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Division of responsibilities


The document Commitments of Postdoctoral Scholars and Supervisors provides the general principles governing the postdoc-supervisor relationship. All individuals involved with postdoctoral education must read this document prior to completing the Letter of Agreement, and should familiarize themselves with the content in order to get the most out of the training experience.

Failure on the part of the postdoc or supervisor to fulfill their responsibilities and commitments is considered to be a breach of the Letter of Agreement. Please refer to conflict resolution for more information. 

Postdoctorals

Please refer to the postdoctoral researchers section for a list of responsibilities of postdoctoral researchers.

Supervisors

Supervisors’ responsibilities entail that they:

  • oversee, maintain and transmit to postdocs the highest professional standards of research and/or scholarship;
  • provide research guidance;
  • meet regularly with their postdocs;
  • provide feedback on work performed by the postdocs;
  • clarify expectations regarding intellectual property rights in accordance with the university policy;
  • provide mentorship for career development;
  • prepare, sign, and adhere to a Letter of Agreement for Postdoctoral Education.

Departments/Academic Units

  • All departments/academic units hosting postdocs should clearly define postdocs’ needs and means by which they will be met by the department/academic unit.
  • The department/academic unit should consider the availability of resources (research supervision, facilities, office space) and sufficient research funding prior to offering postdoctoral appointments to prospective postdocs.
  • Departments/academic units receiving postdoctoral scholars should explicitly state policies and procedures for the provision of postdoctoral education and establish means of informing postdocs of policies, procedures and privileges (e.g. orientation sessions, handbooks, etc.), as well as mechanisms for addressing complaints.
  • Departments/academic units should ensure that their policies, procedures and privileges are consistent with the present guidelines and the Charter of Students’ Rights. Postdoctoral scholars are responsible for informing themselves of policies, procedures, and privileges.
  • In additional, departments/academic units' responsibilities entail that they:
    • ensure that prospective postdocs are eligible for postdoctoral status prior to offering them postdoctoral appointments;
    • confirm eligible postdoc acceptance by sending a Letter of Offer that confirms start and end dates, stipend or other source of funding;
    • perform daily administration of postdoctoral studies/guidance to postdocs;
    • provide postdocs with departmental policy and procedures applicable to them;
    • oversee registration, appointment and reappointment of postdocs;
    • assign the responsibility for postdocs to departmental personnel (e.g. graduate program director/coordinator);
    • oversee and sign-off on the Letter of Agreement for Postdoctoral Education;
    • ensure that all returning postdocs have a renewed Letter of Agreement prior to the expiry date;
    • ensure that each postdoc has a supervisor, lab and/or office space, access to research facilities and necessary resources/equipment;
    • process payroll appointment and payments of postdoc stipend;
    • include postdocs in departmental career and placement opportunities;
    • refer postdocs to appropriate university policies and personnel for the resolution of conflict that may arise between a postdoc and supervisor.

The Postdoctoral Office

The Postdoctoral Office's function and mandate are to:

  • be responsible for the central administration of postdocs (i.e., postdoctoral admission/registration process);
  • act as university representative with the Ministry of Education (MELS) regarding Certificates of Eligibility for the Quebec Tax Exemption on behalf of eligible postdocs and the university;
  • provide documented policies and procedures for departments/academic units and postdocs on postdoctoral education;
  • provide timely information and guidance to department/academic units and postdoc coordinators;
  • provide a reference in cases of conflict (information on available appeal mechanisms within the university);
  • provide guidance and assistance in the resolution of conflicts, grievances and termination.