In Quebec, 'Postdoctoral' is a full-time student status and trainee category, and the Ministère de l'Education, Enseignement supérieur et Recherche (MESRS) stipulates that all postdoctoral fellows must be registered on a university student registration system. The status of postdoctoral fellows has been subject to some changes in the last few years, starting with the federal government’s decision in 2010 to classify postdocs as employees. The Quebec government, for its part, had continued to classify postdocs as trainees up until 2011, when it started classifying postdocs at some Quebec universities – and eventually McGill – as employees.
Effective January 2017, some postdoctoral fellows will have a dual status as students and as employees.
Categories of Postdoctoral Fellows (effective 1 January 2017):
Postdoctoral Fellow (Group 1)
Postdoctoral fellow who works at and is getting paid by an affiliated hospital or the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). A postdoctoral fellow is not considered a McGill employee (is not paid by McGill University).
Postdoctoral Scholar (Group 2)
Postdoctoral fellow who comes to McGill with their own personal award and is paid 100 per cent out of their own award. A postdoctoral scholar is not considered an employee (is not paid by McGill University research funds even if their pay is processed by McGill University).
Postdoctoral Researcher (Group 3 & 4)
Postdoctoral fellow who works at McGill University and is paid – partially or completely – through McGill University research funds. A postdoctoral researcher is classified as an employee. A postdoctoral researcher who receives more than 25 per cent of their total salary from McGill (compared to other sources of funding) is classified as a unionized employee.
NOTE: In 2015, the Association of McGill University Research Employees/Public Service Alliance of Canada (AMURE/PSAC) filed for and obtained union certification for McGill postdoctoral fellows. However, not all postdoctoral researchers are part of the union. Some postdoctoral fellows get their funding from more than one source (e.g. personal or external fellowship + McGill research funds). Only postdocs who receive more than 25 per cent of their total salary from McGill (compared to other sources of funding) are members of the union.
Candidates seeking postdoctoral registration must meet all eligibility requirements for postdoctoral status in conformity with Quebec provincial rules and regulations, and McGill University regulations and policies governing postdoctoral education. As postdoctoral status is a trainee/student classification, you are not eligible for postdoctoral status if you hold an active status or affiliation with an institution or organization. Holders of MDCM, DDS, DMD or DVM degrees are not eligible for postdoctoral status without a subsequent specialty certification.