In accordance with the UW/UW Postdocs United/UAW 4121 collective bargaining agreement, research associates who are included in the bargaining unit will assume the new position title, postdoctoral scholar, in Autumn 2019.

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. Under extraordinary circumstances (e.g., family leave or personal illness), an exception to the 5 year eligibility limit may be granted by Academic HR.* 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: Initial appointment shall be for a minimum of 1 year (see “Reappointment Details” below for appointments after the first year).
  • Eligible for Tenure: No
  • Voting Rights: No
  • Salary Requirements: Must meet minimum requirements for postdoctoral scholars, as specifically outlined in the collective bargaining agreement.
  • 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. If this exception applies, unit administrators must use the Workday job position, postdoctoral scholar-conditional, 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.
  • Documentation Required:
    • Offer letter with new template language (see resources section below) (Separate PDF)
    • Postdoctoral Scholar Data Sheet (Separate PDF)
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Proof of degree conferral if doctoral 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

Note: OAP is no longer collecting background checks. Please check wth your school/college/campus for local requirements related to this position.


Promotion Details


  • Not a promotable title.

Reappointment Details


  • Must be provided with notice of reappointment as soon as practicable, but no less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the start of reappointment.
  • 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 Academic HR.*
  • Reappointments must be for a minimum of one (1) year, except that a reappointment may be for a lesser duration if any of the following apply: a) there is insufficient funding for a full year, b) the continuation of the project is less than one (1) year, c) visa limitations, or d) eligibility within the postdoctoral scholar title has been exhausted.
  • Documentation Required (this documentation is required for every reappointment action):

Termination Details


  • Academic unit administrators should contact UW Labor Relations (laborrel@uw.edu) in all circumstances related to terminations.
  • In the event of a layoff (i.e., an involuntary separation or reduction in the duration of appointment after the first year, as a result of appropriate funding becoming unavailable), research associates should be notified about the termination date of their appointment at least 60 calendar days in advance of the effective date of the layoff.

Additional Resources

Postdoctoral bargaining unit definition

Collective bargaining agreement

Job post language (updated 8/1/2019)

Postdoctoral Scholar Datasheet (updated 8/21/2019)

Offer letter template language (updated 8/26/2019)

Reappointment letter template language (new)

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.