Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship Pilot Program

April 16, 2018

Western’s Faculty of Social Science (FSS) will be supporting up to three postdoctoral fellowships each year ($10,000/year) through matching funds for Research Western’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.


In addition to the aims of Research Western’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the program will particularly support FSS faculty advisors who may not currently have the means to fully support a postdoctoral scholar with their external funding, or not have opportunities elsewhere within their research group(s). Note that only external funds can be used for a faculty advisor's portion of the matching funds.


The total value to the postdoctoral fellow is $40,000 per year minimum (plus 13% benefits) for two years using a matched funding formula. See below for the advisor cost breakdown.

For successful candidates, a portion of that amount will come from the FSS: $10,000 per year.

The remainder of the will come from external grant funding (e.g., Tri-Council funds) held by the advisor– see Research Western matching formula.

That is, there is a minimum commitment from the faculty advisor of approximately $12,600 per year for up to 2 years ($10,000 per year + 13% benefits). Augmenting this amount definitely is encouraged to attract top talent.


In addition to the Research Western eligibility requirements, FSS requires that the faculty advisor does not currently hold external grants (all sources) in excess of $80,000 per year; and that they do not already have postdoc funding opportunities available (e.g., CFREF).

Selection Criteria:

See the Research Western selection criteria.


Please complete the Research Western Application form (opens as PDF) and submit it to the Faculty of Social Science Associate Dean Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by May 15.

There is no additional form required for applying to the FSS component. Note that applicants will still be required to submit their completed application to Research Western by May 31.

A Faculty-level committee appointed by the Dean will adjudicate the files and select up to three to support financially.

The applicants and Research Western will be notified by May 20. Only those applications that are successful at the University-level (Research Western) will be funded by FSS. Please note that if you are able to fund a postdoc without the FSS support component, you can still apply directly through the Research Western Process.

For budgeting purposes here is the breakdown of the Matching Formula COSTS for Year 1

$10,000 Faculty of Social Science
$12,600 Faculty member ($10,000, + 13% benefits on the $20,000 matching, including the FSS $10,000)
$22,600 Research Western ($20,000 + 13% benefits for $20,000)
$45,200 TOTAL annual COST (minimum)

Please note that the postdoctoral researchers' contract entitles them to a 1.5% raise for Year 2.  These modest costs will be covered by the Faculty advisor as well.