BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Images of Postdocs at work

COVID-19 update on the BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is part of Western’s $66M BrainsCAN initiative, supported by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF). The CFREF investment enables researchers at the University, along with their national and international academic and commercial partners, to seek answers to fundamental questions regarding how we learn, think, move and communicate.

Training the next generation of researchers is a key aim of BrainsCAN, and postdoctoral fellows are the engines of innovative research. The BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has been developed to attract the world’s most promising early-career neuroscientists. Successful applicants will be outstanding scientists whose innovative work has already achieved impact, and who have demonstrated great potential for continued contributions.

Already ranked amongst the best in the world in cognitive neurosciences 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.

Up to 10 BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowships will be awarded in the Spring 2019 competition, to highly qualified individuals from any country. Depending on prior experience, awards will be offered for 2 years (Tier II) or 3 years (Tier I), potentially renewable, 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. An interdisciplinary, collaborative approach, involving affiliation with more than one lab, is required.

Prospective PDFs interested in Computational Neuroscience should also refer to the BrainsCAN Computational Postdoctoral Fellowship Stream.


Following administrative review for completeness, an application’s fit to BrainsCAN’s mandate is evaluated by the BrainsCAN HQP committee referencing the BrainsCAN steering document. Each application is reviewed by 3 committee members. Where the reviewers are not unanimous, the application is sent to the full committee where the majority result is used. All applications deemed to fit BrainsCAN’s mandate are sent to SGPS where an arm’s length review panel, with at least 1 external (to Western) member, is formed. This panel reviews the applications based on the criteria and weighting in the Program Guidelines, and provides scores and funding recommendations to the program chairs and BrainsCAN Executive Committee (EC). In a blinded fashion, these recommendations are reviewed and ratified by the EC in consultation with the program chairs.

Important Resources

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

Contact Information

The program co-chairs are Drs. Jessica Grahn and Marieke Mur. For administrative questions please contact BrainsCAN (