York Postdoctoral Fellowships (YPDF) Program

Please note that this opportunity has been suspended and is not accepting any applications for the upcoming cycle while it is being redesigned.

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 in a way which simultaneously supports the professionalization of top York PhDs;
  • 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. Applications to the YPDF program are adjudicated by a cross-disciplinary selection committee. Up to ten (10) YPDFs may be awarded each academic year.

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 first month of the academic term 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 the twelfth term of study* of their doctoral degree program are eligible to apply for the YPDF.
  • Doctoral students completing their degrees later than the twelfth term of study of their doctoral program are not eligible to apply for the YPDF.
  • All degree requirements must be completed before taking up the YPDF in the first month of term following the twelfth term* of the PhD program. For example, in September of the academic year when the twelfth term ended August 31.
  • In the event that a successful YPDF recipient’s doctoral degree requirements are not fulfilled by the twelfth term* of the student’s program, the applicant must forfeit the award, if it has been offered.
  • Applicants may submit only one application per year for a YPDF.
  • Applicants must not hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position, nor can they be on leave from such a position.
  • Fellowships must be taken up in the first month of the term following the twelfth term* of the doctoral degree. For example, in September of the academic year when the twelfth term ended August 31.
  • Applicants may not hold other postdoctoral fellowships simultaneously.

*York PhD students in the Clinical Psychology and Clinical Developmental Psychology specializations of the Psychology program, who have fulfilled or who expect to fulfill all requirements for the doctoral degree on or before the end of the fifteenth term of their doctoral degree program are eligible to apply for the YPDF to accommodate the clinical internship requirement.


  • January 15

The required documents described below must be submitted to Kim McIntyre, Postdoctoral Services Coordinator, before January 15, at noon. All documents (with the exception of the two reference letters) must be submitted as a single PDF to kimmcint@yorku.ca. The reference letters should be submitted to the Postdoctoral Services Coordinator by e-mail (kimmcint@yorku.ca) directly by the referees.

Application Process

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

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

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

  1. The YPDF application form
  2. The applicant’s CV
  3. The applicant’s research proposal (maximum 4 pages)
  4. Works cited (maximum of 2 pages)
  5. A statement outlining the applicant’s most significant research and leadership contributions (maximum 1 page)
  6. The supervisor’s statement (maximum 3 pages)
  7. Two letters of reference

Description of Required Documents

  1. The completed YPDF application form signed by the applicant and the supervisor.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Works cited (maximum of 2 pages). This document should include a full citation for all works referenced in the research proposal.
  5. The applicant must complete a concise statement (maximum 1 page) describing their most significant research and leadership 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 intellectual contribution and leadership. Indicate how these activities have had an impact on the relevant community or communities (inside and outside of academia as appropriate) and who stands to benefit from the knowledge produced by the research.
  6. The supervisor’s statement (maximum 3 pages) must be signed and on letterhead and 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;
    • describe the workspace and resource needs of the project and how they will be accommodated through the supervisor's existing resources or other confirmed sources.
    • 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 (no max.)
      • FGS YPDF Fund (max. $18,000)—see below
      • Other sources (no max.)
      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 or who can provide less than $18,000 in matching funding. It is expected that supervisors holding external research grants will contribute to the funding of their proposed YPDF. Please indicate in the application form if you are requesting support from this fund.
  7. 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 if 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 in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, natural sciences, and health sciences. The committee will normally be chaired by the Associate Dean Academic, FGS and will be supported by a Secretary.

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?

Proposals demonstrating strong matching fund contributions, if available, will be given priority.


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