Research Personnel Initiative

The Research Personnel Initiative (RPI) was established in 2018 in support of SFU’s Engaging Research goal of being innovative, competitive and attracting the best researchers. The contributions of all our research personnel have facilitated our strong research performance and rising research activity – and we believe inviting our Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Assistants to become SFU employees will further strengthen this foundation.

Post-Doctoral Fellows were transitioned to SFU employees under the first phase of this initiative. Postdoctoral Fellows with questions can email:  

The transition of eligible Research Assistants is underway. Learn more here.

Everything you need to know about setting up and managing RA appointments can be found here

Benefits of this Initiative

  • Better recognize the contributions and important role research personnel play at the university.
  • Provide the rights and benefits of employment status to research personnel.
  • Reflect our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Be competitive with other universities.
  • Provide faculty members with support.
  • Create consistency in employment practices.
  • Reduce the risks associated with managing complex employee relationships.

Guiding Principles for Policy Changes

  • Recognize contributing members of SFU’s research community
  • Anticipate the growth and maturation of SFU’s research enterprise, and the changing needs and expectations of research personnel
  • Re-align risk exposure and administrative burden among all parties (personnel, supervisors, SFU)
  • Maintain the responsiveness required to continue fostering innovation
  • Provide institutional support to members of SFU’s research community in line with SFU’s commitment to social sustainability
  • Continue our commitment to EquityDiversity and Inclusion

Project Sponsors

  • Dugan O’Neil, Vice-President, Research and International (pro tem)
  • Jeff Derksen, Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

For project information, please email the Research Personnel Initiative project team: