PDF RESOURCE GUIDE
A Guide for Postdoctoral Fellows, the handbook for UBC PDFs, provides basic information and advice for prospective and current PDFs. It should facilitate your transition to UBC, and help to ensure that you have a satisfying and rewarding experience.
Download A Guide for Postdoctoral Fellows
Much of the information in this handbook is from the Faculty Relations website and in the Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) website. Please check these websites for more detailed information and to check for current language and developments. UBC operates according to policies, practices and procedures that may change from time to time. Contained herein are policies and resources pertinent to PDFs. PDFs may also be subject to additional policies that are specific to their departments or funding agencies. The official University of British Columbia Postdoctoral Policy, contained in Policy AP10, can be found within the list of policies on the University Counsel website.
Last Updated January 2020
POSTDOC PROFILES & DIRECTORY
Please ensure that you complete a Postdoc profile to describe your research project and expertise.Various offices and external entities may use the expertise search to identify experts at UBC, for example - media inquiries, research collaborators, prospective employers, government offices or other similar stakeholders. We strongly believe that these Postdoctoral profiles will provide numerous benefits to all of our UBC Postdoctoral Fellows. Additionally, your profile will appear in an internal Postdoc directory.
ARTICLES OF INTEREST
- How to Find the Right Place for your Ph.D or Postdoc (Elisabeth Pain, Science Magazine, September 10, 2018)
- Coming to the US for a postdoc? – If I had known, part II (Elena Blanco-Suárez, Naturejobs, March 6, 2018)
- Do You Need a Postdoc? (Stephanie K. Eberle, Carpe Careers, Inside Higher Ed, September 10, 2018)
- Resources for finding a postoc abroad (The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, July 13, 2018)
Professional and Career Development
- A Portable Career Coach (Hanaa Hairi, The POSTDOCket, National Postdoctoral Association, Vol. 16, Issue No. 1, January 2018)
- Standing at the Crossroads: When PhDs Abandon the Tenure Track Faculty Career Path (Dara Wilson-Grant, The POSTDOCket, National Postdoctoral Association, Vol. 16, Issue No. 1, January 2018)
- The Academic Job Interview: Three Do's and Don'ts When Preparing for a Teaching Demonstration (Barbi Honeycutt, The POSTDOCket, National Postdoctoral Association, Issue No. 17, Vol. 6, June 2019)
- Visualizing detailed postdoctoral employment trends using a new career outcome taxonomy (Hong Xu, Richard S T Gilliam, Shyamal D Peddada, Gregory M Buchold & Tammy R L Collins, Nature Biotechnology, January 15, 2018)
CURRENT POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS
Postdoctoral Fellows may be eligible for health benefits, which include BC Medical Services Plan, Extended Health, Dental and the Employee and Family Assistance Program. If you have any questions about your benefits eligibility or your enrollment, please contact your department administrator.
Information about Benefits, including eligibility and coverage, is available on the UBC Human Resources website.
Housing & Relocation Services helps with the smooth transition of new faculty, postdocs, staff and their families who are relocating to UBC. The office is an excellent first point of contact for those moving or who have recently moved, providing resources, support and events to help situate you in your new surroundings. Please contact the Housing & Relocation Services office for assistance with your relocation.
The Postdoctoral Fellows Office offers free professional development events that are available to all UBC-appointed Postdoctoral Fellows. Any questions about PDFO events can be directed to email@example.com.
In addition to the PDFO's professional development events, UBC-appointed postdoctoral fellows may also be eligible to access the following professional development resources:
- Free, high-quality digital tutorials and courses through LyndaCampus. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information about LyndaCampus.
- Individual coaching through the Coaching @ UBC Program. Please contact email@example.com for information about the Coaching @ UBC Program.
- Workshops and programs on a variety of topics, such as increasing research productivity, dissertation success, and maintaining work-life balance, as well as networking opportunities, through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD). To create an account:
- Visit UBC’s page at www.facultydiversity.org/institutions/ubc.
- Click “Activate my Membership”. Please note you will need an email address ending in “ubc.ca”.
- Create a profile.
- You should then be able to sign-in anytime to access the programs.
- If you have any problems creating your profile or accessing the site, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to the professional development opportunities offered through UBC, the following free Individual Development Plan (IDP) tools may be of interest:
ADMINISTRATORS & SUPERVISORS
Information about recruiting Postdoctoral Fellows can be found on the Faculty Relations website.
Each department/unit is responsible for covering the cost of benefits for eligible Postdoctoral Fellows. Generally, benefits are paid out of the Supervisor/PI's project grant. The Benefits Cost Calculator provided by Payroll can assist you in estimating the cost of a Postdoctoral Fellow's benefits and statutory deductions.
Detailed information about benefits for eligible Postdoctoral Fellows can be found on the Faculty Relations website.
Detailed information about the immigration process for foreign Postdoctoral Fellows is available on the Faculty Relations website.
All Postdoctoral Fellows must hold a formal appointment at UBC. The appointment process is followed regardless of funding source. Initial PDF appointments are typically made one year at a time, and are renewable up to 3 years (appointments may be renewable up to 5 years in total with the Dean’s written approval).
Appointments are done at the departmental level, and information about the appointment process and requirements is available on the Faculty Relations website.
Offer letters are required for Postdoctoral Fellows. The following offer letter templates are available:
- Postdoctoral Fellows - Regular Earnings (REG) (.doc)
- Postdoctoral Fellows - Fellowship Earnings (PFL, formerly FEL) (.doc)
- Honorary Postdoctoral Fellows (including NUF/Non-University Fund Earnings) (.doc)
- Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows (.doc)
In addition to the offer letter required by Faculty Relations, the PDFO requests that all units provide each incoming postdoc with a copy of the Welcome Letter provided by the PDFO. This Welcome Letter includes important information about Benefits, Housing and Relocation, Faculty Relations, and Orientation for new postdocs, as well as information about the PDFO and the UBC Postdoctoral Association.
- PDFO Welcome Letter (.docx)
Please contact the PDFO with any questions about the Welcome Letter.
The PDFO and Faculty Relations offer a joint annual workshop for Administrators. The workshop will cover a variety of topics related to postdocs which will include: the appointment process, benefits, immigration, onboarding and resources.
Conflict Resolution and PDF Coordinators
UBC’s official process for resolution of disagreements is found in Policy AP10.
Open and frequent communication between you and your supervising faculty member is the best way to avoid conflict. To resolve a disagreement between you and your supervising faculty member is to recognize it when it first arises, and collaborate immediately on finding a solution. If unresolved, disagreements should be brought to the attention of the head of your academic unit.
If further resolution is needed, contact your Faculty’s PDF Coordinator, who will act as an impartial facilitator. PDF Coordinators for each Faculty are as follows:
- Allard School of Law: Dr. Karin Mickelson
- Applied Science: Dr. Walter Mérida
- Arts: Dr. Brett Eaton
- Dentistry: Please contact Ingrid Ellis.
- Education: Dr. Patricia Duff
- Forestry: Dr. Chris Chanway
- Land and Food Systems: Dr. Sean Smukler
- Medicine: Dr. Michael Hunt
- Pharmaceutical Sciences: Dr. Thomas Chang
- Sauder School of Business: Dr. John Ries
- Science: Dr. Mark MacLachlan
Faculty PDF Coordinators or Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC Vancouver may refer an issue to the Postdoctoral Fellows Office.
- For assistance with the appointment process, please contact Faculty Relations.
- For assistance with Benefits, please contact Human Resources.
- For assistance with Payroll, please contact the appropriate Faculty Payroll Representative.
- For assistance with immigration-related issues, please contact Housing and Relocation Services.
- For assistance with your particular appointment, please contact your department administrator.
- For information about the UBC Postdoctoral Association, please contact the UBC PDA.
- For all other enquiries, please contact us at email@example.com.