CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) and UBC’s response: please review the general information and FAQs and Postdoc-specific information.

Frequently-Asked Questions

The following are some of the most frequently-asked questions that our office receives from prospective and current postdocs, as well as administrators. Additional information can be found on the Resources page. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed below, please contact the PDFO at postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca.

PROSPECTIVE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS

Am I eligible for a Postdoctoral Fellowship at UBC?

Information about Postdoctoral Fellowship eligibility can be found in UBC Policy AP10, Postdoctoral Fellows, and in order to be eligible for a postdoc you generally must be within 5 years of being awarded your PhD or within 10 years of being awarded a M.D. or D.D.S. degree. 

How do I become a Postdoctoral Fellow at UBC?

There are several avenues available to assist you in finding and applying for Postdoctoral Fellowships, but there is no central application process at UBC. Applications are made directly to faculties/departments, and they will assist you with any appointment-related administration. Please check faculties/departments of interest to see if there are any PDF positions available – each department has a list of faculty members and their research topics:

You may also visit the Faculty Career Opportunities website and apply as indicated. 

Can I do a clinical fellowship, medical residency, or observership at UBC?

Clinical fellowships and medical residencies at UBC are overseen by the Faculty of Medicine. Please visit the Postgraduate Medical Education website for information about clinical fellowships, medical residencies, and observerships.

How do I find a supervisor?

In taking the first steps to embark on a Postdoctoral Fellowship application, it is critical to make contact with appropriate Faculty members at the University working in your field of research. Each department has a list of faculty members, their research topics, and their contact information:

You can also search research faculty members by keyword on the Career Opportunities section of our website. 

How do I find postdoctoral funding?

The following resources are a sample of some potential funding sources. This list is not inclusive of all available funding opportunities, but may serve as a starting point when searching for postdoctoral funding.

I am an international postdoc. Will I require a work permit?

Please refer to the Immigration page on the Central Human Resources website for information about the immigration process for Postdoctoral Fellows. 

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

What is a postdoc’s standard work week?

A PDF may not have a strictly defined work schedule and is dependent on the nature of research. Therefore, flexibility in hours and commitment may be required. The typical work week for Postdoctoral Fellows in all departments is forty (40) hours per week.

Do postdocs get vacation time?

Vacation eligibility depends on your appointment type. Please visit the Central Human Resources website for information about vacation time.

Can I get assistance in finding housing?

UBC Housing & Relocation Services helps with the smooth transition of new faculty, PDFs, 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.

Housing & Relocation Services is a friendly gathering place to access a central repository of information and support. The 'concierge-style' service can help newcomers settle quickly into their new home so they can get on with living. The office can offer assistance and support with a wide range of services to help you balance work and life.

Does UBC offer childcare?

Please note that the PDFO does not endorse or recommend any of the childcare resources included in this section. Information in this section is provided for informational purposes only, and may change without notice. Please contact the child care provider(s) directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information about their services, staff, and policies. 

There are a variety of child care options available in the Lower Mainland. Child care providers in British Columbia can be licensed, registered, or unlicensed. Please refer to the Government of British Columbia website for information about the different types of child care in BC.  

On-Campus Child Care

UBC Child Care Services offers child care for the children of postdocs, faculty, staff, and students at UBC at a variety of locations. There are limited spaces available in these facilities, and wait lists can be long. Please visit the UBC Child Care website for enrollment policies and priority groups. If interested in UBC Child Care, postdocs are encouraged to apply to the wait list as early as possible: https://childcare.ubc.ca/application/.

For postdocs living in the UBC neighbourhood and who are registered with the University Neighbourhood Association (UNA), child care is available through a partnership between UBC, the UNA, and the YMCA. Child care is offered at both the Wesbrook Child Care Centre, which offers 49 child care spaces for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children, and at the Vista Point YMCA Child Care Centre. For additional information and to apply, visit the UNA website: https://www.myuna.ca/childcare/.

Off-Campus Child Care

In addition to these on-campus child care resources, UBC has agreements with the following child care providers:

  • Developmental Disability Association (DDA): For families with children with developmental disabilities, UBC has an agreement that gives UBC postdocs, students, faculty, and staff priority access to four locations in Vancouver – including the Berwick Child Development Centre on the UBC Point Grey campus – and one location in Richmond. http://develop.bc.ca/for-families/children-and-youth/
  • Kids & Company: UBC has a corporate membership that allows postdocs, students, faculty, and staff access to both child care services and emergency childcare, with a guarantee of placement within six months at one of their facilities. If looking at specific facilities, time on the wait list will vary. https://kidsandcompany.com/

A list of external child care providers can be found through the Westcoast Child Care Research Centre: https://www.wstcoast.org/choosing-child-care/search. This list is external to UBC and is updated monthly. An additional child care resource is Nannies on Call (http://www.nanniesoncall.com), which offers in-home services throughout the Lower Mainland.

Who can I contact if I am having an issue with my Supervisor/PI or my work situation? 

UBC’s official process for resolution of disagreements is found in Policy AP10, Postdoctoral Fellows

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:

The Faculty PDF Coordinator or the PDF may refer an issue to either the Postdoctoral Fellows Office at UBC Vancouver or the Dean, College of Graduate Studies at UBC Okanagan, whose decision on an issue will be final.

I have a question/concern about my paycheque. Who should I contact?

If you have questions about or issues with your paycheque, please contact Payroll directly through the Integrated Service Centre (ISC). If you are experiencing delays with your pay, please contact your department’s Administrator or Human Resources Manager. If further assistance is needed, please contact the PDFO at postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca,

Are there any resources available to help postdocs file their taxes?

The PDFO offers a taxation workshop for postdocs titled "How to Keep Your Cash" each spring prior to the tax deadline. Information about all workshops is posted on the Professional Development section of the PDFO website, and is included in the weekly "News from the PDFO" emails.

Taxation resources, including volunteer tax preparation clinics, are available from the Canada Revenue Agency for those who meet their eligibility criteria.

Unfortunately, the PDFO is not able to answer tax-related enquiries.

Are there any resources available about citizenship and immigration policies and procedures?

Postdoctoral Fellows with questions related to immigration can contact a UBC Regulated Immigration Consultant at Housing and Relocation Services through their Consultation Request Form.

Immigration in Canada is overseen by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Information about how to contact IRCC is available at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/index.asp.

Are Postdoctoral Fellows eligible to teach at UBC?

Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC may not serve as the primary supervisor for undergraduate and/or graduate students, but may be involved in undergraduate and graduate lecturing, laboratory instruction, tutorials, and supervision of undergraduate projects, and assistance with the supervision of graduate students.

In some academic units, postdocs may be hired as both Postdoctoral Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows. Postdocs with a desire to participate in teaching should discuss these desires with their supervising faculty member and with the Department Head. In cases of teaching duties after a postdoc appointment, the postdoc will receive an additional appointment as a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow. In advance of making this type of appointment, postdocs and PI’s should be aware of any granting agency restrictions on the amount of teaching that can be assigned to the PDF.

Are Postdoctoral Fellows eligible to take courses for credit or for audit?

Generally, in order to enroll in UBC courses for credit or for audit, you will need to apply as an Unclassified (non-degree) Student.

For undergraduate (100- to 400-level) courses: Once you have applied and been admitted as an Unclassified student, you may be able to register in undergraduate-level courses, although some courses are restricted to students in particular years, programs, and/or specializations. Information about tuition fees for undergraduate non-degree courses can be found here.

For graduate (500- +) courses: In order to take graduate-level courses, you will need to apply and be admitted as an Unclassified Student. Once you have been admitted, there is a form called the Enrolment of Non-Degree Students in Graduate Course form, which requires signature from the course instructor and the Graduate Advisor of the department offering the course. Once you have obtained the necessary signatures, you can submit the completed form to graduate.sas@ubc.ca for approval. If the request is approved, you will be enrolled in the course. Additional information about attending graduate-level courses as an Unclassified student, including fees, is available here.

 

Administrators and Supervisors

Who is responsible for covering the cost of Benefits? 

Each PI or 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.

What is required in order to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow?

Please refer to the Central Human Resources website for detailed information about the appointment process.

Do you have a template offer letter for Postdoctoral Fellows?

Template offer letters can be found on the Central Human Resources website.

Employers

How can I post a position on the PDFO website?

If you are a UBC faculty, department/unit, or laboratory and are interested in posting a position, please refer to the Job Ads page on the G+PS Faculty & Staff portal. Positions can be cross-posted to a number of job search websites, including Nature Careers, EurAxess, Mendeley Careers, jobRxiv, and Handshake. For additional information, contact the PDFO.

If you are not a UBC faculty, department/unit, or laboratory and would like to post a career opportunity on our website, please email a job description to postdoctoral.fellows@ubc.ca. The job posting must include an application deadline or posting expiry date.

How can I verify a clinical fellowship, residency, or medical degree?

For verification of clinical fellowships and medical residencies, please contact Postgraduate Medical Education at postgrad@postgrad.med.ubc.ca

For verification of medical degrees, please contact the Office of Student Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine at osa.coordinator@ubc.ca