small logoResearch Scientist Policies, Terms & Conditions of Employment

Research Scientists - Policies, Terms and Conditions of Employment

The Institute of Particle Physics policies and the terms and conditions of employment are collected together in the documents listed below. Each policy represents the IPP position on a specific issue or subject and includes the procedures by which the policy will be carried out or administered. The policies apply to all IPP Research Scientists (RS). Each IPP RS is associated with a University or Institute and as such must refer to, where appropriate, the policies, procedures and contractual and collective agreements of the affiliated University or Institute. New policies may be developed in the future and revisions to current policies will be ongoing to reflect legislative changes or improvements. All changes or updates will be circulated as approved.

Each personnel policy has been approved by the Institute of Particle Physics Director, Council and Board of Trustees.

Index of policies, terms and conditions:

small logoPolicy #1 - Appointments


Every IPP RS hired shall fall under one of the following types of appointment and the type shall dictate various benefits, compensation and job tenure. The relationship between the RS and the host university is outlined in Policy #4. Each RS will receive a written confirmation of his/her employment terms as outlined in Policy #3.

Research Scientist

An IPP RS refers to a person appointed to a full time position by the IPP. RS are expected to have a Ph.D. in particle physics and a record of research accomplishments. RS are required to support the IPP research projects and are expected to provide intellectual leadership to the research programme. The Director and RS determine which IPP project the RS may work on initially. RS with the agreement of the Director may subsequently develop projects that have a reasonable expectation of becoming IPP projects. The Director and RS determine the host university where a RS is located. RS are expected to apply for funding from Granting Councils to support their research and may supervise graduate students. Job descriptions are found in Policy #6.

Types of Appointment

1. Term Research Scientist

All RS are hired for an initial three year term. A review will be held in the third year to determine whether the term of the RS be changed to a continuing term.Criteria and procedures for the review are given in Policy #6.

2. Continuing Research Scientist

This is an appointment without term.Continuing RS may be promoted to Principal RS if they are determined by peer review to be international leaders in particle physics (see Policy #6).

small logoPolicy #2 - Recruitment


The IPP will follow a fair and equitable procedure to recruit the best qualified RS. Recruitment procedures follow Canadian Immigration Department requirements.


  • 1.Approval by NSERC is necessary to appoint a RS.
  • 2.Procedure shall be determined by the Director with advice from Council. The same search procedure shall be followed for all the candidates for a given search. The procedure should contain some or all of the following:
    • a. Position should be advertised internationally. It should include magazines, or journals or newspapers with a wide readership among particle physicists.
    • b. Applicants must provide a curriculum vitae and a list of referees or arrange references to be sent.
    • c. There should be an interview and the applicant should normally give a seminar.
    • d. IPP members should have an opportunity to comment on the candidates.
  • 3.The Director decides who is appointed based on the recommendation of the Council.

small logoPolicy #3 - Employment and Hiring


The intention of IPP is that all hiring and employment practices are consistent and equitable. The practices of the IPP must comply with applicable government legislation; NSERC agreements, policies and regulations (Policy #10); and the policies, regulations and contractual agreements with the host university (Policy #4).

General Principle

All salaries and benefits of IPP RS are administered by the appropriate department (e.g. Human Resources or equivalent) of the host university or institute.


  • All appointments must be agreed to in writing by NSERC.
  • All new positions and replacement positions must be agreed to by Council and the Board of Trustees.
  • Recruitment is governed by Policy #2. A description of the Term and Principal RS positions are given in Policy #6.

Offer of Employment

Each individual being offered a position of Term RS shall receive a letter of “Offer of Employment” that shall contain the following information:

  • Title of the position
  • Effective date of hire
  • Length of the contract
  • Starting salary
  • Date of the next salary review
  • Eligibility for employee benefits and pension
  • Specific employment conditions
  • Terms and conditions relating to relocation expenses
  • The requirement that the person is a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant or that the offer is contingent on the person meeting any requirements of Canadian Immigration and on becoming a landed immigrant
  • The requirement that the person provide proof of a Ph.D.
  • The Offer of Employment will be considered complete on receipt of a letter from the candidate accepting the terms including the choice of a host university that is agreed by the candidate, the Director and the proposed University. The Offer of Employment will be considered complete on receipt of a letter from the candidate accepting the terms including the choice of a host university that is agreed by the candidate, the Director and the proposed University.

small logoPolicy #4 - Location and Relationship with Host University


The intent is that the RS and the Director agree on a mutually acceptable host university. The host university must be an Institutional Member of IPP and be actively engaged in IPP research projects. The RS must comply with all the applicable policies, guidelines and terms of appointment of their host university. IPP has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to compendation (including benefits) in relation to the IPP RS appointments. The host university agrees to provide a working environment for the RS that is substantially similar to that of an equivalent faculty member.

Host University

The host university agrees to the following conditions:

  • to provide an adjunct appointment that allows the RS to apply for and hold research grants from Granting Councils and that allows the RS to supervise graduate students.
  • to provide benefits from an existing benefits plan at the host university (see Policy #5).
  • to provide office and laboratory space.
  • to provide access to university facilities.
  • that RS are, in general, not required nor expected to teach university courses. Exceptionally, if a RS wishes to teach a formal undergraduate course, prior approval must be obtained from the Director.


  • There normally will be no more than two RS at a given host university.
  • The IPP Secretary-Treasurer will forward funds to the host university on a regular basis to cover both salary and benefits.

small logoPolicy #5 - Benefits


IPP RS shall have a competitive benefits plan. RS will be members of an existing benefits plan at their host university (see Policy #4). The benefits plan should be equivalent to the faculty plan at the host university. For purposes of this policy, the coverages and cost sharing details will be described in the terms and policies of the host university.


In general, the benefits plan may include full or cost-shared coverage in the following:

  • provincial medical plan
  • extended health plan
  • dental plan
  • group life insurance
  • long term disability insurance
  • pension, including CPP

Worker‘s compensation follows the host university policies and appropriate provincial legislation.

Benefits after retirement, where provided by the host university plan, are subject to the availability of continued funding. IPP RS may not be eligible for all of the retirement benefits offered at the host university.

small logoPolicy #6 - Career Progress


The intent is to describe the policies and procedures governing the career progress of the IPP RS. Standards and expected levels of research and scholarly achievement for each of the types of appointment are given.

Description of RS types

All RS are expected to have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree from an accredited and recognized academic institute in particle physics or a closely allied discipline. Each RS will have demonstrated research ability, scientific leadership, both oral and written communication skills, and have obtained national and international recognition.

Term Position RS: An IPP RS is initially hired into this category (see Policy #3) for a term of three years. They are expected to have approximately three years of postdoctoral experience. They will have demonstrated potential in research, scientific leadership and both oral and written communication skills. Evidence will include: proof of degree, letters of reference, a record of invited talks, seminars and colloquia and a record of publication of papers, reviews and books. The equivalent faculty level is assistant professor. Following a successful review during year 3, the RS will be offered a Continuing RS position.

Continuing Position RS: A grant tenure position equivalent to the faculty level of associate professor. The RS will have a demonstrated record of achievement and scientific originality within an IPP research project. The RS will have demonstrated oral and written communication skills and have shown the potential to be a scientific leader. Evidence will include: letters of reference, a record of invited talks, seminars and colloquia and a record of publication of papers, reviews and books.

Principal Research Scientist: A position equivalent to the faculty level of full professor that reflects the status of the most accomplished RS who have achieved international stature and carry substantial responsibilities. The RS will have approximately 10 years or more of experience as an RS. The Principal RS will have a demonstrated record of internationally recognized research and scientific leadership. Evidence will include: letters of reference, a record of invited talks, seminars and colloquia and a record of publication of papers, reviews and books. Leadership of a group, an experiment or a significant scientific initiative is expected.

Procedure for tenure of a Term RS

Research Scientists are hired initially for one term of three years. The review occurs in the third year of the term. The Director puts in place a review committee to advise the Director. The review committee will request a curriculum vitae from the candidate and references from at least four people with appropriate expertise and knowledge. In general, some of the references should be at arm‘s length from the Research Scientist. At least two of the referees contacted should be chosen from a list of at least four provided by the candidate.

In order to become a continuing Research Scientist, the review should determine that a research record exists for work on an IPP project that is substantially equivalent to the requirements for tenure of a university faculty and satisfy the requirements listed in the description of RS types in this policy.

Procedure for promotion to Principal Research Scientist

Research Scientists with an internationally recognized record of achievement and scientific leadership may be considered for promotion to Principal Research Scientist.

A Research Scientist may request a review with the agreement of the Director. The Director will create a committee to review the candidate and advise the Director. Normally the candidate Research Scientist will be required to provide curriculum vitae and the names of at least four referees. The committee will request references from at least four referees, two of which were selected by the Research Scientist. In general some of the referees should be at arm‘s length.

The criteria for promotion to Principal Research Scientist should be substantially equivalent to the requirements for promotion to full professor in a university faculty and satisfy the requirements listed in the description of RS types in this policy.

small logoPolicy #7 - Non-IPP Work


The IPP RS positions are primarily intended for research in particle physics. This policy addresses the situation where an IPP RS occasionally may be involved in non-IPP work during normal working hours or in some other direct or indirect way this non-IPP work has an impact on her/his work for the IPP.

General Principles

RS should consult with the IPP Director about activities that have the possibility of affecting the work they do for the IPP.The IPP Director may agree to the activity if it satisfies the following criteria.

  • There is no conflict of interest (see policy #11)
  • The activity is of significant benefit to the IPP.
  • The activity benefits the professional development of the RS.
  • The activity benefits the wider IPP community.

The allowance of financial remuneration paid to the RS will be decided on a case to case basis between the RS and the Director.

small logoPolicy #8 - Sabbaticals and Leaves


IPP RS are eligible for both sabbatical leave and unpaid leave. Sabbaticals should be primarily for the professional development of the RS and must be of a general benefit to IPP. Each case will be considered on its individual merit. The Director must agree to all leaves.

Sabbatical Leave

A letter of application addressed to the Director of the IPP is required at least six months before the leave is to commence. The leave may be for up to one year or more in exceptional circumstances. The salary during sabbatical leave will reflect the policy for equivalent faculty at the host university.

Unpaid Leave

Unpaid leave may be granted by the IPP Director. A letter of application addressed to the Director of IPP is required at least six months before the leave is to commence. The leave may be for up to one year. An example of an unpaid leave would be for an IPP Research Scientist to take up an important fixed term scientific office or position.

Paid Leave

Paid leaves may include:

  • Court leave including jury duty, subpoena and summons.
  • Maternity and parental leave.
  • Bereavement.
  • Short term illness as defined by the policies of the host university.

small logoPolicy #9 - Relocation


Define the conditions under which IPP will reimburse relocation expenses of newly appointed RS and the maximum amount of reimbursement. Define the procedures under which IPP Continuing RS may relocate and under which conditions the IPP will contribute to relocation costs.


  • IPP will pay relocation costs up to the equivalent of the base salary for two months for new IPP RS.
    NOTE: In the event that the employee decides to leave the IPP position on her/his own volition prior to twelve (12) months continuous service, IPP will be compensated for all reimbursed relocation costs. A newly hired RS will be required to sign an agreement to this effect prior to relocating.
  • IPP RS who initiate a change of host university will not normally be reimbursed for relocation costs.
  • IPP RS who change host universities at the request of IPP to better fulfill IPP research objectives will be reimbursed, as under (1).
  • IPP RS who temporarily relocate to a laboratory or research institute as part of their research activities will not be reimbursed for relocation costs by IPP. The costs of such relocation, including the necessary additional or replacement benefit premiums should be covered by the individual research group. For such relocations, prior approval is required from NSERC, IPP, and the research group involved.

small logoPolicy #10 - Relationship with NSERC


IPP salaries and benefits are paid with funds from an NSERC Discovery Grant. These funds are administered in accordance with NSERC policies and guidelines.


  • The NSERC IPP Discovery Grant is applied for and held by the Secretary-Treasurer of IPP.
  • The IPP RS program may be reduced in scope or terminated at the discretion of NSERC. Such changes are covered in policy #13. Salary levels will be subject to the availability of funds.
  • NSERC has to approve the hiring of new or replacement RS (see policy #3).
  • Under NSERC rules, RS with adjunct professor status are eligible to receive and administer NSERC grants (see policy #4).

small logoPolicy #11 - Conflict of Interest


IPP RS shall not engage in contract work with any company or institution that could be construed as conflict of interest.


  • A company controlled by a RS or his/her family, or in which they have an interest, shall not enter into contract with an IPP project for supply of materials or services without prior disclosure to the Director.
  • Where an IPP RS is responsible for specifying or approving materials or services purchased by an IPP project, he/she shall not have any financial interest or personal gain, direct or indirect, in the transaction.
  • IPP RS are required to follow the Conflict of Interest guidelines of both NSERC and their host university.

small logoPolicy #12 - Retirement


For planning purposes, the normal retirement age for IPP Research Scientists is 65 years.


  • Retirement rules and regulations are specific to the particular retirement plan of the host university.
  • Early retirement may be possible subject to the provisions of the specific retirement plan
  • Post-retirement benefits, specific to the host university benefit plan, may be applicable (see policy #5). Availability of post-retirement benefits depends on the host university and the agreement of IPP.

small logoPolicy #13 - Termination


Termination of an IPP RS shall be conducted as per the following procedures:


Termination is the permanent cessation of employment by IPP due to the conclusion of a fixed term appointment, resignation, retirement, death, financial stringency, cessation of operations, or dismissal with cause.


  • Conclusion of a fixed term appointment – see Policy #1.
  • Resignation – an IPP RS may resign his/her position upon giving the IPP Director a minimum of two weeks written notice.
  • Retirement – see Policy #12.
  • Death – see Policy #14.
  • Financial stringency/cessation of operations – this situation could arise due to the reduction or termination of the NSERC grant that supports the RS program (see Policy #10). Notice of termination and the determination of severance payments is the responsibility of the BOT. The amount of notice and severance payment for Continuing RS shall be:
    • Lay-off:
      • Six months notice will be given to tenured IPP RS who are laid off as a result of financial stringency.
      • In addition, should funds be available, the notice will be extended by one month’s notice per year of service to a maximum of twenty four months.
      • Finally, should funds be available, the minimum total notice for those with less than six years of service would be twelve months.
    • Severance Pay:
      • On termination of employment with IPP as a result of lay-off due to financial stringency, IPP RS with a continuing appointment will be entitled to a severance payment of one week’s pay per year of service to a maximum of 26 weeks.
  • Dismissal with cause – an IPP RS may be discharged “with cause” in the case of incompetence or gross misconduct.

small logoPolicy #14 - Death


In the event of death prior to retirement, IPP will follow the guidelines of the host university.

small logoPolicy #15 - Equitable Treatment and Harassment


IPP will comply with the current Human Rights Legislation so that each RS can expect to be afforded a work environment free from discrimination or harassment.


  • IPP will not discriminate against RS with regard to terms or conditions of employment on the grounds of race, creed, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, nationality, place of origin, political affiliation or activities, disability, or conviction of an offence for which a pardon has been granted.
  • IPP RS will be governed and guided by the specific policies of “equitable treatment and harassment” at their host university.

small logoPolicy #16 - Salary Administration


The administration of salary is described here. The intent is to base salary scales on those of equivalent faculty members at Canadian universities where RS are hosted.

Salary Administration

  • The IPP Director shall determine the salary levels of the IPP RS.
  • The IPP Director may convene a subcommittee, approved by Council, to help in the determination of salary levels and/or annual adjustments.
  • The host university administers the salaries and benefits (see Policies #4, #5).
  • Salary increases are subject to the availability of funds (see Policy #10).

small logoPolicy #17 - Vacation, Overtime, Travel Time


IPP RS shall have paid vacation in accordance with the guidelines of their host universities. IPP RS are sometimes required to work or travel outside of regular working hours. This policy allows for compensation of this time.


  • The allocation of vacation time and statutory holidays shall follow the guidelines of the host university.
  • RS may take reasonable additional vacation time as compensation for travel/work periods outside normal working situations. This additional vacation time may not be accumulated over more than six months or carried from one year to the next.
  • A maximum of 10 days of unused vacation time may be carried over from one year to the next.
  • No financial compensation will be awarded for unused vacation time or accumulated overtime periods.

small logoPolicy #18 -Dispute Resolution


The intent is to provide a mechanism to deal with any dispute concerning IPP policies.


In the first instance, if an IPP RS has a dispute with the application or interpretation of any procedure or policy, then this concern should be forwarded in writing to the IPP Director. On receipt of this concern the Director will, if necessary, convene a three person committee to deal with the issue as soon as possible. The committee will consist of members of the IPP with one member chosen by the IPP RS and one chosen by the IPP Director. It shall be chaired by a member of the IPP agreed on by both the Director and the RS.