Definitions of Postdoctoral Scholars

Jan. 29, 2014

Postdoctoral Scholars receiving postdoctoral appointments at Brandeis University are defined as those meeting the following criteria:

There are some additional university appointments that include "Postdoctoral" in the title, particularly in the humanities (for example the Kay Fellows), but which include individuals who are hired by the university and are thus not considered in the following types of postdoctoral scholars. Except for these special cases, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Brandeis University offers three types of postdoctoral scholar appointments:

  1. NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow: NRSA Postdoctoral Fellows come to Brandeis to further their scholarly competence, with fellowship aid (stipends to cover living expenses) provided through NIH's National Research Service Award. NRSA fellowships take two forms: an Individual Fellowship (known as an F32) or a Fellowship appointment on an Institutional Training Grant (known as a T32). NRSA appointments are usually for not less than one semester and cannot be renewed beyond a total of three years. NRSA Postdoctoral Fellows are considered to be in training positions; they do not provide services to the university and are not considered to be employees. An NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow is eligible to be appointed as an adjunct faculty member, research associate or a postdoctoral associate after the term of the NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow appointment has ended.
  2. Postdoctoral Fellow: Postdoctoral Fellows come to Brandeis to further their scholarly competence, with fellowship aid (stipends to cover living expenses) through sources other than the NRSA. These sources may be federal or nonfederal. Appointments are usually for not less than one semester and are renewed based upon the terms and conditions of the individual award. Postdoctoral Fellows are considered to be in training positions; they do not provide services to the university and are not considered to be employees. A Postdoctoral Fellow is eligible to be appointed as an adjunct faculty member, research associate or postdoctoral associate after the term of the Postdoctoral Fellow appointment has ended.
  3. Postdoctoral Associate: Postdoctoral Associates work at Brandeis under funding provided by Brandeis, whether through university funds or other grant funds. Unlike Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Associates provide services to Brandeis and are not considered trainees. (People in these positions usually reside in the humanities or social sciences rather than in the sciences.) Appointments are usually not for less than one semester and are normally not renewed beyond a total of six years, in any combination of appointments as Postdoctoral Associate or Postdoctoral Fellow. Extension of an appointment beyond a combined total of six years is only possible in extraordinary circumstances and requires approval of the dean or division head. Appointments for less than one semester should use a visiting appointment of the appropriate type.

Responsibilities of Faculty Sponsors

Faculty sponsors' responsibilities include:

Responsibilities of Postdoctoral Scholars

Postdoctoral Scholars have certain obligations to their mentor, the group in which they are working, the department/institute/school with which they are associated, the sponsor whose funds support them, and the university. These obligations include but are not limited to: