Post-doctoral Fellows & Research Associates



Postdoctoral fellows at UBC can be either employees or trainees (award recipients), depending on the job description, level of direction and nature of the research grant.  

  • A postdoctoral fellow is an employee where the individual plays a key role on a research team under the direction of and funded by the supervising faculty member.
  • A postdoctoral fellow is an award recipient where the individual is awarded a competitive fellowship from an external granting agency, which may or may not be paid through UBC, or receives financial support from a sponsoring agency. Award recipients don't have an employment relationship with UBC. They independently work under the mentorship of a supervising faculty member at UBC.

For information specifically related to the different categories, such as benefits and leaves, please see Postdoctoral Fellows as Employees or Postdoctoral Fellows as Award Recipients.

The Postdoctoral Fellows Office in the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies provides a semi-annual PDF Orientation Day. Please refer to their website for further information.

Foreign postdoctoral fellows are required to obtain a temporary work permit in order to be employed and perform work for UBC.

Get details from the immigration for employees page.


Appointments of Research Associates are governed by Policy AP4 – Faculty Term Appointments. This title is available only to those persons who hold the PhD degree or other equivalent qualifications or work experience in their field of research. Such appointments do not lead to a tenured appointment.

Vacation entitlement is subject to negotiation with your supervisor but is at minimum 2 weeks per year with salary and benefits. Refer to the vacations page for full details.

Research Associates are eligible for the following types of leaves:

  • sick leave;
  • maternity, parental, and adoption leave;
  • general leave (without salary): Possible up to a year at a time, but normally limited to a maximum of 2 years and must be authorized by Department Head and Dean.
  • jury duty or court witness request; or
  • compassionate care leave.

Get details about UBC's leaves and vacations.


For information on immigration processes, please visit the immigration page.

For immigration inquiries including information on work permit and permanent residence applications, please email the team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) at

Please make sure to provide the following information:

  • Your name, UBC position and start date
  • Your citizenship(s)
  • Your country of residence
  • All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)

If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents such as a rejection or request letter.