2015 Banting PDF Evaluation – Management Response


The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is to attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally, to develop their leadership potential and to position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow, positively contributing to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth through leadership in a research-intensive career. The program is implemented through the three Federal Granting agencies and invests approximately $9.8 million annually to support 140 Canadian and international postdoctoral students studying at Canadian universities or foreign institutions.

This is the first evaluation of the Banting PDF program and was led by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The evaluation covers the time period from the program’s inception in 2010-2011 to the end of fiscal year 2013-2014 and examines the relevance and performance of the program as well as its design and delivery in order to meet Treasury Board requirements for evaluation.

A final report addressing the main issues of this evaluation was approved by the Tri-Agency Programs Steering Committee in October 2015. The response from Vanier Banting Program Management to the evaluation recommendations and the proposed action plan are detailed below.

Vanier Banting Management Response

Overall Comments

The Banting PDF Executive Management regards the evaluation report as a sound and accurate summary and analysis of the information obtained through multiple sources of evidence and agrees with the conclusions of the report and its recommendations.

The evaluation recommendations and management action plan are presented in the table below.

2015 Banting PDF Evaluation - Management Response
Recommendation Response (Agree or Disagree) Management Action Plan Responsibility Timeline

1. The Banting program should take steps to address the decline in international applicants to ensure the program can attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent applications.


The agencies will define the intent of what is meant by “international fellows” as well as the program theory regarding the anticipated benefits to Canada through the objectives to “attract and retain” international fellows.

The agencies will investigate current processes used to determine nominations at the institutional level. These nomination processes will be examined in relation to barriers to foreign fellows. In parallel, options for program level interventions will be developed and presented to the Management Committee for consideration and action if warranted.

The Vanier-Banting Secretariat For 2016-2017 competition

2. The Banting program should monitor the ongoing impact of and need for the 25% cap on Banting fellowships awarded to individuals who apply in collaboration with a foreign institution.


The agencies will:

  • continue to monitor the impact of the 25% cap in annual decision making.
  • monitor outcomes (career trajectory, location) for all Banting fellows with the intent to determine, long term, the impact of location of tenure of award on outcome (i.e. career, economic impact, etc.) and document the logic/assumptions behind the 25% cap.

The agencies will revisit the policy of the 25% cap should the data from monitoring reveal negative impacts on funding excellence.

The Vanier-Banting Secretariat For 2018-2019 fiscal year

3. The Banting program should develop guidance regarding leading practices for the support of Banting fellows to develop their leadership potential and position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow.


The agencies will:

  • work with institutions as well as past and current Banting fellows to identify meaningful means of support and reflect this guidance in program literature.
  • encourage exchange between Banting recipients on these means of support to enable dissemination and encourage wider adoption of leading practices.
  • proactively explore where Banting recipients can meet with other excellent researchers in their fields.
The Vanier-Banting Secretariat For 2017-2018 competition
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