CANSSI Ontario STAGE HostSeq Fellowship

CANSSI Ontario STAGE (STAGE), in partnership with the CGEn Host Genome Sequencing Initiative, invites trainees from across Canada to apply to become a CANSSI Ontario STAGE HostSeq Fellow.

This opportunity provides trainee-mentor pair funding to access and work with CGEn’s Host Genome Sequencing Databank comprising of sequence and meta-data of 10,000 Canadians with a SARS-Cov-2 infection.

Deadline to apply: December 1, 2021.

About

The CANSSI Ontario STAGE HostSeq Fellowship offers financial support for research and stipends for trainees interested in working on COVID-19 genetics research. 

Accepted trainees will have the opportunity to

  1. work on the frontline of COVID-19 genetics research,
  2. receive a stipend to support their STAGE HostSeq Project, and
  3. participate in the CANSSI Ontario STAGE research community. 

CGEn HostSeq Databank
Database housed at The Hospital for Sick Children. It is a collaboration between three sites across Canada:

  1. The Centre for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto)
  2. McGill Genome Centre at McGill University (Montreal)
  3. Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre (Vancouver).

CANSSI Ontario STAGE 
The CANSSI Ontario STAGE program offers research and career development opportunities to cross-train individuals at the interface of genetics and population health sciences in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics.

Benefits

  1. One-year project award/fellowship with STAGE
  2. Upon acceptance into the STAGE HostSeq Fellowship Program, and a successful data access application to the HostSeq Databank, a stipend of $10,000 will be provided to the trainee’s institution to support a research project that uses the HostSeq data. For PhD students, this may be in the form of a Research Assistantship (up to 20% time). For Post-doctoral fellows, this would be a partial stipend (at least 20% time dedicated to the project).

Eligibility

PhD students or postdoctoral fellows from Canadian universities or research institutes engaged in a relevant program of research that falls under any of the following disciplines:

  1. Biostatistics
  2. Computer Science, or closely related fields, including quantitatively inclined branches of Life Sciences such a Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Genetics and Psychology
  3. Epidemiology
  4. Mathematics
  5. Molecular and Forensic Anthropology
  6. Statistics

Mentors must be:

  1. at the level of assistant professor or higher (or equivalent) who are engaged in research and have an academic appointment at a Canadian university, in the fields of
    - Statistical Genetics
    - Genetic Epidemiology
    - Clinical Genetics/Genomics
    - Data Science and Computational Biology with applications to Genomics
  2. committed to rigorous training of students and postdocs in their discipline and must show that they are actively engaged in research in the listed areas of interest and that they are mentoring or will be mentoring trainees that would be eligible for the Fellowship.
  3. independent researchers, as defined by Canada's federal research granting agencies:
    "An individual who:
    • is autonomous regarding their research activities; and
    • has an academic or research appointment which:
    - must commence by the effective date of funding; and
    - allows the individual to pursue the proposed research project, to engage in independent research activities for the entire duration of the funding, to supervise trainees (if applicable, as per their institution’s policy), and to publish the research results; and
    - obliges the individual to conform to institutional regulations concerning the conduct of research, the supervision of trainees, and the employment conditions of staff paid with tri-council funding."

CANSSI Ontario STAGE HostSeq Fellowship appointments are contingent on:

  1. PhD students: Being enrolled in a university in Canada and in their second or subsequent years of their doctoral program (i.e., trainees should have achieved candidacy within their program).
  2. Postdoctoral fellows: Working at a Canadian university or research institute.
  3. Background in human genetics or statistical genetics and evidence of training and strength in quantitative skills.
  4. Trainees must demonstrate exceptional academic performance.
  5. Trainees need to identify, approach, and engage their Mentor(s).
  6. Successful trainee-mentor teams need to apply for and receive a positive response to their request for access to the HostSeq Databank.
  7. Funding is conditional on receiving Research Ethics Board approval as well as approval from the HostSeq Data Access Committee.

Application Materials

Candidates must assemble all of the following documents and upload them to the application form.

It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that their application is complete and submitted online by the competition deadline.

Length. two letter-size page. 2.54 cm (1 inch) margin around the page. 12-point Times New Roman, black font. Single-spaced. No condensed type or spacing. Single PDF file.

Content. Describe the proposed research plan for working with the HostSeq data in enough detail to allow informed assessment by the adjudications committee. This summary should be written in general scientific language and include the details of project design and analysis; and an outline of any related projects already underway

Format: Single PDF file.

Content: The curriculum vitae must include:

  1. A description of research projects worked on and/or completed, including assistantships and collaborative research. Include name of the institution, supervisor, research group, details on your specific role and duration. For teaching experience, include course title, department, institution, brief description of your role and what level you were teaching (i.e. high school, undergraduate or graduate level).
  2. List of publications, presentations, awards, if any.

Format: Single PDF file.

Format: Single PDF file.

Letter from the applicant’s mentor outlining the role of the mentor and details of the support that will be provided during the project.

Format: Single PDF file.

Two-page curriculum vitae.

Why become a STAGE Trainee or Mentor?

STAGE is a community of researchers, scientists, clinicians and trainees who are committed to advancing the fields of statistical genetics and genetic epidemiology through a commitment to mentorship. The STAGE program includes: 

  1. A community of experts to support trainees
  2. Weekly journal club/discussion
  3. Monthly International Seminar Series (ISSS) with high caliber speakers from around the world
  4. Opportunities for mentors and trainees to meet with international speakers
  5. Application for research support funds
  6. Travel awards for presentation of results at scientific meetings (e.g., IGES or ASHG annual meetings)
  7. Networking opportunities with researchers from across the country and internationally

Trainees:  PhD students and postdoctoral fellows from Canadian Universities and/or Research Institutes, engaged in research and training in the fields of statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, clinical genetics/genomics or in data science and computational biology with applications to genomics. STAGE Trainees are expected to actively engage in the STAGE community including the International Speaker Seminar Series and the Statistical Methods for Genetics & Genomics journal club.

Mentors: Are investigators at the level of assistant professor or higher (or equivalent) who are engaged in research, at a Canadian University or affiliated research institute, in the fields of statistical genetics, genetic epidemiology, clinical genetics/genomics or in data science and computational biology with applications to genomics. Mentors are committed to rigorous training of students and postdocs in their discipline. Mentors must show that they are actively engaged in research in the listed areas of interest and that they are mentoring or will be mentoring trainees that would be eligible for the STAGE program. 

STAGE Mentors must also encourage trainees to actively participate in STAGE activities and recommended scientific and professional/career development events and seminars. They are also encouraged to participate regularly in STAGE-organized events (such as the International Speaker Seminar Series and the Statistical Methods for Genetics & Genomics journal club). 

Awards

To be announced.