Letter of agreement

The Letter of Agreement (LofA) for Postdoctoral Education is an important document that clarifies the status of postdocs as well as research expectations. By signing this agreement, the parties agree to abide by the University regulations and guidelines governing postdocs and their supervisors, and by the general principles governing the trainee-supervisor relationship.


The LofA should be written by the supervisor and signed by the Postdoctoral Fellow/Scholar/Researcher, the supervisor and the chair/director/dean. Postdoctoral appointments require the approval of the chair or director of the department/academic unit or the dean in single-department faculties.

Signed copies of the LofA are required from all postdocs prior to postdoctoral registration. Any extension of the initial period of appointment mentioned in the LofA will require a new LofA prepared and signed by all parties.


The LofA must contain, and all parties must agree on:

  • the period of postdoctoral appointment
  • the specific responsibilities of postdocs and supervisors
  • the level of financial support and the nature of any additional support/resources provided to postdocs while performing their research activities
  • the terms and conditions of any leave of absence for Health/Parental/Familial Reasons
  • for Medical Specialists the letter of agreement must specify that the postdoctoral appointment will not involve any clinical service to hospital or medical patients or any form of medical practice in any setting.

Terms and Conditions

The items listed above must be based on, and comply with, the Terms and Conditions of Postdoctoral Appointment, which are:

  • The minimum postdoctoral appointment is normally of a duration of 12 months or greater. The appointment period on the Letter of Agreement should not in any way exceed the postdoc’s eligibility end date.
  • Postdoctoral stipend support can be assembled from various sources (external or internal). The source of funding determines the postdoctoral category (Postdoctoral Fellow – Group A, Postdoctoral Scholar – Group B, or Postdoctoral Researcher – Group C). In order to be registered, postdocs must be assured of financial support other than from personal means at the time of appointment. Consult the minimum salary requirement applicable to both unionized and non-unionized Postdoctoral Researchers (Group C).
  • Postdocs with full responsibility for teaching a course should be compensated over and above their fellowship at the standard rate paid to lecturers by their department. The amount of work, teaching, or other activities that postdocs engage in over and above postdoctoral activities should conform with regulations for postdocs specified by the Canadian Research Council of their discipline. This applies to all postdocs, including those whose funding does not come from Canadian research councils.
  • Leaves from postdoctoral education for health/parental/familial reasons must comply with McGill's Leave of Absence Policy.
  • For unionized Postdocs, if agreed-upon terms, working conditions, etc. contradict those laid out in the AMURE (Postdocs) collective agreement, the provisions in the collective agreement shall prevail.


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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