Definitions

There are two types of Postdoctoral Fellows at SFU: External PDFs and Grant PDFs, related to their funding source. It is vital that staff and faculty members who assist PDFs administratively understand the difference between the two types, as the administrative procedures for the two types of PDFs are different.

1. “External PDFs receive their stipends either directly from an external agency or through SFU from funds that are provided to SFU by an external agency for administration on behalf of that agency, via "global payments." The terms of appointment, including remuneration, are normally set by the external agency (Policy R50.03).”

External PDFs are viewed as trainees or non-employees. Faculty will use a Letter of Invitation to begin the SFU administration of these PDFs.

External PDF earnings are not insurable. Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance contributions will not be deducted. However, External PDF earnings are subject to Canadian income tax deductions. A T4A will be generated at year end.

2. “Grant PDFs receive their compensation from research grants or contracts ("grant funds") awarded to SFU faculty members ("grant holders") and, under SFU Policy R50.02, are considered to be employees of the grant holder (i.e. they are "grant employees"), with the funds administered on behalf of the grant holder by SFU.

The source of the grant or contract funds can either be external or internal to the University. The terms of the appointment of Grant PDFs, including remuneration and benefits, normally are set by the grant holder.”

Grant PDFs, although not employees of the University, are employees of the grant holder (Faculty Supervisor) and can be viewed as employees. Faculty will use a Letter of Appointment to begin the SFU administration of these PDFs.

Grant PDF earnings are subject to Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and Canadian income tax deductions. A T4 will be generated at year end.

SFU Postdoctoral Fellows Policies

At SFU, postdoctoral fellow appointments are governed by two policies: Postdoctoral Fellows Policy R. 50.03 and Employment of Personnel Funded from Research Policy R 50.02

1. Policy R. 50.03 outlines the following appointment procedures for all Postdoctoral Fellows:

  • Definitions
  • Terms and Conditions of Appointment
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Recruitment, Appointment/Invitation Procedures

2. Policy R. 50.02 provides general appointment guidelines for hiring Grant Postdoctoral Fellows.

Please see the SFU Policy Gazette for a complete listing of all SFU research policies.