CAPS Annual General Meeting

Dear fellows,

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:

  1. “Stop-the-clock” for postdoc fellowship applications (recognizing that postdocs are evolving Early Career Researchers).
  2. 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.
  3. Provide clear criteria for reviewers to account for COVID-19 interruptions, and enable better feedback in fellowship review.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).

Anti-Racism Resources

Dear UBC Postdocs,

As a community, we value diverse voices and stand for equity and justice. If you would like information on how to connect, become more informed, or how to take action, the Postdoc Community has compiled a list of anti-racism resources:


PDA Covid-19 Survey

Dear UBC Postdoc Community,

In order to identify and resolve any COVID19 response-associated issues you might be currently facing, the UBC Postdoc Association (PDA) would like to assess the impact of the state of emergency on UBC’s postdoc community.

Therefore, we have prepared an anonymous survey inquiring about the impact of the lock-down and research curtailments on UBC postdoc’s health, safety, work and research, immigration status, career paths, and financial situation.

Please take 5 to 10 minutes to give us your feedback and help us to identify situations that need immediate attention (University-wide or Department-specific), which we can then actively follow up on and present to the responsible authorities. If you are especially satisfied with how UBC or your Department responded to the pandemic, you can also take this opportunity to highlight what you appreciated.

Please follow this link to the (mobile-friendly!) survey and feel free to pass it on to other UBC- and affiliated postdocs:


Parts of the anonymous data collected in this survey will be incorporated in the national CAPS survey report on the COVID19 pandemic impacts on postdoc’s, which will provide the basis of national science policy discussions and negotiations (https://sciencepolicy.ca/news/limiting-negative-impact-covid-19-pandemic-canadian-postdoctoral-scholars).

Thank you for your cooperation!

Your UBC PDA team

Canadian National Postdoc Survey

Have your say in the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey!
The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) invites all current and former Canadian postdocs, including international postdocs working in Canada and Canadian postdocs working abroad, to complete the fourth edition of the Canadian National Postdoctoral Scholars Survey. It is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of Canadian postdocs in all fields of study, and its findings are used by funders, universities, and others.

The survey covers a wide range of topics, including demographics, salary and benefits, training needs, and career goals of current or former Canadian postdocs. In addition to collecting valuable longitudinal data, this edition of the survey tackles issues such as discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and working remotely.

Please complete the survey by 14 February, 2020.
The results of the survey will be published later this year.

Suvey: Copyright in Academic Publication Process

As a part of research community at U15 institutions, UBC Postdocs are invited to participate in a survey to assess our knowledge of copyright and author addenda in the publication process.

This survey is a part of a study lead by Lauren Byl, the Copyright & Licensing Librarian at the University of Waterloo, funded by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) Practicing Librarian Grant. This is important as researchers are increasingly being asked to make their research openly available, which requires them to retain some rights in their publications.

The anonymous survey would take about 15 minutes. Participation is voluntary.

In appreciation of the time you have given to this study, you can enter your name into a draw for 1 of 25 prizes, which include 2 grand prizes (a tablet, approx. $250 value) and a $20 Tim Horton’s gift card.

You can read fine prints and/or jump ahead to participate in the study here: https://uwaterloo.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_elLa2gr5RoskHJP
If you have any questions regarding this study, or would like additional information to assist you in reaching a decision about participation, please contact Lauren Byl at 1-519-888-4567 ext. 42356 or by email at lrbyl@uwaterloo.ca.

Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS/ACSP) 2019 Executive Council Election

Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS/ACSP) is a Canada-wide organization with a mandate to improve the lives, training, and work experience of all Canadian Postdocs (yes, you included). Recently they are offering Health/Dental insurance plan, as well as Discount Home & Auto Insurance for contributing members. Although these benefits are very similar to what have been offered through UBC HR, it may make sense for those who aren’t eligible for the policies through UBC HR to look into what they offer.

Also, if you are interested in paticipating their actibities, they are currently seeking nominees for the 2019 Executive Council Election. The detail is as follows:

CAPS/ACSP is currently seeking nominees for the 2019 Executive Council Election. The term for these positions is January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019.

The deadline for nominations is Friday November 16, 2018 at midnight Pacific Time. Voting will take place during the last week of November.

The following positions are open to nominees:

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair External
  • Vice-Chair Operations
  • Vice-Chair Communications
  • Vice-Chair Finance
  • Vice-Chair International
  • Vice-Chair Membership
  • Vice-Chair Website Management
  • Vice-Chair Communications (French)
  • Vice-Chair Data Management
  • Vice-Chair Career Development

Please see CAPS Executive Position Descriptions _ 2019 Elections  for a brief description of each position.


To be eligible for nomination, an individual must be registered as an ‘Active Member’ of CAPS/ACSP. Alumni members of CAPS/ACSP (i.e., former postdocs) may also be nominated if approved by the Executive Council.

To register as an Active Member, please complete the form found here.

To register as an Alumni Member, please complete the form found here.

If you wish to run or nominate someone for any of these positions, please respond by email to chair@caps-acsp.ca with the following information:

  1.  Full name of nominee
  2.  Email address of nominee
  3.  Institutional affiliation of nominee
  4.  Desired/selected position

Candidate Statements:

Nominees are required to submit a short (maximum 250 words) candidate statement describing their interest and any relevant experience for the position they are nominated for prior to the election. Candidates who are self-nominating are encouraged to provide that statement at the time of nomination.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Joseph Sparling, Chair at chair@caps-acsp.ca.

Amendments to the constitution

The UBC PDA is updating the association’s constitution, changing it to account for the growth of the association and it’s activities.
The amendments to the constitution better defines the roles of each of the officers and the committee members, as well as a set of bylaws that will help govern the association.

We encourage all postdocs and RAs to review the proposed changes, and send us an email with thoughts, concerns, or suggestions.  

The constitutional amendments will be voted on during the next AGM, which will take place at the LSI room 1330, March 14th- 5:00 PM.

Call for Nominations: 2018/19 PDA Executive Officers

ciWe are excited to announce the call for nominations for candidates to be part of the UBC Postdoctoral Association’s 2018/19 Executive Team.

Deadline extended! Apply by Monday March 12th

  • Represent the postdoc community
  • Gain leadership and management experience
  • Organize professional development, research and networking events
  • Interact with big-name academics, advocates, and UBC leadership

The PDA is run by Elected Volunteer Officers (the President and 6 Vice-Presidents). All 7 positions will be elected for the 2018/19 year at our Annual General Meeting, held on Wednesday, March 14th in LSC room 1330 (5 pm). Find a list of open positions and a description of their roles below.

All UBC postdocs and research associates are encouraged to attend the AGM on March 14th for the elections. The event will be followed by a celebration with food and drinks!

Self-Nomination: Download the UBC PDA nomination form here. Please fill out this form and return it to ubc.postdoc@gmail.com along with a recent photo and a short Letter of Interest (100-200 words) detailing why you would like to serve and any relevant experience.

Further details

Continue reading

UBC PDA Annual General Meeting 2018- March 14th

Your vote counts! Join us as we elect the new PDA Executive Committee for the upcoming year, and vote on any amendments to the PDA Constitution on Wednesday,  March 14th at 5:00 pm at the Life Sciences Institute (LSI), Room 1330. No RSVP required.

The event will commence with reports from the outgoing PDA Executive Committee followed by short introductions of the new nominees, after which you can place your vote. We will then vote on any proposed amendments to the PDA constitution, and will conclude the event with a light reception furnished with complimentary snacks and refreshments to welcome the new committee members.

Please contact us if you have any questions.