Post-doctoral fellows (PDFs)

Post-doctoral fellows (PDFs) at UVic make a vital impact by contributing to research while gaining hands-on training in Canada’s most extraordinary academic environment.

A PDF will have completed a PhD prior to commencing appointment, normally awarded in the four years immediately prior to the start of the first post-doctoral fellowship at the university. A PDF, whether grant-funded or externally-funded (bringing their own funding), must be supervised by a faculty member.

The information below is for PDFs, faculty members supervising PDFs, and host departments and research centres.

What's new?

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is the most prestigious, and competitive, postdoctoral award in Canada. The objective of the program is to attract top-tier postdoctoral trainees, at an internationally competitive level, to develop their leadership potential, positively contributing to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth.

UVic internal deadline (draft application): Friday, 22 July 2022 (firm deadline)

Full details and how to apply

Policy and appointment procedures

UVic adopted an updated University Policy HR6310 Post-Doctoral Fellows Policy and Appointment Procedures in August 2010. The purpose of the policy is to:

  • define the eligibility requirements for a PDF appointment at the university;
  • establish the responsibilities of the faculty member as the supervisor and/or employer of a PDF;
  • establish the responsibilities of the PDF; and
  • outline the support provided by the university.

University Policy HR6305 - Employment under Externally Funded Grants and Contracts is also relevant to grant-funded PDFs, as it sets out some of their conditions of employment.

Faculty members who supervise PDFs and individuals interested in becoming post-doctoral fellows are advised to familiarize themselves with the policy and appointment procedures. Please also refer to the information for prospective post-doctoral fellows.

Policy reviews

For information on the review of the previous PDF policy that was completed in mid-2010, please see the policy review page.

Appointment process summary (including links to appointment documents)

The following is a summary of the appointment process. Supervisor and departments must also review University Policy HR6310 Post-Doctoral Fellows Policy and Appointment Procedures.

Note: Although PDF supervisors are responsible for the appointment process, they may receive assistance from their unit’s Administrative Officer (AO) who should be kept updated on all PDF appointments.

Essentially, there are four steps in the appointment process:

Step 1: Space and Facilities Form

PDF Supervisor: Complete and obtain necessary approvals on the Confirmation of Space and Facilities Form (signatories include faculty member/PDF supervisor; chair or director; and dean of faculty).

Step 2: Letter of Offer

PDF Supervisor: Once Space and Facilities Form is signed, prepare the Letter of Offer using the appropriate template below based upon the employee funding (grant or external) and eligibility to work in Canada (Canadian or International).

  • Customize the letter as necessary being as explicit as possible, clarifying the terms of the offer
  • Sign the letter and send to the PDF for PDF’s signature
  • Copy of the letter should be retained and sent to Payroll with the recommendation for appointment form

Letter of Offer Templates

Step 3: Recommendation for appointment form

PDF Supervisor: Complete the appropriate Recommendation for Appointment form from the Accounting Services website. Depending on how the PDF is funded, it may be necessary to complete both forms.

Select from the links below to access the appropriate form:

If you need assistance with Appointment Forms, please contact the Payroll Office at (250) 721-7034 or payroll@uvic.ca.

Step 4: PDF Supervisor and hiring department/research centre responsibilities

Mail or submit to the Payroll Office using the payroll sign and submit forms page:

  • A copy of the signed Letter of Offer
  • The original signed Appointment Form(s)

For more information about remotely submitting Payroll documents, please see the Accounting Services website

Mail or email ORS:

  • A copy of the signed Space and Facilities Form
  • A copy of the signed Letter of Offer
  • A copy of the signed Appointment Form(s)

For more information about remotely submitting these documents to ORS, please see "Electronic documents submission" below. 

Hiring department/research centre must retain the following records:

  • Original of the signed Space and Facilities Form
  • Original of the signed Letter of Offer
  • Copy of the signed Appointment Form(s)

PDF Supervisor responsibilities:

  • obtain documented proof of the PDF having completed their PhD, and that the PhD was completed within the four-year period immediately prior to the start of the appointment
  • once the letter of offer is signed, ensure the PDF has:

Electronic document submission

The Office of Research Services is accepting emailed/scanned documents with electronic signatures and/or signatures authorized by email.

Signatories may use any of the following options to approve Post-doctoral Fellow documents:

Affix your electronic signature using Adobe Acrobat (Fill and Sign, or other method)

Print the document’s signature page, sign at the designated signature space, and email a scanned copy of the signature page

Email their approval from their authorized UVic email address

Please email the saved/scanned documents with either a signatory’s electronic signature or email response to postdocinfo@uvic.ca. Original forms with signatures should be retained by the unit/supervisor.

Please refer to the UVic COVID-19 information for faculty and staff.

Frequently asked questions

Read the Frequently asked questions about appointing post-doctoral fellows and answers to those questions.

Prospective PDF information

Learn more about becoming a PDF at UVic.

International PDFs

If you are a faculty supervisor wishing to recruit an international PDF or if you are a prospective international post-doctoral scholar, consider that getting the proper documentation can take time. International PDFs who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada, will need to apply for a work permit and/or visa in order to come to Canada for their fellowship. Obtaining these documents is the PDF's responsibility and the process can take up to several months or more depending on where they are from.

Fellowship funding opportunities

There are several external Post-doctoral Fellowship opportunities available. All external funding applications must be approved internally before submission to the funding agency.

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is the most prestigious, and competitive, postdoctoral award in Canada. The objective of the program is to attract top-tier postdoctoral trainees, at an internationally competitive level, to develop their leadership potential, positively contributing to Canada's economic, social and research-based growth.

A total of 70 fellowships are awarded each year, distributed equally between Canada's three Tri-Council Agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Fellowships are valued at $70,000 CAD (taxable income) per year for two years.

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program distinguishes itself from other postdoctoral fellowships programs by its emphasis on the synergy between:

  • a top-tier candidate (their individual merit and potential to launch a successful research-intensive career); and
  • the host institution (its commitment to the research program and environment with which the applicant is to be affiliated).

Therefore, an applicant to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship Program must complete their application in full collaboration with the proposed supervisor and host institution. The University of Victoria (UVic) will select and endorse only the highest-calibre postdoctoral candidates following an internal selection process.

Important dates:

  • UVic internal deadline (draft application): July 22, 2022; 11.59 pm PST (firm deadline)
  • Banting external deadline (full application): September 21, 2022; 5:00 pm PST

How to apply:

For more information on UVic's internal process for Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, contact .

Aspiration Post-doctoral Fellowships

The Aspiration Post-doctoral Fellowship program provides competitive match-funding for faculty to recruit outstanding new post-doctoral fellows to conduct the highest quality research at UVic.

Notice of Intent was due: 15 December 2021

More details

MITACS Elevate Post-doctoral Fellowships

  • Two-year fellowship valued at $55,000 per year (plus $7,500 per year non-cash value in training)
  • Customized training in professional and R&D management skills
  • Long-term research project with a partner organization in the private or non-profit sector
  • Open to all disciplines

For more information, please visit the MITACS website or contact .

Other major funding opportunities

For potential funding opportunities, see our list of major funding competitions for post-doctoral fellowships in Canada. Please refer to individual funder websites for full details on applicant eligibility, the application process and application forms.

How to apply for external funding

All external funding applications, except for the standard SSHRC and NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships, must be approved internally before submission to the funding agency. Please submit an electronic copy of your application together with a Research Summary Application Form (RASF) using our Research Administration Information System (RAIS) to the Office of Research Services at least one week prior to the external deadline.  Your Academic Supervisor must start the RASF as the Principal Investigator (PI) and add you as the Principal Applicant (PA) before you will have access to RAIS.

The RASF requires the following signatures:

  • Research Centre Director, if applicable
  • Department Chair or School Director
  • Dean of Faculty

For more information on UVic's external funding application process, please contact the or the .

Advertising PDF positions

Are you a faculty member seeking a PDF (either paid by your grant or who brings their own external funding)? Please contact the Office of Research Services for ideas on sharing PDF opportunities. Please email the following information to :  

  • faculty member/supervisor’s name
  • department/unit at which PDF will be held
  • a brief description in an email, electronic document (e.g., Word or Adobe PDF) or on a website (e.g., department, lab or personal research website) outlining the following:
    • description of the PDF position
    • salary/benefits offered
    • details on how to apply (what to submit, and how)
    • the application deadline

Please note that UVic does not have a central posting web page for advertising PDF positions. 

Contact us

If you are currently a post-doctoral fellow at UVic, your supervisor is always your first point of contact for any questions.


Office of Research Services