In January, the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) sent a letter to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requesting resolution of the status of academic postdoctoral fellows with respect to income tax. The CRA responded to the letter on May 3, 2010.
Financial Support for Postdoctoral Research Fellows
This policy applies to Postdoctoral Research Fellows whose primary appointment is in the Research Division at Baycrest. It does not apply Clinical Fellows who may have a secondary cross-appointment in Research.
Postdoctoral Research Fellowships
- PhDs will be compensated in accordance with current Baycrest scales for Postdoctoral Research Fellows, and will also be allowed up to $1,500 annually for conference travel and/or research-related expenses.
- MDs whose fellowships do not include clinical practice will be compensated at the same level as PhDs.
- MDs whose fellowships do include clinical practice will be compensated in accordance with current CIHR rates, and will also be allowed up to $1,500 annually for conference travel and/or research-related expenses.
- PhDs or MDs with their own external funding who have been reviewed and approved as eligible for Baycrest-funded positions will, if their external funding is less than Baycrest rates, be eligible for top-up funds to bring their funding to the level of Baycrest-funded positions, and will also be allowed up to $1,500 annually for conference travel and/or research-related expense
A postdoctoral fellowship provides an important stage in the transition from graduate student to independent scholar. Postdoctoral fellows (PDF) are, in essence, trainees who will pursue their research training in an environment that will afford them the opportunity to develop as independent scholars. They are not employees. In light of the transitional nature of their status, postdoctoral fellowships are time-limited and are not ongoing.
Criteria for Fellowship
- Ph.D. or equivalent recently awarded (normally within 5 years)
- The engagement is temporary
- The engagement involves participating in research on a full-time basis
- The engagement is preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career
- The PDF selection should be done by a process set up by the research unit
- The productivity of the postdoctoral fellow must be evaluated annually
The postdoctoral fellow is not registered in another training program (e.g. clinical post-graduate training)
Term of the Fellowship
1. The term of engagement is usually a minimum of two years. The maximum term is five years.
- Extension of the fellowship beyond two years is applicable only for PDFs who have their own funding or are funded by a scientist’s grant.
- If the PDF position is linked to a Chair position, the extension can be Baycrest funded, if no external funds are available.
- The Director of the research unit of which the Postdoctoral Fellowship is a part must approve the use of Baycrest funds in cases such as these.
2. To extend the term of engagement, application must be made in writing, no earlier than six months and no later than three months prior to the end of his/her final year, to the Education Committee of the research unit and copied to the Director of Research Operations.
- The request for an extension must be co-signed by the Scientist who will supervise the PDF.
- The application for the extension must include the following (a copy will be kept on file in the office of the Director of Research Operations):
1. Accomplishments thus far – completed, current and planned studies;
2. Outcome of completed studies and any analysis underway;
3. The funding source of the extension;
4. Publications in print, in press, under review, planned;
5. Recent reprints;
6. An outline of his/her plans to enter into the job market as of the final year.
7. Any other documentation that would be helpful to the Education Committee in making its decision;
8. Once the Education Committee has reviewed the request, the decision will be reviewed and endorsed by the Scientists.
- The final decision will be communicated in writing to the supervising scientist, the PDF and the Director of Research Operations. A copy of the decision will be kept on file in the office of the Director of Research Operations.
3. At the end of the two years (or longer with an approved application for extension) the engagement shall expire, without any further payment obligations by Baycrest, on the date specified in the letter of engagement.
4. The engagement may be terminated at any time by Baycrest for a material failure to meet the specified standards as evaluated by the review process of the research group.
- The post-doctoral fellow is not entitled to any further payments beyond those earned up to the date of the termination of the engagement.
5. Early termination of the engagement may also occur if either party provides two months’ notice in writing to the other party, and in accordance with Baycrest’s Human Resources policies and procedures.
- Baycrest may provide a payment in lieu of notice equivalent to the stipend that would have been earned over the course of the two months.
Conditions for offering a Fellowship
1. The prospective fellow will have a Ph.D. or M.D with an advanced research degree in relevant field to that of the one of scientists within the Rotman Research Institute or the Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied & Evaluative Research Unit.
- The prospective fellow must provide written confirmation, either the diploma or an official letter from the University indicating successful defence of his/her dissertation, or research degree.
2. All fellowship applications must be submitted to the Chair of the Education Committee for the research unit, either directly by the candidate or by the scientist with whom the candidate may work.
3. The Education Committee of the appropriate research unit will review the applications.
- In the RRI, the Education Committee makes the decision to offer the position
- in KLARU, this is done by a consensus of the KLARU scientists.
4. If a fellowship is to be offered, the application will be forwarded to the Director, Research Operations for the Memorandum of Engagement to be initiated.
5. The postdoctoral fellow will work with one or more Senior Scientists or Scientists with the focus of research within the research areas of the supervisor(s)
6. Within one month of the start date of the fellowship, the Scientist and the PDF will be required to delineate the expectations of the fellowship in writing.
- The Supervisor(s) will record what he/she will provide in terms of academic development, guidance and feedback
- The PDF will record his/her expectations for the fellowship
- A copy will be included in the PDF’s file in the office of the Director, Research Operations.
Conduct of the Post-Doctoral Fellows
1. The conduct of PDF is to be governed by the appropriate policies and procedures of Baycrest and the Research Division.
2. In the event of a dispute with Baycrest employees, whether the supervisor or others, PDFs have access to a dispute resolution procedure as follows.In the first instance, the Director of the RRI or KLARU should meet with the PDF and the supervisor on an informal basis to endeavour to resolve the dispute.
a.In the first instance, the Director of the RRI or KLARU should meet with the PDF and the supervisor on an informal basis to endeavour to resolve the dispute.
- A note to the file of the PDF should be made within five business days of the meeting.
b. If unresolved, the dispute can be submitted by either party in writing to the Vice-President, Research.
c. If either party is not satisfied with the response, the parties shall arrange mediation by a senior member of Human Resources through the offices of the Director of Research Operations.
d. If mediation is not successful, there is no appeal or other further step in the dispute resolution process, and Baycrest’s decision at that point stands.