Appointment and Recruitment of Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows

Appointment and Recruitment

Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment Process

Appointments to Postdoctoral Scholar positions at Oregon State University must meet the following criteria, which are modeled on the American Association of Universities, Committee on Postdoctoral Education, Report and Recommendations, March 31, 1998:

  • The appointee was awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g. Sc.D., M.D.) in an appropriate field within less than five years.
  • Postdoctoral scholar appointments at OSU may be renewed annually on a fiscal year basis for up to three years, so long as the postdoctoral scholar is within five years from receipt of the doctoral degree.
  • The appointment should be full-time unless exceptional circumstances require a lower appointment level (OPP approval required). Appointments below 0.5 FTE are not permitted.
  • The appointment must be for a 12-month period of time for the first year: i.e., the end date should be one year from the start date. Once a 12-month traineeship has been completed, subsequent appointments can be for less than 12 months.
  • The appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career.
  • The appointment is not part of a clinical training program.
  • The appointee works under the mentorship of a professorial faculty member.
  • The appointee has the freedom, and is expected, to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship during the period of the appointment.
  • The appointment must be made with a stipend that adheres to the NIH guidelines.
  • The Postdoc Scholar and the mentor must be made aware of the requirements for completion of an IDP and subsequent Annual Report.

Postdoctoral Scholars are trainees who receive stipends (not salaries) funded by research grants or other university funds and work under the mentorship of a principal investigator who is an Oregon State University faculty member.

An appointment is based upon the Postdoctoral Scholar's research credentials and availability of funds. Offer letters must be conveyed in writing and must include all the required paragraphs found in the model offer letters for the initial appointment and appointment renewal. Initial appointments, renewals and terminations are all completed through the Postdoctoral Scholar Job Form.

Postdoctoral Scholar appointments at OSU may be renewed annually on a fiscal year basis for up to three years, so long as the postdoctoral scholar is within five years from receipt of the doctoral degree. An IDP signed by the supervisor and the postdoc must be submitted to the OPP and approved within the first three months of employment. For reappointment, an annual review signed by the supervisor and the postdoc must be submitted and approved by the OPP. In unusual circumstances, the appointment may be renewed for up to one additional year if there is a compelling need due to circumstances that prevent the Postdoctoral Scholar from fulfilling the goals of the IDP within three years, but in no case will the appointment be extended further. If the scholar has completed a postdoctoral appointment elsewhere, the sum of the OSU appointment and all prior postdoctoral appointments cannot exceed a total of five years. Postdoctoral Scholar appointments may NOT be converted to Research Associate/Postdoc appointments, although Postdoctoral Scholars may compete for regular Research Associate positions. Appointments should not be terminated in less than one year excepting circumstances of serious negligence or impropriety.

Before offering an appointment to an international scholar, the appointing unit must consult with an international scholar advisor. See the section below on recommended salary or stipend levels for special considerations that may apply.

Postdoctoral Fellow Appointment Process

Postdoctoral Fellows are trainees who are funded by portable fellowships awarded by entities external to Oregon State University. They conduct their research and receive training under the mentorship of an Oregon State University faculty member.

Postdoctoral Fellows are not entered into the university's payroll system and paid salaries as employees. Instead, their funding is managed by the Office of Post Award Administration via Accounts Payable.

An appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow will originate with the Oregon State University faculty member who agrees to supervise the Fellow.

The OSU entity responsible for administrative oversight of the fellowship will issue a letter offering an appointment. That letter will indicate the name of the postdoctoral fellowship, the appointment begin and end date, the stipend level, and the method in which the stipend will be disbursed. A postdoctoral fellow model letter of offer is published by the Office of Human Resources. The signed letter of offer will accompany a postdoctoral fellow appointment form that will be submitted for review and approval by the Office of Post Award Administration before entry into Banner by the relevant Business Center or the Office of Human Resources. Complete the Postdoctoral Fellow Appointment Form and route to the HR Service Center.


No formal recruitment process is required for Postdoctoral Scholar or Fellow positions. Faculty and hiring officials are encouraged to send announcements of open positions to Maureen Childers and they will be posted on our web pages.