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Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher Guideline

Definition

The general category of Postdocs includes Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) and Postdoctoral Researcher (PDR).  These UCAR employee term appointments provide a career development opportunity while conducting research related to the UCAR or NCAR missions.  They are intended for highly qualified recent graduates of doctoral programs with no more than five years experience beyond the Ph.D.  This criterion may be relaxed if an applicant has changed or is changing fields. 

Job Distinctions

A Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) provides highly qualified recent graduates of doctoral programs (typically within the first five years post PhD) an opportunity to conduct self-directed research in collaboration with UCAR or NCAR staff.  It is distinguished from the Postdoctoral Researcher by the opportunity to conduct self-directed research.


Term:  Initial appointments (PDF I) typically last one year and may be extended as a PDF II for one additional year. (With rare exceptions approved by the Lab/Program Director, a second extension of up to one additional year may be granted for a maximum three-year appointment.  In such cases the classification remains as a PDF II.)


Compensation:  The PDF I and II salaries are a fixed salary rate and set each year at the institutional level.  Prior to the end of the term, a Personnel Profile Change form and a completed Postdoc Performance Appraisal Form is submitted to Human Resources to  authorize advancement to a PDF II with the associated salary increase. In the very rare case where an exception has been approved for a PDF II to continue into a third-year, the salary remains at the PDF II level.  

A Postdoctoral Researcher (PDR) provides highly qualified recent graduates of doctoral programs (typically within the first five years post PhD) the opportunity to acquire post-graduate research experience while also advancing the objectives of a specific research project.  Research is defined and directed by a member of the UCAR or NCAR staff and includes pre-defined research and deliverables.

Term: PDR appointments typically last one to two years. (With rare exceptions and with the approval of the appropriate Lab/Program Director, an extension of up to one additional year may be granted for a maximum three-year appointment.)


Compensation:  PDRs receive a salary within the salary range assigned to Postdoctoral Researchers, relative to similarly situated employees.  They are eligible for an annual merit increase after the performance appraisal is completed in the last three months of the  term year consistent with UCAR’s Compensation and Benefits Policy.  Prior to the end of the term, a Personnel Profile Change form and a completed Postdoc Performance Appraisal Form is submitted to Human Resources to initiate a salary increase consistent with the salary increase level established for that fiscal year.


Common to all Postdoctoral appointments

  1. Search and Selection
    Applicants are solicited via national advertising in appropriate publications, and final selection is the result of a competitive review.
  2. Performance Evaluation
    In addition to ongoing mentoring and guidance, Postdocs should receive a formal performance appraisal on an annual basis typically in the last three months of each one-year term period. Postdoc Appraisal form
  3. Mentoring
    Postdocs are mentored by senior staff with related research interests.  Funding proposals to the NSF that include employment of a Postdoc must also include a specific mentoring plan for the Postdoc. See mentoring template that addresses NSF criteria.
  4. Benefits
    Postdocs are eligible for UCAR benefits.  See Benefits Eligibility for information on specific eligibility and coverage. (Postdoctoral Fellows appointment code is T1; Postdoctoral Researcher is T1 or T2).
  5. Relocation
    Consistent with UCAR Relocation Guidelines, the hiring lab/program may offer no, partial (up to a predetermined dollar amount) or full relocation. The terms are set in advance of advertising the opening.  The Human Resources Department may assist in locating housing for relocating Postdocs.
  6. Visas
    Postdocs who are visitors to the United States may require a visa to enter and work in this country.  Although it is the Postdoc's responsibility to secure the appropriate visa, the host lab or program and the Human Resources Department can provide assistance in securing visas.  (See UCAR International Visitor and Scholar Services Web site.)
Last updated on June 27, 2013 - 3:17pm.
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