Award Overview

Application Deadline:11:59pm, November 20, 2020
Value/Duration:• Up to 5 RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships (Each $25,000 over 1 year)
• Note that these fellowships may be held along with any other financial support or research funding.
Level of Study:• Post-Doctoral for RBC Post-Doctoral Fellowship
• Masters or PhD for RBC Graduate Fellowship
Required Legal Status:Canadian citizen, landed immigrant, or foreign national
Recipients Notified:February 2021
Results Announced:March 2021


The RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships will support research and innovation at the University of Toronto and recognize emerging leaders who are establishing a record of research, scholarship, and impact, and exhibit the potential to make significant contributions to the body of research in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Up to five fellows will be selected from a variety of disciplines:

In addition to research excellence, preference will be given to those who have a demonstrated and/or future interest in entrepreneurship and company creation. 

Various outcomes and new knowledge of the RBC Fellows may be translated into knowledge with applications for policymakers, educators, service providers, and entrepreneurs both at the University of Toronto and further afield. 

Borealis AI may further support the selected RBC Fellows by providing access to Borealis AI team members, subject-matter and industry experts, as well as access to proprietary datasets and RBC infrastructure when appropriate.

Research Themes for 2020-21

Applicants are invited to submit research projects in the areas noted below for the 2020-21 RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships. The research projects may have applications in financial services such as fraud detection and prevention, risk modeling, security, and/or cybersecurity.

Proposals will be within one or more of the following research areas:

Machine Learning and Advanced Data Analytics – Including theory and applications, deep learning and learning representations, pattern recognition, computer vision theory and applications, natural language processing, human-computer interaction, advanced data analytics, predictive algorithmic models, image/video/time-series analysis and related applications.

Security – Including biometric security, cybersecurity, cryptography, differential privacy, privacy enhancing solutions, biometric encryption and other methods that balance security and convenience.

RBC Fellows may interact with Borealis AI personnel to receive expert advice and direction on the domains listed above.

Eligibility to Apply

 The RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships are awarded to assist the recipients in their research and professional development. Students from research and professional programs are invited to apply. Preference will be given to those involved in work, activities, and/or research that demonstrate a past, current, and/or future interest in entrepreneurship, knowledge translation, commercialization, and/or company creation.

Graduate fellowship applicants must:

Post-doctoral fellowship applicants must:

All applicants must:

Application Process

RBC Fellowship applications are to be submitted electronically in PDF format as one file using the naming convention LastFirst_RBCFellowship_2020-21 by 11:59pm on November 20, 2020 to

  1. For post-doctoral fellowship applications please use the subject line: Application: 2020-21 RBC Post-Doctoral Fellowship. For graduate fellowship applications, please use Application: 2020-21 RBC Graduate Fellowship;
  2. The completed 2020-21 RBC Post-Doctoral and Graduate Fellowships Application Form;
  3. Curriculum vitae (no page restrictions), including information concerning the application, updates to curriculum vitae will not be accepted after submission;
  4. Copies (both sides) of all academic transcripts (legend must be included);
  5. For postdoctoral applicants: A brief summary of the doctoral thesis (maximum 300 words);
  6. project description regarding your planned research agenda with activities for the next year and how the Fellowship funds will assist with that research (no more than 1,000 words). Students in professional programs, please submit an overview of your anticipated plans and/or activities for the duration of the Fellowship (If a separate page is required for the use of any references such as end notes or bibliography). The reference page is not considered part of the word count;
  7. non-technical summary of your research and/or activities which also demonstrates how your research connects to the research themes listed above (maximum 500 words, to be written by the applicant); and
  8. one-page outline of your past, current, and future entrepreneurial interests and activities.

    The following must be submitted separately:
  9. Confidential letters sent directly by email to (before November 20, 2020) from the three referees on official letterhead and signed in PDF format. One letter must be from your proposed University of Toronto academic supervisor.

Please Note:

Evaluation Criteria

The RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships provide a means to recognize and assist University of Toronto scholars of demonstrated excellence in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Fellows will be selected on the basis of:

  1. Proven ability as evidenced by a record in research and scholarship, relative to academic stage;
  2. The merit of the research proposal;
  3. The relation of the proposed research to the research theme; and
  4. A demonstrated and/or future interest in entrepreneurship, knowledge translation, commercialization and/or company creation.

Applicants for the RBC Graduate Fellowship will be assessed on talent, excellence of the work, entrepreneurial/commercialization/knowledge-translation vision, and the impact of their work, as measured by:

Applicants for the RBC Postdoctoral Fellowship will be assessed on their talent, the excellence of their work, entrepreneurial / commercialization / knowledge-translation vision, and the impact that they foresee resulting from their work, as measured by:


Short listed candidates will be invited to an interview where they will be asked to make a short presentation and answer questions in late January or early February. Unsuccessful candidates will be notified at that time.


Please direct all questions regarding the RBC Post-Doctoral & Graduate Fellowships or application process to:

Melanie Langemeyer
Program & Business Services Coordinator, University of Toronto Entrepreneurship
Subject line: Questions: RBC Fellowships