Welcome to SFU

Welcome to SFU. We're glad you've chosen SFU to broaden your research expertise. 

Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) are key contributors to SFU’s research mission. As valued members of the University community and as researchers, PDFs have the opportunity to make significant contributions to their chosen fields, to the University, and to the University’s faculty researchers and graduate students.

SFU takes great pride in hosting multifaceted researchers from different parts of the world. Obtaining permission from the Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can be a complicated process but SFU provides resources to guide and assist those who are considering postdoctoral opportunities overseas. The SFU Immigration Portal is available with information for foreign nationals regarding eligibility requirements and the steps leading up to your arrival, including how to submit a work permit. For further assistance on immigration matter, please contact

For general inquiries regarding postdoctoral affairs at SFU, please contact Clare Zheng at . For any appointment related inquiries, please contact Research People Team at

Policy 50.03

Policy R50.03, the Postdoctoral Fellow Policy governs the relationship between PDFs, SFU and the faculty supervisors. PDFs and the faculty and staff who support them should familiarize themselves with Policy 50.03.   

Responsibility for the policy resides with the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation (VPRI). The VPRI office is also responsible for advocacy, academic and cultural support for postdoctoral fellows at SFU.  

All PDF appointments, renewals and conclusion of appointments are processed through the HR Research People Team.

Internal and External PDFs

Internal PDFs

  • salaries are paid by funds held by a University faculty member, from the University’s financial resources or a combination of the two
  • employee of the University
  • eligible for benefits

External PDFs

  • secured funding directly from an external funding organization or fellowship program external to the University
  • not employees of the University
  • eligible to opt-in for self-paid benefits. 

It is vital that staff and faculty members who hire and administer PDFs understand these distinctions, as the administrative processes and procedures for these two types of PDFs vary.

Refer to Policy R50.03 section 4.0 for a complete definition.


Join your Postdoctoral Association (PDA)

The PDA is a postdoctoral directed body with the mission to make SFU postdoctoral fellows more visible within the university community. 

The PDA holds regular social events, meets with the administration to advocate and support postdoctorals throughout the community.

All SFU postdoctoral-association are automatically members, but if you want to join our events and meet other postdoctoral-association, you should:

Learn more about the PDA