Obvia is launching a competition to provide $50,000 in funding to support one-year postdoctoral internships related to the societal impacts of AI and digital.
Applications may be submitted until: Saturday, Novembre18th, 2023 (9 a.m. EDT).
Results will be announced in January 2024.
Recipients have 12 months (January 2025) to begin their Postdoctoral fellowship
Obvia’s mission, based on critical interrogation, is to identify the societal challenges of AI and digital technologies and to contribute to solutions that place living beings and the biosphere at the center of their development and use cycle. Obvia’s research community, in collaboration with civil society, political actors, industry and developers, produces open knowledge and supports the strengthening of individual and collective capabilities.
The Obvia Postdoctoral Fellowship Funding Program (“the Program”) aims to encourage the best candidates to pursue research or research-creation activities in the field of AI and digital societal impacts, responsible innovation and to support their professional development.
Candidates who stand out for the innovative and interdisciplinary potential of their research or research-creation project are invited to submit their application.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Obvia promotes and integrates the values of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in all of its activities. An open and diverse community promotes the inclusion of the voices of those who have been under-represented or discouraged. Obvia welcomes individuals/projects who/that have demonstrated their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion values and will help us increase our capacity for diversity in the broadest sense. We encourage applications from groups members who have been marginalized for any of the reasons listed in the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, including gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability status, political belief, religion, family status, age, First Nations, Metis or Inuit status or Indigenous status..
In addition to the general eligibility requirements of the Program, applicants for postdoctoral funding must meet all of the following requirements by the closing date of the competition to be eligible:
- Propose a project that fits within the Obvia’s mission.
- Have completed a doctoral degree within the last five years from a recognized university (the date of graduation is considered to be the date on which all degree requirements have been met, which includes the successful defense of the thesis and the submission of the corrected version of the thesis) or plan to hold a doctoral degree at the time of the start of funding, i.e., within eight months of the award of the scholarship. Applicants who have had an interruption or delay in their career may apply with justification for the interruption or delay.
- Be supervised by an Obvia research member for the postdoctoral project proposed in the application.
- Dedicate full time to the proposed postdoctoral research project and the work of Obvia.
- Be involved by a research team from different disciplines, or have received a letter of invitation to join an Obvia interdisciplinary research team.
- Submit a letter of commitment from the supervisor recommending the application and certifying that the minimum co-funding for the postdoctoral fellowship and coverage of costs related to the postdoctoral fellow’s fringe benefits will be provided in accordance with the rules in force at the host university (see Program Terms and Conditions). The letter can be attached to the application or sent directly by the supervisor to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submit a letter or recommendation form someone other than your supervisor.
IVADO OFFERS AN ADDITIONAL $25,000 AS PART OF THE IAR3 INITIATIVE
IVADO is offering a complementary $25,000 to the OBVIA grant for research projects that will help advance its IAR3 initiative, i.e. lead to more robust, reasoning and responsible artificial intelligence (for more details, see below). More specifically, IVADO is seeking applications in the following areas:
- Fundamentals of machine learning and optimization
- Data science and operational research
- Synergies between AI and neurosciences
- Responsible adoption of AI and its impacts on society
- Relationships between AI, EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) and Indigenous Peoples
- Applied research in the fields of natural language processing, molecule discovery, health systems, environment and climate change, and supply chains and decision-making under uncertainty
Candidates must be enrolled in a postdoctoral program at one of the following 5 universities: HEC Montréal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal or Université Laval. The postdoctoral fellow must be in Quebec for the duration of the fellowship. The supervisor must meet our eligibility criteria.
Candidates interested in this opportunity need not apply to IVADO. OBVIA will forward selected applications to IVADO, which may fund up to two scholarship complements, provided they meet its eligibility criteria.
Responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Fellow
- Participate to Obvia’s activities, including speaking at events and/or training activities.
- Share research findings with a variety of audiences (academic papers, editorials, opinion pieces, blogs, conferences, interviews, etc.).
- Publish research results in scientific journals
- Work in collaboration with Obvia researchers and teams
- Mention Obvia’s support in all scientific communications and publications
- Relevance of the project presented, with regard to the Obvia’s mission and the candidate’s background, originality: 20%.
- Applicant’s experiences and achievements, such as publications, accomplishments, social involvement and academic results, professional experience, research or teaching assistantships, student mentoring and internships, as well as the quality of the letter of the supervisor and the letter of recommendation: 20%.
- Quality of the project (precision, assumptions, methodology): 40%.
- Links of the project with the research axes or one of the three functions: Deliberation, Monitoring and Investigation, Public Policy: 10%.
- Impact of the project on the societal impacts of AI and digital technologies: 10%.
Submitting an application
To submit an application, the applicant must download the application form available, fill it out, and then return it as a PDF with the requested documents in a single email to email@example.com. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt.
(1) The applicant must indicate on the application form:
- General identifying information;
- Project title, description and relevance, and its links with the Obvia’s mission;
- Obvia research member supervisor’s name;
- Information about academic background, awards and honors obtained;
- Written papers and presentations;
- Participation in research projects and training courses;
(2) The applicant must submit the following documents with the application form:
- A cover letter;
- A letter of commitment from the Obvia research member supervisor for the minimum co-funding of the postdoctoral fellowship and for the coverage of costs related to social benefits according to the rules in force at the host university;
- A copy of the diplomas obtained and university transcripts for all years of university studies completed or not (certificate, diploma, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, etc.) (combined in a single .pdf file). If applicable, the candidate must submit proof of successful completion of the thesis defense and a copy of the certificate of final deposit of the thesis or a letter from the thesis director if the defense has not yet taken place;
- Acknowledgements of receipt from the publisher for all papers accepted for publication but not published, papers and abstracts of future conferences (combined in one .pdf file). For previously published papers, please provide only the list of references in the form.
Terms and Conditions of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Funding
The competition is open to all, without restriction as to citizenship or residence. Priority is given to candidates who have not yet received support from Obvia.
The fellow will be required to maintain full-time enrollment and meet the program requirements throughout the duration of their fellowship to remain eligible.
Period of validity of the scholarship
The period of use of the scholarship must begin at the beginning of a semester, and within twelve (12) months of the award.
Funding for postdoctoral fellowships offered through Obvia’s Program is based on a matching-funding model.
Applicants must have proof of minimum co-funding from the supervisor or other sources. This co-funding is intended to cover :
- the cost of the postdoctoral fellow’s fringe benefits. For your information, postdoctoral fellows are unionized at many Quebec universities and benefit from a collective agreement that covers the cost of fringe benefits. For example, at Université Laval, an amount equivalent to approximately 19.76% of the salary paid must be added to the budget for the payment of fringe benefits.
- other requirements in accordance with the rules in force (in a collective agreement, if applicable) at the host university (minimum annual remuneration, salary increases, etc.).
Modification of the research project
For any change in the research project or its direction, the fellow must inform Obvia in writing. The research direction will verify whether the nature of the requested change affects the outcome of the evaluation received by the applicant in order to recommend or not the continuation of funding for further studies.
If you are interrupting your studies for the birth or adoption of a child, you must request an unpaid parental leave from Obvia. This will be approved if the period of scholarship coverage does not exceed the period for which Obvia is funded by the FRQ. Parental leave is for a maximum period of 12 months, the equivalent of 3 semesters. It may begin during the expected term of childbirth or adoption and ends no later than one year after the birth of the child.
Awarding of scholarships
The evaluation committee reserves the right to award the number of scholarships in each category based on the evaluations of the applications and the available budgets.
*To submit an application
**If you have opportunities for postdoctoral funding with Obvia, please contact Rémi Charbonneau, Research Programs Advisor