Postdoctoral Handbook

printable Handbook (pdf file)

Postdoc Categories

A postdoctoral scholar is one who has received his terminal degree (e.g., PhD/MD) and is pursuing further training. The postdoctoral scholar position is a short term training position, geared towards career, typically in academics, private industries, law firms, or government.

The initial appointment is for one year, with possible reappointments for three additional one-year terms. A postdoctoral scholar for the first 3-4 years of appointment is designated as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. The counting for the completion of 4 years begins from the date a postdoc joins UNMC. A postdoctoral scholar under the F or T-type training grant is designated as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. The extension of the postdoctoral scholar appointment beyond four years requires the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs prior to the effective date of the reappointment. A written justification from the mentor for the extension is required. The purpose of the time-bound appointment is to protect the postdoctoral scholar from an indefinite length of stay in a training position and ensure transition into his/her career in a particular area of choice.


Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRA)

Focus: Postdoctoral Scholar: Research Training

Source of funding: Federal grants, State grants or Private Funds (e.g., foundation funds)

Education/Degree: PhD required.

Appointment Type: Special Appointment - Full Time Only (100% FTE)

Position Type: Academic (A1) - Regular Other Academic Salary

Duration: Up to four years. Initial appointment for one year. Appointment may be renewed on a year-to-year basis for an additional three years. Second year renewal requires completion of the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) Training and the Independent Development Plan (IDP). Annual evaluations with mentor are required for all reappointments. Extension beyond four years requires prior approval from the VCAA.

Minimum salary: The base salary will be set at the NRSA rate, adjusted by the cost of living index for Omaha, NE, when compared to the national average.

Benefits: Postdoctoral Research Associates (PRA):

  • Eligible to enroll in the UNMC medical, dental, vision, life insurance, long term care, flexible spending accounts, and LTD.
  • NOT eligible to participate in the University of Nebraska Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan.
  • Eligible for the Supplemental Retirement Account 403(b) Plan.
  • Vacation leave: same as Managerial-Professional employees. For additional information, you may review Employee Leave Procedures.
  • Sick leave: same as Managerial-Professional employees. For additional information, you may review Employee Leave Procedures.

 

Postdoctoral Fellow (PF)

Focus: Postdoctoral Scholar: Research Training

Source of funding: NIH National Research Service Award or F -type or T-type training grants.

Education/Degree:  PhD required

Appointment Type: Not an Employee of UNMC but paid via UNMC. Full time commitment (100% FTE).

Position Type: Academic (A1) - Regular Other Academic Salary

Duration: One year with annual renewal up to three years. Appointment may be renewed on a year-to-year basis for an additional 1-2 years. Second year renewal requires completion of the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RCR) Training and the Independent Development Plan (IDP). Annual evaluations with mentor are required for all reappointments. Extension beyond 3 years requires prior approval from the VCAA.

Minimum salary: The base salary will be set at the NRSA rate, adjusted by the cost of living index for Omaha, NE, when compared to the national average.

Benefits: Postdoctoral Fellows (PF):


Contracts

The Postdoctoral contract is a one-year renewable contract. The renewal into the second year requires successful completion of the mandatory Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) Workshop and UneVal online performance evaluation with the mentor. A contract will not be renewed without the fulfillment of these requirements.

Short-term extension of the contract:


Orientation

The freshman UNMC postdoctoral scholars are required to attend the UNMC New Employee Orientation program conducted monthly by the Department of Human Resources. New Employee Orientation is a half-day educational program.  This provides an overview of basic campus services, the benefits package, employee health/wellness/safety and mandatory compliance policies and focuses on the history and culture of the University. For a schedule and registration information visit the Guidelines-New Employee Orientation page.

Postdoctoral scholars are also required to attend the orientation sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Education. This hour-long orientation covers information on sponsored programs, the Postdoc Association, intellectual properties, gives an overview of training opportunities and introduces postdocs to the valuable resources they have access to on campus. This program is held once a year during the fall.


Expectations

A postdoctoral scholar is expected to participate in full-time advanced research training under the supervision and direction of a faculty mentor in his/her research program, supported by a mentor’s grant or an individual fellowship/traineeship or equivalent support. The training involves, besides bench work, participation in all relevant research and academic activities related to preparation for a scientific career. These include reading and researching literature, manuscript preparation of research findings, attendance and presentations at seminars and meetings, attendance at training related activities (e.g., workshops for grant writing/scientific presentation), and a possible training in teaching related activities by mutual agreement between the postdoctoral scholars and mentors. A good communication and sharing of similar expectations between mentors and the scholars cannot be overemphasized for meeting these objectives.