Early Career Researcher Teaching Release


The purpose of the AVA Early Career Researcher (ECR) Teaching Release program is to support ECR training and research career development by allowing ECRs to be released from their teaching obligations, and devote that time and energy to participating in multiple activities of the AVA Training Platform including: 

  • Mentoring trainees in the Triadic Mentorship Program; 
  • Participating as a trainee or content creator (i.e. presenter) in AVA Online; 
  • Strategy Development, Management and Evaluation Training; 
  • Another activity connected to AVA’s objective. 

This program will be available competitively to ECRs who want to engage in their own training or training others in high-need areas that relate to girls, women, and gender-diverse people. These “high-needs” areas (deemed as such, by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Girls’ and Women’s Health and Wellness Research Pool) include: 

  • Youth and Family Wellness, especially gender roles and identities, mental health and wellness (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression), physical and psychological abuse (e.g. gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination, racism and cyber abuse), justice system involvement (e.g. witness to/victim of crime) and substance misuse.
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health, especially postpartum health, including depression, often an outcome of exposure to childhood adversity and violence and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. 
  • Health Services and Population-Based Approaches to Wellness, especially limited access to health services, health promotion and social determinants of health for non-communicable disease (e.g. mental health problems). 


Selected ECRs will be evaluated for fit of their research interests with the CIHR RFP high- need areas and the objective of the AVA Training Platform. Evaluation will also be based on EDIA considerations and excellence (e.g. awards, publications).

Teaching releases will be offered annually to 1-2 ECRs every year, for the six years of the program. In addition to Principal Applicants (PAs)/ECRs, 24 ECR teaching releases awarded over six years.

  • Applicant must be an ECR, defined as an independent researcher who is within 8 years of beginning their first independent research or faculty position. 
  • The ECR should hold an academic appointment at a Canadian post-secondary institution and be affiliated with or willing to be affiliated with the AVA Training Platform. 
  • There is no limit on the number of ECR Teaching Releases that an applicant can apply for or be awarded over the 6 years of AVA Training Platform; however ECR’s can only receive one course buy-out per year. 

For more information about the Application & Adjudication Processes, please see the guidelines below.

Guidelines for Early Career Researcher Teaching Release

Current Timeline for 2023/2024 Teaching Release

(timeline may be subject to change)

  • January – Call for Applicants
  • Late September – Application deadline (applicants will be released up to 18 months after award receipt)
  • Early October – Application adjudication 
  • Mid-October – Award announcement 

ECR Teaching Release Working Group

Develop the application, competition & adjudication processes.