Academic Personnel

Research Associate-Trainee

In accordance with the UAW 4121 collective bargaining agreement, research associate trainees will assume the new position title postdoctoral scholar in fall 2019.


Appointment Details

  • Title: research associate-trainee
  • Service Period: 12 months
  • Limitations on Appointment: Requires completion of doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent). Appointment not to exceed 5 years, including postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions.  Research associate-trainees are engaged in full-time mentored advanced training to enhance professional skills and research independence, and perform primarily research and scholarship under the direction and supervision of University faculty mentors.
  • Length of Appointment: 1 to 3 year terms for a maximum of 5 years, inclusive of all postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions. Under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., family leave or personal illness), an exception to the 5 year eligibility limit may be granted by AHR.*
  • Eligible for Tenure: No
  • Voting Rights: No
  • Salary Requirements: Must meet University minimum on a 12-month basis unless funded by NSF or NIH; then must meet minimum for corresponding funding source. Research associate-trainees receive funding from training grants only. (Status determined at time grant is accepted by University)
  • Full-time/part-time: Full-time
  • Promotable: No
  • Competitive Recruitment Required: No

New Appointment Details

  • Educational/Experience Requirements: Doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent), must be conferred by the appointment start date. Exceptions may be considered in circumstances where individuals have completed all degree requirements, but have not yet had their degree conferred. In these circumstances, confirmation of completion of degree requirements must be sent directly from the institution where the degree is being conferred and must consist of an official letter from the Registrar’s office, graduate college or other appropriate administrative unit. If degree conferral occurs after the start date, evidence of degree conferral must be provided upon date of conferral. Acceptable documentation includes a copy of the degree certificate, an official transcript bearing the official seal of the institution, or a formal statement from the university’s registrar or graduate school with an official seal or notary stamp. If this exception applies, unit administrators must use the Workday Postdoctoral Conditional job position in conjunction with the research associate-trainee academic appointment. The date the degree will be conferred must be within 12 months of the position start date.
  • Documentation Required:
    • Offer letter with new template language (see resources section below)(Separate PDF)
    • Postdoctoral Scholar Data Sheet (Separate PDF)
    • Chair/director’s letter to dean/chancellor recording appointment should include:
      • Faculty vote (unless chair/director has designated authority to appoint)
      • Title
      • Start date
      • Service period*
      • Monthly rate of pay*
      • Three letters of recommendation
      • Curriculum Vitae
      • Proof of degree conferral if terminal degree acquired within 1 year prior to appointment start date: must include a copy of the degree certificate; an official transcript bearing the official seal of the institution; or a formal statement from the university’s registrar or graduate school with an official seal or notary stamp.
      • Background Check documents, if applicable

    *Could appear in the offer letter
    Note: OAP is no longer collecting background checks.

    Promotion Details

    • Not a promotable title.
    • A research associate-trainee who is a temporary appointee at a junior faculty level cannot subsequently be placed into an existing, permanent research faculty position without a competitive recruitment (unless a search took place and was documented at the time the postdoctoral appointment was made)

    Reappointment Details

    • May not be renewed for more than 5 years (inclusive of all postdoctoral experiences), with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances (e.g. family leave or personal illness) considered by AHR.*
    • Documentation Required (this documentation is required for every reappointment action):

    Termination Details

    • A research associate-trainee should be notified about the termination date of his/her appointment at least six months in advance of that date, and a dated note should be placed in the file that such notification has occurred.

    Additional Resources

    Postdoctoral bargaining unit definition

    Bargaining process updates

    Job post language

    Postdoctoral Scholar Datasheet (form updated 5/8/2019)

    Offer letter template language (Research Associate-Trainee)

    Exception Form: Circumstances Applicable during Transition Period

    Exception Form: Extraordinary Circumstances for Family Care and/or Personal Illness

    Postdoctoral Scholar-Conditional (Workday position)

    *From April 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 (i.e., end of academic year 2019-2020), AHR may consider extensions to the total appointment length on a case-by-case basis. Extensions of up to 1 year may be considered, for a maximum total of 6 years of postdoctoral experience. A reappointment to a 6th year (inclusive of all postdoctoral experiences) may be considered on a limited basis in instances where existing research plans have relied on the potential availability of a 6th year to complete or publish research. Requests should articulate and justify how these conditions apply. Postdoctoral scholars with 4 years (or less) of postdoctoral experience by June 30, 2019 will not be considered for extensions beyond 5 postdoctoral years, unless extraordinary circumstances apply (e.g., family leave or personal illness), as determined by AHR in its sole discretion.