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Postdoctoral Fellows



Memorial University of Newfoundland considers that Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) are an integral part of the university and make a significant contribution to the research and teaching environment and mission of the university. As members of the research community, they contribute to the nation's research and enhance the stature of the university.

Postdoctoral appointments provide recent doctoral degree recipients with an opportunity to:

1) develop further the research skills acquired in their doctoral programmes under the sponsorship of established researchers,

2) learn new research techniques or embark on new research programmes with guidance from and in consultation with an experienced faculty member,

3) make significant individual contributions to their chosen field,

4) strengthen their publication records and curricula vitae, thereby building a reputation and enhancing their chances of securing a more permanent faculty or research position, and

5) gain teaching and supervisory experience where appropriate.



To outline the responsibilities, obligations, expectations, services and procedures which relate to the appointment of Postdoctoral Fellows.



All Postdoctoral Fellow appointments at Memorial University



Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) - one who meets all the following criteria:

  • The appointee has a Ph.D. or equivalent degree.
  • At the time of application the candidate shall not normally have had more than two previous postdoctoral positions.
  • The appointment is temporary.
  • The appointment primarily involves research with a portion of time allotted for teaching and/or student supervision.
  • The appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career.
  • The appointee works under the guidance and sponsorship of a faculty or adjunct faculty member at the University or one of its affiliated institutes.
  • The appointee has the freedom, and is expected, to publish results of his or her research with appropriate acknowledgment of University affiliation except where this right has been limited by prior written agreement.
  • The appointment is not part of a clinical training programme.
  • The appointment may involve undergraduate and graduate teaching and mentoring.


In recognition of the Principles above, Memorial University appoints scholars with the title of Postdoctoral Fellow and provides services to meet their needs. The University expects in return that PDFs comply with university policies and acknowledge their affiliation with the university in their publications and in their participation in scholarly meetings and endeavours.

PDFs are individuals who are in training. Normally, this occurs within three to five years of being awarded the Ph.D. degree or within ten years of being awarded the MD degree, depending on the number of PDF positions already completed. These periods may be extended by circumstances requiring an interruption in research career, e.g. by parental responsibilities.

PDFs can receive funding from grants or contracts held by faculty or from departmental resources. All PDFs, regardless of how paid, are appointed by the Dean/Director of the Faculty/School. Those not receiving salary through Memorial are appointed on an honorary basis.

PDFs are generally regarded as advanced research trainees and are treated accordingly in such matters as departmental communications, social interaction and consultation about matters affecting them. Any PDF may apply in open competition for a faculty position.

It is recognized that some PDFs wish to obtain teaching experience. It is also recognized that PDFs are an intellectual resource in the University and that both undergraduate and graduate programmes benefit from their participation. PDFs may be involved in undergraduate and graduate lecturing, laboratory instruction, tutorials, and assistance with the supervision of graduate and undergraduate students.

PDFs should discuss their desire to participate in the teaching activities of the department with their supervisor and with the Head/Dean/Director. Such teaching duties should normally be specified in the letter of appointment. Other teaching activities may be arranged by mutual consent. Heads, Deans, Directors and supervisors should check in advance of making the recommendation about any granting agency restrictions to the amount of teaching that can be assigned to the PDF. Where applicable, such appointments will conform to requirements of the collective agreements.



Title: Postdoctoral Fellows
Category : Research Approval Date: 2002-01-31
Effective Date : 2002-01-31 Review Date: 2017-05-01
Vice-President (Research)
Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

School of Graduate Studies 709-864-7642

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