Do you feel that postdocs are still an underappreciated part of academia and were hit especially hard by this ongoing pandemic? The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars(CAPS) has conducted a recent survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 related shutdowns and other restrictions on postdocs in Canada and based on these findings has developed and send out these “Top 5 Asks” (listed below) to national decision makers. If you are interested in how official representatives from the Tricouncil (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) are responding to these demands and/or want to take part in this discussion yourself – you are invited to attend the
CAPS annual general meeting on Nov 5 from 10:00 to 15:30 Vancouver time.
More information, a preliminary agenda and the link to register (for free) at https://caps-acsp.ca/agm2020
Taking part in this event is also a good opportunity to network with other postdocs, learn more about CAPS, the results of the CAPS COVID19 survey, and about PDA’s and postdoc unions in Canada.
CAPS Top 5 Asks from the Tricouncil to relieve pressure from postdocs:
- “Stop-the-clock” for postdoc fellowship applications (recognizing that postdocs are evolving Early Career Researchers).
- Automatic 1 year extensions of fellowships (to buffer financial impacts, administrative interruptions to work permits and benefits plans), with opt-out option if not beneficial for the postdoc.
- Provide clear criteria for reviewers to account for COVID-19 interruptions, and enable better feedback in fellowship review.
- Create new funding opportunities for senior postdocs to support those who are close to being competitive for (or in the process of transitioning to) faculty positions, which may be impacted by a national shift to COVID-19 research prioritization.
- Ensure external postdocs are eligible for institutional benefits, including basic protections like Employment Insurance and Canadian Pension Plan/Québec Pension Plan contributions (without a stipend reduction).