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The Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases (CVPD) is launching a transformative educational and professional development pathway for postdoctoral fellows to develop as emerging leaders and independent multi-disciplinary researchers of immunization and vaccine preventable diseases. There has been a recent recognition that vaccinology, the science of vaccines, encompasses various fields ranging from basic sciences of understanding immunogens, to understanding ethical, economic, and social behavioural approaches that impact delivery and uptake of vaccines.

VICTOIRE provides a collaborative approach to interdisciplinary training for postdoctoral fellows.  Fellows engage in learning with a cohort of peers conducting immunization research across different disciplines.

About the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases

The CVPD was established at the University of Toronto in 2019. It is led by the DLSPH on behalf of participating Schools and Departments across the University. The CVPD supports research and translation of research in many key areas along the science and policy continuum, exploring areas such as vaccine education for health care workers, vaccine hesitancy, vaccine coverage, burden of disease, and the health and economic impact of vaccination.

2022-2023 VICTOIRE-postdoc Program Dates and Application Deadline

The 2022-2023 VICTOIRE-postdoc program will run from February 1, 2022 to January 30, 2023.  Applications for the 2022-2023 VICTOIRE-postdoc cohort will be done online, and the application deadline has been extended to  December 20th, 2021.

Please send any questions about the program or application process to

VICTOIRE-Postdocs for 2020-2021

Mohammed Abdullah
VICTOIRE-Postdoc Fellowship Recipient

Ph.D. Chemistry- University at Albany, SUNY & Stony Brook University, USA
MSc. Medicinal Chemistry- Minia University, Egypt
Bsc. Pharmaceutical Sciences (Honors)-Minia University, Egypt

Mohammed is a VICTOIRE Postdoctoral fellow at Chemistry dept at University of Toronto. Mohammed had a B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Minia University, Egypt in 2011, after that he earned a master’s degree in medicinal chemistry in 2016 from the same university. In the meantime, he had industry work experience at Sanofi and Nestlé in sales and marketing teams. In 2016, he joined the Ph.D. program in chemistry at University at Albany, SUNY, then moved to Stony Brook University to complete his Ph.D. in developing novel microchips chips for single-cell and multiplex detection of cytokines. In 2020, he awarded the VICTOIRE-Postdoc fellowship from the Centre for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (CVPD), Dalla Lana School of public health to join Wheeler’s lab for the development and scale-up of instrument-free diagnostics for COVID-19 infection and immunity.

Advisor: Aaron Wheeler
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Kate Allan
VICTOIRE-Postdoc Fellowship Recipient

Kate Allan is a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Kate completed her doctoral studies at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. During her doctoral studies, she was Manager of the Vaccine Hesitancy Study at the Fraser Mustard Institute for Human Development. Her research interests focus on the intersection between social work and health, specifically the decision-making process of parents regarding routine childhood vaccination and the role of social work in addressing vaccine hesitancy.

Gebremedhim Gebretekle
VICTOIRE-Postdoc Fellowship Recipient

Name: Gebremedhin Gebretekle, PhD, MSc, BPharm
PhD (Public Health)
MSc (Pharmacoepidemiology and Social Pharmacy)
BPharm (Bachelor of Pharmacy)

Dr. Gebremedhin Gebretekle is a post-doctoral fellow in Health Services Research (HTA stream) at the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. He also holds an Assistant Professor position at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. His areas of expertise encompass several methodological domains, including health economics, decision modeling, evaluation of public health interventions, costing and health outcomes research with emphasis on infectious diseases. His current research focuses on policy and economic analysis of pneumococcal vaccination.

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Supervisor: Beate Sander and Natasha Crowcroft

Sharifa Nasreen

Dr. Sharifa Nasreen is a medical epidemiologist with more than 10 years of public health research experience primarily on infectious diseases. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and at ICES. Her current postdoctoral work studies the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. She is also involved in studies on the burden of pneumococcal diseases, and the impact of pneumococcal vaccines in Ontario and British Columbia. Her research interests include epidemiology of infectious diseases, including vaccine epidemiology, nonpharmacological interventions and child health.

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Oluwasegun Ogundele
VICTOIRE-Postdoc Fellowship Recipient

Ph.D. in Health Economics – Maastricht University, Netherlands
MSc Global Health – Maastricht University, Netherlands
MSc Demography – Southampton University, UK
Supervisor – Erica Di. Ruggiero

Dr. Segun Ogundele is a Postdoctoral fellow in Implementation Science at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He is also the recipient of the VICTOIRE postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases housed at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. His research interests are in implementation science, immunization research, global health, and social determinants of health and related inequalities. His postdoctoral work explores the implementation of interventions to improve access to quality healthcare services and reduce health inequity. His experience as a Program Officer with a Non-Governmental Organization implementing United States Agency for International Development and other donor projects in Nigeria makes him particularly interested in studying what, why, and how interventions work in the real world. His on-going research funded by the Implementation Science and VICTOIRE postdoctoral fellowships focuses on strategies to promote equitable immunization coverage among donors.

Melodie Yun-Ju Song

Ph.D. in Health Policy – McMaster University, Canada
MSc in Health Policy and Management – National Taiwan University
BSc in Nursing – National Taiwan University
Supervisors – Brian Schwartz, Jordan Tustin, Justin Schonfeld

Melodie is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Health Systems Impact Fellow at Public Health Ontario (PHO). At PHO, she is exploring stakeholder perspectives on the intended use of artificial intelligence for equitable access to immunization services and delivery. She is currently developing a dashboard to monitor vaccine hesitancy with engineering students at the University of Toronto. A research collaborator at the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, she is part of a research project that explores network properties of YouTube COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on social media. Melodie holds graduate certificates in global health and STI/HIV prevention from the Department of Global Health, University of Washington, USA. She has worked at CDC-Taiwan and the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan before coming to Canada.

Maria Sundaram

Twitter: @mariasundaram

Dr. Maria Sundaram is an infectious disease epidemiologist with 10 years of experience in global and local public health research. Her main research focus is the epidemiology of respiratory diseases, including influenza, RSV, and SARS-CoV-2. Her work through CVPD investigates the sociological and socio-epidemiological underpinnings of COVID-19 disease, as well as quantifying and contextualizing real-time safety information for COVID-19 vaccines. She also serves as a weekly COVID-19 expert for the BBC World Service and has additionally provided science communication for NBC, CBC, and NPR.

Please send any questions about the program or application process to

Eligibility and Program Features

Who should apply?

Postdoctoral fellows, within <5 years of having completed a terminal doctoral degree, e.g. PhD, ScD, etc., who are being supervised or planning to be hired by a faculty member affiliated with the University of Toronto Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases. Career interruptions will be considered.

Fellows proposed research should be aligned with the Centre’s vision and mission, directed at identifying solutions to relevant problems in immunization within the timescales of the project. The Centre has four research priority themes: (1) vaccine hesitancy; (2) immunization ethics and global governance; (3) impact and value of vaccines; and (4) immunity and community protection.  Priority will be given to projects that demonstrate interdisciplinarity and build or strengthen connections across the University and/or new partnerships outside UofT.

Secondary mentors with a different field of study expertise related to immunization research will be required, but can be assigned after acceptance into the program. Secondary mentors can include research collaborators outside of the University of Toronto, both in and outside of Canada.

Program Features

  • Program length: 12 months, from February 1, 2022 to January 30, 2023
  • There is no cost to join the program. Postdoctoral fellows being supervised or who plan to be supervised by affiliated faculty members of the Centre are encouraged to apply for limited fellowship positions with $30,000 CAD stipend support. Please note that funded positions are restricted to postdoctoral fellows that are supervised (primary or secondary) by U of T Faculty affiliated with the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases.
  • The training program will include the following:
  1. A structured, individualized training and mentorship plan, which will be jointly developed by supervisors and mentors
  2. Active participation at monthly interdisciplinary Immunization Grand Rounds hosted by the Centre
  3. Monthly peer-to-peer collaborative sessions
  4. Integrated quarterly professional development sessions on topics including mentorship, research team leadership and management, knowledge translation, and ethics.
  5. Upon successful completion of program requirements, postdoctoral fellows will receive a Certificate of Completion in Professional Development from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. This not-for-credit certificate recognizes approximately 40 hours of learning that includes workshops, seminars, presentations, and individual mentorship or learning opportunities.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings and seminars will be planned as virtual events.  Furthermore, faculty mentors should ensure that postdoctoral fellows are equipped to work remotely.

Application Requirements and Timelines

The 2022-2023 VICTOIRE-postdoc program will run from February 1, 2022 to January 30, 2023.

Applications for the 2022-2023 VICTOIRE-postdoc cohort will be done online, and the application deadline has been extended to December 20th, 2021.

Please find the online application form here.

To review detailed requirements and access the VICTOIRE-postdoc application, please click here.

Other application materials:

Frequently Asked Questions

We have received a few questions regarding the application process for VICTOIRE.  We will update the FAQs for questions received at

Eligibility-specific questions

Q:  I completed a PhD less than five years ago, but my current title is not Post-Doctoral Fellow.  Am I eligible to apply to the program?

A: This will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but in principle fellows in the program should meet the eligibility criteria of having completed a PhD less than five years ago, and should be working under the supervision of an independent researcher.

Q:  I am a Postdoctoral Researcher working with a supervisor outside of Canada. Can the project be done outside of the University of Toronto? Or it should be performed completely at UofT?

A: Collaborations with international scholars are possible, however if you are applying for a funded spot, one of your supervisors has to be a faculty member affiliated with the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases.  The list of affiliated faculty may be found here. Collaborations, if not already established, will have to be pursued by the applicants directly with the faculty members.

Q: My supervisor, and I reside in another province, where our research is based? Would I be eligible to apply, or do applicants need to have a supervisor already working directly at the CVPD?

A: The program will require two mentors from different disciplines to expand the postdoc’s interdisciplinary knowledge. For both partially- or fully-funded positions, one of the supervisors needs to be affiliated with the Centre. As the program will be delivered completely online this year, you can still apply for the program for the unfunded position if both supervisors are not affiliated with the Centre.

Q:   My research is very basic science oriented and not a public health project, does my research fit with the Centre’s priority themes:

A: The Centre’s research priority themes are meant to capture the multi-disciplinary approaches to immunization research.  Below are examples of sub-topics under the themes.

Vaccine hesitancy

  • Addressing hesitancy to increase vaccination coverage
  • Equity and immunization

Value and impact of vaccines

  • Using laboratory-administrative linked datasets to uncover the burden of disease (including chronic) preventable by vaccines using novel tools such as artificial intelligence to enrich data analysis
  • Health economic assessments of current and future vaccines
  • Policies and systems to increase the impact of vaccines

Immunization ethics and governance

  • Societal values and health economic analyses
  • An international study of governance instruments for industry-academic-public health relationships

Immunity and community protection

  • Putting basic science into the field: New methods and tools for assessing population immunity
  • New methods for coverage assessment

Output-specific questions

Q:  How processes such as manuscripts authorship and vaccine patents will develop: will the external researchers have the opportunity to take the leadership in these situations, or this would be primary leaded by the UofT faculty member?

A: The program is an educational initiative. Issues of authorship based on agreement with the research teams and are expected to be in accordance with ICJME guidelines.