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Home » 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 2022-23
  • Amount: min. $70,000/year
  • Duration: 24 months.  (Normally July to June.  Exceptional start dates may be negotiated)
  • Field: See details below for Faculties seeking candidates for this program.
  • Eligibility:
    • A completed PhD (2017 and after), or PhD completed by December 15, 2022 (with confirmed timeline for defence)
    • Up to two (2) fellowships for scholars identifying as Black and up to two (2) for scholars identifying as Indigenous
  • Deadline to Apply: 01 March 2022
  • Decision: 31 May 2022
  • Contact: Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator


York University is pleased to announce the second cycle of the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships for Black and Indigenous scholars. This program was created to address under-representation of Black and Indigenous scholars in many disciplines and fields of research and associated careers. 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.


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 (see below for more details on the fields for the 2022-23 competition) 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

In some circumstances, it will be possible for successful applicants to begin their tenure as Provostial Fellows prior to the completion of their PhD. This will require a confirmed date for oral defence. To be eligible for starting the program prior to the completion of the PhD, the applicant must be a Canadian citizen/Permanent resident. The fellowship will be discontinued if the requirements of PhD (defence and final deposit of the dissertation) are not completed prior to January 30th, 2023.

We encourage eligible applicants working with faculty whose primary appointments are in the following Faculties/Schools:

Applicants may also explore co-supervision with faculty members in more than one Faculty. The School of Arts, Media, Performance and Design and Faculty of Education would like to encourage researchers working in Arts Education in particular to explore opportunities for co-supervision across those two Faculties.



  • 01 March 2022


  • 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 2017 and September 2022, 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 apply with a dissertation defence date prior to December 15, 2022 (confirmation from the PhD supervisor required). It may be possible for PhD Candidates to begin their tenure as Provostial fellows on September 1, 2022.
  • 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.



  • Prior to submitting application documents, prospective applicants are advised to read York University’s Academic PlanStrategic Research PlanIndigenous Framework and Framework to Address Anti-Black Racism 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 OHFA) 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.
  • Provide the names and contact information of two individuals able to write letters of recommendation. These individuals will only be contacted should the file move forward to the final round of adjudication. One should be the doctoral supervisor, or another person able to assess the applicant’s academic accomplishments to date and readiness to undertake the project proposed.  The other person may be an academic reference but may also be from an employer or community supervisor able to assess aspects of the candidate and candidate’s work that has application outside of Academe, where relevant.
  • 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
  • Cover letter including a description of any accomplishments and/or challenges during doctoral studies and training, including any career interruptions, which may be relevant.
  • Confirmation of PhD degree received or additional confirmation of proposed completion date from PhD supervisor
  • 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.
      • Research involving Indigenous communities should also outline how the researcher and research project will ensure that respectful relations with Indigenous communities will be established and/or maintained as part of the proposed project. 
  • Letter of support (max. 3 pages) from the proposed project supervisor(s) at York. Beyond providing an assessment of the applicant’s postdoctoral project, the proposed supervisor’s statement should explain:
    • Their capacity to enable the applicant to become a future leader in their chosen field and career;
    • The academic, mentoring, and networking support to be provided;
    • Alignment with university and/or faculty-specific research or academic strategic planning documents.
    • Any resources that may be required for the postdoctoral fellow to conduct their research and, where applicable, how these costs may be covered
      Note: Should the applicant be co-supervised by two faculty members, please submit only one letter of support.
  • The names and contact information of two individuals able to write letters of recommendation (see “Application Process,” above). These individuals will only be contacted should the file move forward to the final round of adjudication.
  • 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.

The supervisor's letter of support will be sent directly by the supervisor to the Postdoctoral Services & Professional Skills Coordinator. Subject line:  Last Name, First Name, Provost’s Postdocs.


  • Successful applicants will be notified by 31 May 2022.


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