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CANSSI Ontario STAGE Training

by Adeshola Dahunsi

Application Deadline: March 15, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).


CANSSI Ontario STAGE (STAGE) is a formal and comprehensive training program in Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, the first of its kind in Canada and one of few in the world.

The program offers training and career development opportunities designed to cross-train individuals at the interface of genetics and population health sciences in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics—two disciplines currently facing a shortage of qualified individuals in Canada and elsewhere. The overall goal is to improve the prevention and management of complex diseases by increasing capacity in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics research.


  • To increase research capacity in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics, with the overall goal of improving the prevention and management of common diseases through genetic epidemiologic research.
  • To deliver a comprehensive training program to foster a new generation of scientists and highly qualified personnel capable of conducting and leading innovative and cross-disciplinary research in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics.


To establish STAGE as a globally recognized destination for Canadian and international trainees in genetic epidemiology and statistical genetics.


  1. Implement a dynamic interdisciplinary training network of committed mentors and engaged partners that will foster trainees’ ability to bridge laboratory and population-based investigation of complex diseases.
  2. Promote “hands-on” cross-disciplinary research in epidemiological, statistical, and biological settings to enable trainees to appreciate and address the challenges in study design, analysis, and molecular tools used in genetic epidemiology.
  3. Prepare the ground for expanded training opportunities in Canada, by nurturing existing partnerships and forging new ones.


STAGE will offer admission to successful applicants at the following stages of their education or career:

  • University of Toronto full-time, Ph.D. students in the second or subsequent years of their doctoral program, who are enrolled in
    • the Department of Statistical Sciences or in Biostatistics or Epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health
    • relevant biomedical doctoral programs, with a background in human genetics and evidence of training and strength in quantitative skills.
  • Postdoctoral fellows from relevant disciplines.

The expectation is that successful candidates will be nationally competitive for external awards.

Awards & Incentives

Successful applicants will receive an enriched training experience, including the following opportunities:

  • Stipends at CIHR rates, with option to receive top-up funding.
  • Travel and top-up awards for trainees holding or able to obtain other awards or scholarships.
  • Mentoring by a team of internationally-renowned experts.
  • Cross-disciplinary practica in industry, government or institutional research labs.
  • Internships, exchanges and networking at the local, national and international levels.
  • A curriculum incorporating core, integrative and cross‑disciplinary courses, and leadership training.

All applicants not already holding external scholarships or awards (e.g. CIHR, NSERC, etc.) must submit at least one other application for external funding along with their CIHR STAGE application. To substantiate this requirement, Common CV sections dealing with funding (i.e. “Funding” and “Distinctions, Awards, Credentials”) must be complete and include all relevant information. In addition, your application may include formal evidence of submitted application(s), or, a separate sheet indicating details (funding organization, name of award, etc.) and deadlines for planned applications. For trainees who hold, or are successful in securing external funding, CIHR STAGE offers top-up opportunities.

Apply to the STAGE Training

Official Website: The STAGE Training

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