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Postdoctoral Appointment Process

Departments are not required to advertise postdoctoral positions. Departments may proceed directly to hiring with their dean’s approval as described below. Data on postdoctoral fellows will be gathered through the normal hiring mechanism outlined in the Postdoctoral Recruitment Business Process.

Overview of the postdoctoral fellow recruitment and hiring process:

  1. Hiring units identify appropriate funding and available positions at the postdoctoral level.
  2. Appropriate approvals are obtained up to and including the college/division level.
  3. Hiring units recruit for and select qualified candidates.
  4. Finalist offers and hires are recorded in the PeopleSoft Recruit module as an abridged search. The Post Doc Recruitment Business Process  document is available at Human Resource Services.
Proof of the Doctoral Degree

Postdoctoral appointments require that the appointee must hold a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent). International researchers must hold a doctoral degree that is equivalent to those provided by U.S. universities. It is the responsibility of the appointee to provide transcripts that certify completion of the degree and the mentor to ensure that the documentation is satisfactory.

In no case will a postdoctoral appointment be made without the formal approval of the dissertation and all other degree requirements by the degree-granting institution. However, an appointment can be approved in instances in which the appointee has completed all requirements and is only awaiting the date of the degree conferral. To be eligible for this exception, the applicant must provide official verification that the dissertation has been approved in its final form including all necessary signatures and the date that the degree will be conferred.

Offer Letter
  • Every offer letter (for internal or external candidates) must be created using the approved templates.
  • Prior to being sent to the prospective postdoctoral scholar, offer letters must be forwarded electronically to the Office of Postdoctoral Education () in the Office of Graduate Studies for approval. To expedite this process, the department chair and fiscal officer should be copied on this correspondence.
  • The hiring department will be notified when the offer letter is approved or if changes are required. A copy of the approval message, the offer letter, and a CV for the finalist must be saved as attachments in the Recruit module.
  • When postdoctoral fellows have accepted an offer, as indicated by their signature on the offer letter, a copy of the signed letter must be provided to the Office of Postdoctoral Education to complete the hiring process.
  • The background check will be initiated in the Recruit module by the department, when the offer is accepted.
  • The PAF will be initiated by Human Resources when the background check is completed and will be forwared to the department for funding data and approval.
  • The titles included in this revised process are listed in the table below.
  • Because the majority of applicant pools for postdoctoral positions consist of one applicant, there will be no attempt to capture data on these pools. Any documents such as advertisements, etc. must be maintained at the hiring unit level.

Job codes and titles

  • 6980    Postdoctoral associate
  • 6990    Fellow, postdoctoral
  • 6991    Fellow, postdoctoral, stipend (N.B., this title is used rarely and only if the postdoc is individually funded by an exteral agency)
  • 6992    Fellow, postdoctoral, teaching