This program provides a forum for scholarly knowledge exchange and collaboration among research colleagues, with the intent of producing a research outcome that positively impacts how we use and manage the ocean.  

About the program: Visiting International Fellowship

The Visiting International Fellowship will be awarded to highly-qualified researchers who intend to conduct innovative, full-time, interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Successful candidates will spend their research stay at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This program supports both the continuation of research within ongoing research priority areas and/or the development of new, complementary ocean initiatives aligned with OFI’s research priorities.


OFI seeks applications from researchers who hold a PhD from a recognized university. Preference will be given to advanced doctoral students, early-career postdoctoral researchers, faculty members and independent scholars. Applications will be considered from candidates currently enrolled in a doctoral program. However, applicants are expected to complete all the requirements of their PhD degree (including thesis defense) within one year of submitting the application.

The OFI will accept applications from the following:

  • A researcher from one of OFI's eight international partners (applicants from these institutions will be given selection priority)
  • A Canadian or international researcher from an accredited university or research institute, interested in fostering new linkages with OFI

Researchers who have participated in OFI's International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program within the last two years are not eligible.

Funding & Duration

The Visiting International Fellowships will be awarded for a minimum of two weeks, to a maximum of four months (120 days). OFI will pay for office space and one round-trip economy class airline ticket to Halifax, Nova Scotia or St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador from the city where the successful applicant is residing.

Visiting Fellows will be eligible for reimbursement of one, round-trip economy class airline ticket and travel expenses (including accommodation, meals and incidental allowance). The amount provided will be adequate for a modest standard of living for a single fellow. Please note that visa application fees cannot be claimed.

Working space at OFI-Dalhousie and Memorial will be equipped with wireless internet access and there will be reasonable access to printing and photocopy machines. Fellows are expected to supply their own computers. OFI does not provide Fellows with a research allowance and fellowships are not renewable. Note: the appointment as an OFI Fellow does not constitute an employment contract.

Terms & Conditions

We expect Fellows to participate in research life by providing at least one presentation of their research through an undergraduate seminar or public lecture. We require Fellows to acknowledge OFI in all publications arising from the Fellowship and to notify OFI of any scholarly articles or books published, including media interviews. 

Evaluation & Monitoring

As an aid to evaluating the benefits of the Visiting Fellows Program, all participants must provide a final report outlining their research outcomes, including how it supported OFI's research priorities. The report shall be submitted to ofi@dal.ca within three months of the term being completed. A template will be provided. 

Appointment & Application Process

The January 2019 call is now closed; the next call for applications will occur in the fall, 2019 

Applicants who are accepted to the program should plan to begin their Fellowship within three months from the acceptance of their offer letter. OFI anticipates awarding up to ten Visiting International Fellows annually, budget permitting. Future calls will be made on a semi annual basis.

Applications must include: 

A short biography: highlighting the applicant's research interests (150 words maximum, 1.5-spaced)

A research proposal (500 to 1,000 words maximum, 1.5-spaced): include the names and institutional affiliations of the host supervisor/sponsor and/or faculty member(s) with whom you wish to work; the nature of the work to be undertaken; a timeline for the duration of proposed work; a clear case for how the planned work supports OFI's research priorities. Potential areas of work can include:

  • Independent, specific OFI research activities
  • Joint, collaborative research with OFI postgraduate students and researchers
  • Individual or joint proposal writing and/or joint development of a new ocean initiative
  • Postgraduate thesis co-supervision and/or mentoring
  • Guest lecturing in an undergraduate course and/or graduate seminar
  • Participate in or lead courses, workshops, summer schools and public lectures.

A letter of support: from the host supervisor, faculty member or Principal Investigator with whom you wish to work at Dalhousie or Memorial University. The letter should indicate the nature of the resources and support that will be provided (i.e. technical assistance, office/laboratory space, equipment access, laboratory analyses, photocopying, any additional research funding etc.)

Curriculum vitae: including educational background, work experiences, publication record and source of research funding

Work samples: one sample of written, preferably accepted, peer-reviewed, published work (article, book chapter, essay) which the applicant considers is the most representative of his or her research and which demonstrates good command of the English language

References: Provide the names and contact information of two academic references who are able to assess your research and who may be contacted by OFI

Postgraduate students only: must submit a letter from their main supervisor at their home institution, supporting that their research has advanced to the point that a visit would be highly productive. 

  • Please submit your completed application and supporting documents as a single PDF document.  

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  

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, given the resources of OFI
  • A clear case for how this placement enhances OFI’s research priorities 
  • Likelihood of a valuable and enduring relationship through strengthening of academic networks for ongoing research activity and/or enhanced educational programs

Once the Selection Committee has made its decision, successful applicants will be notified with the necessary next steps. OFI expects to communicate its decision by March 1, 2019. The decision by the Selection Committee is final and cannot be appealed. 

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.