Current Postdocs

Practical information for U of T postdocs.

Policies & Definitions

Please visit the Human Resources & Equity (HR&E) website for more information on postdoctoral fellows who are considered to be employees of the University. Employee postdocs can also find a copy of the Collective Agreement (CUPE3902 Unit 5) for this group on the HR&E website.

The University of Toronto Governing Council establishes the policy pertaining to postdocs at U of T.

A University of Toronto postdoc is a postdoctoral fellow who is doing research on a U of T campus and/or is receiving a stipend from U of T.

Postdocs affiliated with U of T (e.g., postdocs at a teaching hospital or another organization affiliated with U of T) are not governed under the policies and procedures at U of T. Postdocs affiliated with U of T are governed under the policies and procedures at the institution where the research is being completed and/or the institution from which they receive their stipend.

U of T has several policies approved by Governing Council and which apply to all postdocs. Each postdoc should become familiar with these policies.

Policies applying to all University of Toronto postdocs:

The conduct of postdocs while at U of T is governed by policies and procedures that can be found on the HR&E website. Policies of particular importance to postdoctoral fellows are:

U of T remains committed to the highest standards of integrity in research and has a range of policies that govern how researchers should conduct their work.

Research Services provides details of different policies; guidelines for research and ethical conduct.

The Office of Research Ethics (ORE) upholds the highest ethical and regulatory standards of research involving human or animal subjects at the University of Toronto.

U of T strives to cultivate a teaching, learning, and working environment that is equitable, accepting, inclusive, and free from discrimination and harassment. For more information on policies related to equity and diversity, please visit the HR&E website.

Postdoctoral Office

The Postdoctoral Office is the central resource for U of T postdocs and serves as a liaison between postdocs, faculty, administrators, and staff.

The Postdoctoral Office was established in the School of Graduate Studies to ensure successful training experiences for postdocs by providing a supportive working environment and resources to prepare them for the next step in their careers.

General Office Functions

  • Administer the Green Shield Health and Dental Plan

  • Administer the career development program and the annual administrative fee

  • Administer UHIP for international PDFs

  • Coordinate library access, U of T email accounts, TCard access

  • Provide letters confirming PDF engagements

  • Issue PDF Parchments of Completion

Contact Us

School of Graduate Studies
Room 201, 63 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2Z9

Tel: 416-946-5254
Fax: 416-946-0992
Email: sgs.postdoc@utoronto.ca

Hours: 9:30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday

Note: the Postdoctoral Office is on the second floor and the building does not have an elevator. If this presents accessibility issues, please contact the office ahead of time so that alternate arrangements can be made.​

Registration & Library Access

U of T postdocs who have been registered on the Postdoctoral Registration System by their unit must contact the Postdoctoral Office in order to obtain a letter to allow library access. Take this letter, together with a piece of photo identification, to the TCard Office at the Koffler Student Service Centre, 214 College Street, First Floor.

Postdocs at the teaching hospitals may also have access to the library system if their supervisor is also a U of T faculty member. These postdocs must ask their supervisor to write a letter on hospital letterhead; the letter should indicate the postdoc's name, date of birth, and the end date of the fellowship. Take this letter, together with a piece of photo identification, to the first floor Reader Registration Desk ​at Robarts Library, 130 St. George Street.

Listserv

The U of T postdoc listserv allows us to notify current U of T postdoctoral fellows of changes in services and to forward notices regarding awards competitions. Subscription requests will only be accepted from U of T email accounts. Requests from non U of T email accounts will not be added to the listserv.

To join, please email LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UTORONTO.CA and, in the text of your message (not the subject line), write: SUBSCRIBE POSTDOCS-L.

Health & Dental Insurance

​Please note that neither of the basic plans (OHIP or UHIP) nor the benefits plan (Green Shield) provide travel insurance coverage for travel outside of Canada.

Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)

OHIP is a centralized, government-sponsored health care plan provided to all residents of the Province of Ontario who hold an OHIP card. OHIP covers immediate medical care, such as emergency care, in-hospital care, doctor's visits, and much more. OHIP does not cover prescription drugs, eyeglasses, or dental care.

Canadian residents returning to Canada after 212 days out of the country are eligible to enrol in OHIP after a three-month waiting period. UHIP is required for the three-month waiting period.

Postdocs coming to Ontario from another Canadian province should consult with the health care plan in their home province prior to coming to Toronto. It is the responsibility of the postdoc to confirm that his or her current provincial plan is effective for the three-month OHIP waiting period.

After three months, provided that the postdoc engagement is at least six months, the postdoc will be covered under OHIP.

Non-Canadian residents (international postdocs and dependents) that have a work permit for at least six months and a formal agreement to work full-time for at least six consecutive months are eligible for OHIP after a three-month waiting period. Proof of the engagement terms must be provided to the OHIP office. UHIP is required for the three-month waiting period for international postdocs and dependents.

If the postdoc is engaged at U of T for less than six months, the postdoc and dependents will not be eligible for OHIP. In such instances, UHIP is required for the full duration of their stay in Canada.

Please note that proof of health coverage must be provided for school-aged children prior to their en​rolment in school.

For further information on OHIP eligibility, visit the OHIP w​ebsite or contact OHIP at 1-800-268-1154.

University Health Insurance Program (UHIP)

UHIP is mandatory for all postdocs and their dependents who are not covered by OHIP. UHIP coverage must be purchased from the Postdoctoral Office within the first 30 days of arriving. If UHIP is not purchased within 30 days for dependents, a $500 late registration fee will be added to the UHIP premiums.

Please be prepared to provide the following documents and payment for all members that are enrolling in UHIP:

  • Your passport indicating your date of arrival in Canada

  • Your engagement letter

  • A money order, in Canadian funds, made payable to the University of Toronto; debit cards from Canadian banks are also accepted. No cash or credit card payments are accepted.

  • The passports of your spouse, partner and/or children, if accompanying you

For UHIP costs, please consult the UHIP Premium tables.

UHIP covers:

  • doctors' and specialists' services at home, in a hospital or institution, or in the doctor's office

  • one annual health exam

  • diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, including fractures and dislocations

  • surgery, including the administration of anesthetics

  • care related to pregnancy (prenatal and postnatal), even if pregnancy began before arrival in Ontario

UHIP does not cover:

  • prescription drugs

  • eyeglasses, frames, or contact lenses

  • dental care services

  • medical examinations and required tests

Please note that it is extremely difficult to obtain an exemption from UHIP. All postdocs should be prepared to purchase UHIP coverage. For information on how to apply for an exemption, please visit the UHIP website. You do not have to join UHIP if you are covered under a pre-approved plan.

If you do not see your current plan on this site, you must purchase UHIP coverage upon arrival in Canada.

For more information, visit the UHIP website.

Green Shield Health Benefit

The Green Shield benefit came into effect for postdocs in January 2008. The plan was updated, after a review, in August 2010 and an overview of improved benefits is available; for the entire booklet, please read below.

The plan provides postdocs with many important services, and covers some expenses not covered by OHIP or UHIP. This benefit will include some dental coverage, prescription drug costs and some additional health benefits (such as health practitioners and medical equipment).

This plan is mandatory for all postdocs who are receiving their stipend payment through the university’s payroll system and must have their postdoctoral engagement at U of T confirmed in the Postdoctoral Fellows Registration Database (this is done by your graduate unit).

Please consult the Green Shield benefit booklet for detailed information about your coverage.

The benefit coverage must be pre-paid by one month. Your monthly contributions will be deducted from your monthly stipend. This means that if you start your engagement in September and enrol in September, your first contribution will be deducted in your September pay statement and your coverage will begin on October 1st.

You will need to enrol in order to receive the benefit. Please fill out the enrolment form and return it in person, by fax or by email to the Postdoctoral Office. Please do not forget to sign and date the enrolment form.

Once your postdoctoral fellowship engagement ends or is terminated your coverage will end one month following your last contribution. You will have three months after this to submit any eligible claims incurred on or before the last day of your coverage. Please be aware that if your postdoctoral fellowship is renewed you will need to renew your enrolment by filling out the form again and submitting it to the Postdoctoral Office; your enrolment in the benefit will not automatically be extended with your fellowship renewal.

You can only opt out/terminate the plan if you have equivalent or better coverage through your spouse/partner's plan. You will need to provide proof that you have coverage through your spouse/partner's plan and the completed the enrolment form indicating that you are opting out/terminating the plan.

Register for Plan Member Online Services for your personal claims and coverage information at www.greenshield.ca under the Plan Members section of the website.

If you have any questions regarding claims or coverage eligibility, refer to your benefit booklet, visit Plan Member Online Service or call Green Shield Customer Service Center at 1-888-711-1119.

Please note: This site is for information purposes only. In the event of a discrepancy, benefits will be paid according to the official documents.

Taxes

All individuals working in Canada are required to pay taxes. Annually, every person earning an income in Canada submits a tax return.

If you have a trainee status at the University of Toronto, you do not have taxes automatically deducted from your paycheques; however, you are still required to pay taxes on your Canadian income and to submit an annual tax return. If you have an employee status, taxes are deducted from each paycheque for income tax, Canada Pension Plan, and employment insurance. We strongly suggest engaging a tax expert when you come to do your taxes. You do not require a GST number, as you are not self-employed.

See also:

All about your tax return

Learning about taxes in Canada

Tax rates

Newcomers to Canada

Tax treaties

You can also call the Canada Revenue Agency and get reliable information from their agents at their Individual Income Tax Enquiries telephone service (phone: 1-800-959-8281). The agents will be pleased to respond to your questions in the official language of your choice.