Terms and Conditions of Employment for Postdoctoral Associates

Postdoctoral Associates have employee status within The University of Vermont. However, their terms and conditions of employment, compensation, and benefits are separate and independent from those of faculty, staff, officers, and temporary employees, and are contained in this policy document.

Terms and conditions of employment for postdoctoral associates are designed with the intention of preserving flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of the academic Department employing them. Similarly, they are implemented to enhance consistency and fairness in the benefits and terms of employment for the individuals in those positions.

The following terms and conditions of employment and benefit entitlement are in effect for postdoctoral associates:

I. Requirements of Position

The education requirement will be an earned doctorate and the general duties will reflect a professional level of research which in turn will support exemption from provisions of The Fair Labor Standards Act.

II. Pay

Each college will establish a minimum and maximum salary range for postdoctoral associates and update the range each year. Each college will establish guidelines for increases prior to the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1st, and will be responsible for equity and consistency in salaries paid. More than one salary range for postdoctoral associates may exist in each college based upon the discipline within which the research is conducted and the nature of the job market.

III. Appointment

Postdoctoral associates are appointed on a yearly basis by a written letter cosigned by the department chairperson, and establishing the beginning date of employment, the ending date and the annual salary. Shorter appointments are permissible by the mutual agreement, generally when the external funding source is available for less than one year. Postdoctoral associates will not be employed for a period in excess of three years.

IV. Recruitment

Postdoctoral associate vacancies need not be posted and advertised as required for staff and faculty positions. Appointments may be made at the discretion of the research grant holder responsible for the funds supporting the position, and upon the approval of the department chair and the dean of the college or school.

V. Termination of Employment

Normally, separation of employment would end on the date specified in the written letter of appointment. In the event of termination for cause (except in circumstances where termination is for gross misconduct such as theft or fraud), the employee will, prior to termination, receive a written letter of counseling, the purpose of which is to offer specific recommendations that would render termination unnecessary. In the event of gross misconduct, termination would be immediate.

VI. Grievance Procedure

In the event that a postdoctoral associate would like to grieve what is believed to be an unfair interpretation of the terms and conditions of employment which applies to that position, appeal may be in writing first to the appropriate department chair who will have the responsibility of responding to the complainant in writing. In the event that the postdoctoral associate is not satisfied with the decision of the department chair, appeal may be addressed to the dean of the college or school whose decision on the matter will be in writing and will be final.

VII. Benefits

A.) Health insurance as for non-represented staff. Benefits would end on the last day of employment since there will be no provision for accumulation of vacation as currently is the case for staff.

B.) Dental insurance as for non-represented staff. Benefits would end on the last day of employment since there will be no provision for accumulation of vacation as currently is the case for staff.

C.) Voluntary participation in the retirement savings plans offered through the University is allowed, however there will be no University contribution.

D.) Short-term permanent disability as for non-represented staff.

E.) Long-term disability coverage available as for non-represented staff.

F.) Life insurance available for individual and dependent as for non-represented staff.

G.) No formal eligibility for vacation. All University holidays are official days off for postdoctoral associates.

H.) Six personal days at the beginning of the first year of employment, and then again at the beginning of the second and subsequent years of employment. Unused days will not be paid upon separation of employment and may not be carried forward from one year to the next.

I.) Six days of medical leave per year; no payment for unused days at the time of separation of employment. Unused medical leave may be carried forward into the following year.

J.) A regular UVM ID card that provides use of library, athletic, and other general facilities and support services offered to employees.

K.) Tuition remission is available for full-time postdoctoral associates with the following provisions:

VIII. General

The University is committed to increasing the diversity of its students, faculty and staff, anyone hiring postdoctoral associates should aim for diversity in hiring decisions. Because they are temporary employees, however, postdoctoral associate positions will not be incorporated into the University’s general affirmative action plan.