CIRN Trainees


The objectives of the CIRN Trainee Scholarship program are to increase support through trainee funding for CIRN research projects led by a CIRN investigator as defined below and to train the next generation of vaccine researchers. This will be achieved by funding trainees working on projects funded by CIRN, projects that support CIRN networks, and projects funded outside of CIRN that support CIRN’s mandate.


To apply for a CIRN Trainee stipend, the applicant must meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Be engaged in research activities relevant to at least one of CIRN’s six priority research areas:
    • Developing methodologies to test vaccines
    • Rapid evaluation to vaccine candidates
    • Evaluating vaccine safety (including AEFI’s) and effectiveness through population health research
    • Evaluating current immunization programs and policies
    • Research on interventions to improve vaccine acceptance and uptake, and address science of misinformation and disinformation
    • Modeling and economic analyses, to support the roll-out of vaccines and public health immunization strategies
  • Be supervised by an Investigator, defined as:
    • Has an academic appointment at a Canadian university
    • Is permitted to supervise trainees at their university
    • Holds an independent research appointment in areas of investigation where it is clear that the research has direct relevance to immunization and vaccinology
  • Be eligible to study or work in Canada and must be conducting their research in Canada.
  • Renewal of funding for the second year is contingent on demonstrating evidence of application to other funding sources.
  • Spend at least 75% of their time working on their proposed research project.
  • Projects not funded by CIRN must have secured operating funds (if applicable) by the time of application.

The applicant must also meet the criteria for their training level at the time of application:

Postdoctoral Level

Have completed their PhD or expect to complete their PhD by August 31, 2024.

Must be classified as a trainee at the institution where they will be doing the fellowship and meet a minimum commitment of 75% of their time in the postdoctoral training role proposed in the application. Note: For the purpose of this funding opportunity, trainees must not hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position, nor can they be on leave from such a position (generally “tenure or tenure-track” refers to an open-ended academic position in which the holder can form a research group, apply for externally funded research as a principal investigator, and also teach).

Doctoral Level

Have been accepted to a PhD program starting Fall 2024, or, are currently enrolled full-time in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd years of a PhD program at the time of application. (PhD candidates beyond their third year of training may be eligible to apply if there are extenuating circumstances. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Applicants who are entering a PhD program directly, without completing a Master’s degree, must have completed at least 12 months of graduate study by the start of the award (September 1, 2024).

Only students enrolled full-time in a Canadian graduate program are eligible for support.

Master’s Level

Currently enrolled in and have finished Year 1 of a full-time thesis-based Master’s degree program.

Only students enrolled full-time in a Canadian graduate program are eligible for support.

Master’s students are only eligible to apply for one year of funding.

Funding Amounts & Duration

The maximum amount of funding designated for research trainees by the CIRN Management Committee annually is:

Trainee Level Funding Available Per Year Duration
Masters $25,000 One year
PhD $40,000 Up to two years
Post-Doctoral $60,000 Up to two years


Dates and Deadlines

The following dates will be used for the 2024 competition:

Deadline for Application Notice of Award Funding Start Date
July 26, 2024 August 12, 2024 September 1, 2024


How to Apply

Please carefully review the information below before applying. If applicants have any questions related to their eligibility, they are encouraged to discuss with their supervisor or contact the CIRN Network Management Office.

–    2024-CIRN-Trainee-Application-Form.10June2024_distributed

Step 1:
Confirm Eligibility Consider whether you meet the eligibility requirements above
Step 2:
Review Application Requirements Be sure to carefully review all application requirements, as outlined in the document below:


Step 3: Complete Application
Send completed application form and all necessary attachments to CIRN NMO by 11:59 p.m. Atlantic time on (July 26, 2024). Late applications will not be considered.


Application Review Process and Prioritization

Applications will be reviewed and scored through a peer-review process similar to the process used by CIHR. Reviewers will consider the achievements and activities of the applicant according to the graduate, the supervisor and research training environment, the importance and originality of the project, and the relevance of the project to CIRN’s mandate.

Supervisors may support more than one applicant; however, generally, only the top-ranked applicant from the same supervisor will receive funding. In addition, preference will be given to supervisors whose trainees have not been funded previously through CIRN scholarships.

Highest funding priority will be given to trainees being supervised by CIRN Investigators/working on CIRN-funded projects. The next priority will be given to trainees who are being supervised by CIRN Investigators/working on a project within CIRN’s mandate, but funded through other sources. Finally, with strong justification, third priority will be given to applicants who are working on a high priority CIRN area and supervised by a non-CIRN Investigator/working on a non-CIRN funded project.

CIRN Administrative Policy

To review CIRN’s administrative policy and standard operating procedures related to the Trainee Scholarship, see the document below: