Current & Prospective PDFs

Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs) are individuals who have completed a doctoral degree and are seeking further research training under the general supervision of a faculty member. PDFs may assist with supervising graduate students. As valued members of the Faculty of Education’s community, PDFs help to raise the profile of UBC and the research community. There are several resources and support initiatives in place for PDFs, and many others are being developed both at the University and Faculty levels.

01 Reading postdocs feature

The Office of Research in Education (ORE) is working towards fostering PDFs presence and participation in the Faculty of Education research landscape. Please refer to individual Departments listed below to learn about faculty members’ research interests, areas of expertise, and contact information.

Typically, PDFs either have their own funds or are hired with funds from their supervisors’ research grants. In any case, postdoctoral recruitment and appointment at UBC are managed through individual faculties and departments. Prospective PDFs need to first identify, and then form a relationship with, a faculty member whose research aligns with theirs and who is willing to act as the PDF’s supervisor. We encourage interested candidates to directly contact any potential supervisor to discuss interests and timelines, and to work together in any supporting documents needed in a Postdoctoral Fellowship application.

Supervising a PDF is a significant responsibility for faculty researchers. It's important that the relationship is mutually beneficial. Please consult University Policy AP10 - Postdoctoral Fellows regarding the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions for postdoctoral fellow appointments. If the arrangement is mutually agreeable for both parties, the faculty supervisor will extend an offer to the PDF. PDF positions at the Faculty of Education are rarely advertised.

Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) - EDCP is committed to advancing research into learning and teaching in a variety of contexts and across the lifespan. In addition to addressing many of the curriculum areas represented in public education, EDCP researchers also focus on transdisciplinary areas of scholarly inquiry such as curriculum theory, design and evaluation, teacher education, digital media and learning technologies, curriculum and pedagogy in higher education, and learning and teaching in informal educational settings.

Department of Educational Studies (EDST) - The people of EDST are dedicated to a better world through education, and their work deeply and directly affects people and communities both locally and globally. While individual scholarship projects and themes range widely, EDST faculty members’ research activities fit into six interdisciplinary research clusters: children, youth and society; comparative and international education; engaging the political: democracy, citizenship and education; indigeneity: honouring heart, mind, body and spirit; philosophy of educational research; and policy studies in education.

Department of Educational Counselling and Psychology, and Special Education (ECPS) - ECPS is a community of scholars committed to the use and application of psychological foundations and research, and to understanding and solving human problems across the lifespan in diverse contexts, including families, communities, schools, and workplaces. ECPS faculty eschew the traditional research-practice dichotomy focusing on the integration of practice and research, working closely with schools, community agencies, and policy makers. They serve as advisors at the provincial, national and international levels.

Department of Language and Literacy Education (LLED) - LLED is a community of educators committed to excellence in scholarship, teaching, and professional leadership. Responsive to Canada’s multicultural, multilingual context, LLED engages in research, provides instruction and collaborates with educational communities at the local, national, and international levels to advance the study of language in learning, and the teaching and learning of language, literacy, and literature in their broadest frames of reference. LLED endeavours to create an environment where collegiality is fostered, risk-taking is valued, and each participant has a voice.

School of Kinesiology (KIN) - The School of Kinesiology has established itself as a leader in a discipline devoted to the comprehensive and systematic study of human movement and physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. Research is an important and vital activity within the School of Kinesiology and it includes such areas of study as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports, sport and exercise psychology, fitness leadership, physical education-teacher education, and pre-professional training for physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine and other health related fields.

  • Postdoctoral Fellows are either funded through personal scholarships (e.g., Banting, SSHRC, CIHR, Killam) or by their sponsoring faculty member’s research grants. In the first case, PDFs are appointed as award recipients and work independently. In the second case, PDFs are appointed as employees and work in a research team.
  • If the PDF receives a Tri-Agency Postdoctoral Fellowship (e.g. SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship) or another external grant, and a faculty member in Education agrees to be the sponsor, the Office of Research in Education (ORE) can provide $6-10K through RISS for one postdoc for a maximum of one year to cover benefits alone.
  • If funded through the PDF's own externally funded postdoctoral fellowship (e.g. a foreign-government postdoc), the PDF needs to enroll in the Medical Services Plan which does not cover the first 3-months of benefits.
  • PDFs are always considered faculty at UBC.
  • All Faculty of Education PDF appointments should be processed through the Deans’ Office, whether the PDF brings her/his own funding or is paid through a faculty member’s grant.
  • Individual faculty members interested in recruiting PDFs can choose whether or not to advertise the position.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships are typically temporary positions. Appointments are usually one-year long with a three-month probation period, and can be renewed for up to three years. With approval from the Dean, a PDF can renew an appointment for up to five years.
  • PDFs working half-time or more are eligible for benefits, including extended health plan, Canada pension plan, employment insurance, and parental leave. Whether PDFs are employees or award recipients, supervisors are obligated to pay for PDFs’ benefit package, with the exception of MSP (MSP is paid by the PDF). Please contact Human Resources for further and updated benefits information.
  • PDFs can be international or Canadian citizens/Permanent Residents.
  • PDFs can be concurrently hired as Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows (PDTFs). Alternatively, PDFs are eligible to apply for sessional instructor positions, and if successful, their secondary teaching appointment is processed as PDTFs. In all cases, a separate appointment will need to be processed through the Dean’s Office.

At the start of every academic year, the Faculty of Education, the Departments, and the Office of Research in Education (ORE), offer orientation sessions to new and returning graduate students and PDFs. These sessions are also excellent opportunities to meet people from the Faculty community and to get relevant information that will help PDFs navigate their transition to the Faculty of Education. Orientation sessions normally take place in the first week of September.

The Office of Research in Education administers the Postdoctoral Fellows Conference Travel Grant. PDFs presenting their research as first authors at local, national, or international conferences can apply for this grant at any time. The Terms of Reference can be found here, and the application form can be found here.

The ORE also offers professional development opportunities through seminars, workshops, and other events that aim at fostering research skills in our community, as well as sharing the work of our researchers. Check our website for News and Events at the Faculty of Education.

For specific academic and professional concerns, PDFs may contact Dr. Patsy Duff, Associate Dean Research, and PDF Coordinator.

Some UBC programs and curricula that offer valuable experiences for PDFs are:

UBC offers and administers programs that provide financial help to Postdoctoral Fellows. Some of these funding opportunities are external to UBC, however others are internal. The Postdoctoral Fellows Office has compiled an extended list of funding opportunities for PDFs working in different areas and disciplines. Visit the PDFO’s Funding Opportunities site for a comprehensive list.

Please note that some funding opportunities require institutional endorsement of applications and that future supervisor’s involvement is necessary.

Some of the most relevant PDF funding opportunities for the Faculty of Education are:

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program

Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (UBC)

Other Merit-based Funding Opportunities

Killam Postdoctoral Fellow Research Prizes (UBC)

Alice Wilson Award (Royal Society of Canada)

SSHRC Talent Award (SSHRC)

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowships (UBC-FoE) - Talk to your supervisor to explore this opportunity.

Dr. Patsy Duff
Associate Dean Research, and PDF Coordinator

Dr. Rachel Fernandez
Associate Dean, Postdoctoral Fellows Office and Student Professional Development

Hourik Khanlian
Senior Manager, Human Resources and Postdoctoral Affairs

Sarah Henderson
Coordinator, Human Resources and Postdoctoral Affairs