Prospective Fellows

York Postdoctoral Fellowships (YPDF) Program

The guiding purpose of the York Postdoctoral Fellowships (YPDF) program is to support outstanding postdoctoral research at York through the creation of funded, one-year postdoctoral research positions to be held at York by York PhDs. The YPDF program will support fellows by:

  • supporting outstanding research projects;
  • fostering productive and innovative collaborations between Faculty researchers and emerging researchers;
  • providing outstanding scholars with a prestigious platform from which to apply for further positions;
  • supporting research intensification at York and building York’s profile as a centre of postdoctoral research excellence;
  • supporting and rewarding timely completion of the doctoral degree; and
  • aiding effective progression from doctoral work toward an independent research career.

The York Postdoctoral Fellowships program supports research excellence in all disciplines at York, and is open to both Canadian and international students. YPDFs support research proposed by doctoral students whose proposed projects are judged worthy of funding by a cross-disciplinary selection committee. In the first year of the program, ten (10) YPDFs will be awarded.

Information Session – An information session on the York Postdoctoral Fellowship program will be held on November 10 at 2pm in 519 Kaneff Tower. All are welcome to attend.

Value and Duration

The value of a York Postdoctoral Fellowship is a minimum of $40,500 over one year. The duration of the postdoctoral fellowship is for one year (12 months) and is non-renewable. It may not be deferred, and can only be taken up in the academic year following completion of the doctoral degree.

The YPDF is a matching funds postdoctoral fellowship program. Fellowships are offered as a collaboration between the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) and the York University research community.


  • York Postdoctoral Fellowships may only be held at York University.
  • Students completing or holding doctoral degrees from institutions other than York are not eligible to apply for this opportunity.
  • York PhD students who have fulfilled or who expect to fulfill all requirements for the doctoral degree on or before August 31 of their fourth academic calendar year* of doctoral studies are eligible to apply for the YPDF. In the event that a student’s doctoral degree completion time exceeds four years because of a parental leave, medical leave, and / or accommodations granted due to disability or illness, the student is eligible to apply for the YPDF provided that the total time to completion is deemed to be the equivalent of no more than four years of registered full-time study.
  • All degree requirements must be completed prior to taking up the YPDF. Fellowships must be taken up between September 1 and September 30 in the fall following the fourth and final year after the commencement of the doctoral degree.
  • In the event that a successful YPDF recipient’s doctoral degree requirements are not fulfilled on time in accordance with the expectation expressed and relied upon in their application, making them unable to take up the York Postdoctoral Fellowship in the appointed September, the YPDF award is forfeit.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per year for a YPDF.
  • Applicants may not hold another postdoctoral fellowship or any tenure-track or tenured faculty position concurrently with a YPDF, nor can they be on leave from such a fellowship or position. 

    * For the purposes of this program, the academic calendar year referred to is the year running from September – August.


  • January 11, 2016

The required documents described below must be submitted to Emily Anglin, Postdoctoral Services Coordinator, by no later than January 11, 2016. All documents (with the exception of the two reference letters) must be submitted as a single PDF to The reference letters should be submitted to the Postdoctoral Services Coordinator by e-mail directly by the referees.

How to Apply

The first step in applying for a YPDF is to contact and discuss the application with the proposed YPDF supervisor:

  • Applications must be completed in full collaboration with the potential supervisor. The supervisor must be a full time faculty member employed by York University.
  • The supervisor proposed within a YPDF application may be, but is not required to be, the same supervisor as the applicant’s doctoral supervisor.
  • Applicants are responsible for supplying their proposed supervisor and referees with the documents necessary for them to write their respective reference letters.

A complete application consists of the following documents (please see below for details):

  1. The applicant’s CV
  2. The applicant’s research proposal (maximum 4 pages)
  3. Works cited (maximum of 2 pages)
  4. A statement outlining the applicant’s most significant research contributions (maximum 250 words)
  5. A statement outlining the applicant’s most significant leadership contributions (maximum 250 words)
  6. The supervisor’s statement (maximum 3 pages)
  7. Budget
  8. Two letters of reference

Description of Required Documents

1. The applicant’s CV must include:

  • the applicant’s educational credentials;
  • a list of recognitions such as honours, awards and scholarships;
  • a list of professional research experience and teaching experience;
  • a list of conference presentations and other presentations;
  • a list of publications, including contributions in press and in submission;
  • a list of memberships;
  • and a list of other contributions toward academic organizations or initiatives.

2. The applicant’s research proposal (maximum 4 pages) must include the following elements:

  • the objectives of the proposed research program;
  • the theoretical approach or framework that will be used;
  • the methodology employed and why it was selected;
  • the scholarly contribution that the research will make;
  • the scholarly and social significance of the project;
  • if the proposed research is closely related to, or a continuation of, the dissertation, explain how it will develop and expand on the dissertation.

3. Works cited (maximum of 2 pages). This document should include a full citation for all works referenced in the research proposal.

4. The applicant must complete a concise statement (250 words or less) describing their most significant research contributions. From the contributions and achievements conveyed in your CV, choose those that you view as the most meaningful and significant. Explain their significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity within the relevant community or communities and in terms of significance to, and use by, other researchers and those beyond the research community who stand to benefit from the knowledge produced by the research.

5. The applicant must complete a concise statement (250 words or less) describing their most significant leadership contributions. From the activities and accomplishments listed in your CV, choose those that you view as the most significant and relevant to your proposal and your professional goals. Describe their significance in terms of demonstrating your leadership within academia and beyond. Discuss the impact and importance of these activities in terms of your professional goals.

6. The supervisor’s statement (maximum 3 pages) should:

  • describe how the proposed project complements your (the researcher) research portfolio;
  • provide a description of the significance of the applicant’s contributions and proposed research;
  • describe how the proposed project promises to advance knowledge or make an impact, in academic spheres and/or beyond;
  • describe planned joint research outcomes;
  • with reference to the applicant’s CV and contributions, the statement should show how the applicant has demonstrated exceptional academic and leadership strengths which position them for ongoing research success.

7. The YPDF program is a matching funds program. FGS will contribute $22,500 to the fellowship costs. The supervisor must submit a budget demonstrating the breakdown and source for the balance of the funding required. The total finding available may be no less than $40,500. There is no maximum fellowship value. Total funding could be composed from:

  • FGS contribution ($22,500)
  • Research grant funding
  • FGS YPDF Fund (max. $18,000) – see below
  • Other sources
FGS YPDF Fund – A small research fund has been established to support YPDFs under the supervision of faculty members who do not hold external research grants. Please indicate in the application form if you are eligible and requesting support from this fund.

8. Two letters of reference should be submitted directly by the referees. These should discuss why the applicant is a worthy candidate for the YPDF, with reference to their research and leadership contributions and strengths, and the potential impact and significance of the applicant’s proposed research. One letter may be from the PhD supervisor of this individual is different from the proposed supervisor for the postdoctoral fellowship.

Evaluation and Adjudication

York Postdoctoral Fellowship applications will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary committee composed of members from the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, natural sciences, and health sciences. These will be voting members of the committee. The committee will normally be chaired by the Associate Dean Academic, FGS and will be supported by a Secretary. These roles are non-voting.

The York Postdoctoral Fellowships selection committee is a multidisciplinary committee, and applications should be written with a non-specialist research audience in mind.

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

The primary evaluation criterion for the YPDF program is scholarly excellence. Applications which reflect York University priorities as described in university planning documents such as the University Academic Plan and the Strategic Research Plan, are particularly encouraged. Committee members will be asked to evaluate applications based on the following specific guidelines:

  1. Advancement of Knowledge (50%): Does the research plan promise to advance knowledge in the applicant’s field? Is this plan feasible and methodologically sound? Does the proposal list objectives and means of achieving these objectives which demonstrate innovation, originality and scholarly rigour?
  2. Capacity and Feasibility (30%): Do the applicant’s CV and statements of research and leadership significance provide evidence of excellence which suggests the probable success of the proposed project and the potential for continuing research excellence and leadership? Is the proposed project feasible within the one-year timeframe?
  3. Research Synergy (20%): Does the proposed project complement the supervisor’s portfolio and ongoing research pursuits? Do the supervisor’s statement and letters of reference convey confidence in the applicant’s proposed research and capacity to effectively carry it out? Does the proposed project support York University goals and objectives?


Emily Anglin
Postdoctoral Services Coordinator
Faculty of Graduate Studies
York University
Tel: 416-736-2100 ext. 22993