TalentEdge Fellowship Program

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) provides support for PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows to work on industry-driven research and development projects. Companies can tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen their capacity to develop new products, services and processes while fellows receive hands-on industry experience and mentorship opportunities.

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program is open to fellows and recent graduates from across all disciplines, and all areas of specialization. The TalentEdge Fellowship Program also has the following sector-specific streams:

Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN)

These fellowships provide fellows with real-world industry experience, by applying their expertise, leading-edge knowledge and tools to solve industry problems related to Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) technologies. Fellows will work at Ontario-based companies or academic institutions and receive on-the-job training in areas such as software and hardware development, artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Visit the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network page for detailed information on TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships, Research and Development (AV R&D Partnership Fund)Demonstration Zone and Regional Technology Development Sites.

Program Summary

Program Name

TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP)

Program Status and Submission Deadline

✓ Open for Applications- Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network

The general TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) is now closed for applications.

What it Supports

Support for Ontario PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows to work on industry-driven R&D projects in all sectors

Project Sector

Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Fellow:

  • Received PhD within last five years from accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university or research hospital

Applicant/Industry Partner:

  • Institution-based Fellowship:
    • Applicant: principal investigator at an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university or research hospital
    • Industry partner: for-profit company with operations in Ontario
  • Company-based Fellowship:  
    • Applicant: for-profit company with operations in Ontario

Project:

  • Project-based, with clearly defined R&D activities, milestones and outcomes to be completed within the fellowship duration

OCE Funding

$35,000 per 12-month unit, to the applicant (institution or company). Maximum of $70,000 (2 units) per application.

Project Duration

12 months per unit, up to 24 months total per project. See Eligibility tab for details on maximum units per internship type.

Matching Requirement

$25,000 cash plus $25,000 in-kind from the company per 12-month unit

How to Apply

See details on the How to Apply tab.

Contact

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions. For further assistance, please see details on the Contacts tab.

More program information

Program Overview and Benefits

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) provides support for PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows to work on industry-driven research and development projects. Companies can tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen their capacity to develop new products, services and processes while fellows receive hands-on industry experience and mentorship opportunities.

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program is delivered by OCE on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT).

Benefits to Companies

Benefits to Fellows and Post-Secondary Institutions

Benefits to Companies

  • Gain access to cutting-edge knowledge, up-and-coming talent, and unique facilities and equipment to extend company R&D capabilities
  • Create solutions to current industry challenges, leading to increased productivity, cost savings, revenue and job creation
  • Develop and retain top talent in Ontario

Benefits to Fellows and Post-Secondary Institutions

  • Gain valuable hands-on experience and mentorship opportunities
  • Use knowledge and innovative ideas to help solve real-world R&D challenges
  • Establish relationships with industry and within OCE’s networks

How Funding Works

OCE Contribution

$35,000 per 12-month unit for eligible project costs, up to maximum of $70,000 (2 units)

Industry Partner Contribution

$50,000 ($25,000 cash plus $25,000 in-kind) minimum per 12-month unit

Of the total $85,000 per unit, the fellow MUST receive a minimum cash compensation of $52,500 (institution-based fellowship) or $60,000 (company-based fellowship). The remainder may be used for direct project costs.

Funding Recipient

Applicant: institution (for institution-based fellowships) or company (for company-based fellowships)

Institutional Overhead

Not eligible

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant and Primary Location of Fellowship

  • The fellowship location should be mutually determined depending on the amount of time spent by the fellow at the company, how the funds will be administered, and the needs of the project. OCE funds will flow to the applicant organization.
    • Institution-based fellowships: Applicant is a principal investigator from the post-secondary institution and has an eligible company as the contributing Industry Partner. Fellows must spend a significant portion of their time on-site or in the field with the company.
    • Company-based fellowships: Applicant is the company

Fellow

  • Recently graduated (within five years of graduation) with a doctoral degree (PhD) from an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university or research hospital during the fellowship period. (Current PhD students may apply to the TalentEdge Internship Program)
  • Eligible to work in Ontario and has employee status at the company (company-based fellowships), or has post-doctoral fellow status at the institution (institution-based fellowships), for duration of the fellowship
  • Maximum of two TalentEdge Fellowships (consecutive, over lifetime)
  • Not enrolled in a co-op program or other equivalent job placement/employment program
  • Has no conflict of interest with the company, including, but not limited to, companies where fellows or their relatives have control as a major creditor, shareholder or governing board member
  • Not a current or past employee of the company (including consulting, contract or part-time positions, etc.)

Company/Industry Partner

  • For-profit, incorporated in Ontario or Canada, and has a valid CRA
    business number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments (click here for more information). The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA .
    *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
  • Is using or developing technology-based innovation or innovative processes for competitive advantage in provincial, national and/or global markets
  • Has operations and/or R&D in Ontario related to the project
    • Has the intent and potential to apply, exploit and/or commercialize the results of the project for the economic benefit of Ontario
    • Has the necessary expertise and resources to put the project into effect within an appropriate time frame
  • Company subsidiaries (organizations with headquarters outside of Ontario) are eligible, provided that the Ontario operations meet all of the above criteria.
  • For institution-based fellowships, the applicant and industry partner MUST have an
    arms-length relationship As defined on NSERC website ; see the section Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations.
  • All applicants and partners MUST be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE

Project

  • Defined project with clear activities, milestones and outcomes, to be executed within the duration of the fellowship (not a “first job”-type placement)
  • Has an R&D component, where R&D is defined by the discipline and is inclusive of all disciplines
  • Commensurate with the fellow’s experience and expertise
  • Maximum of two units per application/company in a year (i.e. maximum $70,000 in OCE contribution per application)
    • Pre-approval by the OCE Program Manager is required to apply for more than two units
  • Intellectual property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by the project participants; OCE does not claim or manage IP rights
    • Institution-based fellowships: the parties are bound by the IP terms of the university or research hospital, unless a separate agreement between the parties is in effect for the duration of the fellowship
    • Company-based fellowships: the parties are bound by the IP terms of the company where the fellow is an employee for the duration of the fellowship
  • Participants MUST enter into an agreement with OCE and cooperate in providing project outcomes and metrics, annually at a minimum
  • View a list of eligible expenses

Additional Sector-Specific Eligibility Requirements

The following additional criteria apply for these sector-specific TFP streams:

Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN)

More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) applications are open for the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network.

The general TalentEdge Fellowship Program (TFP) is now closed for applications.

  1. If you are ready to start applying for TFP, please click the appropriate button to complete the Eligibility Questionnaire*
    Start the Application Process (Complete the Eligibility Questionnaire)*

    *The applicant (principal investigator at institution, or company) should complete the Eligibility Questionnaire when ready to apply for funding. Companies that do not have a research partner or fellow, or wish to find out more about TFP or other OCE programs, should submit a generic Client Intake Form. Please note: completion of this Eligibility Questionnaire does not constitute an application for funding.

  2. OCE will review the Eligibility Questionnaire within one to two business days. If the applicant/partner, fellow and project meet the program eligibility criteria, you will be sent a link to OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE.
  3. Complete the online application form, in collaboration with the industry partner if applicable, and upload the required supporting documents.
    • Required supporting documents:
      • Company Profile submitted by the applicant company/industry partner, including valid nine-digit CRA
        business number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments (click here for more information). The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA .
        *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
        , incorporation date and number of employees (globally and in Ontario)
      • Academic supervisor’s CV or NSERC Form 100/103CV (institution-based fellowships only)
      • Fellow’s CV
      • Fellow’s official transcript
      • Reference letter from fellow’s PhD supervisor, including:
        • Time period that the fellow was under supervision
        • Academic qualifications and expertise of the fellow
        • Track record of the fellow (e.g. supervision of other students, publications, patents, key achievements, etc.)
        • Potential of the fellow

    For assistance, please see the following resources:

  4. OCE will internally review the application within approximately one week for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance. A list of any deficiencies will be sent to the applicant for revision. Applicants will have only two chances to make all required changes to their application; if outstanding issues remain after the second revision, the application will be withdrawn.
  5. Once the application is deemed complete, the applicant and partner organizations (if applicable) will be forwarded a copy of OCE’s standard funding agreement (institution-based or company-based) for execution. This funding agreement MUST be signed, via OCE’s online electronic signature function, by the institution and partner (for institution-based fellowships) or applicant (for company-based fellowships) and returned to OCE.
  6. When the funding agreement is signed by all partners, the application will be sent for review by external, subject matter experts. A funding decision will be provided within four to six weeks of receipt of the signed funding agreement.

Reference Documents

Assessment Process and Criteria

The TalentEdge Fellowship Program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible applications undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and other criteria. Not all eligible applications will be approved for funding.

  1. Complete applications will undergo a written external peer review by three subject-matter experts from academia, industry and/or government. Reviewers are contractually bound by confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements.
  2. Recommendations from the peer review process will be assessed by OCE’s Internal Review Panel, which will have responsibility for the final OCE decision.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against assessment criteria including:

  • Project Description: Clarity of R&D project and objectives and relevance to the company
  • Project Plan: Clarity of objectives for the fellow, suitability of methodology, feasibility of timeline, proposed innovation, milestones and implementation plan
  • Fellow Qualifications and Experience: suitability of fellow’s background and expertise for the project, benefit of the placement to the fellow and strength of interaction with the partner organization to provide the fellow with first-hand industry experience and/or exposure
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application
More program information

Project Activation

Institution-Based Fellowships

  • Upon approval of a project for funding, OCE will invoice the industry partner for their cash contribution plus HST
  • The industry cash MUST be submitted to OCE via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or cheque within fifteen (15) days of notification of an approved award
  • Upon receipt of the required industry cash component, OCE will activate the project
  • The start date will be by default the date of activation and may not be changed

Company-Based Fellowships

  • Upon approval of a project for funding, OCE will activate the project
  • The start date will be by default the date of activation and may not be changed

Flow of Funds

  • Upon activation, OCE will release a payment equal to 75 per cent of the OCE award, plus the industry cash contribution (for institution-based fellowships). The remaining 25 per cent of the OCE award will be held back until project completion. For example:

    OCE award amount

    $35,000

    Applicant/industry partner contributions

    $25,000 cash plus $25,000 in-kind

    Fund released upon project activation

    $51,250 (institution-based) or $26,250 (company-based)

    Holdback

    $8,750

    • OCE will not release any funds until the project is activated and will not be held responsible for any expenses incurred for the project prior to activation. If for any reason the requirements for activation are not met within fifteen (15) days from the date of release of the approval notification, the funding offer may be retracted.
  • The holdback will be released upon project completion and receipt of the following: applicant and industry partner (where applicable) final progress and financial reports, outcomes, proof of payment for the fellow, and attestation from the applicant organization regarding the use of funds (see details in Project Reporting section).

Project Reporting Requirements

The following project reports will be required. 

Please note that completion of all required reports is a contractual obligation to receive funding from OCE.

Final Project Report

  • Forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled completion date, the applicant and fellow will receive a notification of the project end date from OCE’s AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the partners wish to begin entering data. If an extension to complete the project is required, the applicant MUST request it prior to the scheduled project completion date, using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. A maximum extension of six months will be allowable.
    • As part of the final report, applicants MUST provide proof of payment for the fellow (must include fellow’s name, company/institution name, payment periods and amounts, e.g. fellow pay stub, payroll print-out, T4/T4A).
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the applicant and fellow will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. Both of the applicant and fellow reports MUST be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
  • For institution-based fellowships, when the applicant and fellow final reports have been approved, the post-secondary institution will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project.
  • All required final reports by all partners MUST be submitted within thirty (30) days of project completion in order to release the holdback, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Project Metrics

  • If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the applicant will be required to complete an annual Metrics survey each April, for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contract with its funding Ministries. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Survey

  • At one, two and three years after project completion, the company will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. This information is required by OCE for assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.

Project Changes

  • For any variances to the OCE budget of $5,000 or greater, or extensions to the project end date, the applicant MUST complete a Project Change Request form prior to the project end date using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. A maximum extension of six months will be allowable.
  • For any other material change to the project, including, but not limited to, changes related to the project’s principal investigator, the industry partner, the fellow, scope of work or eligible expenses, the applicant MUST contact the Program Manager as soon as the changes are known.

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For further questions regarding program guidelines, eligibility and submitting the online application, please contact your OCE Business Development Manager 

For other inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Manager
(416) 861 1092 x1061


How to Apply

Program Status: See program summary for details

Start the application process (complete the eligibility questionnaire) for:


*The applicant (principal investigator at institution, or company) should complete the Eligibility Questionnaire when ready to apply for funding. Companies that do not have a research partner or fellow, or wish to find out more about TFP or other OCE programs, should submit a generic Client Intake Form. Please note: completion of this Eligibility Questionnaire does not constitute an application for funding. See details on the How to Apply tab.



Examples of successful TalentEdge projects

Last updated: March 1, 2019