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Postdoc Office FAQ

Submitted by pbhyde on Fri, 05/22/2015 - 3:52pm

Postdoc Office FAQ

Submitted by pbhyde on Fri, 05/22/2015 - 3:33pm

The Postdoc Office (PDO) provides resources and administrative support to both postdoctoral scholars and their supervisors for the duration of their appointment.

 The PDO provides support in the following areas:

  • Management of postdoctoral appointments
  • Postdoctoral fellowship competitions
  • Professional development resources
  • Communications to the postdocs at the University of Calgary

 If your question is not answered below, please contact the PDO at

Becoming a Postdoc

How do I become a postdoc at the University of Calgary?

First, you must determine if you are eligible to apply. Second, you must find a faculty member to be your supervisor, either by applying for an open position or by approaching a faculty member directly. Visit the How to Become a Postdoc page for more information.

Am I eligible to become a postdoc?

To be eligible as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five years immediately preceding the appointment or ten years from the completion of an MD, DDS, DVM or equivalent. Visit the Eligibility page for more information.  

Where do I find current postdoctoral scholar job postings?

Visit the Careers page for current job postings.  

Hiring a Postdoc

Submitted by pbhyde on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 8:50am

I'm a PI at the University of Calgary. How do I hire a postdoc?

Recruiting a postdoctoral scholar is the responsibility of the individual faculty member or research group. Before recruiting a postdoctoral fellow, the faculty member who will be providing the training needs to ensure that certain financial, resource, and eligibility requirements can be met. Visit the Recruiting a Postdoc page for more information. 

  • There is sufficient financial support available to fund the postdoctoral appointment. Financial support may include funding from the supervisor’s grant or research funds and/or from an external fellowship awarded to the postdoc.
  • Postdoctoral scholars at the University of Calgary must receive a minimum stipend of $40,000/year plus Plan C health benefits ( $1073.52/year for single coverage; $1748.88/year for family coverage – subject to any future changes).
  • There is appropriate research/office space and resources available for the postdoc to complete the required research and training.
  • The prospective candidate is eligible to be a postdoctoral scholar, as outlined in the University of Calgary Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment Guidelines.

Where can I find the forms required for hiring a postdoc?

All forms are available on the Forms page.

International Postdocs

Submitted by pbhyde on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 9:01am

I don't live in Canada. How do I secure a work permit?

Prospective postdocs who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must have a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) work permit to legally work in Canada. International postdocs are advised to apply for the CIC work permit in their country of residence PRIOR to coming to Calgary to begin their appointment. Visit the HR Immigration website for more information on the work permit application process. 

What documents do I need to have when I arrive in Canada?

When you enter Canada, explain to the immigration officer that you have come here to further your training. Be prepared to show the following documents to assist the immigration officer in issuing a temporary work permit:

  1. The letter of offer from the University of Calgary;
  2. Proof indicating that you meet the requirements of the job being offered (i.e., a copy of your PhD degree, up-to-date curriculum vitae, employment references outlining previous jobs (if applicable), etc.);
  3. Passport (for yourself and accompanying family members);
  4. Temporary Resident Visa (if applicable);
  5. Marriage certificate of Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union for accompanying spouse/common-law partner;
  6. Children’s birth certificates (if applicable).

Can my spouse come with me to Canada and work while we're here?

Spouses/partners of postdocs who want to work in Canada may apply for an “open” work permit. Your appointment must be for at least six months and your spouse/partner may apply either upon arrival to Canada (ie. at the port of entry) or after arrival with submission of the Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Worker. Your spouse/partner’s permit will be valid for the same duration as your work permit for your postdoctoral appointment. A processing fee of $100 will apply in addition to the work permit fee.

Can my children come with me and attend school while we’re here?

When entering Canada with an adult holding a valid work permit, school-aged or dependent children normally do not need a permit to study in Canada. Indicate on the work permit application that dependent children will be entering Canada with the applicant. Parents/guardians must provide the child’s birth certificate, citizenship card, health records, and passport when entering Canada. See the International Postdocs page for more information. 



Are there relocation funds available?

Relocation funds are not mandatory, but may be provided by the supervisor if the funds are available. You should negotiate relocation funding with your supervisor prior to signing your offer letter. 

How do I extend my work permit?

If your appointment is extended beyond the expiry date of your work permit, renewal of your work permit is required. You will need to apply to extend your work permit with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) at least two to three months prior to the expiry date of your work permit. If your work permit expires, you will not be paid and your Alberta Health Care will be discontinued. For more information visit the HR Immigration website's "After Arrival" section. 

Is there on-campus housing for postdocs?

Yes, there is on-campus housing available for postdocs. Crowsnest Hall is an adult residence building located on the Main Campus. For more information visit the Residence Services website (please note Residence Services classifies postdocs as a "Non-University of Calgary Student").

Do you offer any English language classes for international postdocs who want to improve their ESL?

English Second Language classes are offered through the Government sponsored programs free of charge for those who qualify:

  1. English testing and language information
  2. Calgary Public library, ESL conversation club, ESL writing club

The Continuing Education, University of Calgary  offers ESL classes at 25% discounted rates for postdocs. For additional information please click here

During Your Postdoc Appointment

Submitted by pbhyde on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 9:22am

What funding/fellowship opportunities are there?

Visit the Funding & Fellowships page for an up-to-date listing of opportunities.

Can I teach courses while I’m a postdoc?

Postdocs can teach one half course per term. The maximum load of teaching duties for postdocs is one half-course per term and arrangements must adhere to any granting agency restrictions on the amount of teaching permitted. The granting of teaching assignments is subject to Human Resources and Faculty Association of the University of Calgary (TUCFA) regulations. Any teaching assignment must be made as a separate appointment from the postdoctoral appointment.

What's covered under my health care benefits plan?

View Benefits at a Glance for more information. 

Is there travel funding available? How do I get it?

If you don't have research allowance funded through an external fellowship, please contact your supervisor or search COS Pivot

How do I get involved with the postdoc community on campus?

Become involved with the Postdoctoral Association of the University of Calgary (PDAC). Visit the PDAC website for more info. 

Am I eligible for discounted credit/continuing education courses?

No, postdoctoral scholars must pay full tuition for all credit and continuing education courses at this time. 

Can I audit courses?

Postdocs are eligible to audit without payment of fees, but must obtain a written permission from the instructor of the course on a "Permission to Audit" form, which you can get from Enrolment Services

I’m having issues with my paycheque and/or taxes. Who do I contact?

For all questions related to payroll and taxes please contact the Integrated Service Centre

Can I use the campus gym and recreation facilities?

Postdoctoral scholars must pay for access to the campus gym and recreation facilities. For more information on membership, visit the Active Living website. 

What campus resources am I eligible to use?

Postdocs have access to the campus Staff Wellness Centre, all campus libraries, and the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning. 

Is there an orientation for new hires?

Yes. Please contact the Postdoc Office for a list of dates and times. 

Can I hold a grant during my postdoc appointment?

Yes, if the funding agency requires that project is held in the grantee’s name only (not supervisor’s). Research services/Research accounting will coordinate with the Department/Faculty steps to grant a postdoc an adjunct appt. The period covered by the grant must be aligned with the postdoc appointment. Please contact the Postdoc Office for more information. 

What opportunities for professional development are there?

There are numerous workshops and resources available to help you acquire the skills necessary to advance your career. Visit the Professional Development page for more information. 

End of Your Appointment

Submitted by pbhyde on Mon, 05/25/2015 - 9:38am

My appointment ends soon. How do I get extended?

A postdoctoral appointment will automatically terminate on the end date in the offer letter. It is the responsibility of the postdoctoral scholar and supervisor to negotiate an extension. Visit the Extensions and Terminations page for detailed instructions. 

How do I resign from my appointment?

A letter of resignation is required by both your supervisor and the Postdoc Office. Please confirm the receipt of your resignation letter by both your supervisor and Postdoc Office if not delivering in person. 

What happens at the end of my appointment if I’m moving on?

 If an extension is not requested or approved, the appointment will automatically terminate on the end date. No online termination form is required, but an online termination checklist should be completed by the supervisor. Individual departments will have their own processes for ending appointments (eg. returning keys).