Prospective Scholars


The overarching goal of STARS21 is to build research capacity in Canada in the realm of radiation medicine. We aim to address an unmet need for education in translational and transdisciplinary cancer research. To this end, STARS21 has been designed to provide graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and clinical fellows the skills essential to conduct innovative translational and trans-disciplinary research in Radiation Medicine, as well as the leadership, communication and collaboration proficiencies necessary to define them as the future leaders of Canada’s scientific community. We aim to create a learning community that resembles the multidisciplinary nature of today’s team-based science. The Program encourages application from various disciplines including biology, engineering, physics, biostatistics, mathematics, as well as health professional disciplines such as Medicine, Radiation Therapy, or Nursing. Both Canadian and international students are eligible to apply for the program.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Any trainee affiliated with the sponsoring institutions (PMR and RMP).
  • Graduate students who meet specific eligibility criteria* may be offered funding through the endowed Gifford fund administered at the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto (*Canadian Graduate students supervised by graduate faculty appointed to the Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto).
  • Applications that meet eligibility criteria and have a breast cancer focus are also eligible to apply if the supervisor is affiliated with the PM Breast Cancer program.
  • Other**

**The STARS21 Program accepts applications from all institutions. Trainees from other institutions (i.e. not PMR or RMP) are welcome to participate in the program as invited scholars. Invited scholars do not receive stipend support from the program.

Supervisors of accepted trainees will be granted status as STARS21 mentors for 3 years. Mentors are expected to contribute to the STARS21 program through invited presentations and review panels.

Application Review Criteria

Candidates are selected through a competitive process, adjudicated by a review panel of members of the PAC and Mentors participating in STARS21. The review process will abide by conflict of interest guidelines as per CIHR, and the scoring system will utilize that of CIHR & NCIC. The criteria for review are outlined below.

The Candidate

  • Academic training and achievement
  • Research and/or clinical training
  • Research accomplishments
  • Awards or other acknowledgements of achievement, contribution of candidate to published works
  • Demonstration of originality and independence
  • Strength of reference letters
  • Clarity in which career goals are described

The Research Project

  • Originality of research idea
  • Quality of writing of research proposal
  • Rigour of experimental design
  • Clearly outlined research hypothesis and timeline of proposed project (1 or 2 years)
  • Whether completion of this work will contribute to the body of knowledge in radiation medicine
  • Feasibility of proposed project
  • Clear association with radiation science and aligns with goals of the UT-DRO Strategic Plan
  • Covers more than 1 research domain (molecular biology, physics, clinical radiation oncology, chemistry, computational biology, cancer biology, epidemiology, etc)

The Research Environment

  • Support of the Supervisor and Institution
  • Access to good research facilities
  • Access to educational events, such as research conferences and seminars

Other Factors

  • General sense of the candidate on the ability to express themselves, exercise judgment, demonstrate initiative
  • The ability of the candidate and the research proposal towards achieving the multi-disciplinary objectives of the STARS21 Radiation Medicine Research Program

Application Process

Co-funded by Princess Margaret Research (PMR) and the Radiation Medicine Program (RMP), STARS21 provides 50% stipend support to accepted trainees for 1 year. Deadlines to apply for the STARS21 Training program are as follows:

  • Competition Announcement: July 7, 2021
  • LOI Due: July 30, 2021
  • Notification of Full Applications: August 14, 2021
  • Full Application Due: August 27, 2021
  • Notice of Awards: Early September 2021
  • Program Start: Early October 2021
  • Program End: June 2022

Please submit LOIs to Late LOI submissions will not be accepted or considered for application to the program. Please refer to the following documents for further details and application requirements.