Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment and Promotion

What Is A Postdoc?

At UC Davis, a postdoctoral scholar is one who... 

  • Has been awarded or has completed the requirements for a doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., Pharm.D., D.V.M., D.P.H., D.N.S.) or foreign equivalent, where at least three years of undergraduate study are prerequisite to admission to the graduate degree program
  • Has been awarded a Fellowship or Traineeship or equivalent support for studies at the postdoctoral level
  • Will train under the direction of a (research) mentor who will provide advanced training to prepare the postdoctoral scholar for a research career
  • Will have the expectation of and the opportunity for collaborative and independent research and publication of findings as determined by mutual agreement of the postdoctoral scholar and the mentor
  • Will pursue a substantially full-time program of advanced research and training approved by a department or research unit
  • Is hired under one of the following EDB title codes depending on their funding source: 3252-Employees, 3253-Fellows, 3254-Paid Directs, 3255-Employee NEX, and 3256-Interim Postdoctoral Scholar Employees.

Postdoctoral Scholar Appointments

The appointment of Postdoctoral Scholars must be approved through Graduate Studies.   It is the responsibility of the hiring unit to verify the eligibility of candidates and to appoint postdoctoral scholars in accordance with the UC Davis Academic Personnel Manual and the PX bargaining agreement. Hiring departments should follow the steps below to appoint postdoctoral scholars.

  • New Appointment/Reappointment
  • ✔ Confirm available funding for salary and benefits for the term of appointment.

    ✔ Prepare the Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment Notification Letter. Prepare exception if necessary, provide detailed explanation.

    ✔ Submit the action via AggieService by submitting a case using the Postdoctoral Appointment form.  The packet must include:

    • Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment Notification Letter signed by the PI and department chair
      • Current Curriculum Vita or Academic Biography
      • Postdoctoral Scholar Petition for Exception to Policy (if needed)
      • Near Relative form (if needed)

    • Once submitted the form will route to Graduate Studies and/or Deans Office for review. Notes and approvals are captured within the case and initiators will review the status and approval directly from their dashboard.  Notification of approval will be viewed within the case. A copy of the fully executed copy of the Appointment Notification letter must be given to the postdoctoral scholar within seven days of appointment/reappointment.
  • Exceptions
  • Graduate Studies will consider the following types of requests for exception. An exception will be granted on a very limited basis determined by the information provided in the justification.

    • The appointment is below 100% (only for family, health, or other employment).
    • The appointment is beyond the five-year limit (must include justification of continued need for training).
    • Exception to the terms of the Postdoctoral contract
    • Submit a completed Postdoctoral Scholar Petition for Exception to Policy from the appointee with the written concurrence of the supervisor.
    • Provide clear and thorough justification – provide attachments if needed.

    Include exception with appointment material via Aggie Service for full consideration.
  • Progress Assessment
  • A Progress Assessment is an evaluation of the Postdoctoral Scholar’s progress and accomplishment in research and professional development.

    Per Article 21 – Progress Assessments, the academic supervisor shall provide the Postdoctoral Scholar with at least one written review per 12-month period.
    The academic supervisor may utilize the Postdoctoral Scholar Annual Review form or an independently developed form when conducting the Annual Review.
    Once complete, the annual review is maintained in the Postdoctoral Scholar’s department personnel file.
  • Separation (Layoff – lack of funding)
  • ✔ Prepare the Layoff Notification letter from the principal investigator.

    ✔ Provide the postdoctoral scholar the letter at least 30 days in advance of layoff.
    ✔ Send a copy of the Layoff Notification letter to Graduate Studies and Employee and Labor Relations. The university must notify the union within three business days.
    ✔Process a separation of the postdoctoral scholar appointment in UC Path.

  • Separations (End)
  • ✔ If the appointment will end before the approved appointment end date, contact Employee and Labor Relations for further information. The university must notify the union if the postdoctoral scholar is moved out of the unit during the term of appointment.
    ✔ Process a separation of the postdoctoral scholar appointment in UC Path.