Graduate Research Trainees, Postdocs, Visitors & Fellows

Our deadlines

  • Our application period runs from October 1 to February 1 for candidates starting the next academic year (September 1).
  • This deadline applies to GRTs, Postdoctoral candidates (except the RGHL Fellowship), and Visiting Scholars.
  • No applications will be accepted outside of this period due to the large volume received. Applications will only be reviewed once per year after the deadline.

Graduate Research Trainees

The Faculty of Law hosts a handful of Graduate Research Trainees each year. The following details application and funding requirements. Applications are reviewed only once per year, and the deadline to apply is February 1 of the year preceding the academic year during which their visit will be taken.

The prospective candidate should first liaise with a potential supervisor and obtain a confirmation that this professor is willing to supervise him or her. A professor’s willingness to supervise in no way obliges the Faculty to accept the candidate.

Graduate Research Trainees often arrive with their own funding. As such, they are not enrolled for academic credit, nor employed by the University.


If you are enrolled in a graduate program at another university and would like to attend McGill for a limited period of time (up to a maximum of 12 months) to conduct research only, you must apply as a Graduate Research Trainee.

This category of registration is for students registered in a graduate program at their home university to conduct PART of their thesis research at McGill under the supervision of a McGill professor.

Immigration documents and work permit

If you are an international student (having neither Canadian citizenship nor permanent resident status) who is planning to attend McGill as a Graduate Research Trainee, you will need to obtain valid immigration documents. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has implemented a new process for employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); this includes Graduate Research Trainees.

Employers must submit an offer of employment online through the Employer Portal and pay a compliance fee before the work permit application is submitted.

Ensure that that the offer of employment and compliance fee payment have been submitted electronically by your academic unit before you submit your work permit application. You will need to include a copy of the completed form in your work permit application.

The purpose of the training period at McGill must be described. Acceptable reasons include:

  • the student is engaged in collaborative projects between professor(s) at McGill and the student’s sponsoring institution;
  • the student wishes to take advantage of specific expertise, academic resources or technical capabilities at McGill to enhance the thesis research being conducted at the sponsoring institution;
  • the student is completing a stage at McGill under a specific Memorandum of Understanding between McGill and the sponsoring Institution;
  • the student’s thesis supervisor has relocated to McGill, but the student remains registered at the former institution to complete his/her graduate degree

Please note: The category of Graduate Research Trainee cannot be used to conduct the majority of a student's thesis research at McGill under the supervision of a McGill professor.


Students applying to be a Graduate Research Trainee:

  • must be registered in a graduate degree program at another university;
  • must have permission from the sponsoring institution and include a letter of permission with the application;
  • must have the approval of a McGill professor and graduate program to supervise the research;
  • may apply for a start date throughout the academic year;
    • A trainee may spend up to a total of 12 months at McGill, but the time does not have to be consecutive. The trainee can therefore apply for multiple stages as long as the cumulative time spent as trainee at McGill does not exceed 12 months.
  • must include copies of transcripts (as part of the application package);
    • Transcripts issued in languages other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation to English or French
  • must demonstrate adequate proficiency in English to function in the university environment, including understanding any required safety training, as well as university policies and procedures;
    • Assessment of written and verbal language skills is the responsibility of the supervising professor
  • must arrange for basic health insurance coverage prior to arrival at McGill and may be required to provide proof of coverage;
  • are not charged fees for any term of registration including summer terms;
  • are not charged any Student Services or Ancillary fees and thus do not have access to these services (including health insurance);
    • Trainees have access to McGill libraries, email, and required training in research ethics and safety
    • Membership to Athletics Services may be purchased
  • may not register for courses at McGill.

How to apply

1. Complete the Graduate Research Trainee registration form

  • You will find a fillable PDF form on the McGill Graduate Research Trainee page (scroll down to the section titled Admissions/registration checklist. Be sure to have this signed by you and your prospective supervisor at the time of submission.

2. Obtain a Letter of Permission from your university

Obtain a Letter of Permission signed by a competent authority at your home university (such as the Registrar). The Letter of Permission must include the following:

  • acknowledge that you are permitted to pursue your research at McGill University;
  • give a specific start and end date for the period you are permitted to be at McGill (for example: January 1, 2025 to July 15, 2025);
  • describe the purpose of the training period at McGill;
  • be an original, bearing the signature of the signing official;
  • be on letterhead of your University;
    • Note: To expedite your file’s processing, an email version of the Letter of Permission will be accepted as a placeholder. However, the original must be submitted upon your arrival to complete your file.

3. Obtain and prepare your transcripts

  • Enclose copies of transcripts from the university where you are currently enrolled (these need not be official, but if they are not in either French or English, they need come with a translation in French or English).

4. Submit your documents

  • Submit the completed registration form and supporting documents to [at] before the deadline (our application period runs from October 1 to February 1).

Post-doctoral researchers

The Faculty of Law hosts a handful of postdoctoral researchers each year. The following details application and funding requirements. Applications are reviewed only once per year, and the deadline to apply is February 1st of the year preceding the academic year during which the fellowship will be taken.

Nota bene: Professors who are considering hosting a postdoctoral candidate through their internal funds must remember to calculate an additional 28% in benefits to the minimum salary.

There are several important steps to consider when applying for postdoctoral positions, outlined below:

  1. The prospective candidate should first liaise with a potential supervisor and obtain a confirmation that this professor is willing to supervise him or her. A professor’s willingness to supervise in no way obliges the Faculty to accept the candidate.
  2. The candidate must then fill out our Application Form and send it to the [at] (subject: Postdoctoral%20application) (Research Office) of the Faculty of Law. This form must state who the potential supervisor will be and where the candidate intends to obtain external funding.
  3. Please note our application deadline. No application will be accepted after that date. Applications are assessed only after the deadline has passed; the Faculty requires 4-6 weeks to review them.
  4. The Faculty of Law does an internal review of all of the postdoctoral applicants and decides to whom they would like to make conditional offers. If a candidate is accepted, the Faculty of Law sends a letter of invitation to the potential postdoc. This letter will say that acceptance is conditional on obtaining funding and a valid work permit.
  5. Candidates must find external funding. McGill regulations stipulate that a postdoctoral student must obtain external funding equal to or greater than $34,611 CAD per annum. It is solely the candidate’s responsibility to find and obtain such funding. The Faculty does offer institutional support on these applications, particularly with regards to the supporting documents that we will need to provide. However, it remains the candidate’s job to ensure that the application is complete and done properly.
  6. Although all applications must go through a formal process before an official invitation is made, the Faculty may issue an expression of interest to assist you in securing funding as required. Although it will be our pleasure to try and accommodate candidates, if you require such an expression of interest, it is preferable to contact us four (4) to six (6) weeks before the sponsor’s deadline in order to allow for processing and approvals.
  7. Once the candidate has secured funding, the Faculty will send the candidate a formal Letter of Invitation that he or she may use to obtain a work permit (if necessary). Once the candidate has fulfilled these conditions, he or she will be accepted into the postdoctoral program.
  8. Only candidates who have recently been awarded (within 5 years) a PhD or equivalent are eligible to hold a postdoctoral position.
  9. Kindly consult the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for more information.


Postdoctoral Fellows must obtain external funding. Most Canadian students are funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, while many students who are also Quebec Residents obtain funding from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture.

Both Canadian and International postdoctoral students are eligible to apply for Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships; however, there are very few of these awards offered each year. The Faculty may only nominate one candidate for the Banting Fellowship each year (and, some years, exceptionally two). A call for proposals is circulated to all Faculty members sometime in April inviting them to propose potential candidates. If you are interested in applying, please inform your supervisor or intended supervisor. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Faculty of Law Research Office.

Most international students obtain funding from their own governments. They can also apply for the Quebec Merit Scholarship for Foreign Students (Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur, Recherche, Science et Technologie), which is a non-renewable one-year scholarship with a $35,000.00 CAN value.

Please consult the McGill Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website for more information on requirements for postdoctoral studies at McGill. Jurists who are interested in air and space law fields can also consider the Erin Arsenault Postdoctoral Research Fellowships offered by McGill's IASL.


Questions and/or documentation should be [at] (subject: Postdoctoral%20Fellowships) (emailed).

Alternatively, applications may be sent by mail to:

Research Office
Room 503, New Chancellor Day Hall
Faculty of Law, McGill University
3644 Peel Street
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

Please kindly allow a minimum of 3 weeks for an answer to each communication with our office.

Visiting Scholars

Each year, McGill Law hosts a small number of visiting scholars, such as sabbaticants and Fulbright fellows. Those who are interested in becoming a visiting scholar should complete the  File Visiting Scholars Application Form and email it to the attention of the [at] (subject: Visiting%20Scholar) (Research Office) of the Faculty of Law. The deadline to apply is February 1st of the year preceding the academic year during which the fellowship will be taken.

Because we receive more requests than we can accommodate, invitations will only be issued to full-time scholars who have ongoing research collaborations with McGill Law Faculty members, and who hold funding for their stay.

Faculty fellowships

Meet our current postdocs.

Erin J.C. Arsenault Fellowships in Space Governance

The Arsenault Fellowships, which are supported by the Erin J. C. Arsenault Trust, are intended for graduate students engaged in research on the pursuit of peace and security in outer space through law, policy and global governance at the Institute of Air and Space Law (IASL).

Value: up to $20,000 for Master of Laws (LLM) students and $30,000 per year for Doctor of Civil Law (D.C.L.) students at the Institute of Air and Space Law, at McGill's Faculty of Law. These fellowships are renewable annually on the basis of outstanding performance during the preceding year.

For more information, visit the IASL's website.

Steinberg Fellowships in International Migration Law & Policy

The Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellowships in International Migration Law & Policy are funded by the Arnold and Blema Steinberg Foundation and the appointment(s) shall be for an initial duration of one year with a possibility of renewal for one more year. The Postdoctoral Fellow(s) work as part of a research team in collaboration with the Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law and the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism (CHRLP) under the leadership and supervision of Professor François Crépeau, Professor at the Faculty of Law and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.

A principal objective of the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program is to train the next generation of International Migration Law specialists interested in pursuing careers in Migration Law. Accordingly, in addition to completing a major research project, successful candidates, as members of the CHRLP team, will be strongly encouraged to participate in the relevant activities of the CHRLP and Oppenheimer Chair initiatives.


Applicants must hold a doctoral degree in law obtained within the last five years. The ideal candidate must have a solid track record of original research, a high level of proficiency in English, and must propose a research project with a clear focus on migration, mobility, or refugee-related issues.

The criteria for selection are as follows:

  • originality, quality, and relevance of the project to contemporary global issues of migration and mobility.
  • ability demonstrated by the candidate to conduct legal research and perform other academic tasks substantiated by the candidate's previous track record of original research and publications.
  • availability and willingness of the candidate to participate actively in the academic life of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, including a commitment to be physically present in Montreal during the tenure of the postdoctoral fellowship.
  • the candidate's desire and preparedness to pursue a career in human rights law and/or migration law, refugee law, and migration policy.
  • practical or professional experience in working with migrants and refugees is considered as an asset.

Application deadline and procedure:

The deadline for receiving applications is 1 February at 11:59 pm, Eastern Standard Time (Montreal time). The review of applications will commence immediately thereafter and continue until the position(s) is (are) filled. This full-time position begins on 1 September and lasts until 31 August of the next year.

The selected candidates will receive a Fellowship of the value of 50,000 Canadian dollars per annum.

Applications are to be submitted electronically to the attention of the selection committee at [at] Applicants must submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, a research proposal (maximum four pages), a transcript of postgraduate (doctoral) studies, and one or more writing samples (from peer-reviewed publications, if possible). Applicants should also name three referees who may be invited by the CHRLP to send letters of reference.

For more information about the Arnold & Blema Steinberg Post-Doctoral Fellowships in International Migration Law & Policy, please contact [at]

McGill Research Group on Health and Law Postdoctoral Fellowships

The McGill Research Group on Health and Law (RGHL) at McGill University’s Faculty of Law is seeking two postdoctoral fellows for a one-year period starting in 2021.

Applicants should plan to conduct interdisciplinary research in any range of areas related to health, law and justice.

For full details and to apply directly, visit the RGHL website.

Deadline to apply: 15 April 2021.

Boulton fellowships

Please note that we are not seeking applications for this fellowship at the moment.

The Boulton Fund was established in 1983 under the terms of a bequest of the late A. Maxwell Boulton, QC (1909-1981), BA 1930, BCL 1933.

The purpose of the Fund is to enable the Faculty to invite, from time to time, a senior scholar to McGill to participate in the teaching and intellectual life of the Faculty as Boulton Visiting Professor; and to appoint one or more junior scholars, Boulton Fellows, in each academic year, in order to assist them in carrying out a research project of significance while gaining some teaching experience in the Faculty.

The Trustees of the Boulton Fund naturally look with particular favour upon research projects that have significance to the Canadian legal system and legal community although the subject matter of the project need not bear directly upon a subject of Canadian law. It is normally assumed that the finished product will be published in some form or another.

How to apply

Fellows are appointed upon an open competition.

Applications for the Boulton Fellowships should include a letter of intent, a curriculum vitae, a detailed statement of research project, and the names of three referees. Applications should be addressed to the Boulton Fund Administrators, Faculty of Law, McGill University. For inquiries, email [at]

Wainwright fellowships

Please note that we are not seeking applications for this fellowship at the moment.

The Wainwright Fund was established under the terms of the will of the late Arnold Wainwright, QC (1879-1967), BA 1899, BCL 1902, DCL 1963 of the Montreal Bar. Mtre Wainwright taught Civil law at McGill University from 1909 to 1934. His merits as a teacher of the Civil Law for over twenty-five years were recognized by the University in 1934 when it named him Emeritus Professor upon his retirement. In 1963, the degree of Doctor of Civil Law honoris causa was conferred upon him by the University.

Mtre Wainwright bequeathed the residue of his estate to McGill University for the use of the Faculty of Law; in so doing, he intended to promote the scholarly study of the Civil Law of Quebec, which had always remained his abiding interest throughout his long and distinguished career.

The Faculty has since appointed a number of Wainwright Fellows, many of whom now hold academic positions in Canadian law faculties.

How to apply for a Wainwright Fellowship.

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