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Home » Postdoctoral Fellows » Prospective Fellows » Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars at York University

Provost's Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars at York University


  • Available Fellowships: up to 4 in 2021-22
  • Amount: min. $70,000/year
  • Duration: 24 months.  (Normally July to June.  Exceptional start dates may be negotiated)
  • Field: Open
  • Eligibility:
    • Recently completed PhD (see specifics, below)
    • PhD in hand by the start of the postdoctoral term
  • Deadline to Apply: 01 April 2021
  • Decision: 31 May 2021
  • Contact: Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator


Under-representation of Black and Indigenous scholars in many disciplines and fields of research and associated careers can become self-replicating without conscious and sustained efforts of supportive mentorship and encouragement. While gaining a foothold to begin a career can be difficult in itself, too often Black and Indigenous scholars face the additional challenges of racism and systems structured implicitly or explicitly to protect others’ privilege. Supportive mentorship and network-building can be lacking or actively denied. The Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars begin to address this problem by providing collegial resources, supervision, mentorship, and funded time to successful applicants to seek their chosen careers.

York University is committed to promoting justice in all of its forms through our research, teaching, decision-making, community involvement, and advocacy. Every Faculty at the university seeks to build collegial networks of support to tackle all forms of bias and challenge racism in every form. York University’s Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion assists actively in this work, by providing a suite of services to the York community writ large. We have a responsibility as a public institution to provide equitable access to opportunities for emerging scholars to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them to create successful futures. A fundament of equitable access is the inclusion, integration and promotion of diverse of backgrounds, knowledges and ways of researching, thinking, knowing, communicating and relating. The Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous Scholars at York University provide one such opportunity. Graduates who have earned their PhD within the past five years are able to research with and be mentored by renowned scholars in and across disciplines.


The aim of these Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships is to support up to 4 scholars annually who self-identify as Black and/or Indigenous in the transition from earning the PhD to beginning a career (see Eligibility, below).

These positions are open to Black and Indigenous scholars in any field of study seeking careers inside or outside of Academe, or both. Successful candidates will pursue the development of a proposed project, but they will also work with their supervisor and other mentors to avail themselves of opportunities provided to present and discuss their works in progress with faculty, students, alumni and the public en route to dissemination in appropriate peer-reviewed fora.  The types of knowledge mobilization most useful to the project, the scholar, and the career possibilities help to define in an individualized way the shapes that career development may take.

Postdoctoral Scholars under this program are classified as Postdoctoral Visitors and are included in the York University Faculty Association (YUFA). An electronic copy of the YUFA Collective Agreement is accessible through the Faculty Relations website.  Postdoctoral Scholars under this program can expect to receive:

  • Workspace on campus
  • Library access and the support of a subject-specific research librarian
  • Mentorship from York University’s network of scholars, research centres/units, and Alumni
  • Membership access to the National Centre for Faculty Diversity and Development
  • Focused workshops organized by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Skills program
  • Opportunities to present and workshop their research work in progress with the York community
  • All benefits, including Health Care Spending Account and vacation, accorded to Postdoctoral Visitors as outlined in the YUFA Collective Agreement.
  • Potential to teach up to 1.0 FCE in undergraduate courses, pending availability and confirmation with the appropriate course-offering unit.
  • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP, if applicable).
  • Access to support for any External or Internal Funding opportunities for which Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible.
  • Additional opportunities, if relevant, may be coordinated through Innovation York and the MITACS Accelerate program

We encourage eligible applicants from any discipline or field.



  • 01 April 2021


  • Scholars who self-identify as Black (of African Descent; for example, Africans and African heritage people from the Caribbean, Americas, Europe) and/or Indigenous (to their land of origin, not exclusively limited to First Nations, Inuit, Métis people of Canada).
  • Recently completed a PhD, PhD-equivalent, (degree completed between September 2016 and September 2021, with a possible extension of this window by up to a cumulative maximum of two years for career interruptions due to specific reasons.)
  • PhD Candidates may only apply if a dissertation defence date prior to the start of the Fellowship has been confirmed. Awards to PhD Candidates are contingent on the completion of the doctoral degree. If a successful PhD Candidate applicant is unable to complete the PhD before the start date of the Fellowship, then the Fellowship offer will be rescinded.
  • Successful applicants must be eligible to work in Canada by the start of the Postdoctoral position.  International applicants may apply; however, successful international applicants will require a work permit and Canadian Social Insurance Number in order to take up the postdoctoral position.  Exceptional start dates may be negotiated in relation to the permit and visa process timelines.


  • Open


  • Prior to submitting final application documents, prospective applicants are advised to read York University’s Academic PlanStrategic Research Plan and Indigenous Framework in order to guide their understanding of York’s Strategic priorities, programs, and faculty members’ specializations.
  • Applicants must secure the support of a supervisor at York University.  Only Full-Time, Tenured or Tenure-track York University Faculty Members (members of YUFA or OFA) are eligible to be Supervisors.  When approaching a supervisor, reference this postdoctoral program.  The Faculty of Graduate Studies’ Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator, can assist prospective applicants and supervisors with any questions.  Engage potential supervisors in the nature and extent of the proposed postdoctoral project, including the nature of the research and its applications.
  • This postdoctoral program takes a holistic approach to career development, recognizing the many elements both related to, but also beyond, a specific focus on research and publication.  That approach begins with the candidate’s career aspirations, which may or may not be pursued solely within Academe.  Applicants’ PhD specializations, project plans, and letters of support for the postdoctoral training will guide the adjudicating committee in its assessments in light of how York University can best facilitate the applicant’s plans.
  • Short-listed candidates may be interviewed via teleconference to hear more about the candidates’ work and aspirations.


  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Confirmation of PhD degree received or additional confirmation of proposed completion date from PhD supervisor
  • Three letters of recommendation should be sent directly by the recommenders to the Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator, from:
    1. the proposed postdoctoral project supervisor at York.  Beyond providing an assessment of the applicant’s postdoctoral project, the proposed supervisor should explain their capacity to enable the applicant to become a future leader in their chosen field and career, including the nature of the academic, mentoring, and networking support to be provided;
    2. the applicant’s PhD supervisor, who can assess the applicant’s academic accomplishments to date and readiness to undertake the project proposed;
    3. a professor, employer or community supervisor able to assess aspects of the candidate and candidate’s work that has application outside of Academe, where relevant.
  • Dissertation Abstract
  • Project Description (max.4 pages, not including Bibliography/Works Cited list, single-spaced, 12-pt)
    • The purpose of the description for the adjudicating committee is to understand applicants’ goals in relation to the university’s priorities, resources and supports.  The description should include explanation of:
      • the project and its relation to the doctoral studies and training;
      • future goals, including type of career desired, focal interests, desires for achievement. Those goals may be academic, such as a new research project and a professorship, or alt-academic, realised with organizations or companies for which you will translate your degree studies;
      • the type of supervision, mentorship, and/or skills development from which you think you would benefit most.
  • Description of any accomplishments and/or challenges during doctoral studies and training, including any career interruptions, which may be relevant.
  • All applicants must complete the York Self-ID form for academic positions. Without this form, the application dossier will be considered incomplete. Please note that scholars who self-identify as Indigenous (to their land of origin, not exclusively limited to First Nations, Inuit, Métis people of Canada) may do so under the “Aboriginal (Indigenous) persons” section or the “Visible minorities (racialized)” section, where appropriate. All information is kept confidential to the adjudication and subsequent hiring process. View/download the Self Identification Form

Application Submission

Note: Applicant’s documents must be submitted as a single PDF at Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black & Indigenous Scholars at York University – Application Form.

Letters of recommendation will be sent directly by the recommenders to the Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator. Subject line:  Last Name, First Name, Provost’s Postdocs.


  • Successful applicants will be notified by 31 May 2021.


  • Please contact the Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator by visiting our FGS Staff Directory.