Come and celebrate the upcoming Christmas break with us at Thomson House, from 6pm on Monday (9th Dec) in the Games Room. We’d love to see you there!

If all goes to plan, there will be some food on offer too!

Hopefully see you Monday! Best wishes and Happy Christmas

APF exec



Currently, Postdocs at McGill can access student services only if they opt-in to paying the Student Service Fee (SSF). Even having paid the fee, Postdocs face challenges in accessing the services because the service staff is often unfamiliar with their needs and the opt-in system. At this time the staff has no training in Postdoc services and Postdoc specific needs are not catered for.


Voting YES in this referendum will mean that all Postdocs at McGill will have access to services under the Student Services umbrella but, where appropriate, tailored to the requirements of Postdocs. Staff will be trained in and dedicated to Postdoc needs. It will increase the visibility of the Postdocs at McGill and for the first time they will become a community, the needs of which must be met. Student services encompasses a group of services that Postdoc would have access to if a YES vote in this referendum were to be recorded. These services are detailed in the Table below. Beyond the immediate benefits of a YES vote, Postdoc (through the work of the Association of Postdoctoral Fellows) will be in a position to influence provision of services by setting up working groups and sitting on the services committees. Some of the key services are discussed in more detail below.

In the event of a YES vote, all Postdocs will pay $22.74 a month (only 6 barista coffees!) to access all services. But, following a YES vote, the PGSS and APF will work with the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office on an initiative to transfer the cost to the Postdocs supervisor. So it’s important to consider that Postdocs may not be paying the bill!


The NIH claims that in the US as few as 5% of Postdocs in the health sciences are able to get a job in academia. For this reason alone, career services are fundamental to Postdocs. For both those wishing to stay in the competitive world of academia and those looking to transition out, they must maximize their chances of success. CaPS has the resources to do this. They can offer one-on-one consultations, CV reviews, as well as career fairs (both academic and non-academic). If Postdocs vote YES in this referendum, they will get full access to all services offered. On top of that, CaPS will tailor services specifically to Postdocs (including tailored workshops) and staff will be trained in Postdoc needs.

Postdoc experience 1:“Nearing completion of my Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill, I realized I needed help to tailor my CV for a transition from academia to industry and to the competitive North American market. I used a CV review service to help me create a professional CV. I paid $160.00 for this service, yet I could have received the same service from Career and Planning Services at McGill for free, if I, and other Postdoctoral Fellows had access to their services and expertise.”


Seeing a family doctor in Montreal can be a challenge and a daunting prospect particularly for international Postdocs. Voting YES in the referendum would give all McGill Postdocs access to the health centre. In addition to the Student Health Center, Postdocs can access the Dental Clinic Services, Counseling Services, Mental Health Services and the Office for Students with Disabilities. This not only provides Postdocs with regular care but would also provide for Postdocs in crisis.

Postdoc experience 2: “Opting in to the Student Services Fee enabled me to use the Student Health Center and all the associated services. I was able to see a family doctor on campus on a regular basis. This was a major advantage, because I did not find a family doctor in the community who would take me on, despite chronic health problems. The family doctor at the Student Health Center referred me to several specialists at different hospitals in Montreal and was extremely supportive.”


There are many challenges associated with being a Postdocs in a foreign country. Voting YES in the referendum would mean international Postdocs would have access to advice and help on immigration issues, filing a tax return and banking in Canada. Postdocs would also be able to attend Workshops and Orientations offered by both the International Student Services and the Finance Office.

Postdoc experience 3: “I’m an international Postdoc from the UK, and arriving in Canada I found there were many things that were new and different to what I was used to. I�d never filed a tax return for instance. I was quoted $100 from an accountant but decided to do it myself. It took a long time and I really struggled. I wish I had had access to Financial Services at McGill where they could have helped me with it. Recently I renewed my Work Permit to stay in Canada, and struggled with the same issue again. I would have really benefited from the help of the McGill International Students Office.”


Finding and integrating with a faith group in a new city/country can be difficult. Chaplaincy Services provides interfaith dialog and is concerned with the spiritual well being of everyone they provide services to. They also provide a babysitting service once a month on a Saturday so parents can get some work done without the expense of childcare.

Disclaimer: If any of the information here is untrue, derogatory towards other candidates, or against election rules, notify the Chief Returning Officer (email).


Workshop: Strategies for a Successful Postdoc

In a special event to promote the YES campaign for the upcoming referendum on gaining Postdoc access to Student Services at McGill, the Association of Postdoctoral Fellows (APF) brings you Strategies for a Successful Postdoc.

The workshop is designed to introduce you to postdoctoral studies at McGill. It will prepare you in the steps you can take in your postdoc to enhance your career opportunities in both academic and non-academic areas. The workshop will provide tips and resources on how to ensure that you get the most possible out of your postdoctoral experience.

Lorna MacEachern a Graduate Careers advisor at Careers and Planning Services (CaPS) will be giving the workshop. Postdocs currently do not have access to CaPS and as such Lorna is doing this in her own time for no payment. We are extremely grateful and excited that this is possible.

Postdocs will soon vote on whether they should have access to Student Services at McGill. If a YES vote were to pass then CaPS would be fully open to postdocs with many services tailored to their needs.

This event also will include information and discussion on the upcoming referendum. What can Student Services do for you? Come and find out!

If you’d like to register please send an email with your name and department to email.

Date: Wednesday 30th October 2013

Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Basement, Thomson House, McGill University, 3650 rue McTavish, Montreal.

Tea, coffee and cookies will be provided.


Survey of Canadian postdocs by CAPS

The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars / l’Association canadienne des stagiaires post-doctoraux (CAPS-ACSP) is pleased to release the report from the 2013 Survey of Canadian Postdoctoral Scholars, conducted in collaboration with Mitacs, between March and April, 2013.


Postdoctoral scholars, or postdocs, are individuals who have recently completed a doctoral or equivalent degree and are in a temporary period (1 to 5 years) of mentored research or scholarly training. As early-career researchers, postdocs are extremely important to the development of Canada’s knowledge-based economy.

The 2013 Survey report presents a comprehensive and up-to-date view of Canadian postdocs, capturing the experiences of 1830 individuals working at 130 universities, hospitals, government laboratories, and private companies across Canada and abroad. This impressive response amounts to roughly 20% of all Canadian postdocs!