Vector’s Visiting Researcher Program

Applications for Vector’s Visiting Researcher Program are open

The Vector Institute invites applications to its Visiting Researcher Program from both early-career and established scholars working in machine learning and deep learning research and their applications. 

The program is intended for researchers on a sabbatical year from an academic appointment or a gap year in between a PhD or postdoctoral fellowship and a first academic or industry appointment.

Join a dynamic community of over 700 researchers in machine learning and deep learning as a Visiting Researcher. The Vector Institute, located in the centre of downtown Toronto, offers a state of the art computing environment, large AI engineering team to support researchers in scaling their research, an extensive roster of research programming and reading groups, and myriad opportunities to collaborate.

Vector’s research priorities:

Vector is recognized internationally for its fundamental research in deep learning and machine learning, and is advancing research in AI for health and scientific discovery, safe and trustworthy AI and generative models. Vector invites researchers working in these, and adjacent areas to join the community for a period of up to one year.

Visiting Researchers
have the opportunity to:

People look at research posters in the Vector hallway
  •  Collaborate in a multidisciplinary and an innovative environment, and to increase their collegial networks;
  • Bring up to two students or postdoctoral fellows to Vector, under certain circumstances and parameters;
  • Access Vector’s research engineering team, postdoctoral fellows, interns, and other researchers for collaboration on their projects;
  • Have access to Vector’s legal counsel to assist in the immigration process, if needed;
  • Enjoy access to Vector facilities (e.g., desk space and scientific computing resources) so that they can conduct independent and/or collaborative research.

Over the course of their stay, visiting researchers are required to undertake one or more of the following activities:

  • Carry out a research collaboration with Vector Faculty Members and the broader Vector AI research community
  • Present research at specially arranged seminars for students, faculty, and the broader AI research community.
  • Lead a reading group or working group at Vector.
  • With the support of Vector’s communications team, contribute to a public-facing product to disseminate research outcomes (e.g., blog post, interview, or video).

Visitors will be required to submit a final report highlighting their areas of research, peer-reviewed publications and talks, grants, conference and workshop organization, and other services completed during their stay at Vector

Eligibility criteria

Vector’s Visiting Researcher Program accepts applications from individuals from these three career pathways:

  • Individuals on a sabbatical leave from their home academic institution e.g,. a research hospital or university or individuals proposed through existing structured research agreements with strategic national and international partners e.g., a national laboratory.
  • Individuals who have just completed a PhD or postdoctoral fellowship and intend to begin full-time employment at a university or in industry following their visit (sometimes referred to as a ‘gap year’).

The Vector Institute’s Visiting Researcher Program is supported by funding made available through the federal Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. As a federally funded program, Vector will not consider applications from candidates who are affiliated with a Named Research Organization under the federal Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern.

How to apply

  • A completed Application Form linked below including personal information, proposed duration of the visit, name of the host and/or endorsing (which may or may not be the same) Vector Faculty Member, and the names of three (3) referees who may be contacted.
  • A curriculum vitæ.
  • A statement identifying how the Vector Institute will contribute to your program of research and how you will contribute to the Vector Institute, including its strategic research priorities (2 pages, maximum).

Questions on the application process may be directed to

Key dates

Spring 2024 Cohort

To be considered for the Spring Cohort, application and reference letters must be received in full by April 30, 2024. Any applications received after this date will be added to the next cohort.

Autumn 2024 Cohort

To be considered for the Autumn Cohort, application and reference letters must be received in full by October 31. 2024. Any applications received after this date will be added to the next cohort.

The Visiting Researcher Committee reviews applications on a rolling basis twice per year: May and November.

Please note: It is highly recommended that Visiting Researchers wait to finalize any travel arrangements until all related immigration requirements, approvals, authorizations and/or work permits have been met.

What is the selection process?

All applications are reviewed by the Visiting Researcher Committee that consists of multiple Vector Faculty Members. 

Visitors will be selected based on: 

  • Motivation of the applicant
  • Quality and originality of the statement outlining research outcomes that could be achieved during the visit
  • Potential contribution to Vector’s strategic research priorities
  • Commitment from a Vector Faculty Member to host the Visiting Researcher

The Committee will focus part of its deliberation on alignment with Vector’s strategic research priorities. A visiting researcher’s statement must include a section that addresses this alignment in a clearly recognizable manner.

Note: At the discretion of the Visiting Researcher Committee, applicants may be invited to give a Vector Research Talk at a later date as part of the evaluation process to better assess the above.

Vector Institute strives for greater inclusion in the programs and culture that we build by welcoming and encouraging applications from all qualified candidates. Vector encourages applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ persons.