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Group photo of academy members taken at a Banff resort

CIFAR meetings are attended by top scientists, which is good both for scientific progress and for the Canadian students who attend the meetings.

Kathryn Moler
Associate, Quantum Materials

CIFAR Global Scholars:
Administrative Guidelines and Policies


CIFAR Global Scholar fellowships are always held in conjunction with a formal university or research institute appointment. (Throughout this description, “university” should be interpreted broadly as a university or research institute.)


The typical form of university appointment for a Global Scholar is that of a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. An exception is made for candidates in the social sciences, where postdoctoral appointments are less common. Individuals in those disciplines may apply for and hold a Global Scholar position as a junior faculty member.

Any decisions that may be required concerning the relationship between a university appointment and the Global Scholar will be made at the discretion of the responsible CIFAR Vice-President and/or CIFAR's President and CEO.

Below are the most common university appointment models for CIFAR Global Scholars, and their associated policies and guidelines.

  1. Postdoctoral Fellowship
  2. Junior Faculty Appointment
  3. Leave of Absence from a Faculty Appointment
  4. Disbursement of Funds
  5. Parental Leave Policy
  6. Transition to Global Scholar Alumni

1) Postdoctoral Fellowship:


The Global Scholar will hold a formal appointment as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of one or more CIFAR program member. The Global Scholar is expected to fulfill all the appointment procedures and responsibilities required by his/her supervisor and university department. The primary supervisor is responsible for the Global Scholar’s postdoctoral fellow appointment at the university, which normally would start no later than eight months from the time the Global Scholar position is awarded. The formal Global Scholar appointment will normally coincide with the beginning and end dates of the university postdoctoral fellow appointment, usually for a period of two years.

If a Global Scholar’s postdoctoral fellow position is transferred to another university during the period of his or her appointment, the Global Scholar fellowship will continue, provided the individual remains under the direct supervision of a CIFAR program member and the transfer is approved by the Program Director(s).

If a Global Scholar holding a postdoctoral fellow position obtains a faculty appointment during the period of the award, yet intends to continue interaction with program members, he or she normally will be allowed to complete the full term agreed on at the beginning of the fellowship so that a successful transition from trainee to independent researcher may be supported. From the starting date of the new faculty appointment, the Global Scholar fellowship value will transition to the amount normally received by junior faculty members for the remainder of the Global Scholars term. Funds will be administered through the Global Scholar's new department and will be used to enhance his or her research capacity. Funds may be used to secure teaching release or to set up and support the Global Scholar’s research program. It is expected that the Program Director(s) will serve as the Global Scholar’s de facto supervisor(s) for the remainder of his or her appointment.

Any other early termination of the postdoctoral fellowship will end the individual’s appointment as a CIFAR Global Scholar and CIFAR’s support thereof. If the Global Scholar seeks to end involvement with the CIFAR program, it will be treated as an early termination.
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2) Junior Faculty Appointment:


In the social sciences, where postdoctoral appointments are less common, a Global Scholar may hold an appointment as an Assistant Professor or Visiting Professor/Researcher. The period of the fellowship will be up to two years, beginning on a date that is agreeable to the Global Scholar, his/her university department, the CIFAR Program Director(s) and CIFAR, normally not more than eight months from the time the award is approved by CIFAR’s Board of Directors. During the Global Scholar appointment, CIFAR expects that the Global Scholar will use the award to enhance his or her research capacity. Funds may be used to secure teaching release or to set up and support the Global Scholar’s research program. On the advice of the CIFAR program’s Advisory Committee, a Global Scholar with a junior faculty appointment will have one or more designated mentors or research collaborators within the program during the period of the award.
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3) Leave of Absence from a Faculty Appointment:


If a Global Scholar holds a junior faculty position, but believes that his/her research effort would significantly benefit from taking a leave of absence to work under the supervision of a CIFAR program member at another university, he/she may do so with the agreement of CIFAR, the CIFAR Program Director(s) and the relevant universities. The Global Scholar is responsible for making the necessary arrangements with his/her university department, and the supervising program member is responsible for making formal arrangements for the appropriate visiting academic appointment with his/her own department. In such cases, CIFAR’s Global Scholar funds will normally be administered through the supervising program member’s department, and will be used to provide research support for the period of the visiting appointment. The appointment would normally start no later than eight months from the time the Global Scholar award is approved by CIFAR’s Board of Directors.
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Disbursement of Funds:


CIFAR funds to support the Global Scholar are administered via his or her university department. Global Scholar award values and eligible uses are discussed under the section on Fellowship Value. CIFAR will contact the Global Scholar’s department chair to arrange the transfer of fellowship funds. The taxation treatment of these funds is the sole responsibility of the university.

Interaction costs – i.e., costs of attending CIFAR meetings and other pre-approved CIFAR-related travel – are reimbursed directly to the Global Scholar by CIFAR. In addition, Global Scholars may be invited to attend program meetings and/or Global Scholar meetings that occur before the agreed upon position starting date. Associated costs will be reimbursed to the Global Scholar by CIFAR.
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Parental Leave Policy:


The following policy will apply to Global Scholars based in Canada. Requests for parental leave by Global Scholars based in other countries will be considered on an individual basis.
  1. CIFAR will provide up to 17 weeks of paid maternity leave at 100% salary, net of any Employment Insurance benefits that the Global Scholar may be eligible for.
  2. CIFAR will allow an additional unpaid parental leave of up to 35 weeks.
  3. With the agreement of the Global Scholar’s supervisor(s) and institution, the Global Scholar award and university postdoctoral appointment will resume for the number of months that remained in the term of appointment when the leave began.
  4. In cases where the Global Scholar holds a tenure-stream or continuing academic appointment, CIFAR normally expects that the home institution’s parental leave policy will apply, with salary funding for any leave coming from the home institution. The Global Scholar appointment will be extended by the length of the parental leave.
  5. During the parental leave period, CIFAR will continue to provide the amount of the Global Scholar award normally designated for research support.
  6. Requests for parental leave should be made to CIFAR at least four months before the leave is to begin.
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Transition to Global Scholar Alumni:


Global Scholars who complete their funded term of appointment (normally two years) will become known as Global Scholar Alumni. Alumni are invited to attend Global Academy meetings for an additional three years after their funding ends. This extended participation will enable CIFAR’s continued mentorship of the Global Scholar Alumni as they transition to careers as independent researchers. At the same time, the alumni will have the opportunity to provide peer mentorship to new Global Scholars.

CIFAR will continue to engage the alumni’s participation regularly throughout their career development. CIFAR will conduct an annual survey of Global Scholar Alumni to track their career progression, interaction patterns, and other outcomes.
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