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AA/PPS 04.01.24 - Postdoctoral Research Associate Appointments

Postdoctoral Research Associate Appointments

AA/PPS No. 04.01.24 (7.21)
Issue No. 1
Effective Date: 8/30/2016
Next Review Date: 4/01/2019 (E3Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Provost


    1. A Postdoctoral Research Associate (post-doc) is a professional faculty appointment designed to provide recent Ph.D. recipients with an opportunity to further develop the research skills acquired in their doctoral program or to learn new research and/or instruction techniques in preparation for an academic or research career. Texas State embraces the principle of the National Academies’ Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP) that “the postdoctoral experience is first and foremost an apprenticeship whose purpose is to gain scientific, technical, and professional skills that advance the professional career of the post-doc.”

    2. In the process of further developing their own research skills, it is expected that post-docs will also play a significant role in the performance of research at the University and augment the role of graduate faculty in providing research instruction to graduate students. A post-doc works under the supervision of a regular faculty member, who serves as a mentor to the post-doc. It is expected that the faculty mentor will impart the realities, and variety, of scientific careers, and will encourage experiences outside the laboratory to broaden the post-doc’s aspirations. Within the confines of the particular research focus assigned by that faculty member, the post-doc functions with a considerable degree of independence and has the freedom (and is expected) to publish the results of the research or scholarship. Thus, the role of the post-doc is clearly differentiated from full-time technical employees and other grant-funded staff positions.


    1. Post-docs fall under a special category of temporary employment. The appropriate chair/director and College Dean have the responsibility for monitoring and applying policies that relate to postdoctoral appointments. Post-doc opportunities should be communicated nationally within the discipline. Post-docs are appointed for one year and may be renewed for additional one-year increments. However, post-docs will normally be limited to not more than five years’ total duration.

    2. Post-doc appointments are characterized by all of the following conditions:

      1. the appointee was recently (normally within the last eight years) awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., D.Sc…, M.D.);

      2. the appointment involves substantial full-time research or scholarship;

      3. the appointee works under the supervision of a faculty member;

      4. the appointee has the freedom and is expected to publish the results of the research or scholarship accomplished;

      5. the appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career; and

      6. the appointment is temporary, renewable for up to five (5) years.


    1. To create a posting for a post-doc position, the request is initiated at the chair/ director’s level through the PeopleAdmin on-line system. The posting must clearly describe and justify the position and identify the funding source.

    2. The posting must be reviewed by the chair/director and the Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Equity and Access. Once approved, the posting number will be assigned by the on-line faculty applicant tracking system.


    1. The faculty sponsor is responsible for reviewing applications and interviewing applicants. Federal Export Control regulations will be followed when hiring foreign nationals as post-docs.

    2. If a foreign national is selected for hire, the Export Control Screening Request form and current vita should be submitted to Faculty Records as early as possible to expedite the process.

    3. All offers of employment are contingent upon a successful background check and Export Control Screening.


    1. The department will submit the hiring proposal to the Faculty Records Office through the on-line system.

    2. The following documents are submitted to the Faculty Records Office via the chair/director to complete the personnel file:

      1. current vita or resume;

      2. official transcript of highest degree (If expected to teach, official transcripts from all degree-granting institutes are required);

      3. Security Sensitive Form; and

      4. Export Control Screening Request (for international applicant only).

    3. A PCR is generated with the following items electronically attached:

      1. Personal Data Form; and

      2. W-4.

    4. Electronic I-9s and the E-Verify process are done through the HireRight system. I-9s can be completed in advance but must be done no later than the first day of employment.


    1. Texas State will provide health care coverage and retirement benefits as appropriate and consistent with the requirements of law and University policy. The faculty sponsor should instruct the candidate to contact the Human Resources Office to complete insurance and other benefit related documents.

    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Provost April 1 E3Y

    This PPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State Academic Affairs policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS