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 Fellowship Program

There are two ways researchers to take part in the OFI Visiting Fellows program: the Visiting International Fellowship (VIF), and the Canadian-International Visiting Fellowship (CIVF). 

The Visiting International Fellowship (VIF) 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. OFI’s Canadian-International Visiting Fellowship (CIVF) will be awarded to highly qualified researchers from an OFI lead institution at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who intend to conduct innovative, full-time, interdisciplinary and collaborative research aligned with OFI’s strategic objectives at one of OFI's eight international partners. 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.


For the incoming Visiting International Fellowship (VIF), 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 for the incoming fellowship 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. 

For the outgoing Canadian-International Visiting Fellowship (CIVF), the OFI seeks applications from highly qualified researchers, who hold a Ph.D. and are based at an OFI lead institution (Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland). Applicants who intend to visit and conduct research at one of the OFI's eight international partners will be given priority. Applications will be accepted from advanced doctoral students, early-career postdoctoral researchers, faculty members, independent scholars, and senior staff/technicians. Applications will be considered, on a case by case basis. Your application will be considered if you are currently enrolled in a doctoral/postgraduate program at a lead OFI University. However, you must expect to complete all the requirements of your Ph.D. degree (including the thesis defense) within one year from submitting your application, and you must demonstrate that your research has advanced to the point that a visit will be highly productive. A researcher who is currently taking part or has taken part in the OFI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program within the last two years, is not eligible to apply.

The OFI will accept applications for the outgoing fellowship from the following: 

  • A doctoral/postgraduate student, postdoctoral fellow, faculty member, or senior staff/technician from a lead OFI University (Dalhousieor Memorial University) to visit one of the eight OFI International Partner Institutions abroad (priority)
  • A doctoral/postgraduate student, postdoctoral fellow, faculty member, or senior staff/technician from a lead OFI University (Dalhousieor Memorial University) to visit an international, accredited (non-OFI or secondary OFI Partner) university or research institute, with the purpose of fostering strong new linkages within OFI’s strategic objectives.

Funding & Duration

The Fellowships will be awarded for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of four months (120 days). The OFI will pay for one round-trip economy class airline ticket to/from Halifax or St. John’s from/to the international city. In addition, up to $4,000 CDN per month will be provided to help cover local travel, accommodation, living (e.g. health insurance) and other incidental expenses. 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 should bring their own laptops. International hosts are expected to provide working space for fellows at those institutions. The OFI does not provide Fellows with a research allowance and fellowships are not renewable. Note that 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 International Fellowship 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

We are now accepting applications for the Visiting Fellows Program for a 2020 start date. 

Applications must be submitted to ofi@dal.ca no later than Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. OFI anticipates awarding up to 15 International Fellows annually, budget permitting. Future calls will be made on an 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 the International Institution, or 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 to ofi@dal.ca.  

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, 2020. 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.