From graduate student to independent researcher
Transitioning to postdoctoral studies may be your next step forward!
Who are Postdoctoral Fellows?
Postdocs must have recently (normally within five years) been awarded a PhD or equivalent degree. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will be an essential member of the University and its partner institutions by working with faculty, conducting research, and engaging with graduate students.
Getting a Postdoctoral Fellowship at U of T
Prospective postdocs are encouraged to identify and contact faculty members who have similar research interests to discuss the possibility of becoming a postdoc with a particular faculty member’s research team.
The maximum initial term of engagement is three years. In special circumstances, a further extension of up to three years is permitted with decanal approval in multi-department faculties, and provostial approval in single-department faculties. The engagement will expire, without any further payment obligations by the University, on the date specified in the letter of engagement.
Prospective postdocs arrange their engagements directly with a faculty supervisor and not through a central U of T office. Postdocs can be based at a University unit or at an affiliated hospital.
Occasionally both University units and affiliated hospitals employ a variety of recruitment techniques including: advertisements in local or national publications, offers on a unit website or a faculty member’s web page, and the recommendations of colleagues.
How to Search for a Faculty Member with Similar Research Interests
1. Prepare a research proposal.
2. Contact a faculty member directly with your proposal. You can find a faculty member that shares your research interests by consulting the websites below.
Graduate unit (departments, centres, and institutes) websites will have a list of graduate faculty members and their area of interest. See the listing of U of T graduate units. See also departments in the Faculty of Medicine.
3. Be prepared to be interviewed. Faculty supervisors are encouraged to interview and review the skills of prospective postdocs prior to engaging them in postdoctoral activities. Postdocs and their faculty supervisors must ensure that professional growth and career advancement are achieved during your time at U of T. Faculty members are looking to select postdocs who will contribute to their research teams and, in turn, provide the resources needed for postdocs to contribute to their field of interest through publications, professional presentations, and teaching/mentoring the activities of junior researchers.
4. Secure at least $36,061.00 per year. You can secure funding from external granting agencies (government, health organization, etc.) or fellowship programs or you may be offered funding from your faculty supervisor’s grant or research resources, in the form of a stipend. Possible sources for securing your own funding are listed in the postdoctoral funding section of the Awards & Financial Assistance table. You cannot be a postdoc at U of T on your own personal funds.
Getting a Postdoctoral Fellowship Outside U of T
The following teaching hospitals and other organizations may have opportunities for postdoctoral fellowships if you’re looking to train at these places. There are also some helpful job search sites below.
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
The Hospital for Sick Children
Mount Sinai Hospital
St. Michael’s Hospital
Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
University Health Network
Women’s College Hospital
Associations, Societies, Councils, & Institutes
Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP)
Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) Previously CHSRF
Canadian Hemophelia Society (CHS)
Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
Canadian Arthritis Foundation (CAF)
Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (Heart & Stroke)
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowships in the Humanities and Related Social Sciences (Mellon Foundation)
Council of Ontario Universities (COU)
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada (MS Society)
Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA)
Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA)
Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)
Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP)
Postdoctoral and Academic Job Search Websites
Post-Docs – searchable database of posting listings
Science – search under “science careers” to access postdoctoral positions in the sciences
The Scientist – lists postdoctoral positions in the sciences
Townsend Centre for Humanities – UC Berkeley maintains this site with links to postdocs in the humanities
UC Berkeley – Social Sciences
UC Berkeley – Biological Sciences
Academic Jobs (Wiki) – Humanities and Social Sciences postdoc opportunities
In person: SGS Postdoctoral Office, 63 St. George Street, Room 201