Information for Post Docs

Policy & Procedures for Post Doc Fellows

A Registry of Postdoctoral Fellows will be maintained by the Division of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies. Faculty supervisors must file a copy of the following documents with the Division.

Prior to recruitment of the postdoctoral fellow:

Following selection of the postdoctoral fellow:

  • Letter offering appointment
  • Letter of acceptance
  • Employment authorization if a non-Canadian


A postdoctoral fellow is an individual who has completed a doctoral degree, normally within the previous three to five years, who is supported by an externally awarded fellowship or by a research grant or contract held by an Acadia University faculty member. Postdoctoral fellows work under the supervision of and are mentored by a faculty member but are expected to become increasingly independent researchers over time.


Postdoctoral fellows are research colleagues and as such should be provided every opportunity to participate in the academic life of the Department, the Faculty and the University. Library and e-mail access will be provided by the university.

Postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply for advertised faculty positions as they choose.

Agreement to Hire

Prior to recruiting a postdoctoral fellow, the faculty member wishing to appoint a postdoctoral fellow, the Department/School Head/Director and the Faculty Dean must reach agreement as to any Acadia University resources to be made available to the postdoctoral fellow. A copy of the 'Agreement to Hire' must be filed with the Division of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies prior to recruitment.

Recruitment and selection

Once the 'Agreement to Hire' has been filed with the Division of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies and subject to relevant federal, provincial, granting agency and university regulations, for example, the Canadian Immigration Act, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, etc., faculty members may recruit postdoctoral fellows directly through personal contacts, local, national or international advertisements or through whatever means the faculty member deems appropriate.

Postdoctoral fellows are exempt from immigration restrictions. It is the responsibility of postdoctoral fellows who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents of Canada to obtain employment authorization and the appropriate visa from Employment and Immigration.

The faculty member (s) who is responsible for funding the postdoctoral fellow is responsible for selection.

Offers of Appointment

The letter offering appointment as a postdoctoral fellow is issued by the supervising faculty member and must be countersigned by the Dean of the supervisor's Faculty. A copy of the Offer of Appointment letter and the subsequent acceptance letter must be filed with the Division of Research, Innovation, and Graduate Studies. The Offer of Appointment letter must specify:

  • The title of the appointment.
  • The nature and extent of the postdoctoral fellow's responsibilities.
  • The term of appointment.
  • A copy of items A through D of this policy document.
  • A copy of the Acadia University Intellectual Property guidelines for students and postdoctoral fellows.
  • The stipend and benefits offered and the method of payment.
  • Any special conditions that apply.
  • The deadline for written acceptance of the offer of appointment.
  • A clear explanation of rights and obligations regarding authorship and intellectual property and any policies for assignment of intellectual property


A postdoctoral fellow is normally appointed for a twelve month period. The supervisor may renew the agreement annually to a maximum of three years. Supervisors are expected to give postdoctoral fellows two months notice of the intention to renew or not renew.

B. Compensation
The compensation level for postdoctoral fellows is not specified by the university. Compensation for externally funded postdoctoral fellows is determined by the funding agency. When a supervisor's research grant or contract funds are the source of support, compensation ranges specified by relevant Tri-Council programs should serve as a compensation guideline.
Payment to postdoctoral fellows is considered employment income and as such is subject to standard payroll deductions.

C. Benefits
Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for employee benefit plans.
Postdoctoral fellows who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must provide proof of medical insurance.

D. Termination for Just Cause
A postdoctoral fellow's appointment may be terminated without notice for just cause.

Dispute Resolution Procedures

Problems, with the exception of termination for just cause, which cannot be resolved by the supervisor and/or the postdoctoral fellow may be brought by either party to the Department Head. If the dispute cannot be resolved by the Head it may be referred by either party to the Dean of the Faculty. If a dispute is of a serious nature, the Dean of Research and Graduate Studies may be invited to act as ombudsperson. If the dispute remains unresolved, it shall be referred to the Vice President Academic whose decision shall be final and binding.

Authorship and Intellectual Property Rights

Postdoctoral fellows are to receive credit for publication of their research and for the transfer and commercialization of discoveries. Unless agreed to in writing, postdoctoral fellows retain ownership of intellectual property rights, solely in the case of their own work, and jointly when it has been created through joint effort.

The supervisor is responsible to deliver a clear explanation of rights and obligations regarding authorship and intellectual property and any policies for assignment of intellectual property, and to include same in the letter of appointment. The postdoctoral fellow must be informed of restrictions imposed on intellectual property rights by project funding sources.

Research Grants and Contracts

Postdoctoral fellows may apply for external funding to agencies which accept applications from postdoctoral fellows. Research and contract accounts established for funds received must include the faculty supervisor as co-signature.


Postdoctoral fellows are responsible to ensure that human and/or animal research is conducted under approved protocols.

Appendix I: Agreement to Hire a Post Doctoral Fellow

Student & Post Doctoral Fellow Intellectual Property Guidelines

These guidelines have been developed to ensure that all students and post-doctoral fellows at Acadia are treated fairly and equally with respect to Intellectual Property (IP) ownership. The identification of the creators and owners of Intellectual Property is often a complex and difficult process. Acadia strongly recommends that consideration be given to IP ownership before work begins on any project. These guidelines should be useful to clarify ownership. Also, one of the purposes of the Office of Industry and Community Engagement (ICE) is to help students, staff and faculty to define IP ownership.


Download Student & Post Doc Fellow IP Guidelines