Skip to main content

Resources for Postdoctoral Scholars


Postdoc Key Functions and Expected Performances

  1. The appointee must have been recently awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g.,Sc.D., M.D.) in an appropriate field. 
  2. The appointment involves substantially full-time research or scholarship. Pursuit of basic, clinical, or translational projects is allowed so long as effort is focused primarily on research.   
  3. Transition to career independence is expected through the development of professional skills that enable the postdoc to actively pursue a career of his/her own choosing.
  4. The appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career.
  5. Each year the postdoc and his/her mentor jointly develop a plan for the coming year, which incorporates the postdoc’s career and training goals and the mentor’s research goals in a mutually beneficial way.
  6. The appointee works under the supervision of at least one senior scholar who actively promotes the postdoc’s professional development.
  7. The appointee may provide supervisory responsibility as determined by his or her mentor.
  8. The appointee may mentor and teach undergraduates and graduate students in developing projects and on specific techniques and protocols.
  9. The appointee may train and supervise support and technical staff and graduate students as appropriate.
  10. The appointee has the freedom and is expected to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship during the period of the appointment, in consultation with his or her mentor.
  11. Postdoctoral scholars may be funded from a variety of sources, including individual National Research Service Awards (NRSAs), NIH training grants, or federal or privately funded research grants.
  12. The appointment is not expected to exceed five years except in unusual circumstances.

 For New Postdocs

The OPA now offers a  monthly orientation session  for new postdocs.  Ideally, a postdoc should attend the session that is scheduled right after his or her start date.  The orientation sessions are held every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 9:00 – 10:30 am in 010 Alumni Hall.  The chair’s assistant will register the new postdoc for a session and will communicate the sign-up to the postdoc and PI. 

Postdoc Scholars Research students will also attend a  benefits orientation  conducted by human resources.  These sessions are held every Monday from 1:00 – 3:00 pm in the HR Training Room, 10th floor, Baker Building (110 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203).  There is a parking garage right next to the Baker Building. The chair’s assistant will also register the new postdoc for this session.  Ideally, the new postdoc will attend the session scheduled right after his or her start date.