Clinical Chemistry

Applications are now closed. You can apply for July 2025 in October 2024.

Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry overview

Program length: Two years
Session dates: July 1 – June 30
Program structure: Series of hospital-based rotations as well as course work, tutorials and journal clubs
Evaluation methods: Direct observation and oral exams

Join the largest program of its kind in Canada and gain a comprehensive understanding of clinical chemistry and exposure to the related disciplines of hematology, microbiology and molecular biology. 

More than ever before, clinical chemists must be on the leading-edge of laboratory operation. In addition to acquiring understanding of the significance of laboratory tests in clinical chemistry, you will gain experience in the related disciplines of hematology, microbiology and molecular biology. 

Our Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry provides comprehensive professional training in the field of clinical chemistry and biochemistry.

Our preeminent two-year Postdoctoral Training Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. 

What is a Clinical Chemist? 

A clinical chemist uses chemistry to evaluate patient health and helps to manage patient outcomes.

Clinical chemists evaluate blood, examine tissue, study cells and DNA.

Some clinical chemists may develop diagnostic products and some may be research scientists.

While clinical chemists have traditionally worked in laboratories, they may also work in industry or academic environments. 

Program structure

The Postdoctoral Training Program in Clinical Chemistry (Diploma Program), established in 1968, is a program for PhD graduates in biochemistry and related sciences to train as clinical chemists.

The two-year program includes training in hematology and microbiology, to allow you to function in core laboratory settings.

You will rotate through the clinical laboratories of several teaching hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.

You will spend approximately half your time in a hospital laboratory and you will meet with your hospital supervisor weekly to discuss their progress. 

By completing the program, you will be able to sit the written and oral examinations for certification set by the Canadian Academy for Clinical Biochemistry. 

By the end of the first year, you will have: 

  • Completed the clinical chemistry laboratory rotation based on the Laboratory Training Manual 
  • Demonstrated a comprehensive, practical and theoretical knowledge of all the important routine procedures carried out in a modern clinical chemistry laboratory 
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the operation, trouble-shooting and ordinary maintenance of all laboratory equipment, including automated instruments 
  • Undertaken analytical, clinical or quality assessment projects 

By the end of the second year, you will have: 

  • Completed rotations through required hospital laboratories (paediatric chemistry laboratory, second general chemistry laboratory) 
  • Undertaken teaching assignments in clinical biochemistry as requested by your supervisors 
  • Undertaken more extensive analytical, clinical or quality assessment projects, with the aim of presentation or publication 
  • Undertaken specialization or research 
  • Completed rotations through required hospital laboratories (haematology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, molecular biology) 

In all years, you must have: 

  • Completed required courses at a satisfactory academic level 
  • Attended journal club and case presentation sessions 
  • Attended seminars, conferences, rounds and lectures 
  • Completed other required aspects of the program 

How you are assessed

  • You need to achieve 70 per cent to pass each core course.
  • You are required to sit a comprehensive oral examination at the end of each training year.
  • To receive your Diploma you must:
    • pass all courses;
    • receive satisfactory evaluations from hospital supervisors; and
    • particpate in other aspects of the Program to an acceptable level.

How to apply

Eligibility requirements 

  • You must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • PhD in Biochemistry or a related science (eg, Biology, Chemistry, Immunology, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Physiology) 
  • Your PhD defense must be completed before the session start date of July 1. You may apply during the final year of your PhD, but any offer of acceptance would be contingent on the successful completion and defense of your thesis prior to the start of the program. 
  • Good communication skills - written and verbal 
  • A minimum of B+ in relevant courses and overall average during graduate studies 

You may apply up to a maximum of three times to this program.

Selection criteria

  • Strong background in chemistry or biochemistry with adequate background in the other disciplines 
  • Third-year level course in physiology or equivalent strongly recommended
  • Research record, relevance to clinical chemistry 
  • Relevant experience in clinical chemistry, hematology, microbiology, molecular biology 
  • Commitment to the field of clinical chemistry 


Deadline: January 15 of the year in which training is to start. Training begins on July 1. 

Applications open: October 1

Interviews: typically held in early February

To apply: apply using our online form which will be available here when applications are open.

Documents required are: 

  • Letter outlining your interest in the Program 
  • Your curriculum vitae 
  • Your official transcripts (BSc, MSc, PhD). If you have not yet completed your PhD, please provide a letter from your primary supervisor indicating that you will receive your degree by June 30th. During COVID, please ask that the transcript be sent to you directly and then include them in your application package. Keep the transcripts on file as we may request the hard copies at a later date.
  • Copies of degrees awarded 
  • International degrees should be accompanied by an assessment from the Comparative Education Service, School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto, or an equivalent assessment service 
  • The completed referee forms (PDF) and letters of reference from three referees. Instruct your referees to send their assessments directly to the LMP Postgraduate Programs Office via email - Hard copies will not be accepted. 

We will only contact you if you are selected for an interview. 

If you are selected by the Postdoctoral Training Committee for a Fellowship, you must submit a signed statement stating that you will accept the Fellowship (if awarded) to the Chair, Postdoctoral Training Committee.

The Ministry of Health requires you to return service in Ontario on completion of your training, subject to the availability of a position appropriate to the professional training that you have received. 

Meet one of our trainees!

Mary Kathryn Bohn recently started the program and spoke to us about why she applied.

Contact us

Postgraduate Office

Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology
1 King's College Circle, Rm 6231
Toronto, ON M5S 1A8

Fax: 416-978-7361

Paula Nixon

Postgraduate Education Officer

Paula Nixon

Phone: 416-978-7535