Filling Vacant Positions - Hiring Postdoctoral Research Associates at the University of Maine
Postdoctoral Research Associates (post docs) are professional employees covered by the terms and conditions of the UMPSA contract. Post doc appointments at the University of Maine are for a limited duration and must include an educational component. University policy requires that a University of Maine faculty member be identified as a mentor and that specific guidelines be met (see below).
The purpose of the post doc appointment is to further prepare an individual who was recently awarded a doctorate to undertake the responsibilities of a career in research. The following guidelines are intended to ensure that post docs have meaningful guidance and support during this phase of career preparation.
Guidelines for Postdoctoral Research Associates and Faculty Mentors
Responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Plan and conduct assigned and/or original research projects autonomously while working collaboratively with UM faculty, staff, post docs, and students.
- Maintain accurate records of research findings and the analysis of results.
- Prepare manuscripts for publication in collaboration with University of Maine faculty, staff, post docs, and students.
- Present research findings at professional meetings.
- Mentor graduate and undergraduate students as appropriate.
Responsibilities of the Faculty Mentor
- Define and direct research projects in areas that will broaden the experience and expertise of the postdoctoral research associate in preparation for a career in research.
- Monitor progress of the postdoctoral research associate through regular (at least weekly) one-on-one meetings.
- Encourage and aid the postdoctoral research associate in publishing and presenting research results to the international community of experts in the field
- Instruct the postdoctoral research associate in funding and proposal writing strategies.
- Write recommendation letters and aid in job searches during the final stages of the postdoctoral research appointment.
- Conduct performance evaluations as specified in the UMPSA Agreement (PDF)
Recruitment and Hiring Information
- Post docs may be hired through a search or through a search waiver. If a search is to be conducted, please follow the guidelines for hiring salaried employees.
- The overall maximum duration of an appointment as a postdoctoral hired out of an approved search is three years. Such an appointment is designated as soft money.
- If a search is not conducted, the overall maximum duration of an appointment as a postdoc is two years. This appointment is designated as fixed length.
- Regardless of the type of appointment (soft money or fixed length), the Postdoctoral Research Association Appointment Form must be completed and a RTF and Job Description will be required.
- A postdoc is eligible to apply for any other advertised vacancies during the term of his/her appointment, but please be aware that an extension of the appointment beyond the maximum timelines stated above is not possible.
- Search materials should be retained by the hiring department for three years
Post doc Research Associate Recruiting Steps
- Ensure that the postdoc attends New Employee Orientation (offered by HR) and receives:
- Mandatory safety training
- An introduction to departmental staff, policies, and procedures
- Tools, equipment, and other resources to do their assigned work, including security, building codes, long distance access, building/office keys, etc.
- Review specific work expectations and time table for performance reviews
- Advise the department payroll processors of any required budgetary distributions or other payroll adjustments well in advance of the University’s payroll deadline (10th of the month)
- Discuss the process for the employee to request time off and the expectation for reporting leave used in Mainestreet
When Employment Ends
- For a postdoc who resigns before the end of the appointment request a letter of resignation and acknowledge resignation in writing
- For a soft money post doc, contact your HRO for assistance in meeting UMPSA contract requirements
- For a postdoc completing a fixed length appointment, initiate separation paperwork and payment of any accrued annual leave
- For a postdoc hired in H1-B non-immigrant status, the University may have an obligation to pay for the cost of transportation to the home country. Call International Programs at 581-3423 for more information.
- The Separation form (PDF) includes a checklist of items that may need to be returned or security codes to be deactivated
- The personnel file for an employee who resigns or whose position end should be maintained in the department for 6 years after which the department may destroy the file.
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