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Graduate studies scholarship and postdoctoral fellowship program on occupationnal health and safety

Specific regulations for postdoctoral fellowships

Last update : April, 2014

Eligibility requirements | Scholarship Amount | Research and travel indemnity | Duration and Renewal | Maternity leave, paternity leave, and sick leave | Combining scholarships and other remuneration | Required Documents | Application Deadline


The postdoctoral fellowships offered by the IRSST are intended for Ph.D. graduates who wish to broaden their research horizons or explore new, related fields in the specific sector of occupational health and safety research. The research should lead to the acquisition of new or enhanced skills in research and knowledge transfer, thus preparing the recipient for a career as an independent researcher.

Three options are available and are designed to assist new researchers who:

  1. wish to do their postdoctoral research at a university or recognized research centre outside Québec;
  2. wish to do their postdoctoral research at a university or recognized research centre in Québec;
  3. wish to do their postdoctoral research at the IRSST under the supervision of one of its researchers and who hold a Ph.D. from a university outside Québec; this option is hereafter referred to the IRSST guest postdoctoral fellowship and foreign applicants are eligible.

In order to increase the numbers of new researchers in accordance with the IRSST’s scientific and organizational priorities, the following factors will be regarded as important assets in the awarding of the fellowships:

  • the applications of candidates with a Ph.D. whose subject of study was relevant to occupational health and safety;
  • postdoctoral fellowship projects that are related to the orientations set out in the IRSST’s Five-Year Plan;
  • when applicable, projects that include knowledge transfer activities.

Eligibility requirements

1. To be eligible, applicants must, at the time they submit their applications:

  1. meet the criteria stipulated in the general regulations for the IRSST's Graduate Studies Scholarship and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program;
  2. have had a Ph.D. for no more than four years, or have successfully defended their doctoral thesis by no later than August 15 of the year following submission of their fellowship application;
  3. prove that their research project will be completed at a location other than where they obtained their doctorate, or, if they have already held a first postdoctoral fellowship, prove that their research project will be completed at a location other than where this fellowship was held;
  4. not have submitted more than two prior applications for IRSST postdoctoral fellowships, regardless of whether these applications were accepted or rejected.

Fellowship applicants must meet all the requirements by the time they accept the fellowship offered. In cases where their thesis has not yet been defended at the time their fellowship application is submitted, proof of successful thesis defence must be submitted by their department director at the time of acceptance, failing which the fellowship offer will be revoked.

Amount of the fellowship

2. The amount of the fellowship is $30,000 a year for recipients who do their research program in Québec, and $36,000 a year for those who do their program outside Québec.

Research and travel indemnity

3. The costs incurred to facilitate knowledge transfer activities, participate in conferences and cover other expenses related to the fellowship are reimbursed upon presentation of supporting documents, up to a maximum of $3,000 a year. However, there is no reimbursement for the costs of purchasing a computer and hiring a research assistant or for other research-related expenses.

4. Recipients who do their fellowships outside Québec or who come from outside Québec and do their fellowships at the IRSST may be reimbursed for the cost of one economy-class return airfare or one return trip by car, upon presentation of supporting documents and up to a maximum of $2,000 a year.

Duration and Renewal

5. The duration of the fellowship is two years (six consecutive sessions) if the applicant is awarded a new fellowship by the IRSST at the very beginning of his1 postdoctoral fellowship and needs six sessions to complete it.

If this is not the case, the duration of the fellowship is reduced by the number of sessions already completed between the start of the fellowship and the time when the applicant receives the first instalment and by the number of sessions that are no longer required at the end of the fellowship. However, no fellowship is awarded for a period of less than one year.

6. To receive his scholarship for the second year, the recipient must submit a duly completed application for renewal. The deadline for submission of a renewal application is the same as that for a new application.  

Maternity leave, paternity leave, and sick leave

7. The rules concerning the fellowship eligibility period (duration of the fellowship) only leave room for exceptional measures under circumstances beyond the recipient's control, such as a serious illness that obliges him to defer his research program. Recipients who defer their research program to take parental leave may request an extension of their eligibility period of up to 12 months.

In both these cases, the fellowship is still awarded for the maximum number of eligible sessions. Moreover, recipients who wish to avail themselves of the exceptional circumstances provision regarding the eligibility period must provide an official attestation of registration deferral, and if applicable, a medical certificate indicating the duration of and reason for the deferral.

Combining scholarships and other remuneration

8. IRSST fellowship recipients may not accept other fellowships awarded by the Canadian or Québec governments, one of their agencies, or a federal or provincial granting agency.

However, an IRSST fellowship may be combined with other fellowships from the private sector (foundations, private institutes, companies, etc.).

9. Research projects must be carried out by fellowship recipients on a full-time basis.

Subject to the approval of their research supervisor, recipients may accept remunerated work related to their field of research, provided that it does not exceed 150 hours a session. For the purposes of this rule, a 45-hour course load is considered equivalent to 150 hours of work. 

The remuneration paid to fellowship recipients to allow them to work exclusively on their research project is considered a fellowship that cannot be combined with an IRSST fellowship.

Required documents2

To be considered valid, photocopies of official documents must be legible and officially authenticated by a commissioner of oaths or any other duly authorized person.

For a new application:

  • a proof of Canadian citizenship (birth certificate or certificate of citizenship) or of permanent residency in Canada (permanent resident card); or, for foreign applicants applying for the IRSST Guest Postdoctoral Fellowship, a proof of citizenship (identification page of a valid passport or another official document);
  • a photocopy of a valid Québec health insurance card (a card with an expiry date prior to the deadline for the scholarship competition is not valid) or any official document confirming Québec resident status within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act; this requirement does not apply for foreign applicants applying for the IRSST Guest Postdoctoral Fellowship;
  • the application form, duly completed (front side only) and signed by the applicant and the research supervisor;
  • the official transcripts of all university grades, including grades for completed programs and those under way (if the program has begun but the marks are not yet available, include an official attestation of acceptance or registration). The document must bear the seal of the university registrar. In the case of transcripts from outside North America, include an official letter explaining the grading system used by the institution concerned;
  • an evaluation letter (maximum of two pages on the front side only) from each of two scientists other than the research supervisor, who have participated in the applicant's education (the respondents must follow the instructions given in the document entitled "Letter of evaluation for postdoctoral fellows");
  • a letter of recommendation (a maximum of two pages on the front side only) written by the research supervisor (the latter must give his general assessment of the applicant and the research project submitted; specify how the project fits in with his work, if applicable; specify how the applicant will be supervised; describe the research environment and explain its relevance; 
  • The Declaration of the research supervisor form and, if applicable, of the research co-supervisor(s) or a personal CV of the supervisor(s) whose content is limited to what is required in the form;
  • applicants wishing to pursue their fellowships and research outside Canada must submit documents explaining the chosen program and institution.

For a renewal application:

Application deadline  

The deadline for submitting applications to the IRSST is 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of October (the postmark or the courier-signed and -dated receipt serves as proof of the date of submission). 

 

1 The masculine form is used in this text solely in the interests of readability. It refers equally to women and men, with no gender discrimination intended.
2 Please note that no documents other than those required and no documents exceeding the length stipulated on the form will be forwarded to the review committee.

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