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How to Become a Postdoc


To be eligible as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five years immediately preceding the appointment or ten years from the completion of an MD, DDS, DVM or equivalent. The window of eligibility may be extended with written justification if career interruption was due to childrearing, illness or family-related responsibilities. 

In accordance with the university’s regulations, the date of degree completion is considered to be the date on which all requirements for the PhD/MD degree have been met, including successful defense and submission of the final corrected thesis. It is not the conferred or convocation date

Duration of initial appointment may be from three months to three years. International postdoctoral scholars must have an initial appointment of at least twelve months in order to be eligible for Alberta Health Care and extended health and dental benefits.

There are no citizenship restrictions. If you are not a Canadian citizen, please visit Immigration Guidelines for Postdoctoral Scholars for information on work permit requirements. 

Postdocs receiving fellowships paid directly to them, such as SSHRC or NSERC, and not administered through University of Calgary payroll will be recruited as General Associate - Guest Postdocs. Please visit the HR General Associates website for more information.

Appointment Process

Choosing a Supervisor

The search and recruitment for a postdoctoral scholar is the responsibility of the supervisor and prospective postdoc. Postdocs are recruited by mutual agreement between the applicant and a University of Calgary faculty member.

As a prospective postdoc, you can search our online listing of open postdoctoral positions. You can also use the University of Calgary’s online index of Faculties and Departments, the Cumming School of Medicine website and Institutes and Centres’ website for more information on specific faculty members and their research.

What to Consider when Discussing a Postdoctoral Appointment

Once you and your prospective supervisor have negotiated an agreement for a postdoctoral appointment, you will need to complete the following steps:


1) Submit the Personal Information Form (PDF) to the Postdoctoral Office at

You must also forward the following documentation:

• Your current curriculum vitae (CV)

• Proof of doctorate degree completion - If you have not yet completed your doctorate degree, specify when you plan to complete. Your offer will be conditional upon completion of your degree.

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must also provide:

• A copy of the biographical page of your passport

• A copy of your current work permit, if applicable

Your prospective supervisor will be responsible for submitting a Request for Offer Letter to the Postdoctoral Office. The Postdoctoral Office will verify your eligibility and initiate the hiring process. The offer letter signed by your supervisor will be forwarded to you by Human Resources.


2) Review the Letter of Offer and ensure all details discussed with your supervisor regarding your appointment are correct. The Letter of Offer will include information on:

• Research expectations

• The period of your appointment, including your start date and end date

• Your annual stipend

• Health benefits

• Any additional funding provided (eg. for relocation or research-related expenses)

• Personal leave days you will receive

Notify HR and your supervisor if any corrections are required. Return a signed copy of the offer letter to HR (

3) If you are not a Canadian citizen or do not hold Permanent Residency status in Canada, it is your responsibility to apply for a work permit. Requirements for your application may vary depending on your current country of citizenship. Visit Immigration Guidelines for Postdoctoral Scholars for more detailed information.

Prior to your start date, you will receive an email from HR with onboarding instructions.