Postdoc Policy & Procedures

Where applicable, these procedures should be read in conjunction with the University of Saskatchewan Postdoctoral Fellows Policy and the Collective Agreement between the University of Saskatchewan and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Local 40004 (Post Doctoral Fellows).

The Appointment Process

The majority of PDFs at the University of Saskatchewan are represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Local 40004 (PSAC).  Representation by PSAC is dependent on the PDFs source of funding. 

In-Scope PDF

An In-Scope PDF receives full or partial funding from university sources (i.e. from a research grant or contract obtained by their supervisor, from a research unit of the university, etc.), and are considered employees of the University of Saskatchewan.  The terms and conditions of their working relationship with the faculty supervisor will be governed by the Collective Agreement with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

Benefits In-Scope of PSAC

PDFs in-scope of the PSAC bargaining unit are eligible for benefits (health, dental, life) if they work at least half time (0.5 FTE), with a term appointment of at least six (6) months.  PDFs must be residents of Canada and be eligible under the provincial health care program.  For plan details and eligibility, please visit and scroll down to PSAC – Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs).

Benefit premiums are paid by the employer/supervisor, with the exception of basic life insurance, which is paid by the PDF.

External PDF

An External PDF receives 100% of their own transferrable funding from an external source (awarded directly to the PDF, not to the supervisor). External PDFs are not considered employees of the University of Saskatchewan and are not in-scope of the PSAC bargaining unit. Some External PDFs funding may be administered through university payroll, while others may be paid directly to the PDF by the granting agency.

External PDF Benefits

External PDFs are not eligible for benefits under the PSAC collective agreement.  Instead, they are eligible to purchase membership into the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA). With a GSA membership, External PDFs can enrol in and purchase the Graduate Students’ Health & Dental Plan. External PDFs are not automatically covered by the GSA Health & Dental plan and must self enrol in the program. Visit for more information and rates.


It is the responsibility of the PDF and supervisor to negotiate an extension. Extensions are contingent upon PDF eligibility, satisfactory research progress, compliance with the guidelines for academic conduct, the availability of funds, and work permit limitations

Extension paperwork must be received by the CGPS prior to the end date of the current appointment in order for the CGPS to process and approve the request.

In order to extend your PDF appointment, you will need to complete the Postdoctoral Appointment process.  Please direct any questions regarding eligibility for extensions and extension paperwork to the  Coordinator, Postdoctoral Studies.

If an extension is not requested or approved, the appointment will automatically terminate on the expected end date.

 Please note, immigration processes can add to the timeline for extending the appointment of a foreign postdoctoral fellow.  It is advisable to begin the extension process well in advance of the proposed extension start date.

Research Ethics

Research Excellence and Innovation (REI) supports high-quality, ethically sound research and works with inventors and industry to move USask discoveries out into the world. REI’s services and supports span the lab-to-market spectrum:

  • Animal Care and Research Support
  • Human Ethics
  • Biosafety, Radiation Safety and Cannabis
  • Legal Services
  • Industry Engagement and Partnerships
  • Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation

Does your project require ethics approval?

Research involving the following requires ethics review and approval by a Research Ethics Board (REB) before the research commences:

  • living human participants;
  • human biological materials, as well as human embryos, fetuses, fetal tissue, reproductive materials and stem cells. This applies to materials derived from living and deceased individuals;
  • secondary use of data, health information, or biological materials.
Have you considered the following?


University of Saskatchewan Misiwêskamik Postdoctoral Fellowship

Funded through the U of S International Blueprint for Action, Connecting with the World, this competitive fellowship has a mandate of bringing international postdoctoral fellows to the University of Saskatchewan.

Any questions about the Misiwêskamik competition can be directed to

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships

Total 2-year value $140,000

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program provides funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally, who will positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth. The objective of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is to:

  • attract and retain top-tier postdoctoral talent, both nationally and internationally
  • develop their leadership potential
  • position them for success as research leaders of tomorrow

70 fellowships are awarded annually and are equally distributed among the Tri-Council Agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC). 

2022-23 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) competition now open

Nominations must be endorsed by the University of Saskatchewan and will be reviewed internally throughout the application development process to determine suitability for final submission to the Vanier-Banting Secretariat. 

Other Funding Sources

Mitacs Elevate offers postdoctoral fellows a two-year professional development plan and collaborative research project, building capacity for the next generation of R&D management leaders.

Mitacs Accelerate offers internships to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  Four-month units can be combined, either for a longer internship or a cluster grant with many interns, universities or companies.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Fellowship provides support for highly qualified candidates in all areas of health research at the post-PhD degree or post-health professional degree stages to add to their experience by engaging in health research either in Canada or abroad.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and universities.
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral Fellowship supports the most promising Canadian new scholars in the social sciences and humanities and assists them in establishing a research base at an important time in their research careers.

Exit Survey

The Exit Survey for Postdoctoral Fellows was designed to give PDFs leaving the University of Saskatchewan an opportunity to reflect on their experience, with a goal of using the feedback received to strengthen postdoctoral programming, create new opportunities for future postdoctoral fellows and help to create a network of University of Saskatchewan postdoctoral alumni.