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: as an incoming or outgoing visiting fellow (VF).

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


Priority will be given to researchers who will travel between OFI institutes and one of OFI's eight international partners. Researchers from other universities are welcome to apply for the VF but must complete the fellowship at either Dalhousie or Memorial University.  

Applications will be considered from last-year PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members, independent scholars, and senior staff/technicians. A researcher who is currently taking part or has taken part in the OFI International Postdoctoral Fellowship (IPDF) program within the last two years, is not eligible to apply. 

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

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 funding

The Fellowships will be awarded for a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of four months (120 days). The OFI will reimburse the successful VF for one round-trip economy class airline ticket to/from Halifax or St. John’s from/to the international city. In addition, successful VFs may submit a reimbursement claim for up to $4,000 CDN per month. Eligible expenses include: local travel (taxis), accommodation, living (e.g. health insurance) and other incidental expenses. 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.

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.

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 Visiting 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

We are not accepting applications at this time. Check back for future opportunities.

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.


The applicant must identify their references (two) on their application. Additionally and by the application deadline, referees must submit, directly to, a completed version of a reference template. Reference letters submitted by the applicant will not be accepted.

Download Reference Template

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

All prospective applicants should consult their home institution prior to submitting an application.

Be sure your referees submit their completed reference form by the deadline as well.

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 encourages applications from Indigenous persons, persons with a disability, racially visible persons, women, persons of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and all candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our community.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

Tracey Woodhouse
Programs Manager

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.

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