International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The OFI International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers an opportunity for early career PhDs to conduct innovative, full time, collaborative research that is aligned with OFI's priorities

The term of the award is two years. Successful candidates will spend 12 months at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and up to 12 months at one of our partner institutions in Europe or the United States, providing Fellows with exposure to diverse research approaches. These partners are:


  • Highly qualified, early career researchers who have completed their PhD within the past four years
  • Candidates who are currently enrolled in a doctoral program may apply, however they must complete all the requirements of their PhD (including course work, thesis defense and the final submission of thesis) before beginning the OFI International Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Researchers currently participating in the OFI International Postdoctoral Fellowship, or individuals who have participated in the program within the past two years, are not eligible to re-apply 

Funding & Duration 

OFI's International Postdoctoral Fellowship is awarded for two years and is non-renewable. The award provides $55,000 CAD/year in salary and up to $20,000 CAD/year for benefits and work-related travel costs which include relocation expenses, travel to partner institutions, conferences, workshops and summer schools. Expenses such as long-term accommodation and visa application fees are not eligible.

Terms and conditions 
The applicant’s proposed work should complement OFI’s research priorities. OFI will expect successful candidates to participate in research life at their selected institution (for example, participating in at least one presentation of their research in a departmental seminar, undergraduate lecture or a public lecture during their research stay). Fellows must acknowledge OFI in all publications arising from their participation in the program and must notify OFI of any scholarly articles or books published, including media interviews. For logistical purposes, successful applicants must start the first 12 months of the program at Dalhousie University.

In order to evaluate the benefits of OFI's International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, all successful applicants must provide a final report outlining the research outcomes achieved during the program, including how it benefited OFI research. The report is to be submitted to ofi@dal.ca within three months of the Fellowship ending. A template will be provided. 

Appointment & Application Process

OFI closed the call for the 2019 program in February. The closing date for 2020 applications is still to be determined. 

Successful applicants should expect to begin their Fellowship within three months of their offer letter being accepted. OFI anticipates awarding up to ten Fellowships annually, budget permitting. 

Step 1: Prepare

  • Review OFI’s research priorities and begin to identify a research project to complete during your Fellowship; one that supports OFI's work while also aligning with your expertise, interests and experience.
  • Contact potential OFI research supervisors at Dalhousie University and state your interest in joining OFI's International Postdoctoral Fellowship (visit OFI research to learn about the projects and the teams who are conducting the work). In addition to OFI researchers, any Dalhousie faculty member can act as a Fellowship supervisor, if their work aligns with OFI’s research priorities. 
  • Identify and contact a second potential faculty member at one of OFI's eight international partner institutes. This can be done in consultation with a potential Dalhousie supervisor.
  • Work together with both potential supervisors to prepare your research proposal and application, following the guidelines below.

Step 2: Develop an application

An application consists of a short proposal about the research to be conducted during your Fellowship. The proposal should be a maximum of four pages in length (1.5-spaced; 12-point font; 2.5 cm margins). Please include the names and institutional affiliations of the OFI/Dalhousie supervisor and the partner institution supervisor. 

Ensure your research proposal includes the following:  

  • Title; introduction; background; objectives and/or scientific question; methods/approach. Identify OFI collaborations and how the research supports OFI’s research priorities. Provide a budget and cost justification for your research project. (This section of the research proposal should be a maximum of three pages.) 
  • Identify the timeline for the award period, including dates for proposed time periods at each institution and major research activities to be performed at each institution. For logistical purposes, the first year must start at Dalhousie University. (This section of your research proposal should be a maximum of one page.) 

In addition, please provide the following: 

  • Curriculum vitae, including educational background, work experiences and publication record.
  • A copy of university transcripts from your PhD program.
  • Letters from each of your proposed supervisors detailing their support for your application and your proposed research project. The letters should indicate the collaborative nature of the research project, the planned benefits, and the academic support that will be offered (for example, technical assistance, office/laboratory space).
  • Letters of recommendation from two people who can assess the candidate's research. Recommendation letters should be submitted to OFI in a separate email sent to ofi@dal.ca. Please indicate in the email subject line: OFI International Postdoctoral Fellowship, Reference for First Name, Last Name.

Step 3: Submit the application 

Submit your completed application (with the exception of the letters of recommendation, which should be emailed separately) as a single PDF document to ofi@dal.ca

Selection criteria

The Selection Committee will use the following criteria in assessing applications:

  • Research Excellence - Excellence in intellectual contribution of the applicant to their field of research, as assessed by scholarly contributions and/or a demonstrated capacity to shape the direction of research and thought. Excellence of the applicant's proposed research, especially the degree to which it complements OFI research priorities.
  • Interdisciplinary perspective - Demonstrated track record of engagement across multiple disciplines or plans to work across disciplines.
  • Quality of proposed research and potential for forging strong new linkages - Realizable research objectives and the feasibility of the proposed work to be pursued during the applicant’s assignment. A clear case for how this placement will support OFI’s research priorities must be made. Likelihood of a valuable and enduring relationship through strengthening of academic networks for ongoing research activity and/or enhanced educational programs.

Embracing equity 

OFI is committed to fostering a culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. OFI welcomes applications from Indigenous people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community. 

Contact information 

For further information please contact:

Gita Narayan
OFI Transnational Programs Coordinator
Email: gita.narayan@dal.ca
Telephone: +1 (902) 494-5213