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Overview

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.

Information regarding the VICTOIRE-postdoc program for the 2021-2022 cycle will be released in Summer 2021.

Please send any questions about the program or application process to cvpd.dlsph@utoronto.ca.

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
  • There is no cost to join the program.  Fellows and their supervisors will also be able to apply for limited spots with full ($75,000 CAD) or partial ($30,000 CAD) funding support for twelve months.
  • 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.
  • 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

Information regarding the VICTOIRE-postdoc program for the 2021-2022 cycle will be released in Summer 2021.

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 cvpd.dlsph@utoronto.ca.

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.