Science Policy Fellowships Program

An initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Science Policy Fellowships Program, is designed to foster positive exchanges between health researchers and policy makers in order to help bridge the gap between the worlds of science and policy making.

The Program provides academic researchers with the opportunity to undertake short-term assignments at Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to work on a specific policy issue (e.g., health policy, science policy, or regulatory policy). These assignments provide Fellows (ranging from doctoral students to mid-career researchers) with the opportunity to learn about how government works and how public policies are made. For government policy-makers, the program provides access to individuals trained in a particular scientific area, and the opportunity to engage with them on the scientific and technical aspects of public policy issues. The long-term goal is to maintain ongoing relationships and collaborations between health scientists and policy makers to support evidence-based public policy that benefits the health of Canadians.


As the Science Policy Fellowships Program is designed to imbed academic researchers in a policy environment in order to learn about the policy development process, telework arrangements will not be considered. Assignments must be undertaken in the location specified in each assignment summary.

Fellows will be required to sign a Fellowship Assignment Agreement with Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency prior to the start of the assignment. The Agreement will outline, among other things, the role of the supervisor, the activities to be undertaken by the Fellow, and applicable Government of Canada policies (e.g., on Intellectual Property, Conflict of Interest).

Fellows applying for policy assignments at Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will be required to undergo screening and clearance procedures prior to beginning their assignment.

Fellows will not be provided with workplace insurance during their assignment and should arrange for their own insurance.

How To Apply

A Request for Applications was issued by CIHR on October 6, 2014. The deadline to apply is December 12, 2014. The list of Science Policy Fellowship Assignments for the current round of applications is now available:

Interested individuals must apply to CIHR. Please see  Canadian Institutes of Health Research—ResearchNet for eligibility requirements and other application information.

Please note that all applicants must obtain a Letter of Support from the Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency supervisor responsible for the policy assignment in which the applicant is interested before submitting an application to CIHR. The letter of support must be included in the application to CIHR. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the relevant sponsoring supervisors at least 10 business days prior to the CIHR competition deadline, after which time supervisors may refuse to entertain requests.

Please also note that applicants may approach multiple supervisors to help identify the best fit between prospective Fellows and available assignments. However, applicants may only apply for one (1) assignment.

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