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TMU launches post-doctoral fellowships for Black scholars

New program will foster and expand Black scholarship and research capacity
January 19, 2023
A group of people sitting at a table talking with one another and looking at papers.

The new post-doctoral fellowship program for Black scholars will expand Black scholarship and intellectual traditions. Photo: Andy Barbour/Pexels

A recently launched post-doctoral fellowship program for Black scholars at Toronto Metropolitan University will offer opportunities to Black scholars as part of the university’s initiatives to increase representation of Black-identified faculty in all disciplines.

Over the past two years, the Faculty Working Group of the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism (PICCABR), co-chaired by Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano (Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic) and Annette Bailey, (Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Internationalization, Faculty of Community Services) has been developing strategies and initiatives to address faculty recommendations of the  (PDF file) Anti-Black Racism Climate Review. This work includes enhancing curricula and pedagogy, research and scholarship that centre and amplify Black and Afro-centric worldviews and building the capacities of Black scholars. 

The Faculty Working Group has recently developed and formally launched the TMU Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Black Scholars program through funding secured through the PICCABR and the Office of the Provost. This program seeks to expand and advance Black scholarship and intellectual traditions, support their academic endeavours, contribute to broader, meaningful inclusion of Black scholars, expand opportunities for research capacity in the institution and the wider community, and support career development and career readiness for Black scholars.

“This initiative is the outgrowth of a collective and collaborative effort,”said Annette Bailey, co-chair of the Faculty Working Group. “Building capacities within the university is an important and effective way to help address systemic barriers experienced by Black scholars. This program will help create collegial and professional networks, thereby empowering Black scholars to foster relationships with fellow researchers and faculty, build their intellectual and research capacities, and create opportunities that will impact the broader Black community.”

The TMU postdoctoral fellowships for Black scholars will provide annual funding in the amount of $70,000 plus benefits to support up to two years of salary for four postdoctoral Black scholars. The application deadline is April 1, 2023 and the program will commence in September 2023. The program will be administered by the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.The fellowship supports all areas of scholarly, research and creative activity, with priority placed on topics such as health in the Black community, anti-Black systemic racism, Black cultural art or history, social and health inequities, leadership in health policy, oppressive practices, urban health, and the impact of AI on the Black community.

“The development of this program is truly a historic moment for TMU, “ said Roberta Iannacito-Provenzano, now executive chair of the Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism. “It is a tangible demonstration of our institutional commitment to being bold and inclusive by fostering Black Flourishing, inclusive excellence, mutuality and accountability. My sincere thanks to the members of the Faculty Working Group, the PICCABR project team, and the Yeates School of Graduate Studies for making this program a reality.”

By strengthening internal systems of support for Black scholars, the Faculty Working Group,  now co-chaired by Patrizia Albanese (Interim Vice-Provost, Faculty Affairs) and Annette Bailey, also hopes to attract Black scholars from beyond the institution, further strengthening and broadening our Black faculty community.  Interested applicants can learn more at the post-doctoral opportunities page on the Yeates School of Graduate Studies website

This initiative is just one of many outcomes in response to the 14 recommendations of  the  (PDF file) Anti-Black Racism Campus Climate Review Report, published by the Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion (OVPECI) in 2020. 

The Presidential Implementation Committee to Confront Anti-Black Racism is a group of close to 50 dedicated individuals from across the university who have created action plans to implement those recommendations. Community members can learn about the report, the progress of recommendations and more on the university’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism website.

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