Sept. 18, 2020

UCalgary develops vibrant postdoctoral community through flexible funding sources

New salary-matching funding model created to help faculty recruit outstanding postdoctoral scholars

Postdoctoral scholars fuel discovery. They are a vital part of the research and innovation engine of the university. And, unlike many other roles at the university, postdocs can devote themselves entirely to their research programs.

This week, the Office of the Vice-President (Research) announced the launch of the Eyes High Postdoctoral Match-Funding Program, designed to support UCalgary faculty to recruit and support exceptional postdoctoral scholars.

As a 50-50 salary-matching package, this new program will provide $25,000 per year for up to 25 new postdocs in 2020/2021.

This program aims to attract top-tier postdocs who will be new to UCalgary at the start of their appointment. As highly competitive candidates for external awards, these researchers are expected to contribute to advancing UCalgary’s strategic research and innovation plan.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to faculty to support them as they grow their research team, and play a critical role in the career of a young scholar,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “Postdocs drive our institution toward excellence in all fields, and help accelerate our Eyes High vision.”

Enabling faculty to recruit outstanding postdocs

This iteration of the program creates a new opportunity for faculty members to recruit outstanding postdoctoral scholars to the University of Calgary,” says Dr. Penny Pexman, associate vice-president (research) and postdoctoral program director.

It’s exciting to see the flexibility the program offers for faculty members to leverage different funding sources to put together an attractive funding package for a new postdoctoral scholar.

Supervisors of Eyes High postdocs must provide a salary matching the university’s contribution and provide employer-paid benefits. However, when an Eyes High postdoc is awarded external funding, the supervisor portion of their salary will be pro-rated, and the Eyes High funding will be reallocated to other individuals.

While the match-funding program is only available for one postdoc per faculty member, the flexibility it offers for sharing funds creates more opportunities to attract the world’s best early career researchers to the university.

In the previous iteration of the Eyes High Postdoctoral Program, faculty members were required to apply for the postdoc funding and, once approved, search for a postdoc to fill the position. Now, applications will be submitted by the individual applying to be an Eyes High postdoc.

Faculty members who have a potential applicant in mind should encourage them to apply. Those who don’t have a possible candidate, but would like to hire a postdoc, are encouraged to share the program with their networks.

Recruiting new outstanding researchers

Growing and strengthening the postdoctoral program requires bringing in exceptional researchers from around the world. To help achieve this, this funding is not available to current or previous UCalgary postdocs.

Interested applicants must have received their PhD from an institution other than UCalgary, and must have confirmation of a faculty supervisor’s commitment to match funding for a full-time postdoctoral position.

The first round of applications is due Nov. 2. Applications should include a research project proposal, CV, confirmation of PhD completion, the faculty supervisor’s confirmation, and a detailed plan for external funding applications. Full application details are available on the Eyes High Postdoctoral Program website.