Postdoctoral Handbook

printable Handbook (pdf file)

Postdoc Categories
A postdoctoral scholar is one who has received his terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D./M.D.) 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 two additional one-year terms. A postdoctoral scholar for the first three to four years of appointment is designated as a postdoctoral research associate. A postdoctoral scholar under the F or T-type training grants 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.

Research Associate (RA)
Focus: Research Training
Source of funding: Usually research grant, start-up or other departmental funds.
Education/Degree: PhD student in the process of completing/defending their dissertation.
Appointment Type: Special Appointment - Full Time Only (100% FTE) – Regular Employee
Position Type: Academic (A1) – Regular Other Academic Salary
Duration: Short term: one year or less. Second year requires prior approval from the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA).
Minimum salary: The same as postdoctoral research associate.
Benefits: Regular Managerial Professional benefits including retirement plans.

Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRA)
Focus: Postdoctoral Scholar: Research Training
Source of funding: Federal grants, Stat e grants or Private Funds (e.g., foundation funds)
Education/Degree: Doctorate 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) are eligible to enroll in the UNMC medical, dental, vision, life insurance, and LTD. Currently not eligible to participate in the University of Nebraska Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan, eligible for Supplemental Retirement 403(b) Plan. Vacation leave: fifteen days per year. Vacation time must be used during appointment period, may not be carried over or paid out (not eligible for vacation accrual).  Sick leave: same as Managerial Professional.

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: Doctorate 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: 1 year with annual renewal up to 3 years.  Appointment may be renewed on a year-to-year basis for an additional one/two 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) are eligible to enroll in health insur ance, life insurance and LTD programs.  NOT eligible to participate in the University of Nebraska Basic Retirement 401(a) Plan, eligible for the Supplemental Ret irement 403(b) Plan. Vacation leave: fifteen days per year. Vacation time must be used during appointment period, may not be carried over or paid out (not eligible for vacation accrual). Sick Leave: 15 days of paid sick leave per year.

Senior Research Associate (SRA)
The Senior Research Associate (SRA) position is eliminated.  Current research associates, senior research associates, and visiting research associates are transitioning to either a faculty appointment or to managerial professional. Visiting research associates may complete their term; however, if reappointment is necessary, see visiting research assistant.

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 Fellowship/Traineeship or equivalent support. The training involves 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 mentor and the scholars cannot be overemphasized for meeting these objectives.