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The Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) is responsible for campus administration of the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) at the University of Missouri.
Administrative responsibilities of OPE include the establishment of policies, benefits and services available to postdoctoral scholars.

What is a Postdoctoral Fellow?

The purpose of a postdoctoral appointment is to provide recent recipients (normally within the past eight years) of PhDs or equivalent doctorates with additional research and scholarly training for careers in research or higher education.

The role and status of a postdoctoral fellow should be clearly differentiated from those of a graduate student, full-time technical staff member or faculty employee. The title “postdoctoral fellow” generically refers to all doctoral-level scholar engaged in advanced education and training that is of limited duration (typically five years or fewer) and designed to prepare them for academic and/or research careers. For postdoctoral fellows whose responsibilities are primarily teaching (i.e., teaching 2 3-credit classes each semester), they will hold the title of “postdoctoral fellow – teaching.” These titles apply regardless of whether the postdoctoral trainee is a salaried employee of the university or a stipend-supported fellow receiving funding directly from a granting agency or through a Mizzou account.


Role of Departments & Programs

Issues pertaining to specific terms of appointment, position requirements or limitations not specifically covered in this policy statement are the responsibility of the faculty mentor and appointing department. Departments can, and are encouraged to, develop their own policies and programs for postdoctoral trainees that may be more comprehensive than those described within campus policies.

Responsibilities of Postdoctoral Fellows

Appointment as a postdoctoral scholar imposes responsibilities on the trainee to the mentor, laboratory colleagues, the department with which they are affiliated, the university and the agency that supports them. These responsibilities include:
  • Conscientious discharge of research responsibilities.
  • Conformance to ethical standards in research.
  • Compliance with good laboratory practices.
  • Maintenance of laboratory notebooks and/or other records of research activity.
  • Adherence to university and departmental standards and policies regarding the use of isotopes, chemicals, infectious agents, research animals, human subjects as well as other policies regarding workplace safety.
  • Initiation of open and timely discussions with the mentor regarding all facets of research.
  • Prompt disclosure of information to the mentor regarding the possession of and/or intent to distribute materials, reagents, software, copyright-able and potentially patent-able discoveries derived from the research.
  • Collegiate conduct toward members of the research laboratory and others.
  • Compliance with all applicable university policies and the terms of the sponsoring agency’s grant, contract or fellowship stipulations.
Teaching postdoctoral scholars may or may not have some research responsibilities. If so, their research responsibilities should be consistent with those listed above. In addition, teaching postdoctoral scholars will be responsible for teaching credit-generating courses and other responsibilities may also include:
  • Student Advising
  • Student Mentoring
  • Course Development

Office of Postdoctoral Education Advisory Committee

  • Lissa Behm-Morawitz (Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs)
  • Michael Garcia (Associate Professor, Division of Biological Sciences; Office of Graduate Studies Faculty Fellow)
  • Mannie Liscum (Professor, Division of Biological Sciences; Preparing Future Faculty Program)
  • Michael Marlo (Associate Professor, Department of English)
  • Kimberlyn McDonald (Senior Human Resources Specialist, College of Medicine)
  • David Mendoza (Associate Professor, Division of Plant Sciences)
  • David Owens (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum; Interim Chair of MU Postdoctoral Association)
  • Wendy Reinke (Professor, Department of Education, School, and Counseling Psychology)

Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Education

Office of Postdoctoral Education

Office of Graduate Studies (housed in)
University of Missouri
210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211

Local Calls: 573-882-6311
Toll-Free, Long-Distance: 800-877-6312
Fax number: 1-877-632-6316

Administrative Contact

Jeni Hart, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice Provost for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs