As you may know, on December 10, 2018 the University of Washington and UAW 4121 reached an agreement on a bargaining unit definition for Postdoctoral Scholars.

Summary of Postdoctoral Scholars Definition

Postdoctoral Scholars are individuals who:

  • have received a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or equivalent);*
  • are appointed for a temporary and defined period not to exceed five (5) years, including postdoctoral experiences at other institutions (with exceptions for extraordinary circumstances related to family leave or illness, as determined by Academic Personnel);
  • 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.

*Exceptions shall be granted where individuals present documentation satisfactory to the University confirming completion of degree requirements. Please see additional information in the tutorial video and links provided below.

The following email contains resources related to the changes impacting appointments and re-appointments for individuals in the four titles affected by this agreement: senior fellows, senior fellow-trainees, research associates, research associate-trainees. The effective date of these process changes is April 1, 2019.

Overview and Tutorial Video
The video linked above walks through changes and new documentation needed with regard to new appointments and re-appointments for those in any of the four core titles. Please review this tutorial at your convenience.
Note: There have been a few minor changes to the form since April that are not reflected on the video.

Titles and Ranks Information

Click on the relevant appointment title for more information about each of the four core titles that meet the postdoctoral scholar definition: research associate, research associate-trainee, senior fellow and senior fellow-trainee. Note that the agreed upon postdoctoral scholar definition also excludes specific employees/individuals who may currently hold Senior Fellow and/or Senior Fellow-Trainee appointments. Please ensure that you review the exclusion criteria and contact your dean’s office or the Office of Academic Personnel ( if you have questions. You will also find details about the new postdoctoral scholar-conditional Workday job profile here, for those who have completed their doctoral degree requirements, but who have not yet had their degree conferred.

Job Advertisement Language
Click the link above for template language to include at the end of the description when posting appointment advertisements for the four core titles.

Postdoctoral Bargaining Unit Definition
Click the link above for the Postdoctoral Scholar bargaining unit definition.

Bargaining Process Updates
To stay up to date on the bargaining process, click the link above.


If you have any questions about the following information or about which documents to use for an individual in one of the four core postdoctoral scholar titles, please contact