Research Associate


Appointment Details


  • Title: research associate
  • Service Period: 12 months
  • Limitations on Appointment: Required completion of doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent). Appointment not to exceed 5 years, including postdoctoral experience(s) at other institutions. Research associates 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: 1-3 year terms for a maximum of 5 years, inclusive of all postdoctoral experiences(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
  • Full-time/part-time: Full-time. The only exception to the full-time requirement shall be made to a select group of individuals appointed in the Department of Mathematics. For this group only, appointments that meet the definition of Postdoctoral Scholars will reflect only the portion of their job responsibilities not related to teaching, and will be no less than 50%.
  • 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 academic appointment. The date the degree will be conferred must be within 12 months of the position start date.
  • A faculty vote is required for short term appointments. The unit faculty, by a majority vote, may delegate authority to the chair/director to make short term appointments without a full faculty vote.
  • Documentation Required:
    • Chair/director’s letter to dean/chancellor recommending appointment should include:
      • Faculty vote
      • Title
      • Start date
      • Service period
      • Salary
    • Offer letter with new template language (see resources section below)
    • Postdoctoral Scholar Data Sheet
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Proof of degree conferral if terminal degree acquired within one (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

Promotion Details


  • Not a promotable title.
  • A research associate cannot 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


  • Research associates should be notified about the termination date of their appointment at least 6 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)

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. up until the end of academic year 2019-2020), Academic HR 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 experience) 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 Academic HR in its sole discretion.