Policy on Postdoctoral Appointments

Saint Paul University (SPU) believes that postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) should be an integral part of the University community and contribute to its mission. It therefore wishes to offer postdoctoral fellows official status, enhance the value of their experiences, and offer services that meet their needs. The University expects in return that postdoctoral fellows will comply with University policies and will recognize their affiliation with the University in their publications and in their participation in scholarly meetings and other activities.

Basic rules

Sources of funding

Roles and responsibilities of research supervisors

Research supervisors are responsible for:

Roles and responsibilities of postdoctoral fellows

PDFs are responsible for:

Individual Development Plan



Steps to becoming a postdoctoral fellow at Saint Paul University

Find a research supervisor

To initiate the process for a postdoctoral appointment, you must contact a professor in your area of interest to inquire about postdoctoral opportunities and the possibility of supervising your research.

To identify potential research supervisors whose research activities may be of interest to you:

In most cases, postdoctoral fellowships are funded directly by the research supervisor from the supervisor’s research funds. You may also consult the list of postdoctoral fellowships from external agencies. There is a minimum level of funding required for postdoctoral appointments.

Once you and a research supervisor have reached an agreement, your supervisor will send you a formal letter of offer outlining the nature of the planned research, confirming the nature and conditions of financial support (stipend, fellowship), and providing other relevant details.

For all postdoctoral fellows

Complete a Postdoctoral Registration form and have your research supervisor and the director of the department, or equivalent, sign the form.

Visit the Registrar’s Services office to complete the admission and registration process. Bring the following documents with you:

If all your documents are in order, the Registrar’s Services will formalize your admission and provide you with an identification card. You must register for each academic session for the duration of your appointment.

For postdoctoral fellows who do not have Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status

You must complete all immigration procedures before traveling to Canada. If your immigration paperwork is not in order when you arrive, you will have problems entering the country and could even be turned away, in which case you will not be allowed to undertake your postdoctoral training at Saint Paul University. 

It is important that your immigration status remain valid for the duration of your stay. If your permits expire before the end of your study period or internship, you must renew them. You may apply for an extension while you are in Canada as long as you submit the application before your current permits expire.

Prior to your departure, submit the letter of offer from your research supervisor or the agency funding your postdoctoral fellowship to Canadian authorities, who will then issue a work permit reflecting your status as a postdoctoral fellow. You can apply for a work permit online through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/work.asp.

Once you have arrived in Canada, apply for a social insurance number (SIN) at Service Canada, located at 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario.

You must also register for the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) unless you provide proof of health insurance coverage that has been recognized as comparable through the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities UHIP program (www.uhip.ca).

Renewal of appointment

If you are eligible to renew your postdoctoral registration, and if your research supervisor agrees, please send a duly completed Postdoctoral Registration form and a copy of the letter from your sponsoring agency to the Office of Research and Ethics.

End of final appointment

With the approval of your research supervisor, you can obtain a Postdoctoral Fellowship Testimonial confirming that you have successfully completed your postdoctoral appointment at Saint Paul University.