Postdoctoral fellows are at a unique stage in their careers. The purpose of a postdoc position is to aid in the transition from student to independent scholar. In collaboration with a U of T faculty member, a postdoc engages in activities that will further his or her professional development.
Postdocs must have recently (normally within five years) been awarded a PhD or equivalent degree. The maximum initial term of engagement is three years. In special circumstances, a further extension of up to three years is permitted with decanal approval in multi-department faculties, and provostial approval in single-department faculties. The engagement shall expire, without any further payment obligations by the University, on the date specified in the letter of engagement.
Prospective postdocs arrange their engagements directly with a faculty supervisor and not through a central U of T office. postdocs can be based at a University unit or at an affiliated hospital.
Prospective postdocs are encouraged to identify and contact faculty members who have similar research interests to discuss the possibility of becoming a postdoc with a particular faculty member’s research team.
Occasionally both University units and affiliated hospitals employ a variety of recruitment techniques including: advertisements in local or national publications, offers on a unit website or a faculty member's web page, and the recommendations of colleagues.
How to Search for a Faculty Member With Similar Research Interests
1. Prepare a research proposal.
2. Contact a faculty member directly with your proposal. You can find a faculty member that shares your research interests by consulting the websites below.
Graduate unit (departments, centres, and institutes) websites will have a list of graduate faculty members and their area of interest. See the
listing of U of T graduate units. See also departments in the
Faculty of Medicine.
3. Be prepared to be interviewed. Faculty supervisors are encouraged to interview and review the skills of prospective postdocs prior to engaging them in postdoctoral activities. Postdocs and their faculty supervisors must ensure that professional growth and career advancement are achieved during your time at U of T. Faculty members are looking to select postdocs who will contribute to their research teams and, in turn, provide the resources needed for postdocs to contribute to their field of interest through publications, professional presentations, and teaching/mentoring the activities of junior researchers.
4. Secure at least $33,000 per year. You can secure funding from external granting agencies (government, health organization, etc.) or fellowship programs or you may be offered funding from your faculty supervisor’s grant or research resources, in the form of a stipend. Possible sources for securing your own funding are listed in the funding sources section. You cannot be a postdoc at U of T on your own personal funds.