Becoming a Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral fellows play an important role in research and teaching community at Queen’s. A postdoctoral fellow is a trained researcher who joins the University under the guidance of an established supervisor to broaden their expertise, strengthen their publication record and CV, build their reputation, and enhance their ability to secure a career as faculty member or researcher. Joining the university as a postdoc means you are connecting to a group of approximately 200 colleagues whose discoveries and innovations make Queen’s one of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities. This site provides information on eligibility, the appointment process, and funding your position.

Postdoctoral fellowships may be advertised on departmental websites, in scholarly publications, and on the Queen’s Human Resources page. Many fellows find their position by contacting Queen’s faculty directly. Exploring our Faculties & Schools will help you narrow your search. Additionally, you can browse funding opportunities that can support your research. Please note that the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs does not process postdoctoral applications.

Have a question? Email the SGSPA's Postdoc Coordinator: sgspa.postdoc@queensu.ca

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Queen's is an organizational member of the National Postdoctoral Association

Visit their website to learn more

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The Appointment Process

Before proceeding, please ensure you are eligible for a postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s. To be hired as a postdoctoral fellow at Queen’s you must:

  • Have completed your doctoral degree within five years of the appointment
  • Receive an appointment for a limited period (usually two to three years), sometimes with the possibility of renewal
  • Receive supervision by a Queen’s faculty member
  • Work full-time in a research setting, preparing for an academic or research career

To become a postdoc at Queen’s, you must identify a supervisor with whom you can collaborate. In other words, the recruitment and selection process is managed by this supervisor or their designate. Queen’s faculty can recruit fellows, and you can contact a prospective supervisor directly to begin a conversation.

Your faculty supervisor must ensure that the recruitment process adheres to all relevant legislation, including the Human Rights Code and the Employment Standards Act, and must consider Queen’s employment equity goals. They should also adhere to the recruiting and posting regulations found in the Collective Agreement for those positions falling within the scope of the Public Service Alliance of Canada 901 (PSAC-901) bargaining unit.

Once you and your supervisor have agreed on the details of your fellowship, several documents must be completed.

a) Complete the Postdoctoral Fellow Appointment Datasheet (HR-FRM-045), which will help determine your bargaining status unit.

b) Fill out the PDF Offer of Employment letter (42KB) using either the Queen’s Funded PDF Offer Template or the Externally Funded PDF Offer Template (coming soon). Questions about which template to use can be directed to the Faculty Relations Office. This letter must specify the terms of the appointment, the salary or stipend arrangements, the nature of research to be undertaken, and any special conditions. Some points to discuss with your supervisor include setting clear expectations for the fellowship in writing, identifying the individual(s) responsible for determining the research program, designating other mentors, clarifying any teaching opportunities, outlining duties for career support, defining contract extension prospects, and ensuring funding is secure for the fellowship duration. Many of these factors can be meaningfully explored through our Individual Development Plan (IDP) for postdocs, which you are strongly encouraged to complete.

c) The candidate must accept the Offer of Employment by signing and returning an original copy of the offer prior to the appointment start date.

d) Register with the SGSPA on our website and set up a meeting with the Coordinator of Postdoctoral Affairs.

e) Contact Human Resources to make an appointment for enrolling in the University Health Insurance Plan prior to your first day. Coverage is mandatory for all employees who are not already covered under a Provincial Health Plan in Canada (e.g., OHIP).

f) Set up payroll documentation and benefits enrollment through Human Resources, which must be done within 31 days of the hiring date to avoid the late application process. This document (HR-FRM-031 Payroll – Direct Deposit Authorization Form) should be submitted to Human Resources before the Payroll cut-off dates to ensure you receive your stipend payment on time.

International Postdoctoral Fellows

Many of our postdoctoral fellows join us from around the world. For questions regarding work permits or visa requirements, consult our Incoming International Postdocs page or visit the Faculty Recruitment and Support Office website.

Funding Opportunities

Securing funding is an important step in becoming a postdoc. There are several external funding agencies that offer awards for postdoctoral positions, and you are encouraged to apply to those for which you are eligible. The Banting and Tri-Council postdoctoral fellowships are highly competitive awards that are awarded to outstanding candidates. Be sure to check our website for specifics on Queen’s internal procedures for the Banting and CIHR opportunities.

Mitacs Elevate is a program that develops Canadian postdoctoral fellows’ managerial skills in various academic, industrial, and non-profit sectors. The program offers a $55,000 (CAD) minimum annual salary along with a training curriculum valued at $7,500 (CAD) each year. Queen’s Mitacs representatives provide submission assistance and application feedback. Mitacs Accelerate Internships connect companies with over 50 research-based universities through graduate and postdoctoral fellows who apply their specialized expertise to business research challenges.

Name of Fellowship/Award

Name of Funding Agency

Action Canada Fellowship

Action Canada

Various Fellowships and Awards for Canadian scholars

Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program

Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program

Government of Canada

Canadian Studies Postdoctoral Fellowships

International Council for Canadian Studies (ICCS)

Grants & Awards

Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute

Research Awards

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario

Awards

Ontario Centre of Innovation

Fellowships

Smithsonian Institution

Grants & Awards

Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Fellowships & Grants

Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars

Scholarships

Fondation Armand-Frappier

Fellowships & Opportunities

Social Science Research Council (US)

Fellowships

International Union Against Cancer

Research Funding

Parkinson Society Canada

Gilbert F. White Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Resources for the Future (RFF)

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Awards

International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

James M. Flaherty Program

Ireland Canada University Foundation

Awards

Ontario Council on Graduate Studies

Fellowships

Institute for Work & Health

National Fellowship Program

Sigma Delta Epsilon/ Graduate Women in Science

Awards & Grants

Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FQRNT)

Research Funding Opportunities

Canadian Blood Services

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)

NCE Programs

Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada

Research Associate Program

National Research Council of Canada

Research Grants

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

Research Grants & Fellowships

Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation

Residential Grants & Fellowships

Getty Grant Program

Science Policy Fellowship Program

Health Canada

Sloan Research Fellowship

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Awards & Grants

The Davies Charitable Foundation

Awards & Scholarships

International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications

Grants

William T. Grant Foundation