Draft Policies for PDFs

PDAD&C #50, 2001-2002


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Vivek Goel, Vice-Provost, Faculty
DATE:   April 9, 2002
RE:   Draft Policies for PDFs

Attached are revised draft policies and procedures for post-doctoral fellows (PDF). These policies have been prepared based on the report of the Task Force Chaired by Professor Umberto de Boni. I ask you to share and discuss this draft with PDFs and faculty. I would appreciate any feedback by April 30, 2002.

As much as possible, the proposed policies devolve responsibility for PDFs locally to the Department and Division. Key points in the policies are that PDFs are to be considered to be trainees, a minimum stipend will be set, and there will be a defined procedure for appointments and reporting of PDFs. It is proposed that the University provide a basic set of supplemental health and dental benefits for PDFs.

In order to coordinate activities for PDFs it is proposed that the Office of Post-Graduate Affairs be located in SGS. The Office's functions would include compilation of statistics, development and maintenance of an information website for post-docs, organizing symposia and workshops (e.g., on career development) and coordination of issues for them. For example, the Office would address external issues such as lobbying for changes to OSAP rules, to allow for waiver of interest payments on debt, or to lobby for eligibility for the education tax credit.

The proposed registration process is meant to be as simple as possible. The Faculty Deans would receive the appointment letters and then compile them. The lists would be forwarded to the SGS office for statistical purposes. Administrative and academic responsibility for individual post-docs would rest with the budgetary unit within which they are located. The HRIS fields for PDFs will be reviewed to ensure that they are appropriately applied and to ensure that PDF salaries are treated appropriately from a taxation perspective.

These policies are proposed for campus-based PDFs. It is expected that PDFs working in affiliated hospitals and research institutes will be covered by policies in the home institution.

Policies for Postdoctoral Fellows
DRAFT March 5, 2002

Postdoctoral fellows play an important role in the academic life of the University. A Postdoctoral fellowship provides an important stage in training during the transition from graduate student to independent scholar. A post-doctoral fellow meets the following criteria:

  • The appointee was recently (normally within five years) awarded a PhD or equivalent degree.
  • The appointment is temporary.
  • The appointment involves full-time research or scholarship.
  • The appointment is preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career.
  • The appointee is supervised by a faculty member.
  • The appointee is not registered in another training program (e.g., clinical postgraduate training)

Post-doctoral fellows are trainees and do not have an ongoing employment arrangement with the University.

Post-doctoral fellows are appointed according to the "Appointment Procedures for Post-doctoral Fellows".

The maximum term of initial appointment is three years. In special circumstances, a further extension of up to three additional years is permitted with Decanal approval in multi-department faculties and Provostial approval in single-department faculties.

The conduct of Post-doctoral fellows is governed by the appropriate policies and procedures as applied to graduate students, including, but not limited to, the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters, the Code of Student Conduct and the Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research.

Post-Doctoral Fellows have access to an appeal procedure in cases of disputes with their faculty supervisor or other academic colleagues. In the first instance, the Chair/Director should meet with the PDF and the supervisor on an informal basis. If unresolved the grievance will be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty, or designate, who will meet with the affected parties within 15 working days of receiving notice of the grievance. The Dean will prepare a response within 15 working days of the meeting. If the PDF is not satisfied with the response of the Dean of the Faculty, the grievance will be mediated by a senior faculty member from another Division. The senior faculty member will be drawn from a list of individuals nominated by the Dean of SGS.

Appointments of PDFs can be terminated for cause at any time and without notice or payment in lieu.

Appointment Procedures for Postdoctoral Fellows

  1. Appointment of post-doctoral fellows requires the approval of the Chair or Director of the Department/Unit in multi-department faculties, and the Dean in single department faculties.
  2. An appointment letter including the duration of the appointment and the stipend should be signed by the Chair and the faculty supervisor.
  3. Appointment letters should note that termination for cause can occur at any time. Provisions for termination for other reasons, such as cessation of funding, should be included in the appointment letter with appropriate notice period established.
  4. The minimum stipend will be that set for PDFs by the relevant national granting council.
  5. Appointment letters should include provision for vacation, and any other supports that the supervisor/department proposes to provide (e.g., conference support).
  6. A copy of the appointment letter, signed back by the post-doctoral fellow, will be forwarded to the Dean of the Faculty.
  7. The Dean of the Faculty will submit quarterly to the Dean of SGS a list of campus-based PDFs, including their term of appointment and stipend.
  8. The Office of Post-Doctoral Affairs, SGS, will consult with Human Resources to determine annually the benefits that will be made available including, but not limited to, supplementary health and dental insurance, access to athletic facilities, and maternity leave.
  9. No tuition or registration fee will be applied for post-doctoral fellows.