NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Application Deadline: 8:00 p.m. (ET) on October 17, 2022


The Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDF) program provides support to a core of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers. The fellowships are also intended to secure a supply of highly qualified Canadians with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and academic institutions.


To be considered eligible for support, as of the application deadline date of the year in which you apply, you must

  • be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or a protected person under subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada)
  • hold or expect to hold a doctorate in one of the fields of research that NSERC supports

In addition:

  • You can submit a maximum of one scholarship (master’s or doctoral) or fellowship application per academic year to either NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) or the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Applications to the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program do not count toward this limit (other exceptions may apply to CIHR internships).
  • You must not have already received a postdoctoral award (including a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship) from NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC.
  • You must have completed all requirements of your doctoral degree no more than two years before September 1 of the year in which you apply.

    Note: This is not the conferred or convocation date indicated on your transcript, but rather the date on which all the requirements of your degree were met, including the successful defense and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis. If you have more than one doctoral degree, the completion date of your most recent doctoral degree will be used to determine your eligibility.  

    Exceptions to the doctoral degree completion eligibility period are granted only if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • If you have acquired at least six months of full-time relevant employment in industry or government (experience in an academic institution or its affiliated hospitals, research institutions and other laboratories will not be considered) after you received your doctorate, NSERC will extend the eligibility period to three years.
  • If you have completed a non-research based clinical residency program after you received your doctorate, NSERC will extend the eligibility period to three years.
  • If, within two years following the date of completion of your PhD, you had your career significantly interrupted due to parental, medical and/or family-related responsibilities, NSERC will extend the eligibility period to three years.
  • If, within two years before or after the date of completion of your PhD, you become the primary caregiver following the birth or adoption of a child, NSERC will extend the eligibility period to six years.
  • If you are subject to an extended eligibility period, then you may be asked by NSERC to provide additional information and/or supporting documentation. Any such submission to NSERC will only be used by staff to assess your eligibility to the program. If you wish to inform the review committee of delays and/or circumstances that may have affected your performance and/or productivity, then you may do so in the Special circumstances section of the application.

Proposed location(s) of tenure

You can hold your PDF at

  • Canadian academic institutions
  • provincial research institutions in Canada
  • other appropriate research laboratories in Canada
  • research institutions abroad

You cannot hold a PDF in Canadian federal government laboratories or in industrial laboratories in Canada.

NSERC encourages you to undertake research that involves collaboration with other Canadian organizations. The nature of the proposed collaboration must be acceptable to the host institution.

In addition:

  • You may hold a PDF abroad only if you have received your doctorate from a Canadian institution.
  • NSERC encourages PDF award holders to broaden their research experience by gaining exposure to different research environments. You are not permitted to hold your fellowship at the same institution (or its affiliated hospitals, research institutions and other laboratories) where you received your doctorate. However, you may request an exception that will be considered by the selection committee. The request must be based on medical reasons (for example, proximity to required health care facilities), family reasons (for example, a spouse’s career) or scientific reasons (for example, availability of specialized equipment), which make it extremely difficult for you to leave a particular institution. Even if your exception is granted, you are not permitted to be supervised by your PhD supervisor. You are encouraged to include an alternate location for your PDF in the event that your request for an exception is not approved.
  • You may not hold the PDF with your PhD supervisor, even if your supervisor changes research institutions.
  • If you are a permanent resident of Canada and will be taking up your award outside of Canada, you should contact the relevant Canadian immigration authorities to determine how doing so may affect your Canadian residency status.


*See the agency website for full details and application information.

Agency Name: 
Contact Name: 
Angela Rosenau
Grant Amount: 
$45,000 per year for two years
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Monday, October 17, 2022
Internal Deadline: 
Monday, October 10, 2022
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Grant Eligibility: