UHN Student and Postdoctoral Researcher Handbook
The ORT has created a comprehensive handbook for UHN Research students and postdoctoral researchers, which includes information on UHN policies, health & dental benefits, research services & facilities, wellness supports, who to go for for help, how to get involved, and much more!Download Handbook Here
The ORT has compiled a list of awards, conference grants and fellowship opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Explore the opportunities and apply today!FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
ORT Funding Opportunties
ORT Conference Participation Awards
Apply to receive up to $500 to support conference participation.
Award cycles are in March, July and November – to support conferences all year round!
More information and application can be found here.
OSOTF Unilever/Lipton Graduate Fellowship
Application due July 14, 2023 at 5 pm.
More information and application found here.
Physical and Mental Wellness at UHN
UHN Wellness provides a comprehensive approach to improving the health and wellbeing of TeamUHN. The UHN Wellness intranet page shares information on UHN’s emotional and mental wellbeing tools, informational resources, and wellness programs. Subscribe to UHN’s Wellness Weekly Newsletter to stay up to date on news, tips, events, and resources.
If you are experiencing a mental health-related crisis, seek help immediately by:
- Contacting your doctor
- Going to the emergency room at your nearest hospital
- Calling 911 or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
Graduate students are provided health and dental benefits by their degree-granting institution. University of Toronto (U of T) students can find detailed information on benefit coverage and policies here. U of T graduate students with teaching assistant positions may be eligible for additional top-up benefits through CUPE.
Postdoctoral researchers (PDR) paid through the UHN payroll can opt into a group health benefit plan provided by Sun Life. PDRs can choose an individual plan or a family plan, which provides benefits for spouses and children. The Health and Dental Benefits Booklet (Intranet link) outlines the plan information. Information on plan costs to the PDR and employer can be found here.
- PDRs with a Sun Life group plan have access to Benefit Enhancements effective January 1, 2023. This includes $1200 per annum for mental health coverage (including psychology, social worker, and psychotherapist), Gender Affirmation Surgery coverage, and an additional $500 per annum for Speech Therapy services.
- For questions about benefits reach out to the UHN Benefits Team at Benefits@uhn.ca.
PDRs also have access to the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) (Intranet link) for support with personal and work-related pressures and stress. EFAP provides free and confidential counselling on topics such as achieving wellbeing, managing relationships and family, dealing with workplace challenges, tackling addictions, legal advice, and financial guidance. Learn more from the EFAP brochure.
- To access the EFAP visit workhealthlife.com and indicate “‘University Health Network’ under the search bar to begin.
A list of supports for emotional wellbeing of TeamUHN are available here, including BRITE Resilience program, UHN Cares, Refresh program, and more. Free, confidential counselling is provided to UHN employees through the Employee Family Assistance Program (EFAP) (Intranet link).
UHN has dedicated spaces for spiritual reflection at all hospitals. Locations and hours can be found here. In Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (PMCRT) room 4-504 is a dedicated space for prayer, spiritual reflection and nursing.
In addition to mental wellbeing, UHN also has resources for your physical wellbeing. UHN has three gym facilities located at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. Learn about the gyms and membership options here (Intranet link). Virtual and On Demand fitness classes are available here (Intranet link). Goodlife fitness memberships are also available at a UHN corporate rate (Intranet link).
The Ontario government website is a great resource to help find mental health and addiction services in your community.
There are many community resources that provide mental and wellness resources. These include:
- ConnexOntario – Provides 24/7 access to information about mental health, addiction or gambling
services and supports in your community.
- Canadian Mental Health Quick Guide – Offers many mental health resources, services, and supports. Their Mental Health Quick Guide – Provides a comprehensive list of Toronto Mental Health Resources,
Clinics, and Helplines.
- Good2Talk – Provides free, confidential support 24/7. Call 1-866-925-5454.
- Distress Centers of Greater Toronto – Provides a 24/7 helpline and online chat & text suicide
prevention service. Call 416-408-HELP (4357).
- Gerstein Crisis Centre – Offers 24/7 telephone support, in-person mobile crisis team, community
support referrals, and more. Call 416-929-5200.
Graduate students can access wellness resources from their degree-granting institution. U of T students can access Health and Wellness Resources and Supports, including mental health working groups, Grad Minds, wellness services and more. The School of Graduate Studies provides free wellness counselling and workshops. U of T students can also access U of T gyms and their services, including Hart House, Goldring Athletic Centre, and Athletic Centre.
UHN security operations offers two safety programs to protect UHN staff, students, and volunteers. The Walk-Safe program offers a security guard to escort individuals to and from UHN sites safely. The Call-Safe program provides hourly safety-check calls to individuals working alone or who feel they are in high-risk situations. Information on how to access the programs can be found on the intranet here.
UHN’s COVID-19, Flu & Respiratory Virus Preparedness intranet webpage provides up-to-date information on how to be prepared for respiratory illnesses. The website includes outbreak statuses, screening tools, reporting forms, return to work declarations, booking for COVID-19 PCR tests, and many other integral protocols and resources. View the number of current respiratory virus cases at UHN and the allowable level of non-educational and educational on-site activities on the UHN intranet homepage here.
UHN welcomes qualified international candidates from all over the world!
International student registration is handled through the University. International postdoctoral registration is handled mostly by the postdoctoral registration themselves. This page will take you through the process and provide you with helpful information before and after you arrive in Toronto. Please note that the ORT strongly encourages you to determine what documents are necessary for working in Canada by speaking with immigration officers at the Canadian embassy in your home country. The information below is only a guide and may not include all of the processes surrounding your work permit. The following is a summary of the procedures that entitle you to work in Canada.
When preparing to travel to Canada you must remember to bring several documents with you. These documents must stay with you at all times – not in your checked baggage!
- Your passport
- Your CIC-issued work permit
- Letter of Offer/Engagement from the University Health Network
- A copy of your immunization/medical records (in English)
- The address in Canada where you will be living
- International graduate students should refer to their degree-granting institution’s policies on health insurance and health benefits.
- International students attending the University of Toronto can find detailed information here regarding their plan.
- Postdoctoral researchers who are paid through the UHN payroll are eligible to enroll in the UHN Extended Health Care and Dental Care plan for Postdoctoral Researchers.
- To enroll in this plan, International postdocs must first enroll in the Inpatriate Health Plan (IHP) which provides coverage for the 90-day OHIP waiting period. For more information and to enroll in the Inpatriate Health Plan (IHP), please contact the UHN Benefits office at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on how to apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), get a health card and health insurance coverage, please see the Ontario Government Website. *Note that at this time there is no longer a waiting period for OHIP coverage and you can apply as soon as you arrive in Ontario.
Refer to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website for information on applying for a work permit or visa.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you must have a valid permit to legally work or study in Canada. Once you have been offered a position by a researcher at the UHN, you must obtain a Work Permit whether or not you will receive compensation from UHN.
After you received your Work Permit, your next steps are as follows:
- Make your travel plans
- Secure accommodation
- Complete the required paperwork surrounding your new hire (contact your Supervisor to obtain necessary paperwork)
Note that in addition to work and study permit information, the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) Office provides many programs and services to help ease the transition of newcomers to Canada. For more information, visit the CIC website.
The current wait time to renew work permits is extensive. This means that, in order for a researcher or scholar to have a renewed work permit in place by the time the old one expires, the application process must begin well in advance of the current permit’s expiry. To learn about this process and check current wait times, see here.
Note: If an international student intends to remain in Canada to complete a postdoctoral position, they must apply for a Canadian work permit, even if their student authorization is still valid. In addition to work and study permit information, the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) Office provides many programs and services to help ease the transition of newcomers to Canada. For more information, visit the CIC website.
- Obtain a Social Insurance Number. All workers in Canada must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card. The SIN is required to receive your salary/stipend, open a bank account, file taxes, etc. To apply, go to Government of Canada SIN and follow the instructions. Applications can be done online, in person or by mail.
- Obtain a bank account at one of Canada’s major banks.
- Complete on-boarding tasks assigned by People & Culture (HR) and your Supervisor’s administrative assistant. This will include mandatory training and orientation sessions, Health Services Requirements, Payroll documentation, etc.
- Register with the ORT by completing this form!