Individuals in these titles have received a doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent) and are engaged in full-time, mentored advanced training to enhance professional skills and research independence. They perform primarily research and scholarship under the direction and supervision of University faculty mentors. Individuals in these titles may not be: privileged as attending physicians within the context of their University responsibilities; enrolled in clinical residency and fellowship programs in the health sciences; engaged in research related to their clinical training program; or employed by non-University entities (e.g., individuals paid directly by Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Veterans Administration, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the U.S. military).

Service Period 12 months
Appointment length Varies – see Additional Details section
Key considerations Varies – see Additional Details section
Full-time/part-time Full-time
Board of Regent approval required No
Education/ experience requirements Doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent)
Degree conferral requirements vary see Additional Details section
Competitive recruitment required No
Reappointment eligible Yes
Reappointment term Varies – see Additional Details section
Reappointment considerations Must provide notice of reappointment as soon as practicable, but no less than 30 calendar days prior to the reappointment start date
Tenure status N/A
Voting rights N/A
Salary considerations Must meet minimum requirements for postdoctoral scholars, as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA)
Promotion eligible N/A
Emeritus eligible N/A

Additional Details

Postdoctoral Scholar

Postdoctoral Scholar

Appointment length: 1-5 years*, inclusive of all postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions. The initial appointment must be for a minimum of 1 year. If an interim postdoctoral scholar title was previously held, hire date should be original appointment date into the interim title.
Key considerations: This title is used when the agency funding the salary requires or permits the appointee to be an employee of the University, or whenever General Funds or other University discretionary funds are used to support the position.

  • As certified by the Public Employment Relations Commission, appointments for a limited group of individuals in the Department of Mathematics will reflect only the portion of their job responsibilities not related to teaching; for this group only, the academic appointment percent as a postdoctoral scholar will be no less than 50%.

Education/experience requirements: Doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent) must be conferred by the appointment start date. If the degree has not yet been conferred, please refer to the “conditional designation” requirements below.
Reappointment term: Minimum of 1 year, except may be shorter if any of the following apply: there is insufficient funding for a full year; the project continuation is less than 1 year; visa limitations; or eligibility in the postdoctoral scholar title has been exhausted.
Conditional designation: Postdoctoral scholars who have met all doctoral degree requirements, but have not yet had their degrees conferred, may be appointed on a conditional basis for a maximum of 12 months. Upon degree conferral, the postdoctoral scholar-conditional position converts to postdoctoral scholar. If a degree is not conferred or no evidence of degree conferral is provided, the University will notify the postdoctoral scholar that the required documentation has not been received and will state the date on which the appointment and position will terminate if documentation is not provided. Time in the conditional designation will count toward the 5 years of postdoctoral scholar eligibility.

Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow

Appointment length: 1-5 years*, inclusive of all postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions. The initial appointment must be for a minimum of 1 year. If an interim postdoctoral scholar title was previously held, hire date should be original appointment date into the interim title.
Key considerations: This title is used when the postdoctoral scholar has been awarded a fellowship or traineeship for study by an extramural agency and the fellowship or traineeship stipend is paid either directly or through a University account.

  • As certified by the Public Employment Relations Commission, appointments for a limited group of individuals in the Department of Mathematics will reflect only the portion of their job responsibilities not related to teaching; for this group only, the academic appointment percent as a postdoctoral scholar will be no less than 50%.

Education/experience requirements: Doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent) must be conferred by the appointment start date. If the degree has not yet been conferred, please refer to the “conditional designation” requirements below.
Reappointment term: Minimum of 1 year, except that a reappointment may be for a lesser duration if any of the following apply: there is insufficient funding for a full year; the project continuation is less than 1 year; visa limitations; or eligibility in the postdoctoral scholar title has been exhausted.
Conditional designation: Postdoctoral scholars who have met all doctoral degree requirements, but have not yet had their degrees conferred, may be appointed on a conditional basis for a maximum of 12 months. Upon degree conferral, the postdoctoral scholar-conditional position converts to postdoctoral scholar. If a degree is not conferred or no evidence of degree conferral is provided, the University will notify the postdoctoral scholar that the required documentation has not been received and will state the date on which the appointment and position will terminate if documentation is not provided. Time in the conditional designation will count toward the 5 years of postdoctoral scholar eligibility.

Interim Postdoctoral Scholar

Appointment length: Maximum of 6 months
Key considerations: This appointment should be used when the postdoctoral scholar is a former UW doctoral student who recently obtained their PhD degree or equivalent from the UW and who requests this title for a short-term appointment to complete an existing project from their graduate educational programs before moving on to other employment. Time spent working in this classification counts towards the 5 year maximum eligibility criteria for postdoctoral scholars.
Educational/experience requirements: Doctoral degree (PhD or equivalent) from UW must be conferred by the appointment start date or appointee must have otherwise met all degree requirements.
Reappointment term: May not be re-appointed as an interim postdoctoral scholar for more than a cumulative total of 6 months in one or multiple appointments in this title. Should an interim postdoctoral scholar be appointed as a postdoctoral scholar or postdoctoral scholar-fellow at the conclusion of the interim appointment, their hire date should remain the original appointment date into the interim title.

Note: The University of Washington Postdocs United/International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO and its Local Union 4121 is the official labor union for postdoctoral scholars who meet the bargaining unit definition at UW. More details about the contract and titles governed by it may be found on the UW Labor Relations site.

Hiring Packet Required Documents

PDF 1

PDF 2

PDF 3

  • Curriculum vitae

PDF 4 (if applicable)

  • Proof of degree conferral if doctoral degree acquired within 1 year prior to appointment start date. Acceptable documentation includes:
    • Copy of the degree certificate
    • An official transcript with the seal of the institution
    • Or a formal statement from the university’s registrar or graduate school with an official seal or notary stamp.

PDF 5

Note: These degree conferral requirements may be different for interim postdoctoral scholars who have recently received doctoral degrees or met degree requirements from UW. Contact your Academic HR specialist with questions.

Additional Resources

Postdoctoral bargaining unit definition and collective bargaining agreement
Job post language
Exception Form: Extraordinary Circumstances for Family Care and/or Personal Illness
Exception Form: Extraordinary Circumstances for Significant Disruptions in Training and Research Related to COVID-19*

*From April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2022, exceptions to the 5-year postdoctoral experience limit may be considered on a case-by-case basis by Academic HR in its sole discretion. A single extension of up to 1 year may be considered for a maximum total of 6 years of postdoctoral experience. Specifically, reappointment to a sixth year (inclusive of all postdoctoral experience) may be considered in instances where existing training and research plans have been significantly disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Note: The qualifying dates for COVID-19-related exception requests were updated on February 17th, 2021.

Requests must articulate how unanticipated conditions related to COVID-19 have significantly disrupted progress in training and research and attest that full funding for the research is, at least as it is known at the time of the exception request, in place through the duration of the proposed extension. In this circumstance, academic units must complete the Exceptions for Extraordinary Circumstances form (see above). These exception requests will only be considered for postdoctoral scholars in their fifth year of postdoctoral experience (i.e., those who have more than 48 months of postdoctoral experience) in the time period between April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.

Additional Relevant Links

Visa eligibility
Reappointments
Separations