In 2017, your Union won a new fund for Postdoctoral Fellows – the Professional Development Fund. Originally valued at $15,000 per year, we have since bargained further increases and the fund sits at $80,000 per year in 2023 and will increase to $90,000 per year in fall 2024. 
As a results of these increases, the Unit 3 Professional Development Fund reimbursement amount has been temporarily increased to $1,000 per academic year per eligible member, effective June 2023, and available until further notice (subject to the availability of funds).  Only eligible expenses (see below) incurred while working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 3 member will be reimbursed up to the maximum academic yearly amount.

The fund currently covers expenses related to:

  • conference participation
  • professional association fees
  • academic books
  • research journal subscriptions
  • leadership development courses
  • McMaster courses not covered by the tuition waiver policy
  • Research Journal Subscriptions
  • Leadership Development courses
  • Language courses as eligible expenses
  • *new* Limited technological costs such as software
We are now accepting applications electronically for Professional Development Funds until further notice. Please e-mail your application in one document to your benefits officer at
Please make sure to submit claims within a timely manner (e.g., within 60 days of the expense being incurred), and submit expenses incurred between September 1 and August 31 within the same academic year (i.e., Sept 1-Aug 31) when possible.
For more information, please contact your benefits officer at
Please note: this application, in whole or in part, may be deemed by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a taxable benefit and thus be subject to income tax. It is your responsibility to consult with a tax professional and reflect this on your tax file if applicable. CUPE 3906 does not issue a T4 or equivalent.


You must currently be working as a CUPE 3906 Unit 3 Postdoc at McMaster to access the funds.

For additional information, please contact our Benefits Officer at