Postdoctoral Scholars Regulation
The Postdoctoral Scholars Regulation (REG 10.10.8) was implemented June 28, 2010 and provides important information regarding postdoctoral appointments, hiring procedures, expectations of postdocs, postdoc salaries, benefits and leave provisions, and workplace-related issues. A list of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) is also available regarding the Postdoctoral Scholars Regulation and the information it contains.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has suggested “Guidelines for Postdoctoral Recruitment” that may be used to guide the recruitment and selection of postdoctoral appointees.
Hiring a Postdoctoral Scholar
It is important to review the Postdoctoral Scholars Regulation when appointing a new postdoctoral scholar.
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has created a list of Standard Interview Questions PIs or hiring officials may want to use when interviewing applicants for postdoc appointments. PIs or hiring officials are encouraged to interview either face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype prior to hiring a postdoc.
Salaries for Postdocs
The required minimum salary for a postdoctoral scholar is 60% of the starting salary range for an assistant professor in the same discipline, as outlined in the Faculty Salary Ranges set forth by Human Resources. For example, if the minimum starting salary for an assistant professor in Biological and Agricultural Engineering is $55,000, then the minimum salary for a postdoc with a PhD in Biological and Agricultural Engineering would have to be $33,000 (60% of $55,000). However, if the postdoc has a PhD in a discipline other than Biological and Agricultural Engineering, then the minimum salary may be based on the PhD or the postdoc’s previous research experience, whichever is more appropriate for the job description.
Furthermore, the University recommends hiring all incoming postdocs hired at 1.0 FTE at the annual salary minimum of $47,476, as recommended by the Fair Labor Standards Act and supported by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health.
Postdocs are eligible for salary increases based on merit and market increases. Any salary adjustments to a postdoctoral scholar’s pay must be in compliance with any restrictions or guidelines of the authorized funding source.
Mentoring Activities for the Postdoctoral Scholar
Mentoring is viewed as a critical component of the postdoctoral researcher’s success, both as a postdoctoral scholar and a future scientist. Given its importance, mentoring will be a formalized activity between the postdoctoral researcher and the principal investigator with the aid of an individual development plan. The principal investigator will schedule meetings on a regular basis to discuss the postdoctoral scholar’s individual development plan and to assist the postdoc in meeting his or her goals such as career development, obtaining additional research skills, number of publications, and other professional development objectives. In addition, the postdoctoral appointee will be encouraged to participate in the offerings of NC State University’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, which includes career counseling, self-assessment activities, and free professional development seminars.
NSF Mentoring Requirement for Postdocs
The paragraph below, “Mentoring Activities for the Postdoctoral Scholar,” is general language faculty may use to fulfill the NSF requirement for a mentor plan for postdocs (see Section II.C.2.d.i of http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf09_1/gpg_index.jsp) and in alignment with the America COMPETES Act. A more individualized, detailed plan may be necessary in the case of some situations. Ultimately, it is up to each individual PI as to the information that needs to be included for the NSF mentoring plan requirement.
Faculty mentors are expected to provide postdocs with annual performance evaluations for all postdocs who have been employed at NC State University for at least 90 days.. Following are documents that may be utilized in this process:
In addition, postdocs are encouraged to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) at the beginning of their postdoctoral appointment and use this document as a communication tool with their faculty mentors. This, too, can be used as a part of an annual performance review.