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Getting Started - Postdoctoral Research Associates

Postdoctoral Research Associates (post docs) are professional employees covered by 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.

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.

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

  • Complete a job description and PDQ.
  • 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.
  • An extension of the appointment beyond the maximum timelines stated above is not possible.


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