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Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

For faculty

Postdoc letter templates

For the three types of postdoctoral scholars, please refer to the policy.

Listed below you will find letter templates. While you do not have to use them, please keep in mind that all appointment letters must contain the following information as stated in the policy:

  • Basic terms of the appointment including the intended overall period of appointment (including the provision of the annual required renewal of the appointment)
  • End date for the current award must be indicated even if a renewal of the award is anticipated
  • Compensation level
  • Health benefits that will be provided (minimally, the scholar must be provided payment/contribution toward the cost of health insurance equal to the cost of individual coverage from a designated plan offered through the Office of Postdoctoral Services)
  • Amount of paid leave time (minimally, the scholar must be provided with 20 days per appointment year)
  • Statement that benefits associated with this position terminate when the postdoctoral appoint ends
  • Statement that the appointment is subject to University and Office of Research and Innovation policies
  • Statement that the postdoctoral scholar is required to set up an orientation meeting with the Coordinator of the Office of Postdoctoral Services before the end of the first week of the postdoctoral appointment
  • Statement that responsible conduct of research training must be completed within 12 months of the appointment
  • Whether funding for the period of the intended appointment is secure; if not, the duration of secure funding must be noted
  • If the appointment is dependent on extramural funding
  • General description of the project and/or activities on which the postdoctoral scholar initially is to be involved
  • That an annual review of the progress of the postdoctoral scholar will be undertaken
  • Signature line for the candidate to confirm acceptance of the terms of the offer of appointment

If an appointment is renewed or extended, a letter documenting the renewal of the appointment containing the information as described above must be provided to the individual.

Template appointment letters

Postdoctoral scholar-fellow letter template
Postdoctoral scholar-trainee letter template
Postdoctoral scholar-affiliate letter template

Reappointment letter

Reappointment letter template

Template termination/non-renewal letters

Postdoctoral scholar termination letter template
Postdoctoral scholar non-renewal letter template

Postdoctoral salary guidelines

Starting salaries/stipends for all postdoctoral scholars, regardless of their source of funding, are expected to meet the minimum standards established by the Fair Labor Standards Act for exempt employees, relevant regulatory bodies, the Office of Postdoctoral Services or sponsor requirements, whichever is higher. A department/school may establish a higher minimum salary/stipend level for postdoctoral scholars paid within that school. Each department/school should establish compensation levels based on experience and the usual standards for payment of postdoctoral scholars/trainees in the relevant discipline.

The minimum postdoctoral salary/stipend will be $47,476 unless stipulated below:

School of Medicine: All new postdoctoral hires must meet the minimum Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA stipend level in effect at the time of appointment. The current FY20 NRSA minimum stipend level is $52,704, as outlined in NOT-OD-20-070. The School of Medicine requires that all proposal submissions include at least the minimum stipend in effect at the time of proposal submission.

Evaluation of postdoctoral scholars

As stated in the policy, the faculty mentor of a postdoctoral scholar must complete an annual written evaluation of the scholar’s performance. The evaluation process should be based on expectations that have been established for the postdoctoral scholar and on their progress toward overall career goals. These expectations should be developed in writing with the postdoctoral scholar at the beginning of the appointment period, with opportunity for review and revision as the appointment progresses. The evaluation process should include the opportunity for the scholar to respond in writing to the evaluation.

Below, you will find examples of evaluation forms:
Postdoc research and career progress: Annual review
University of California, San Diego postdoctoral scholar annual review form

Resources

Contact us

Andrekia Branch
Coordinator
Postdoctoral Services

(804) 827-6036
aebranch@vcu.edu

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