Letters of offer, agreement & appointment

General requirements

  • Letters of offer, agreement, appointment and reappointment to postdoctoral scholars require the approval of the chair or director of the department/unit or the dean in single-department faculties. 
  • The duration of the appointment should be a minimum of six months and within the five-year time limit from the date the Ph.D./doctorate degree was awarded. The appointment period must not exceed the postdoctoral status eligibility end date.
  • Official proof of Ph.D./doctorate degree or official proof of successful completion of medical specialty training (Medical Specialist Diploma/Certificate) is required for the postdoctoral appointment offer to be valid. Documents must be original or certified/notarized copies. Authentic certified translations into English or French (where applicable) must also be provided. 
  • Identification of the level and source of stipend as well as any additional support is required. Note that any postdoctoral financial support received from McGill University or the Department will be subject to all applicable taxes, and McGill researchers appointing Postdoctoral Fellows must indicate in their letters of invitation and offer that the postdoctoral fellowship is taxable at the federal level.
  • Postdoctoral fellows must be registered with the Postdoctoral Office. A valid work permit will be required from international postdoctoral scholars for registration.
  • Letters of offer, agreement, appointment and reappointment for medical specialists must specify that their appointment will not involve any clinical service or work at any hospital or with medical patients, or any form of medical practice in any setting.

Detailed requirements for Letters of Agreement

For the specific terms and conditions to be outlined in Letters of Agreement, as well as documents which must be read before signing, please see the postdocs section. Letters of Agreement must be completed using the Letter of Agreement for Postdoctoral Education template.

Letters of reappointment for international postdocs

A valid Canadian work permit is required from international postdoctoral scholars for registration. If a work permit lapses:

  • the postdoc will cease to have legal status in Canada and at McGill; 
  • their Quebec Medicare coverage will expire (the applicant will be subject to a 3 month waiting period before Medicare benefits can be reinstated);
  • all stipend payments will be stopped; and,
  • postdoctoral registration cannot be maintained, renewed or extended.

Academic Units should provide newly reappointed international postdocs with a letter of reappointment in a timely manner, as the letter will be required by Immigration authorities for work permit renewal. It is the responsibility of the postdoc to renew the work permit through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

It is advisable that applications for renewals be presented, with supporting documentation, to Immigration Authorities at least 30 to 60 days before the expiry date of the current work permit. Supporting documentation includes the letter extending the postdoctoral appointment and a proof of valid passport.


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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