Postdoctoral Scholars | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Postdoctoral Scholars

Postdoctoral scholars are an important stage in the transition from being a graduate student to launching a career as an independent researcher in your chosen discipline. In collaboration with a supervising faculty mentor, postdoctoral scholars take part in the intellectual life of the university through advanced research, training and engagement with graduate students.

The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies formally acknowledges the key role played by postdocs in achieving the goal of increasing the quality and excellence of research and scholarship at the University of Guelph. 

What is a Postdoctoral Scholar?

The University defines a Postdoctoral Scholar as someone who has recently completed their doctoral degree (within 5 years), working under the supervision of a faculty mentor, will have an appointment that is focused on research and scholarship as preparation for a full-time academic or research career, being encouraged and expected to publish the results of their independent research.  Initial contracts can be up to 4 years (with the option to renew to a maximum of 6 years).

What You Can Expect:

  • Associated with a Faculty Mentor
  • Defined Goals and Expectations
  • Sufficient safe lab/office space, and access to research facilities and/or necessary resources/equipment
  • Recognition for your contributions at a world class institution 
  • Mentoring of research training and in preparation for career opportunities
  • Participation in Research Group and Departmental academic activities (ie. Seminars, Scientific meetings, Career Opportunities)
  • Effective and Supportive mentoring, involving frequent, clear and open communication with the intention of informal and continual coaching
  • Access to University Services


Our Expectations of You:

  • Be collegial and cooperative in your work with your faculty mentor and co-workers
  • Assume responsibility of your research and career development
  • Fulfill the duties in your offer of appointment
  • Familiarization of all University policies and the governing research conduct



We recognize that Postdoctoral Scholars may begin their contract at different times of the calendar year. Orientation will be arranged on a yearly basis, but you can access the previous presentation using the link below, once you have access to a University of Guelph email address (on or before your start date). In these presentations, the Union will provide an overview of their role. You are entitled to one (1) hour of paid time for the purpose of the Union orientation. Your academic department and administrative units will provide workplace-specific orientation and training, arranged by your Faculty Supervisor. 

Orientation Lunch-and-Learn - Collective Agreement Updates - USW Local 4120 Unit A - Postdoctoral Scholars - 2023