Types of Awards

Understanding award types is essential to setting up the PDF effectively. Please read this section, and if you need additional advice please email postdoc@sfu.ca 

Award Types

An External PDF is funded primarily through an external source. You can ascertain if this is an external award by answering YES to the following types of questions:

  • Is the external source funding the PDF directly (in their name) to continue to work on their own research?   This may or may not be associated with a faculty supervisor or supervisor's lab. 
  • Does the award letter call the funds a stipend (and not employment income)? 
  • Does the letter refer to the funds as an award?
  • Do they refer to the PDF as trainee (rather than employee)? 
Here are examples of external agencies funding PDFs directly through external awards:
  • ALS Canada 
  • Alzheimer Society of Canada
  • BC Center of Excellence for Women's Health
  • Banting Fellowship 
  • Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN)
  • Kidney Foundation
  • Michael Smith Foundation
  • Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network (TVN)
  • Tri-Agency PDF Fellowships (some CIHR, NSERC & SSHRC awards)
When creating the PAF for an external award, please alert the payroll office by writing in the "Notes" section: "this is an external PDF award, and is not an employment relationship". Read more here

Mitacs Funding

Mitacs Elevate PDF awards do not fit in the standard categories of External or Grant funded, and require further explanation.

These fellowships, although described as awards, are considered grant funded at SFU due to the nature of the employment relationship. Because they are considered employment income, standard employee benefits (EI/CPP/WCB) will be deducted by payroll. 

Mitacs recommends that the portion of employer-deductions not be deducted from the PDF's grant, but instead come from either the faculty supervisor or from the materials/research portion of the Elevate award. But this situation must be negotiated between PDF and supervisor. Please see Mitacs' FAQ (Is my Elevate award a Stipend or a Salary?)

There are two possible scenarios which govern how the payroll form (PAF) is created:

Scenario 1: The PDF has negotiated with his/her faculty supervisor to allow for employer-deductions to be paid by the supervisor or the materials/research portion of the award ($5,000). *In this case the PAF should be prepared with the total cost of the award at $50,000. 

Scenario 2: The PDF has not negotiated (or been unsuccessful in those negotiations), and the employer-deductions will be paid from the Elevate grant ($50.000). *In this case the PAF should be prepared with the total cost minus the cost of employer-deductions, ~8%. 

Have questions? Please write to postdoc@sfu.ca