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Archived in January 2013 Schedule 7: Statement of Principles: Postdoctoral Fellows

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1. Objective

This Statement of Principles encourages universities and other research institutions to offer the best possible working environment to their postdoctoral fellows in recognition of the importance of this phase of their research training and career development. The Statement also suggests that, where they do not already exist, universities establish procedures to ensure that postdoctoral fellows are fully integrated into the university environment and recognized in university policies or procedures.

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Responsibilities of the Institution


The Institution is encouraged to:

  1. adopt a policy or guidelines regarding postdoctoral fellows that recognizes and accords value to the contributions these individuals make to the research enterprise; and
  2. circulate this policy widely to faculty and fellows.

2.2 Responsibility of the Agencies


The responsibilities of each Agency are to:

  1. review postdoctoral fellowship applications in a timely manner;
  2. inform the Institution of awards to postdoctoral fellows tenable at the Institution;
  3. provide explicit information to Institutions and to postdoctoral fellows regarding Agency policies and guidelines that affect postdoctoral fellows – these would refer primarily to fellows holding an award from the Agency, but may be applicable or relevant to other fellows; and
  4. establish policies for postdoctoral fellowship programs and postdoctoral fellows paid out of Agency grants.

3. Examples of Good Practices

  1. defining what constitutes a postdoctoral appointment, including such criteria as duration of appointment and length of time since completion of the PhD;
  2. explicitly including postdoctoral fellows in Institutional policies;
  3. identifying an office that is responsible for providing postdoctoral fellows with information on Institutional policies and procedures;
  4. providing written letters of appointment (or invitation) to all postdoctoral fellows that include information on the duration of the appointment, the amount and nature of the compensation, any benefits offered, and information on the rights and responsibilities of postdoctoral fellows (or a copy of the institution's policy on postdoctoral fellows); and
  5. providing orientation material that includes a registration form for postdoctoral fellows and general information on the institution. The information provided on the registration form would allow the fellow to be entered into the Institution's central register and be issued with an identity card (for library access, etc.).

This Schedule forms part of, and complements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution and the Agency/Agencies published at: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Policies-Politiques/MOURoles-ProtocolRoles/index_eng.asp

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