Thinking about UTHSC for your Postdoc Career?

Definition of a Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral fellows are individuals who typically come to UTHSC to further their training in a chosen discipline after recently obtaining their terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.). This training is for a limited term, expected to last no more than five years with any given UTHSC mentor. A fellow may not exceed eight years training in total. Fellows that began his/her training at UTHSC prior to January 1, 2015 will be given an additional 2 years to complete his/her training. Training is conducted in an apprenticeship mode where the trainee works under the supervision of an investigator who is qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of a mentor.

Postdoctoral fellows are classified as trainees of the University with benefits and work conditions as described below. Other individuals, such as Research Associates or Clinical Fellows/Residents do not fall in the category of postdoctoral fellows as defined by this handbook. In general, UTHSC policies for regular employees do not apply to Postdoctoral Fellows unless stipulated below.

Postdoctoral training in a given mentor’s lab is expected to be completed within five years. The maximum duration for postdoctoral fellowship training is a total of eight years. Plans to extend for a short time beyond five years should be discussed with the Postdoc Office and may be approved on a case-by-case basis. The Postdoc Office will send letters to the mentor and postdoctoral fellow to remind them of the deadline at 2 years, 1 year and 6 months prior to the completion of the fellowship.

It is the mentor’s responsibility to support and, when possible, assist in the postdoctoral fellow’s transition to the next stage of his/her career. When the mentor concludes that the training is nearing its conclusion, he/she should meet with the postdoctoral fellow to discuss a transition plan. Following this meeting, the mentor should provide the postdoctoral fellow with written confirmation of the agreed-upon completion date, and written plans for transition of lab duties. The mentor should confirm that research records, laboratory reagents, etc. are in a condition that will allow continuation of the project and ensure compliance. It is expected that this notice will be provided to the postdoctoral fellow at least three months prior to the anticipated transition date, unless precluded by extenuating circumstances such as changes in the availability of funding.

Copies of completion letters and/or of the mentor’s plans for termination must be provided to the Postdoc Office.

Upon leaving UTHSC, postdocs are required to return to the UTHSC Campus police all keys to buildings, offices, labs and other facilities. University IDs should be returned to the Campus police. Campus police may inactivate an ID within 24 hours of the end of an appointment, rendering the ID inoperable when used to access parking lots and locked buildings. Postdocs must also complete a UTHSC Employee Clearance Record form provided by the home department. The form must be signed by the home department, library, bookstore, parking service, cashier's office, human resources and payroll office in order to clear postdocs of outstanding books, tools, phone card, uniforms, equipment, parking citations, return checks charges. Any unresolved charges will be deducted from postdocs' final paychecks.

Training Certificates

Certificates will be generated for all postdoctoral fellows when they leave the UTHSC postdoctoral fellowship program. The certificate will be provided upon completion of the mandatory exit survey. 

The certificate will state the postdoctoral fellow’s name, department and the dates that he/she was a postdoctoral fellow on the UTHSC campus.

Exit Survey

Upon leaving a postdoctoral fellowship position at UTHSC, each postdoctoral fellow must complete a mandatory exit survey. Information from the survey will be used in a confidential manner to help enhance the postdoctoral program for future postdoctoral fellow and mentors. 

A training certificate of completion will be generated and sent to the postdoctoral fellow from the Postdoc Office upon receipt of the completed exit survey.

The certificate will state the postdoctoral fellow’s name, department and the dates that he/she was a postdoctoral fellow on the UTHSC campus.

Applying for a position

All open positions at UTHSC are displayed on the posting page; candidates must specify the job posting(s) for which they intend to apply. UTHSC does not accept applications to a general UTHSC postdoc pool:

1. Proof of doctoral degree

Employment at UTHSC will become effective only after an application and proof of completion of a doctoral degree have been submitted. If the final degree has not yet been formally conferred, but all requirements have been met, the candidate may present evidence of completion of the degree together with a statement of completion of all requirements from the prospective home institution's Registrar's Office or Dean of Graduate Studies. This statement should indicate the date on which all requirements were completed and the expected degree conferral date. If the degree is not formally conferred by the projected date, the postdoc shall be terminated.

2. Visa status

A postdoc candidate must prove that he/she is eligible to work in the United States by completing Form I-9 and providing appropriate documentation. The hiring department will provide this form. Postdocs coming from abroad may require UTHSC sponsorship before beginning an appointment at UTHSC. The University's International Affairs Office, located at 227C Johnson Building, can provide information regarding non-immigrant visas. (See contact information below.) The sponsoring faculty member or department will provide assistance in completing the appropriate application.

UTHSC International Office
Connie L. Childs, Director
phone: (901) 448-8484
FAX: (901) 448-1870

847 Monroe, #277C
Memphis, TN 38163