BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program:
Special Call


Diversity is our strength

BrainsCAN is committed to improving the representation of marginalized groups in neuroscience through equity and inclusion best practices. This means attracting and retaining a diverse representation of outstanding scientists who contribute toward research excellence in neuroscience. BrainsCAN acknowledges the barriers to access these groups face in research spaces because of systemic biases and despite meritorious qualification.

This has led to the development of the BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: Special Call. The Special Call aims to attract the world’s most promising and diverse early-career neuroscientists who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, people with a disability, and women.

*Please note, applicants will not be asked to state how they identify with these underrepresented communities.

Training the next generation of researchers is a key aim of BrainsCAN, and postdoctoral fellows are the engines of innovative research. Diversity of trainees from various fields of research, education, and experiential background is integral to the success and impact of the research on the global stage. Successful applicants will be outstanding scientists whose innovative work has already achieved impact, who have demonstrated great potential for continued contributions, and who are a member of one of the aforementioned underrepresented groups.

Already ranked amongst the best in the world in cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, Western researchers employ cognitive, computational, clinical, and translational approaches to understand and intervene in brain function. Postdoctoral Fellows will have access to BrainsCAN-supported core facilities for neuroimaging; for studying human cognition, behaviour and sensorimotor control; for development and use of computational methods; and for establishing and exploring rodent and nonhuman primate models of cognition and behaviour. Skilled staff within these cores support state-of-the-art technical equipment including research-only MRI systems (3T, 7T, and 9.4T), laboratories for cognitive, behavioural, and electrophysiological testing in humans and animal models, advanced molecular techniques, a sleep laboratory, and access to a variety of neurological patient populations in affiliated teaching hospitals.  

Program Details and Process:

Note that applications for this round of the PDF: Special Call are now closed.

Up to 10 BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowships from this call will be awarded in the Fall 2020 competition. Depending on prior experience, awards will be offered for 2 years (Tier II) or 3 years (Tier I), with annual salary ranging from $55,000-$75,000 CAD (plus benefits) depending on Tier and on other funding, as well as an independent research/travel allowance of $3000-$5000 per year (depending on Tier). Tier I recipients will also have access to apply for internal BrainsCAN operating funds of over $12M for innovative research. Benefits include Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, a health-care spending account (to cover eye and dental care, prescriptions, etc.), parental leave, and Western’s mentorship and professional development program for postdoctoral scholars, Competitive Edge.

  • Applicants must identify and contact potential advisors at Western before applying. Any faculty member who can support a project within the broad neuroscience remit of BrainsCAN is eligible to advise. Please see Neuroscience Researcher Directory, BMI Investigators, and individual faculty and department pages for potential advisors. Applicants can also contact BrainsCAN if support is needed to find or connect with potential advisors at Western before applying. An interdisciplinary, collaborative approach, involving affiliation with more than one lab, is required.

  • Successful applicants will be supported by the BrainsCAN mentorship program which will provide them with a network of mentors outside of their supervisor and will include events organized specifically for the successful cohort from this special call.

Important Resources

  1. Program Guidelines
  2. Application Form
    1. Appendix A: CV Requirements
  3. BrainsCAN Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Survey
  4. BrainsCAN Alignment/Steering Document
  5. Neuroscience Researcher Directory
  6. BMI Investigators Listing


Contact Information

This program is administered through BrainsCAN's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC). Please email any questions to

The BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is part of Western’s $66M BrainsCAN initiative, supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF).