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Postdoctoral Scholar Appointments and Reappointments

There are two categories of Postdoctoral Scholar (PDS), and these are based solely on the source of funding: training grant/individual fellowship (PDS Trainee) versus other support (PDS Research). Benefits for PDS are described here. [The job categories of Research Associate and Senior Research Associate still exist, but these are for individuals who are no longer considered in training or transitioning to independence. If you and a PDS want that person to stay more “permanently”, or be given a “promotion”, they can be appointed as Senior Research Associate or as Research Assistant Professor if the person wants to become somewhat independent and be able to serve as a PI on grants.]

For new and reappointments, send the following documentation to Patricia McCleskey.

  • A brief letter addressed to the chair requesting the appointment. Be sure to include the following information:
    • the appointment length (one year or less);
    • the salary (Click here for recommended salary); and
    • the grant or funding source that he/she will be paid from;
  • An Individual Development Plan (IDP) that identifies the professional development needs and career objectives for the PDS. The IDP form can be obtained by clicking here
  • An updated CV of the PDS; and
  • A statement of RCR activities for the past employment period (not needed for new appointees). The checklist may be obtained by clicking here.

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.

a. 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.

5.  The appointee works under the supervision of at least one senior scholar who actively promotes the postdoc's professional development.

6.  The appointee may provide supervisory responsibility as determined by his or her mentor.

a. The appointee may mentor and teach undergraduates and graduate students in developing projects and on specific techniques and protocols.

b. The appointee may train and supervise support and technical staff and graduate students as appropriate.

7.  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.

8.  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.

9.  The appointment is not expected to exceed five years, except in unusual circumstances.