Postdoctoral scholar new appointment offer letter template: Applicable to postdoctoral scholars paid 100% directly (PDR) by a non-UW entity or funding source

  • All content below represents core information that must be included in all new appointment offer letters for postdoctoral scholars who are paid 100% directly (PDR) by a non-UW entity or funding source.
  • Prior to offering a postdoctoral scholar appointment that 100% PDR, units should have worked with their dean’s/chancellor’s offices.
  • Administrators in the dean’s/chancellor’s offices will work with the Office of Research (for all non-School of Medicine appointments) or the Office of Research and Graduate Education (for all School of Medicine appointments) to determine whether a 100% PDR postdoctoral appointment is appropriate and whether the funding agreement provides for an annual allowance to cover discretionary, personal expenses such as healthcare related costs.
  • While schools/colleges/campuses may provide additional information in each applicable section of these letters (as long as it does not conflict with this template or the UW-UAW (local 4121) contract), the template language and structure should not be altered, and may not provide additional information regarding the relationship between the individual and the University or benefits provided by the University. Letters with modified language or changes to the letter structure risk being sent back to the unit for revisions that may result in delays. Check with your dean’s/chancellor’s office about any local requirements.
  • Units should ensure that all messaging to postdoctoral scholars who are paid direct (PDR) is consistent with non-UW employment, and that postdoctoral scholar paid direct appointees clearly understand that they are not employed by the UW for any portion of their pay which is PDR.
  • This template offer letter does not apply to postdoctoral scholars who are paid by the UW.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________

<DATE>

<Name>
<Title>
<Address>

Dear __________,

Congratulations on your funding from [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE]. We are pleased you have chosen the University of Washington as a site to fulfill the responsibilities of your direct funding from [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE], under an appointment as a full‐time postdoctoral scholar in the [NAME OF DEPARTMENT/NON‐DEPARTMENTALIZED SCHOOL] at the University of Washington. The following is a summary of the terms of your appointment at UW to satisfy the obligations of your funding from [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE]:

Appointment Title: Postdoctoral scholar
Effective Dates: [START DATE] through [END DATE]
Mentor(s): [MENTOR NAME], [MENTOR TITLE]
Academic Appointing Unit: [ACADEMIC UNIT]
Associated Unit [INSERT IF APPLICABLE]: [NAME OF ASSOCIATED UNIT: e.g., APL]
Anticipated Location of Research: [CAMPUS/BUILDING/ROOM]

This appointment is contingent upon acceptable outcomes regarding criminal background (if applicable) and sexual misconduct.

State law requires that the University of Washington obtain the Disclosure of Sexual Misconduct declaration signed by the candidate. The declaration will require you to disclose any substantiated findings of sexual misconduct, to authorize current and past state of Washington postsecondary employers to disclose to the UW any sexual misconduct currently being investigated and/or committed by you, and to release current and past state of Washington postsecondary employers from any liability. If the results of the disclosure are unacceptable, you will not be offered an appointment at the UW.

The above requirements are intended to ensure the safety of the University of Washington campus and should in no way be construed to constitute an offer or condition of employment by the University of Washington.
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

[IF APPLICABLE, INSERT THE FOLLOWING]

If your doctoral degree was completed within the last year, you are required to provide evidence of receiving your doctoral degree. Acceptable evidence includes a copy of the degree certificate or a formal statement from the university’s registrar or graduate school with an official seal or notary stamp. If you have not already done so, send this information to [ADD THE APPLICABLE DETAILS ABOUT TO WHOM TO SEND THIS REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION].
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

[ONLY INSERT THE FOLLOWING IF POSTDOCTORAL SCHOLAR HAS COMPLETED ALL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS AND IS AWAITING TERMINAL DEGREE CONFERRAL]

Your appointment as a postdoctoral scholar is on a conditional basis because your doctoral degree has not been conferred. Your appointment is contingent upon providing the UW with documentation confirming the completion of your degree requirements and the date your degree will be conferred. Confirming documentation must consist of an official signed letter sent directly from the registrar’s office, graduate college or other appropriate administrative unit from the institution where your degree will be conferred. A letter from a faculty advisor or counselor is not acceptable. If you have not already done so, send this information to [ADD THE APPLICABLE DETAILS ABOUT TO WHOM TO SEND THIS REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION].

As soon as your degree is conferred, you must provide the University with evidence of your degree. Acceptable evidence 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. This documentation must also be sent to [ADD THE APPLICABLE DETAILS ABOUT TO WHOM TO SEND THIS REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION]. If your degree is not conferred or if you do not provide evidence of degree conferral on or after [INSERT DATE NO LESS THAN ONE YEAR FROM THE APPOINTMENT START DATE], your conditional appointment may be terminated. Time spent in your postdoctoral scholar title on this conditional basis is counted towards your five years of postdoctoral scholar appointment eligibility.
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Responsibilities and Duties

You will perform (or fulfill) the research outlined in your funding from [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE]. The University understands that this research includes [INSERT BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ANTICIPATED RESEARCH PROJECT(S)] based on the description provided to the University by [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE]. [ADD ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NOT COVERED IN OTHER AREAS] which is in alignment with the research performed in the lab of [INSERT MENTOR NAME].

You and the University agree that these responsibilities and duties are for the sole purpose of your professional development and training in accordance with the terms of the direct funding award you received from [INSERT NAME OF ORGANIZATION], and do not constitute employment by the University. Nothing in this letter is intended to constitute an offer or promise of employment. Further, you acknowledge that [INSERT MENTOR NAME] serves as a professional mentor to help you achieve the goals outlined in your responsibilities to [funding source] and not otherwise control the means and manner in which you perform the responsibilities to [funding source]. During your time at the UW, you are required to follow the policies and protocols that apply generally to the UW community (including volunteers, students, visitors, faculty, and staff), such as those concerning health and safety.

The University has established certain policies and protocols which apply to individuals present at the University, including certain policies and protocols that apply to individuals performing research. You may be required to participate in trainings regarding those policies and protocols as follows: [INSERT ANY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS, IF APPLICABLE]

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Funding

Your appointment is considered full‐time. The University understands that you will receive full‐time annual pay of $[$$$$$.$$] year from [INSERT FUNDING SOURCE].

[ENTER ALL APPLICABLE FUNDING INFORMATION, INCLUDING SOURCE AND AMOUNT]

Applicable Benefits

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
As noted in the funding section, your appointment is supported by a paid direct relationship (PDR) with [INSERT NAME OF PDR FUNDING SOURCE]. As such, you are not eligible for UW or Washington state employee benefits based on state law and the applicable regulations and program rules administered by certain Washington State Agencies responsible for administering such benefits.

[INSERT THE FOLLOWING IF THE FUNDING SOURCE STIPULATES THAT IT (OR ANY SUPPLEMENTAL STIPEND PROVIDED BY THAT FUNDING SOURCE) IS INTENDED TO COVER ITEMS INCLUDING DISCRETIONARY, PERSONAL EXPENSES SUCH AS HEALTHCARE RELATED COSTS; IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO COMPLETE THIS SECTION, CONTACT THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH OR OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND GRADUATE EDUCATION IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDICINE].

You are not eligible for any supplemental stipend covered under the collective bargaining agreement because your funding source stipulates that it (or some supplemental salary/stipend you receive) can be used to covers items that include discretionary, personal expenses such as healthcare related costs. Benefits arrangements should be made with your funding source and are your responsibility.

[INSERT THE FOLLOWING IF THE FUNDING SOURCE DOES NOT DIRECTLY PROVIDE BENEFITS OR ANY FUNDING FOR DISCRETIONARY, PERSONAL EXPENSES SUCH AS HEALTHCARE BENEFITS].

To help defray the costs for individual and family health insurance, you are eligible to receive a supplemental stipend of $500/month from the University. Ultimately, how you spend this stipend is at your discretion. You are responsible for purchasing your own benefits. You are responsible for ensuring the payment of any applicable US or foreign taxes on this stipend.

[INSERT THE TIME OFF AND LEAVE SECTION BELOW ONLY IF TIME OFF AND LEAVE FOR THE APPOINTEE IS SPECIFIED BY THE FUNDING SOURCE; IF NOT SPECIFIED, DELETE THE TIME OFF AND LEAVE SECTION]
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Time Off and Leave

Your time off and sick leave will be administered following any guidelines of the funding source. [INSERT APPROPRIATE LINK TO FUNDING SOURCE LEAVE INFORMATION].
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Union Information

Postdoctoral scholars at the University of Washington are exclusively represented by the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), AFL-CIO Local 4121 for purposes of wages, hours, and working conditions. Please be advised that any and all agreements between UW and UAW may result in adjustments effective during your appointment including, among other things, a change in the title of your appointment. The University maintains individual personnel files and you may access your personnel file in accordance with the provisions in the personnel files article of the collective bargaining agreement.
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Reappointment Information

[ONLY INSERT THE FOLLOWING IF APPOINTMENT IS NOT INTERIM]
Reappointment will be considered based on the terms reflected in this letter, your mentor’s and appointing unit’s discretion, and on continued support from your funding source and your adherence to the terms of that funding. You will be notified in writing whether or not you will be reappointed a minimum of 30 days before the end of your appointment. In addition, your appointment may be ended before the expected end date for reasons outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.

As a reminder, an appointment is for a temporary and defined period not to exceed five years/60 months, including postdoctoral experiences at other institutions. Based on the information you have provided in your CV/Resume, your experience is as follows:

Prior Postdoctoral Scholar Experience: [YEARS OF EXPERIENCE] years or [MONTHS] months
Eligible Postdoctoral Scholar Time Remaining: [YEARS REMAINING] years or [MONTHS] months
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Professional Development

You are encouraged to take advantage of UW programs and those from partner institutions in Seattle that support your professional development. The University provides access to professional development and/or career counseling to postdoctoral scholars through the UW Graduate School.

Soon after you arrive, Dr. [INSERT MENTOR NAME] will discuss your research and career goals with you. As part of your professional development, you may elect to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to identify your own research goals, professional development objectives, and career objectives or your mentor or funding source may require an IDP. For more information about IDPs, see individual development plans and progress assessments article of the collective bargaining agreement.
‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐‐

Additional Resources

The University offers various resources to assist you during your appointment at the University of Washington. The following resources are available to you during your appointment at the UW.

● UW Policy Directory: http://www.washington.edu/admin/rules/policies/index.shtml
● UAW Local 4121: http://www.uaw4121.org
● UW Labor Relations/Collective Bargaining Agreement: https://hr.uw.edu/labor/unions/uaw/uaw-postdoc-contract
● International Scholars Operations: https://ap.washington.edu/ahr/visas/
● UW Graduate School Office: https://grad.uw.edu/

[ADD ANY ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENTAL SPECIFIC RESOURCES OR POLICIES HERE. DO NOT INCLUDE ANY RESOURCES OR POLICIES RESTRICTED TO EMPLOYEES OR DIRECTED AT EMPLOYEES.]

If you have questions or would like additional information regarding this appointment, contact [NAME OF DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT] at [CONTACT INFO].

We look forward to your continued success and thank you for your collaboration at the University of Washington.

Sincerely,

_________________________________ _________________________________
Chair Signature            Date                                        Mentor Signature                          Date

Sign below to indicate you have reviewed and accept the above described terms of this appointment.

_____________________