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 June 2021
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 LinkedIn Learning. Please contact email@example.com for information about LinkedIn Learning at UBC.
- Individual coaching through the Coaching @ UBC Program. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
In addition to the professional development opportunities offered through UBC, the following free Individual Development Plan (IDP) tools may be of interest:
HEALTH AND WELLBEING RESOURCES
There are a number of free health, mental health, and wellbeing resources available to Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC.
Internal UBC Resources:
Mental health resources are available for currently-appointed UBC Postdoctoral Fellows through the Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP). This confidential and voluntary counselling support service, provided through Morneau Shepell, is available in multiple languages and formats, and counsellors can help with a range of issues including stress, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues. The Morneau Shepell Care Access Centre is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-387-4765 or through workhealthlife.com.
For people who struggle with substance use and addictions, it can sometimes be difficult to seek out help and support. If you are looking for help, or you want to support someone you know in finding assistance, the following resources are available.
Resilient Living™ Recovery
UBC HR has partnered with Boreal Wellness Centres Inc. to offer Resilient Living™ Recovery, anon-12 step, mindfulness-based addiction treatment program to help reduce or stop problematic substance use. The program is available to staff, faculty, and their dependents, who are experiencing mild to moderate problematic substance use. Resilient Living™ Recovery uses a values-based approach that consists of motivational interviewing and developing a resilient living plan. Participants will learn about healthier coping strategies, managing relapse triggers, and increasing resiliency.
On-Demand Substance Use Support by ALAViDA TRAiL
The ALAViDA TRAiL is your one-stop-shop to a life where you’re in control of your relationship with substances - no matter if you're just curious, or facing mild, moderate or severe challenges. You can access ALAViDA directly from your smartphone. No awkward conversations, no shame and 100% confidential.
Learn through self-guided resources, or message and meet coaches, therapists and physicians who deliver a personalized program proven to reduce substance use. All supported by a wide range of digital resources – from journaling to activities that help you reach your goals. Along the way, master vital coping skills to manage depression, anxiety and difficult emotions.
The BC Crisis Centre provides confidential, non-judgmental, free emotional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Their Distress Services are a resource where youth and adults in distress can:
- GET HELP by having a real-time online chat with a trained volunteer, or by getting email support from the Crisis Centre’s professional staff
- LEARN MORE about common issues and concerns such as bullying, disordered eating, depression and self-harm
- FIND RESOURCES by connecting to our online library of useful websites and community resources
The Crisis Centre's Phone Distress Services are available if you are worried about something, feel upset or confused, or you just want to talk to someone. The phone lines below are available in over 140 languages using a language service.
- Greater Vancouver: 604-872-3311
- Toll Free: 1-866-661-3311
- 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
- TTY: 1-866-872-0113
- Senior’s Distress: 604-872-1234
- 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
CrisisCentreChat.ca is a web-based hotline for adults (25+) in distress where they can access free, confidential, non-judgmental support (noon – 1am, 7 days a week) from dedicated volunteers, supported by a small team of professional staff.
Crisis Services Canada provides a safe place to talk - any time, in your own way. If you are having thoughts of suicide, you don’t have to face them alone. This service is available if you need a safe and judgement free place to talk. Our responders are here to listen to you, support you, and keep you safe. Crisis Services Canada can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, and connect you with local support resources, but are ultimately here to listen and share this difficult moment with you.
- Phone: 1.833.456.4566 - available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
- Text Message: Send a text to 45645 - available 4:00 PM - 12:00 AM Eastern Time. Standard text messaging rates apply.
The Access & Assessment Centre (AAC) is available to help individuals, their family members, and/or their friends during a non-life threatening mental health and/or substance use issue. AAC staff includes registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, and social workers, psychiatrists and reception staff who are here to help. We provide pathways for people and families to access VCH mental health and/or substance use services in Vancouver and offer an alternative to the Emergency department for people having a non-life threatening mental health and/or substance use issue.
Call (604) 675-3700 or walk in between 7:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Joseph & Rosalie Segal & Family Health Centre
803 West 12th Avenue
Level 1 East Entrance
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1N1
Entrance located at the back of health centre building; access through laneway/service road.
Phone: (604) 675-3700
Fax: (604) 675-3705
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) offers a number of free online mental health support programs. These programs include:
- BounceBack: Offers weekly calls and homework with a personal coach to combat depression, anxiety, stress, and worry.
- Living Life to the Full: An interactive, 8-week online course based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy delivered in 90-minute sessions. Available for adults and for youth ages 13-18.
The CMHA is regularly adding support resources to their website. Please visit the CMHA website for more information and to access these supports.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.
Call the toll-free Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or use their chat box below to connect with a counsellor on-line
Experienced and culturally competent Help Line counsellors can help if you:
- want to talk
- are distressed
- have strong emotional reactions
- are triggered by painful memories
If asked, counsellors can also work with you to find other wellness supports that are available near you
Phone and chat counselling is available in English and French. On request, phone counselling is also available in:
HealthLink BC's health service navigators can help you find health information or health services, or connect you with a nurse, dietitian, exercise professional, or pharmacist. Translation services are available in over 130 languages. To get service in another language, simply state the language you are looking for (example say “Punjabi”), and an interpreter will join the call.
Call 8-1-1 to speak with a navigator anytime of the day or night. If your telephone service provider is not able to support the 8-1-1 number, the service can be accessed by calling 604-215-8110.
Medimap.ca is Canada's largest and fastest growing online resource for connecting patients with same-day access to care. Currently, over 900 medical clinics in 5 provinces update their wait times to Medimap.ca in order to improve access to care for their patients.
The following community resources are available to provide substance use and addiction support:
Wellness Together Canada provides connections to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counselling with a mental health professional. This hub allows you to choose from a variety of resources to motivate and support your wellness journey. Wellness Together Canada provides tailored support programs and general resources for adults and for youth.
Visit the Wellness Together website for additional information and supports.
ADMINISTRATORS & SUPERVISORS
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 Human Resources website.
Detailed information about the immigration process for foreign Postdoctoral Fellows is available on the Human Resources 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 Human Resources 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 (.PDF)
Please contact the PDFO with any questions about the Welcome Letter.
The PDFO and Faculty Relations offer a joint 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. Doug Harris
- Applied Science: Dr. Bhushan Gopaluni
- Arts: Dr. Brett Eaton
- Dentistry: Please contact Ingrid Ellis.
- Education: Dr. Patricia Duff
- Forestry: Dr. Emily Cranston
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.