Postdoctoral Scholar Funding Program



Western University’s BrainsCAN initiative recently received a 7-year, $66 million investment from the Government of Canada (through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund) to enable researchers at the University, along with their national and international academic and commercial partners, to understand and significantly reduce the impact of cognitive disorders across the lifespan. A major focus is to identify how cognitive markers map onto specific brain networks using our state-of-the-art platforms described below.

Western is home to a large cluster of world-renowned researchers who study brain function utilizing state-of-the-art tools for investigating human cognitive performance, unique animal models and leading facilities that can image across species. Already ranked amongst the best in the world in cognitive neurosciences and neuroimaging, Western excels in the breadth of cognitive, computational, clinical, technological, and translational approaches required for understanding and intervening in brain function. An essential aim of the BrainsCAN initiative is to bring the world’s most promising young neuroscientists to this outstanding research environment, and facilitate their development, via the BrainsCAN Canada First Research Excellence Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

BrainsCAN endeavours to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration by removing the financial and technical barriers to using our major cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging infrastructure.  Postdoctoral Fellows will have access to 5 BrainsCAN-supported core facilities: (1) Imaging, (2) Rodent Models of Cognition and Behaviour, (3) Non-Human Primate Models of Cognition and Behaviour, (4) Human Cognition and Sensorimotor control, and (5) Computational. Skilled staff within these cores support state-of-the-art technical equipment including high and ultra-high field, research-only, MRI scanners (3T, 7T, and 9.4T), laboratories for cognitive, behavioural, and electrophysiological testing in humans and animal models, advanced molecular techniques including opto- and chemogenetics, a sleep laboratory, and access to a large neurological patient population in affiliated teaching hospitals.

With annual research funding in excess of $240 million, and an international reputation for success, Western ranks as one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities ( The university campus is in London, a thriving city of 400,000+ people located midway between Toronto and Detroit. With parks, river valleys, tree-lined streets, and bicycle paths, London is known as the “Forest City” and boasts galleries, theatre, music and sporting events, and an international airport, see (

Up to 10 BrainsCAN Postdoctoral Fellowships will be awarded in the Autumn 2017 competition, to highly qualified individuals from any country who have received their PhDs within the last 6 years. Depending on prior experience, awards will be offered for 2 years (Tier II) or 3 years (Tier I), renewable, with annual salary ranging from $55,000-$75,000 CAD (plus benefits) depending on Tier and on other funding. 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 (

Successful candidates will be given an independent research/travel allowance of $3000-$5000 per year (depending on Tier), and Tier I recipients will also have access to apply for internal BrainsCAN operating fund of over $12M for innovative research. Eligible research will contribute to a better understanding of brain organization and function in health, and/or in brain diseases or disorders. Applicants must identify and contact potential advisors at Western before applying. An interdisciplinary, collaborative approach, involving affiliation with more than one lab is strongly encouraged to broaden the skill set of the applicant.

The application deadline for the initial competition is Sept 1, 2017 11:59 EDT, with successful candidates taking up their award no later than Oct 2018. Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies assists prospective and new postdoctoral scholars and their families with their transition to the University and to London, Ontario.

Important Links

  1. BrainsCAN Program Guidelines
  2. BrainsCAN Application Form
    1. Research Alignment Document
    2. Postdoctoral Scholar CV Requirements - Appendix A
    3. Equity & Diversity Survey


Contact Information

The competition is administered by BrainsCAN’s Support Team ( 
Please contact Ryan Salewski, Project Manager (ext: 86801; with any questions.