Hiring a Postdoctoral Employee

What is a Postdoctoral Employee?

A Postdoctoral Employee is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.

To qualify as a Postdoctoral Employee, the following criteria should be met:

  • The appointee was recently awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., Sc.D., M.D.) in an appropriate field
  • the appointment is temporary
  • the appointment involves substantially full-time research or scholarship
  • the appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic career
  • the appointment is not part of a clinical training program, unless research training under the supervision of a senior mentor is a primary purpose of the appointment
  • the appointee works under the supervision of a senior scholar or a department in a university or similar institution;
  • 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.

Creating a Postdoctoral Position

The following job specifications have been provided in order to determine the most appropriate job title and job code for the current postdoctoral position.

The following template Job Description Forms (JDFs) have been prepared in order to assist departments.

Hiring a Postdoctoral Employee

Follow the hiring a new employee guidelines and work with your employment coordinator to process the new hire.

Sample Postdoctoral Offer Letter

Work with the Employee Relations & Compliance team in Human Resources for regarding any termination that would occur prior to the contractual end date. View Sample Postdoctoral Offer Letter (PDF).

Postdoctoral Salary Guidelines

All postdoctoral employees must meet federal and state wage requirements as appropriate for exempt employees. Current FLSA requires a minimum of $47,476 annually at full time status. The salary may not be included with outside monies being granted from other agencies. Future postdoctoral positions will follow the same hiring practices and guidelines as current staff positions.

Postdoctoral Exception Approval Form (DOC)should be used when the department wishes to offer a salary over the maximum of the grade and in the event the department wishes to have a postdoc appointment in the D12 category due to pay source restrictions.