Visiting Fellowship Program
This program provides a forum for scholarly knowledge exchange and collaboration among research colleagues, with the intent of producing a research outcome that positively impacts how we use and manage the ocean.  

About the program

Trans-national training contributes to building world class ocean leaders

There are two ways researchers take part in the OFI Visiting Fellowship program: the Visiting International Fellowship (VIF), and the Canadian-International Visiting Fellowship (CIVF).

VIF will be awarded to highly-qualified researchers who intend to conduct innovative, full-time, interdisciplinary and collaborative research. Successful candidates will spend their research stay at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

OFI’s CIVF will be awarded to highly qualified researchers from an OFI lead institution at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, who intend to conduct innovative, full-time, interdisciplinary and collaborative research aligned with OFI’s strategic objectives at one of OFI's eight international partners. This program supports both the continuation of research within ongoing research priority areas and/or the development of new, complementary ocean initiatives aligned with OFI’s research priorities.


For the incoming VIF, OFI seeks applications from researchers who hold a PhD from a recognized university. Applications will be considered from candidates currently enrolled in a doctoral program; however, applicants are expected to complete all the requirements of their PhD degree (including thesis defense) within one year of submitting the application.

The OFI will accept applications for the incoming fellowship from the following:

  • A researcher from one of OFI's eight international partners (applicants from these institutions will be given selection priority)
  • A Canadian or international researcher from an accredited university or research institute interested in fostering new linkages with OFI

Researchers who have participated in OFI's International Postdoctoral Fellowship Program within the last two years are not eligible.

For the outgoing CIVF, the OFI seeks applications from highly qualified researchers, who hold a PhD and are based at an OFI lead institution (Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia or Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland). Applicants who intend to visit and conduct research at one of the OFI's eight international partners will be given priority. Applications will be accepted from advanced doctoral students, early-career postdoctoral researchers, faculty members, independent scholars, and senior staff/technicians. Applications will be considered, on a case by case basis. Your application will be considered if you are currently enrolled in a doctoral/postgraduate program at a lead OFI University. However, you must expect to complete all the requirements of your PhD degree (including the thesis defense) within one year from submitting your application, and you must demonstrate that your research has advanced to the point that a visit will be highly productive. A researcher who is currently taking part or has taken part in the OFI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program within the last two years, is not eligible to apply.

The OFI will accept applications for the outgoing fellowship from the following:

  • A doctoral/postgraduate student, postdoctoral fellow, faculty member, or senior staff/technician from a lead OFI University (Dalhousie University or Memorial University) to visit one of the eight OFI International Partner Institutions abroad (priority).
  • A doctoral/postgraduate student, postdoctoral fellow, faculty member, or senior staff/technician from a lead OFI University (Dalhousie University or Memorial University) to visit an international, accredited (non-OFI or secondary OFI Partner) university or research institute, with the purpose of fostering strong new linkages within OFI’s strategic objectives.

Funding, terms & condition, and evaluation

Duration and stipend

The Fellowships will be awarded for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of four months (120 days). The OFI will pay for one round-trip economy class airline ticket to/from Halifax or St. John’s from/to the international city. In addition, up to $4,000 CDN per month will be provided to help cover local travel, accommodation, living (e.g. health insurance) and other incidental expenses. Working space at OFI-Dalhousie and Memorial will be equipped with wireless internet access and there will be reasonable access to printing and photocopy machines. Fellows should bring their own laptops. International hosts are expected to provide working space for fellows at those institutions. The OFI does not provide Fellows with a research allowance and fellowships are not renewable. Note that the appointment as an OFI Fellow does not constitute an employment contract.

Terms and conditions

Fellows are expected to participate in research life by providing at least one presentation of their research through an undergraduate seminar or public lecture. Fellows are required to acknowledge OFI in all publications arising from the Fellowship and to notify OFI of any scholarly articles or books published, including media interviews.

Evaluation and monitoring

As an aid to evaluating the benefits of the International Fellowship Program, all participants must provide a final report outlining their research outcomes, including how it supported OFI's research priorities. The report shall be submitted to within three months of the term being completed. A template will be provided.

Appointment & application process

OFI anticipates awarding up to 15 International Fellows annually, budget permitting. Future calls will be made on an annual basis. Applications must include:

A short biography

This biography must highlighting the applicant's research interests (150 words maximum, 1.5-spaced)

A short proposal

(500 to 1,000 words maximum, 1.5-spaced): include the names and institutional affiliations of the host supervisor/sponsor and/or faculty member(s) with whom you wish to work; the nature of the work to be undertaken; a timeline for the duration of proposed work; a clear case for how the planned work supports OFI's research priorities. Potential areas of work can include:

  • Independent, specific OFI research activities
  • Joint, collaborative research with OFI postgraduate students and researchers
  • Individual or joint proposal writing and/or joint development of a new ocean initiative
  • Postgraduate thesis co-supervision and/or mentoring
  • Guest lecturing in an undergraduate course and/or graduate seminar
  • Participate in or lead courses, workshops, summer schools and public lectures

A letter of support

A letter of support from the host supervisor, faculty member or Principal Investigator with whom you wish to work at the International Institution, or Dalhousie or Memorial University. The letter should indicate the nature of the resources and support that will be provided (i.e. technical assistance, office/laboratory space, equipment access, laboratory analyses, photocopying, any additional research funding etc.)

Curriculum vitae

Please include educational background, work experiences, publication record and source of research funding.

Work samples

One sample of written, preferably accepted, peer-reviewed, published work (article, book chapter, essay) which the applicant considers is the most representative of his or her research and which demonstrates good command of the English language.


Provide the names and contact information of two academic references who are able to assess your research and who may be contacted by OFI.

Postgraduate students only must submit a letter from their main supervisor at their home institution, supporting that their research has advanced to the point that a visit would be highly productive.

Submit your application

Submit your completed application to the OFI (currently closed).

Selection criteria

The Selection Committee will use the following criteria to assess applications:

Research excellence

  • Excellence in intellectual contribution of the applicant to their field of research, as assessed by scholarly contributions and/or a demonstrated capacity to shape the direction of research and thought
  • Excellence of the applicant's proposed research, especially the degree to which it complements OFI research

Interdisciplinary perspective

  • Demonstrated track record of engagement across multiple disciplines or plans to work across disciplines

Quality of proposed research and potential for forging strong new linkages

  • Realizable research objectives and the feasibility of the proposed work to be pursued during the applicant’s assignment, given the resources of OFI
  • A clear case for how this placement enhances OFI’s research priorities

Once the Selection Committee has made its decision, successful applicants will be notified with the necessary next steps. The decision by the Selection Committee is final and cannot be appealed.

Embracing equity

OFI is committed to fostering a culture grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. OFI welcomes applications from Indigenous people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

Dr. Carl Peters
Research Programs Manager
Telephone: +1 902 999 3165

Visiting Fellows who are not Canadian citizens are responsible for obtaining all visas that are legally required according to their country of residence, citizenship and duration of their fellowship. OFI can provide assistance with visa applications. Be aware of the necessary lead-time for applying for a visa (country-specific). Note: the appointment as an OFI Fellow does not constitute an employment contract.

OFI does not pay for medical insurance. Visiting Fellows and members of their families should ensure they have (private) medical insurance coverage during their stay in Canada.

Funding may be sought to cover the travel costs for the Visiting Fellows' family providing the fellowship has been awarded for a maximum of four-months (120 days) and the family members will reside together throughout the entire fellowship period. A family is defined as a spouse, common-law partner or registered partner, and any children under the age of 18. A common-law partner is a person with whom the researcher has lived in a marriage-like relationship for the past two years and shares a common address.

OFI will not arrange for the living accommodation of its Fellows. Please consult Dalhousie University or Memorial University off-campus housing website.

  • Fellows should note that in some cases, stipends may be subject to a withholding tax
  • Canada has signed tax treaties with several countries; payment of income tax either in Canada and/or in the Visiting Fellow’s country of legal residence will depend on the conditions stipulated by those treaties
  • Visiting Fellows who are residents of Canada must comply with Canadian tax regulations and the tax regulations of their province of residence