Postdoctoral Fellowships: Guidelines for Awarding and other important information

Definition
Educational requirements
Appointment time lines (start and end)
Salary
Tri-council Us of Grant Funds 
Steps to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) 
Steps to reappoint a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF)
Steps to appoint an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow (APDF)
Steps to reappoint an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow (APDF)
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)


It is the responsibility of holders of grants and contracts to ensure consistency with the granting agency regulations.

A Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) designation is for a limited period of time and is designed to further the knowledge of fellows in advanced study or research through collaboration with faculty.  A Postdoctoral Fellow is directly responsible to a faculty member.

Definition
A Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) is a scholar with a doctoral degree who

  1. Has been awarded, in competition, support in the form of a fellowship, that will be paid to the University or
  2. Has been supported on a research grant.

Educational requirements
Must have completed one of the following:

(i) Phd (or equivalent degree such as D.Sc., D. Phil., D. Eng.) (will accept signed letter from the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, stating all PhD requirements have been met)

The following requirements do not pertain to foreign nationals, who must have a PhD to get a postdoc work permit.

(ii) M.D.
(iii) D.M.D.
(iv) Other heath professional degree

Appointment time lines (start and end)
Appointments are full-time, only exception is a foreign PDF who has parental obligations and whose spouse is a student.

PhD (or equivalent e.g. D.Sc., D.Phil., D.Eng.) appointment specifics

Should not be initiated more than five years from the PhD (or equivalent) degree (except if there is evidence of career disruption (e.g. medical necessity or parental responsibilities)

And

Should not continue beyond three years from date of initial award-PDFs appointed to same supervisor and/or unit beyond three years MUST

a. send progress report (one-page) to Office of the Vice-President (Research)
b. include: why training at same site is beneficial
c. report should be signed by the PDF, supervisor, and unit head

NOTE: ALL must be terminated by the six year anniversary date of the award of the PhD.

NOTE: these time frames do not apply to a PDF being paid by an external agency (i.e. money is not going through the University).

M.D or D.M.D or other health professional appointment specifics

May be appointed during the first four years of research training from the M.D. or D.M.D. degree,

And

Should not continue beyond ten years from date of degree

Note: Foreign nationals are not eligible for this category as they are unable to receive a work permit to be a postdoc without a PhD.

Salary

  1. All PDFs must be paid a minimum of $25,000/annum.  See below for specific agency information
  2. Except in exceptional circumstances, fellows are funded from sources other than The University of Manitoba operating budget

Tri-council Use of Grant Funds link 

http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Professors-Professeurs/FinancialAdminGuide-GuideAdminFinancier/FundsUse-UtilisationSubventions_eng.asp

Steps to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF)
All Postdoctoral fellows MUST be appointed through the University of Manitoba.

  1. Review credentials of PDF

    a. Has a PhD, if not, require letter from Dean of Graduate Studies
    b. PhD awarded within appropriate time frames(should not be initiated more than five years from the PhD (or equivalent) degree (except if there is evidence of career disruption (e.g. medical necessity or parental responsibilities).

    AND

    Should not continue beyond three years from date of initial award. (PDFs appointed to same supervisor and/or unit beyond three years MUST
    • Send progress report (one page) to Office of the Vice-President (Research and International);
    • Include: why training at same site is beneficial;
    • Report should be signed by the PDF, supervisor, and unit head.

    NOTE: ALL must be terminated by the six year anniversary date of the award of the PhD.
  2. Prepare a letter of offer. (Sample #IV.2 )
  3. Send letter of offer for signatures
    1. Grantee
    2. Department heard
    3. Postdoctoral Fellow
  4. Complete an Academic Appointment form (Academic Appointment Form/notes)
    1. Have copy of work permit (if foreign citizenship) (*see below for work permit process information)
    2. Copy of social insurance number (required for all paid through the University of Manitoba)
    3. Letter from Dean of Graduate Studies if PhD requirements are met but candidate has not convocated
    4. Copy of signed letter of offer
      Send all of these documents to Human Resources, 309 Administration Building.
    5. Review pay authorizations to ensure PDF is paid

*Work Permit Process

If a PDF is a foreign national, they will require a work permit.  PDFs are LMIA exempted.  To apply for a work permit, the PDF will require an LMIA exemption number.  The process obtain the number is:

  • Faculty supervisor/host completes the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment form (FVCA - formerly known as the CIC form) You can find the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment here: FVCA (pdf)
  • Send the FVCA document and letter of offer to Nancy.Schneider@umanitoba.ca;
  • Information will be processed and the LMIA exemption number will be provided to you;
  • Provide the PDF with this number to be used to apply for the work permit.

Steps to reappoint a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF)
Should be done prior to the expiration of the original appointment

NOTE: appointment should not continue beyond three years from date of initial award-PDFs appointed to same supervisor and/or unit. If beyond three years MUST:

a. send progress report (one-page) to Office of the Vice-President (Research)
b. include: why training at same site is beneficial
c. report should be signed by the PDF, supervisor, and unit head
d. must be terminated by the six year anniversary date of the award of the PhD

Process to re-new is identical to the original appointment.  Pay special attention to:

  • the date PhD was obtained to ensure within the six years;
  • start date is day following previous appointment;
  • if a new work permit is required.

If a new work permit is required, follow the same steps as before.  Please note:

  • Extensions of work permits should be applied for at least 30 days in advance of the work permit end date;
  • When completing the FVCA document the start date of the appointment should be the day after the end date on the work permit i.e. there should not be a gap (and the start date should match the letter of offer).

Steps to appoint an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow (APDF)
All APDFs are recorded in VIP, to receive an employee number (though not employees) in order to access libraries.  They will require a sponsored computer account as they will not receive one (not an employee).

  1. Send the APDF a NIL PIF form to complete – let them know the letter of invite will be forwarded to them after receipt of the PIF. http://umanitoba.ca/admin/human_resources/service_centre/media/PIF.pdf for the NIL PIF
  2. Complete Academic appointment form http://umanitoba.ca/admin/human_resources/service_centre/forms/index.html top left box has link to form
  3. Send to Nancy.Schneider@umanitoba.ca. the following documents:
    1. Completed NIL PIF
    2. Completed academic appointment form
    3. Funding information – a letter/award document that outlines who is paying the APDF, the amount, and the dates funding is being provided.
  4. Nancy will create and send a letter of invite to the APDF, along with a liability waiver.
  5. APDF returns completed waiver to Nancy
  6. Nancy  forwards to HR (as well as administrator) the following documents (generally after the APDF has arrived in Canada and has received their work permit):
    1. NIL PIF
    2. Academic appointment form
    3. Waiver
    4. Work permit (if required see below for process to obtain)

*Work Permit Process Should be started a minimum of three (3) months in advance due to biometrics and processing time.

If an APDF is a foreign national, they will require a work permit.  APDFs are LMIA exempted.  To apply for a work permit, the APDF will require an LMIA exemption number.  The process obtain the number is:

  • Faculty supervisor/host completes the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment form (FVCA - formerly known as the CIC form) You can find the Foreign Visitor Category Assessment here: FVCA  (pdf)
  • Send the FVCA document to Nancy.Schneider@umanitoba.ca;
  • Information will be processed and the LMIA exemption number will be provided to you;
  • Provide the PDF with this number to be used to apply for the work permit.

Steps to reappoint an Associate Postdoctoral Fellow (APDF)
Should be done prior to the expiration of the original appointment
Process to re-new is identical to the original appointment.  Pay special attention to:

  • if a new work permit is required;
  • start date is day following previous appointment;

If a new work permit is required, follow the same steps as before.  Please note:

  • Extensions of work permits should be applied for at least 30 days in advance of the work permit end date;
  • When completing the FVCA document the start date of the appointment should be the day after the end date on the work permit i.e. there should not be a gap (and the start date should match the letter of offer).

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. Are all PDFs eligible for insurance?
    No, an appointment must be at least 12 months (continuous) in length in order to be eligible for health benefits (University and Provincial).  If less than 12 months continuous, the PDF must purchase their own insurance.  Please note APDFs are NOT eligible for insurance as they are not employees.
  2. What if the appointment was for a year but the PDF arrived late and wasn’t given a work permit for a year?
    The PDF will need to start the work permit process all over again.  There will need to be a new Letter of Offer and FVCA form. The start date of the new offer letter and on the FVCA form will have to be set at a future date with the end date required.  Provide the new LMIA exemption number and the Employer Compliance Fee receipt to the PDF who will need to apply online to extend the work permit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/permit/temporary/extend.html. Until the new permit is received, the PDF will not have health insurance
  3. Where can I find more information about immigration?
    http://umanitoba.ca/admin/human_resources/immigration/immigration.htm
  4. Do I have to appoint a PDF/APDF for a year at a time?
    No, a PDF can be appointed for any length of time – up to a maximum of three years (to extend beyond three years you need to send a progress report and request to VP (Research) (following funding agency guidelines). 
  5. Can the PDF work part-time?
    No, PDF/APDF positions are full-time.
  6. The PDF is being paid directly by an external agency, is that ok?
    No.  If a PDF is paid directly, they would be considered an Associate PostDoc.  Please review the section on Associate postdocs.
  7. Can I do an extension if there is only a short break in between appointments? i.e. a couple of days
    No.  If there is a break of any kind between appointments, you complete the appointment as if it was a new assistance.  Please be aware any break can cause issues with work permits.
  8. The work permit has an earlier end date than the appointment.  What do we do?
    The start and end dates on work permits must fall between the start and end dates on the appointment form.  Legally, a person cannot be appointed as a PDF/APDF prior to the date on their work permit.  If the work permit ends earlier than the appointment date in the letter of offer, the appointment paperwork MUST match the work permit.  The PDF/APDF can always apply for another work permit.  To do so, the PDF/APDF will require a new letter of offer for the new end date.