible CIFAR research program. See the detailed program overview for full eligibility requirements.

NOTE: Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible to apply.

How to apply

All applications are submitted through an online application portal and must include two letters of reference.  See detailed overview of the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program for more information. 

Submit an application now 

The 2019 Call for Applications opens on December 3, 2018. The deadline for applications is February 5, 2019. 

Please contact us with any questions.


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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 five eligible programs accepting Global Scholars in 2019. Eligible programs are listed under Question 2 below. CIFAR’s research programs are described in some depth at: cifar.ca/research. Profiles of participating Fellows and Advisors are also provided with each program description. 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. CIFAR strongly encourages applicants with diverse backgrounds and perspectives not presently represented in our programs.

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

In 2019, the eligible programs are:


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

No. Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for this program. CIFAR requires applicants to be employed at an institution of higher education or research and be within the first five years of a full-time academic position, including responsibility for both conducting an independent research program and supervising/teaching graduate or postdoctoral trainees. Typically, applicants will be an Assistant Professor (or the equivalent in other academic systems). See the detailed program overview for full eligibility requirements. If you have questions, please contact global.scholars@cifar.ca.

5. 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. We welcome junior faculty from all over the world to apply. Applicants requiring assistance to determine their eligibility may contact us by email: global.scholars@cifar.ca.

6. 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, 2014. Applicants who were appointed earlier than May 1, 2014, but who have taken parental 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.

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

CIFAR is seeking to develop a diverse and global cohort. There are no geographical restrictions on who may apply to this program.

8. 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 term. The research funding associated with the award is administered through the recipient’s institutional department.

9. If I am unable to attend the in-person interview on June 26-27, 2019 in Toronto due to a prior commitment, should I apply?

The interview consists of a series of individual and interactive group activities among invited candidates, taking place over a day and a half. In-person participation is required to ensure a fair and complete evaluation. Applicants unable to attend will not be considered.

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

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars receive:

  •   $100,000 CAD in unrestricted research support
  •   A two-year term in a CIFAR research program, a global network of top-tier research leaders
  •   Opportunities to network and collaborate with like-minded colleagues from diverse disciplines
  •   Mentorship from a senior researcher within a CIFAR research program
  •   Specialized leadership and communications skills training, and support to put skills into action
  •   Annual meetings to network, collaborate and form a community with other Global Scholars

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

During the two-year term of their award, Global Scholars are expected to:

  •   Attend CIFAR research program meetings (usually 2-3 per year, depending on the program) in Canada and various locations around the world. While at meetings and where appropriate, interact and collaborate with fellow program members on research areas of common interest to the program.
  •   Attend annual CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar meetings (usually in held in early May). CIFAR expects that each scholar will attend two annual meetings.
  •   Report on successes and activities annually, and where possible and appropriate, interact with CIFAR stakeholders and funders to share their experience.
  •   Acknowledge CIFAR as a funder in research publications and presentations supported by the program’s funding, use ‘CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar’ in their professional signature, and indicate CIFAR as an affiliation.

12. How can I use the $100,000 CAD in research support?

The research support aims to enhance a scholar’s capacity to conduct research. CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars are provided these funds over the two years of their term. Possible uses include, but are not limited to: research projects, teaching release, trainee support, conference travel, etc. CIFAR does not support indirect costs.

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

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars 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 interactive skill-building workshops led by expert facilitators and targeted to early career researchers. Invited guests 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 peer group.

14. How are applicants selected?

CIFAR is strongly committed to diversity within its community and through the application review and selection process, described below:

  •   Basic Eligibility: CIFAR ensures all applications meet basic eligibility requirements.
  •   Application Review: A CIFAR research program sub-committee, comprised of CIFAR fellows and/or advisors, is assembled for each eligible program. The committee reviews and assesses the applicant based on three criteria: i) research excellence, ii) potential to contribute to a program by adding new and diverse perspectives and approaches that build on or complement existing membership, and iii) leadership potential both within and outside of academia. Each program selection committee shortlists up to 5 candidates per program.
  •   Final In-person Selection: CIFAR invites shortlisted candidates to attend a two-day Selection Meeting in Toronto, Canada on June 26-27, 2019. This meeting consists of a series of individual and interactive group activities. Assessments will be conducted by a diverse committee of researchers from academia and a mix of leaders with expertise in other areas such as policy, communications and leadership. The Selection Committee evaluates and assesses candidates’ capacity, potential and desire to actively engage with peers across a full spectrum of disciplines and their potential to have a broader impact.

15. What has been the success rate of applicants?

This year, each eligible CIFAR research program will be accepting 2 or 3 new CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars. Presently, the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program is conducting its fourth annual call for applications.

  •   In 2016, we received 173 eligible applications from 27 countries for 9 research programs. Thirty-five candidates were invited to attend in-person interviews in Toronto, and a total of 18 Global Scholars were selected.
  •   In 2017, we received 445 eligible applications from 48 countries for 11 research programs. Thirty-three shortlisted candidates attended the interview meeting, of whom 15 were selected to become Global Scholars.
  •   In 2018, we received 402 eligible applications from 55 countries for 5 research programs. Twenty shortlisted candidates attended the interview meeting, of whom 12 were selected to become Global Scholars.

CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

  • Adrian Liu

    Adrian Liu

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • McGill University
    • Canada
  • HMB_AlexanderKwarteng

    Alexander Kwarteng

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
    • Ghana
  • BMC_AlonaFyshe

    Alona Fyshe

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Alberta
    • Canada
  • Ami Citri

    Ami Citri

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    • Israel
  • Brian Dias

    Brian Dias

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • Emory University
    • United States
  • HMB_CorinneMauriceScholar

    Corinne Maurice

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • McGill University
    • Canada
  • BMC_CraigChapman

    Craig Chapman

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Alberta
    • Canada
  • GEU_DarylHaggard

    Daryl Haggard

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • McGill University
    • Canada
  • Douglas Fowler

    Douglas Fowler

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • University of Washington
    • United States
  • BSE_GabrielaSchlauCohen

    Gabriela Schlau-Cohen

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • United States
  • Gerhard Kirchmair

    Gerhard Kirchmair

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Innsbruck
    • Austria
  • Giulio Chiribella

    Giulio Chiribella

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Oxford
    • United Kingdom
  • LMB_GrahamTaylor

    Graham Taylor

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Guelph
    • Vector Institute
    • Canada
  • Hannah Carter

    Hannah Carter

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • University of California San Diego
    • United States
  • Hyun Youk

    Hyun Youk

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Delft University of Technology
    • The Netherlands
  • BSE_JeffreyWarren

    Jeffrey J. Warren

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • Simon Fraser University
    • Canada
  • Jenny Yang

    Jenny Yang

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • University of California Irvine
    • United States
  • Jessica Metcalf

    Jessica L. Metcalf

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Colorado State University
    • United States
  • LMB_JoelZylberberg

    Joel Zylberberg

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Colorado Denver
    • United States
  • QM_JudyCha

    Judy Cha

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • Yale University
    • United States
  • QM_KateRoss

    Kate A. Ross

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • Colorado State University
    • United States
  • BMC_KatherineMcAuliffe

    Katherine McAuliffe

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • Boston College
    • United States
  • HMB_KatherineAmato

    Katherine R. Amato

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • Northwestern University
    • United States
  • Khanh Huy Bui

    Khanh Huy Bui

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • McGill University
    • Canada
  • Kieran O'Donnell

    Kieran O'Donnell

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • McGill University
    • Canada
  • SS_KristiKenyon

    Kristi Kenyon

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • University of Winnipeg
    • Canada
  • SS_KristinLaurin

    Kristin Laurin

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • University of British Columbia
    • Canada
  • LMB_KyunghyunCho

    Kyunghyun Cho

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • New York University
    • United States
  • Lucina Q. Uddin

    Lucina Q. Uddin

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • University of Miami
    • United States
  • QM_LuyiYang

    Luyi Yang

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Toronto
    • Canada
  • Maria Drout

    Maria R. Drout

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • University of Toronto
    • Canada
  • Mikko Taipale

    Mikko Taipale

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of Toronto
    • Canada
  • NaamaGevaZatorsky_webbio

    Naama Geva-Zatorsky

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Technion
    • Israel
  • IOG_NatalieBau

    Natalie Bau

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of California Los Angeles
    • Canada
  • BSE_NathanielGabor

    Nathaniel Gabor

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • University of California Riverside
    • United States
  • QIS_NirBarGill

    Nir Bar-Gill

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    • Israel
  • Ajith Parameswaran

    Parameswaran Ajith

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • International Centre for Theoretical Physics
    • India
  • Prineha Narang

    Prineha Narang

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Harvard University
    • United States
  • IOG_RaulSanchezdelaSierra

    Raul Sanchez de la Sierra

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2016
    • University of California Berkeley
    • United States
  • IOG_SaraLowes

    Sara Lowes

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • Bocconi University
    • Italy
  • Sarah Burke-Spolaor

    Sarah Burke-Spolaor

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • West Virginia University
    • United States
  • QIS_ThomasVidick

    Thomas Vidick

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2017
    • California Institute of Technology
    • United States
  • Yaniv Ziv

    Yaniv Ziv

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
    • Israel
  • Yogi Surendranath

    Yogesh Surendranath

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • United States
  • Yue Wa

    Yue Wan

    • CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar 2018
    • Genome Institute of Singapore
    • Singapore
  • News about CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars

    • News

    Elizabeth Gerrits: Leaving a legacy for future research leaders

    by Lindsay Jolivet
    Jul 21 / 16

    Elizabeth Gerrits is a strong believer in supporting future leaders.

    As a former social worker with experience in youth employment, she feels CIFAR’s Global Academy is an important supporter of students, postdoctoral fellows and early-career faculty members. 

    “A young researcher has a lot of pressures,” she says. “Your academic career, your research career, your administrative responsibilities, your mentoring of other young people. So where does their continuing growth and development come in? CIFAR offers that.”

    After being an annual donor to CIFAR for over 10 years, Gerrits decided that a gift in her will was a natural extension of her investment in future research leaders and innovative research.

    “CIFAR was at the top of my list because I really believe in the CIFAR mandate,” she says.

    As a former director of research programs at CIFAR, she has a deep understanding of that mandate: to connect leading researchers across disciplines in programs that address questions of importance to the world.

    “We are extremely grateful to Liz for her support,” says Kara Spence, Vice-President Advancement. “She worked closely with the CIFAR fellows and was inspired by their work and their research breakthroughs. Now, through her generous annual and legacy gifts, her support will continue to help CIFAR Fellows address some of our toughest global challenges.”

    For Gerrits, one of the world’s major challenges is uncovering the physics of matter, from superconductivity to super-dense neutron stars that can have a mass double that of the sun.

    “Understanding matter is hugely important to almost everything we do,” Gerrits says. For example, superconducting materials that work at room temperature could make our power grids and other technologies vastly more efficient and inexpensive.

    As an employee, she enjoyed seeing CIFAR fellows develop their research over time and build lasting relationships through collaboration. “I just love that process.” She appreciates CIFAR’s commitment to supporting sustained collaboration.

    Gerrits also developed a love for space science and physics through her work at CIFAR, where she was involved in the operation of the programs in Cosmology & Gravity and Quantum Materials, among others. She saw an early glimpse into major projects such as the Thirty Metre Telescope.

    “I can go back and say ‘Wow, I listened nine years ago when these things were just starting.’”

    Beyond listening, she says she felt that she could really make a difference at CIFAR. “What I like about CIFAR is that the staff, the donors, the researchers and their institutions form a partnership,” she says.

    She is proud to support collaboration and discovery as part of her legacy. “I had the honour of working with some of the most dedicated and brilliant individuals in the world and I valued and enjoyed every minute,” she says. By remembering CIFAR in her will, Gerrits knows she is helping the next generation of researchers continue the search for answers to the world’s most complex issues.

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

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