Postdoctoral Fellows

Planning for the hiring of a Postdoctoral Fellow begins well before the PDF arrives on campus. Planning of research projects requiring the support and contributions of Postdoctoral Fellows must include all costs associated with their employment at SFU. 

Grant Application Considerations

Living Wage (Effective July 1 2024)

SFU is taking steps to become a living wage employer for all employees.

Beginning July 1 2024, all internal PDFs are expected to be paid at an annual rate that meets or exceed the current livng wage annual salary calculated to be $40,725.40 (pro-rated to fractional appointments).

Benefits (Statutory Benefits & Extended Health Benefits)

PDFs who are employees of the University qualify for extended health benefits. In addition to statutory benefits, extended health benefits will be funded by the faculty supervisor’s funding source.

Effective June 1st, 2023, all grant applications should include 17.47% of the intended PDF salary. This amount is in addition to the budgeted PDF annual salary. It is intended to cover:

Employer portion of statutory benefits (approx 11%)

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP - 5.95%)
  • Employment Insurance (Employee portion is 1.63% - employer is 1.4 times the employee rate, which equates to 2.324% )
  • Workers Compensation (WCB - 0.31%)
  • Employer Health Tax (EHT - 1.95%)  

Employer paid extended health benefits (approx. 6.47%)

  • BC Medical Services Plan (until December 31, 2019)
  • Extended health
  • Dental

An employee portion of statutory benefits is deducted from the PDF’s salary, however there is no employee portion / deduction related to the health benefits or dental benefits.  PDFs who are employees of the University will be issued a T4 at year end.

Prior to September 1, 2019, grant applications would not have included an incremental 4% budgeted amount for extended health benefits. In this case, if the grant is unable to cover the cost of extended health benefits, a PDF benefit reimbursement will be available for the next 5 years (up to 31 August 2024) to assist with the expense. 

Note: Parental leave top-up is an additional benefit provided to eligible Internal PDFs however it is not included in the 4% calculation. Due to the inability to plan for this expense, parental leave top-up will be covered by the University where there are no other mechanisms available through the grant or granting agency to fund the leave.

Use this Calculator to estimate the cost to the grant with consideration of benefits and living wage.


Hiring a PDF 

The faculty supervisor has full responsibility for recruiting, appointing, and supervising a PDF.  

Faculty supervisors may list available positions on the Graduate and Postdoctoral web page by completing the job posting form located on their website.

SFU requires a signed Offer of Employment before work can begin.

While the PI or Supervisor (or department representative) may have conversations with prospective employees about the potential role, the HR RP Team creates Offers of Employment, to ensure compliance and record keeping. 

Note that verbal conversations may be considered legally binding and have unintended consequences to both parties. Be sure to use general language in these conversations, so as not to commit to any terms or conditions before a written document is created in alignment with university standards.