Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars

Policy Category: 
Approved By: 
Priorities and Planning Group
Effective Date: 
December 12, 2006


Lakehead University considers Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars to be an integral part of the University community who can contribute significantly to the institutional mission. Therefore, the University is committed to making opportunities and facilities available to qualified scholars so that they can continue their advanced study and research under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, Lakehead faculty. The University recognizes the academic status of Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars at Lakehead, and is committed to create and maintain an academic environment that will encourage and support the academic activities of Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars. The University, on the other hand, requires that Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars will comply with University policies and regulations, and acknowledge their affiliation with the University in their publications and in their participation in other academic and societal activities. The Office of the Vice-President Research will be the administrative unit responsible for the appointment of Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars at Lakehead University.

Definitions and Terms of Appointment:

A Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) at Lakehead University is defined as one who has been awarded a doctoral degree or the foreign equivalent within the last 10 years.
  • A PDF should be appointed on a term basis, supported by a fellowship, research grant or equivalent at the postdoctoral level;
  • The appointment will involve primarily full-time research or scholarly work;
  • This appointment at Lakehead University is viewed as preparatory for an academic and/or research career;
  • The appointee is pursuing a program of research and/or training under the supervision of a full-time Lakehead faculty member;
  • The appointee is expected to publish the results of his/her research and scholarly work during the period of the appointment with acknowledgment to Lakehead.
A Visiting Scholar (VS) at Lakehead University is defined as a scholar from another university or research institution who wishes to pursue independent and/or collaborative research, or a graduate student enrolled at another accredited post-secondary institution but being supervised by a Lakehead faculty member.
  • A VS should be appointed on a term basis supported by an external research grant, scholarship or equivalent support, including research leave from his/her home institution; When a VS is a graduate student from another institution wishing to receive research training, the appointment should be normally less than one year, supported by an external research grant or equivalent support, including financial support from his/her home institution;
  • A VS should collaborate or work with a full-time Lakehead faculty member;
  • The appointee is expected to publish the results of his/her research and scholarly work during the period of the appointment with acknowledgement to Lakehead.

Appointment and Registration of Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars:

Appointments of PDF and VS are made by the Vice-President Research following consideration of a recommendation by a Lakehead faculty member. This recommendation must include the following:
1) A completed application form (also available from the Office of Research). The application requires information on:
- the academic nature of the appointment and proposed research, co-signed by the applicant (PDF or VS) and the faculty supervisor/sponsor
- description of academic support to be provided by the host department/program (secretarial or technical assistance, office, research space, phone, fax, photocopying, etc.)
- the duration of the appointment
- if applicable, the financial support (source, amount) available during the duration of appointment
- personal contact information and emergency contact information of the applicant
- A curriculum vitae of the applicant and the copy of doctorate diploma/certificate (PDF).
2) A letter of support recommending University appointment of the applicant as a PDF or VS at Lakehead and affiliation with their department/program.
The application must be signed by the department/program Chair and the relevant Faculty Dean, indicating agreement to the academic support indicated. Recommendations with the above noted information should be sent to the Office of the Vice-President Research at least two weeks prior to the expected date of appointment for consideration by the Vice-President Research.

University Registration:

Post-doctoral fellows and Visiting Scholars must officially register with the Office of the Vice-President Research. Approved PDF or VS will be provided with letters of appointment from the Vice-President Research and a package of information about the university and its academic policies (see Appendix I for details). Copies of the letters of appointment will be given to the Human Resources Office and Office of Financial Services. Payment of PDF fellowships and VS stipends will normally be made through Human Resources. In some cases, payment of VS stipends or reimbursement of expenses will be made through the Office of Financial Services. All original copies of registration materials will be kept in the Office of the Vice-President Research.


Upon registration, PDF and VS will have access to the various services and facilities offered by the University, including: library, research services, computer services, and access to athletic facilities and parking permits at standard rates for university faculty. Health insurance (UHIP) programs are available at applicable rates, subject to citizenship status and funding.


Postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) and VSs will be subject to regular university fees such as parking, athletics and health insurance programs. PDFs and VSs can also register in undergraduate and graduate courses at the rates applicable to part-time students and in accordance with university academic policies and regulations (refer to University Calendar).

Application of University Policies:

The established policies and regulations of Lakehead University apply to the responsibilities and activities of PDF and VS, including, for example, intellectual property (IP), research ethics, research integrity and harassment and discrimination policies. The University reserves the right to terminate appointments of PDF or VS if breaches of University policy are demonstrated.

Remuneration and Financial Support:

It is understood that a PDF or VS may receive financial support from the University in the form of a fellowship (PDF) or stipend (VS). PDFs and VS are not considered employees of Lakehead University and are not therefore eligible for employee benefits. In the case where a PDF or VS is assigned to teach part-time as a sessional lecturer, the terms and conditions outlined in the Lakehead University Faculty Association (LUFA) must be followed. When PDFs and VSs hold financial support from an external agency, the restrictions and regulations of these granting agencies must be observed. The rate of remuneration to PDFs paid through Tri-council research grants must adhere to the minimum and maximum salary ranges set by NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR.

Use of Research Facilities

Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars will be given access to research facilities associated with the Lakehead University Centre for Analytical Services and will be subject to the same policies and academic rates enjoyed by full-time faculty. Some research facilities may have specific policies and procedures for post-doctoral fellows and visiting scholars to access these research facilities. For example, all PDFs and VSs wanting to access the facilities of the Paleo-DNA Laboratory will be required to complete a Paleo-DNA Availability Agreement.

Appendix I

Appointment & Registration of Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars

Following review of a completed application for PDF or VS status at Lakehead, signed by the applicant, a full-time Lakehead faculty member (as supervisor for PDF or sponsor for VS), the department/program Chair and Faculty Dean, a letter of appointment will be issued by the Vice-President Research. This letter will be copied to the faculty supervisor for PDF or faculty sponsor for VS, Faculty Dean and department/program Chair. The letter will identify the Office of the Vice-President Research as the administrative unit responsible for registering PDFs and VSs at Lakehead.

At the time of official registration with the Office of the Vice-President Research, new PDF or VS appointments will be provided with a:
University calendar, and other general information about the University (as appropriate);
Copies of New Faculty Research Orientation Handbook and any other relevant University policies (e.g. Policy on Postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scholars, Research Ethics policies).

Arrangements will be made for the PDF and VS to be issued an e-mail address and identification card. An updated list of PDFs and VSs on the Lakehead campus and their faculty supervisors/sponsors will be provided to the Department of Human Resources and to Lakehead Security at the beginning of each academic term. No copies of the application materials will be provided to these administrative units, but this information will be filed in the Office of Vice-President Research.

At the end of each term, the Office of the Vice-President Research will review registration materials to determine which PDFs and VSs have exceeded the duration of their appointment. Once it has been verified that these individuals are no longer on campus, their university services will be cancelled.