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Postdoctoral Appointment Process

Departments are not required to advertise postdoctoral positions. Departments may proceed directly to hiring with their dean’s approval as described below. Data on postdoctoral fellows will be gathered through the normal hiring mechanism outlined in the recruitment business process. Please read and follow this overview of the postdoctoral fellow recruitment and hiring process: Postdoc Recruitment Business Process document.

Proof of the Doctoral Degree

Postdoctoral appointments require that the appointee must hold a doctoral degree (PhD, MD or equivalent). International researchers must hold a doctoral degree that is equivalent to those provided by U.S. universities. It is the responsibility of the appointee to provide transcripts that certify completion of the degree and the mentor to ensure that the documentation is satisfactory.

In no case will a postdoctoral appointment be made without the formal approval of the dissertation and all other degree requirements by the degree-granting institution. However, an appointment can be approved in instances in which the appointee has completed all requirements and is only awaiting the date of the degree conferral. To be eligible for this exception, the applicant must provide official verification that the dissertation has been approved in its final form including all necessary signatures and the date that the degree will be conferred.

Offer Letter

  • Every offer letter (for internal or external candidates) must be created using the approved templates.
  • Prior to being sent to the prospective postdoctoral scholar, offer letters must be forwarded (along with the CV or resume of the candidate and documentation of at least two reference checks) electronically to the Office of Postdoctoral Education () in the Graduate School for approval. To expedite this process, the department chair and fiscal officer should be copied on this correspondence.
  • The hiring department will be notified when the offer letter is approved or if changes are required. A copy of the approval message, the offer letter, and a CV for the finalist must be saved as attachments in the Recruit module.
  • When postdoctoral fellows have accepted an offer, as indicated by their signature on the offer letter, a copy of the signed letter must be provided to the Office of Postdoctoral Education to complete the hiring process.
  • The background check will be initiated in the Recruit module by the department, when the offer is accepted.
  • The PAF will be initiated by Human Resources when the background check is completed and will be forwarded to the department for funding data and approval.
  • The titles included in this revised process are listed below.
  • Because the majority of applicant pools for postdoctoral positions consist of one applicant, there will be no attempt to capture data on these pools. Any documents such as advertisements, etc. must be maintained at the hiring unit level.

Job codes and titles

  • 6980 – Postdoctoral associate
    • This title should be used for those who are not in a traditional postdoc position. For example, their position may involve student advising, program development, advocacy, administration, presentations, workshops, etc.
  • 6990 – Fellow, postdoctoral
    • This title is used for those who are pursuing continued education and specialized research training. This title is used more frequently on campus and is the appropriate title for research postdocs.
  • 6991 – Fellow, postdoctoral, stipend
    • This title is used for scholars who otherwise meet the criteria as 6990 but are paid directly by a non-MU entity or funding source, such as the NSF SBE postdoctoral fellowship.
  • 6992 – Fellow, postdoctoral, teaching
    • This title is used when a scholar’s primary responsibility is teaching.