Frequently Asked Questions

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  • This program is open to all registered PhD students at the University of Toronto.
  • They must be enrolled students in good standing throughout the 2023-24 program duration (i.e., from September 2023 to August 2024).
  • Anyone who meets this criteria (including international students, part-time students, and students in the post-funding cohort), is eligible to apply.

Yes. Before applying, international students should also determine how receiving this award will impact their other sources of funding. Some external funding agencies have restrictions on students having additional funding.

  • Yes. The Fellowship is intended to be held in addition to students’ current funding; all students should have access to the fellowship and not restricted based in their current funding level.
  • However, you should confirm that the terms and conditions of your existing sources of funding that you are able to apply to additional awards.
  • With respect to funding from the University of Toronto, this award should be held in addition to the regular funding that supports student’s personal research.
  • If you have questions about navigating this process and your existing awards and sources of funding, please connect with your Graduate Administrator regarding the specific conditions of your funding package

The best time is when you can best frame a strong application, as well as have time and preparation to benefit from this fellowship program. Please connect with your supervisor around this.

Yes, you must be registered for the duration of the fellowship (i.e., September 2023 to August 2024).

Students on an approved leave of absence may interrupt the Fellowship for the duration of the leave; payments will be suspended during the leave and prorated based on the approved leave date. Depending on the timing and duration of the leave, students may be required to join the next cohort of the fellows.

Application process

Normally, the focus should be on your thesis research as this will likely be more substantive and well defined.

The key to defining public impact is explaining the societal benefit and relevance of the work to a general audience. Please note the categories and examples below are for illustrative purposes and not meant to be exhaustive; additionally, many research projects may cover multiple categories:

  • Social and Cultural Innovation – work that positively influences culture and society (e.g., art, literature, social movements, understanding civilizations)
  • Reconciliation and Social Inclusion – work that forwards our goals of repair with Indigenous communities and other disadvantaged groups (e.g., facilitating goals of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, creating systems of anti-oppression and anti-racism)­
  • Community-Engaged – work that addresses important questions that are of relevance to and done in partnership with our communities (e.g., working with a non-profit, working with newcomer groups)
  • Global Scholarship – work that has the potential to have impact beyond our local communities or brings diverse global work to our local setting (e.g., ethnography of Indigenous communities across the globe, multi-site studies)
  • Social Responsiveness – work that is critical to the key questions of today (e.g., mental health, racial disparities, climate change, COVID-19 research)
  • Technological Innovation – work that harnesses technology to transform our systems (e.g., artificial intelligence, clinical devices)
  • Fundamental Basic Discovery – work that helps us understand basic elements of our world better (e.g., neuroscientific discovery, theoretical physics and mathematics)
  • Transdisciplinary/Interdisciplinary – work that breaks down disciplinary boundaries to better address questions (e.g., clinical computational neuroscience, mixed methods research designs)
  • Public Policy – work that influences social, economic, local and global policies to transform different sectors of society (e.g., agricultural policy, foreign policy, law, government relations)
  • Health Care Innovation work that positively influences the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities (e.g., mental health interventions, new biomarkers for illness, neuroscience of illnesses, healthcare systems evaluation)
  • The exact opportunities will depend on the nature of your research.
  • Connect with your supervisor to determine if your research and its dissemination requires ethics approvals.
  • Yes. Since in-text citations are important in acknowledging source material and upholding academic integrity, including them in the word count aligns them at the same level of importance as the rest of the information in the work.
  • We are not requiring a separate bibliography page or reference list in the application package due by March 1, 2023.
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Yes. It is not a requirement to have prior experience with public scholarship; however prior experience could make your ability to complete the application more strongly. The focus of the adjudication will be on your ability to communicate the public impact of your research. Please review the full application requirements for more information.

  • There are no quotas.
  • We are committed to supporting diversity in research, scholarship, and creative practice, as well as individuals from under-represented groups, international students, and multilingual students. In selection, the committee will ensure there is diversity of backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and disciplines across the cohort of fellows. An EDI representative, knowledgeable in selection, will join the adjudication process.
  • While previous Fellows may apply, we will prioritize applications from individuals who have not previously received a Connaught PhDs for Public Impact Fellowship Program.