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AA/PPS 04.01.24 - Postdoctoral Scholar Appointments

Postdoctoral Scholar Appointments

AA/PPS No. 04.01.24
Issue No. 2
Revised: 4/04/2024
Effective Date: 6/03/2019
Next Review Date: 4/01/2023 (E4Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Associate Provost


Texas State University is committed to providing a supportive and productive environment for postdoctoral scholars to extend and enhance their educations, professional experiences, and career opportunities.


    1. A postdoctoral scholar (post-doc) is a faculty appointment designed to provide recent doctoral degree recipients with an opportunity to gain experiences and skills that will advance their careers. Texas State University embraces the definition and role of a post-doc scholar promulgated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). A post-doc is “an individual who has received a doctoral degree, or equivalent, who is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills needed to pursue [their] chosen career path.”

    2. Texas State strives to provide a positive and productive experience that ensures post-doc scholars gain independence, enhance their professional skills, and prepare for future career success. This policy defines the roles of the post-doc scholar and faculty mentor and guides the recruitment and hiring process of post-docs at the university.


    1. In the process of further developing their own skills and professional endeavors, post-docs work under the supervision and sponsorship of a regular faculty member, who serves as a mentor to the post-doc. Within the confines of the particular focus assigned by the faculty sponsor, the post-doc functions with a considerable degree of independence and is clearly differentiated from full-time technical employees, grant-funded staff, and other positions at the university.

    2. Faculty sponsors are expected to provide an orientation and development plan for post-docs, impart the realities and variety of careers available to post-docs, and encourage learning opportunities to broaden post-docs’ aspirations and experiences. Faculty sponsors are also expected to discuss university policies, including those related to intellectual property, responsible conduct of research, and other relevant matters with post-docs.

    3. Post-docs are encouraged to access the services and benefits afforded to all faculty at the university, including development opportunities in grant writing, research design, career preparation, teaching, and other topics of interest.

    4. Faculty sponsors are encouraged to participate in development opportunities that expand their knowledge and skills in mentoring, supervision, diversity and inclusion, and other topics of interest.


    1. Post-docs fall under a special category of temporary employment. The appropriate chair, director, and college dean are responsible for monitoring and applying policies that relate to post-doc appointments. Post-docs are appointed for one year and may be renewed for additional one-year increments. Post-doc appointments are typically limited to no more than five years in duration, with exceptions possible in extraordinary circumstances.

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

      1. the appointee was recently awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., D.Sc., M.D.) or has successfully completed all requirements for the doctorate but has not received the diploma and has an official certification from the doctoral-granting institution stating that all degree requirements have been successfully completed prior to the assignment start date;

      2. the appointment involves substantial and full-time commitment to research, scholarship, teaching, or other professional activities;

      3. the appointee works under the supervision, sponsorship, and mentorship of a faculty member;

      4. the appointee has the freedom and is expected to disseminate the results of the research, creative works, or scholarship accomplished;

      5. the appointment is designed and implemented as preparatory for a full-time academic or research career, including opportunities to broaden skills and knowledge; and

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


    1. To create a job posting for a post-doc position, the request must be initiated at the chair or director’s level through the PeopleAdmin online system. The posting must clearly describe and justify the position, include required qualifications and preferred qualifications, if any, for the role, and identify the funding source for the position.

    2. * Once approved, the posting number will be assigned by the online faculty applicant tracking system.

    3. * To ensure applicant pools are robust, job postings for post-doc opportunities should be communicated broadly within the appropriate disciplines and outlets.


    1. Based on the criteria in the job posting, the faculty sponsor is responsible for reviewing applications, interviewing applicants, and making hiring decisions.

    2. If a foreign national is selected for hire, the Export Control Screening Request form and current curriculum vitae (CV) should be submitted to Faculty and Academic Resources as early as possible to expedite the process. The faculty sponsor is also responsible for ensuring that the candidate is working with the Office of International Affairs regarding visa requirements.

    3. All offers of employment are contingent upon a successful background check and export control review.


    1. Departments will submit hiring proposals to Faculty and Academic Resources through the online system.

    2. The following documents are submitted to Faculty and Academic Resources via the chair or director to complete the personnel file:

      1. current CV or resume;

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

      3. Faculty Criminal Background Consent form; and

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

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

      1. Faculty and Graduate Student Employee Personal Data form; and

      2. W-4 form.

    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, retirement benefits, and other benefits as appropriate and consistent with the requirements of law and university policy. The faculty sponsor should instruct candidates to contact Human Resources to complete insurance and other benefits-related documents.

    1. Reviewers of this PPS include the following:

      Associate ProvostApril 1 E4Y
      Dean, The Graduate CollegeApril 1 E4Y

    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.

    Associate Provost; senior reviewer of this PPS

    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs