CIRN Trainee Scholarship


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:

1. Be engaged in research activities relevant to at least one of the two main CIRN objectives:

Objective 1 – Non-COVID-19 related research

    • Rapid evaluation of vaccines for safety & immunogenicity
    • Population-based methods to evaluate vaccine effectiveness and safety
    • Research on interventions to improve vaccine acceptance and uptake
    • Vaccine modelling and economic analysis

Objective 2 – COVID-19 related research

    • Rapid evaluation of candidate vaccines for safety and immunogenicity including COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials
    • Population-based methods to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and safety
    • Research on interventions that can help to improve COVID-19 vaccine acceptance, hesitancy and uptake including consideration of priority research projects to inform current and future policy
    • Population prioritization, modeling, and knowledge mobilization that support development and roll-out of public health COVID-19 vaccination strategies

Priority will be given to applicants proposing to work on projects that are either funded by CIRN or support CIRN networks.

2. Be supervised by a CIRN Investigator

A CIRN Investigator is 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
    • Has been named as Nominated Principal Applicant, Principal Applicant or Co-Applicant on a CIRN grant at any time since 2014 and/or is currently a lead or co-investigator in a CIRN-funded project or CIRN network.

3. Be eligible to study or work in Canada and must be conducting their research in Canada.

4. Demonstrate that additional salary support was or will be sought from other sources through formal application. Renewal of funding is contingent on demonstrating evidence of application to other funding sources.

5. Spend at least 75% of their time working on their proposed research project.

6. Projects not funded by CIRN must have secured operating funds by the time of application.

7. 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, 2022. If the PhD defence is delayed due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic, requests to delay the commencement of the award will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 2022, 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, 2022).

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 2022 competition:

Deadline for Application Notice of Award Funding Start Date
May 16, 2022 July 4, 2022 September 1, 2022



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.

2022 CIRN Trainee Application Form

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:
2022 CIRN Trainee Application Form
Step 3: Complete Application Send completed application form and all necessary attachments to CIRN NMO by 11:59 p.m. Atlantic time on (May 16, 2022). Late applications will not be considered.

Application Review Process

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, the supervisor and research training environment, the suitability of the project for the trainee’s abilities and goals, 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.


CIRN Administrative Policy

To review CIRN’s administrative policy and standard operating procedures related to the Trainee Scholarship, click here.