Checklist

 Dear UAB Faculty Member:

 The attached documents are provided to assist you in the appointment of a Postdoctoral Scholar and the establishment of the terms and conditions for the position offer. A Postdoctoral Recruitment/Appointment Checklist for Mentors is also provided to help you through the process. The Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) is here to facilitate this process, so please do not hesitate to contact us should questions arise. Listed below are some important points I would like you to consider in making the appointment. We have found them very helpful in avoiding misunderstandings during the training period:

 a)      Postdoctoral Scholars have terms and conditions, including vacation, UAB minimum salary, and maternity/paternity leave to which they are entitled according to UAB policy. If you are unfamiliar with these, please check our Web site at www.postdocs.uab.edu, under Becoming a Postdoc or Information for Department Administrators.

b)      At the time of making an offer the resources must be available for both the salary and requirements for training for the period of the appointment (one year). If you have concerns in this area, please discuss with the chair of your department before making this commitment.

c)      Appointments are for one year and may be renewable annually for up to an additional three years upon written agreement between the mentor and the postdoc. If for any reason you do not intend to renew the appointment, then you must give notice to the Postdoctoral Scholar in writing three months before the end of the annual contract.

d)     The offer letter should include a description of performance expectations, responsibilities and position requirements (see sample Letter of Offer).

e)      The primary purpose for a postdoctoral position is for training and you are encouraged early in the appointment to establish performance bench marks, monitor progress, and record keeping on a regular basis.  A formal feed back is appropriate in a training environment and if problems do arise then it is important to document these together with any corrective action you have instituted.

f)       We offer a salary enhancement award twice yearly, on a competitive basis, for outstanding candidates known as the Career Enhancement Award. 

We all recognize what an important role Postdoctoral Scholars play in the research environment at UAB. The Office of Postdoctoral Education is here to help ensure that this is a rewarding experience for both the mentors and trainees.  Please contact us if you have any suggestions or comments on this process or any other aspect of Postdoctoral Education at UAB.

Sincerely,

Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D.

Associate Dean

Office of Postdoctoral Education

Postdoctoral Recruitment/Appointment Checklist for Mentors

Department _________________________________________________________________________________________

Division _____________________________________________________________________________________________

Mentor ______________________________________________________________________________________________

Recruitment                                                                                                                                           Check  boxes when completed

For help in recruiting provide Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) with

position description to post on our Web site (http://www.postdocs.uab.edu)

Contact the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) for information or assistance

that would be helpful during interviewing

Verify with the department financial/business officer that funding resources are

available.  See current NIH stipend guidelines on the OPE Web site

(2009 UAB minimum starting salary is $34,500.00 + benefits)

Request new postdoc information packet from the Office of Postdoctoral

Education for interested candidates

Interview, check references, verify degree(s)                                                 

Offer of Position

Contact Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) with information for the two                      

required letters to be printed on OPE letterhead (see sample letters attached)

If help with a visa is needed, a copy of the offer letter, Foreign Staff Appointment

Form and CV should be sent to International Scholar and Student Services

Confirm with candidate that proof of degree (in English) will be required before                 

finalization of position

Confirm with departmental chairman and financial/business officer that                 

position has been offered, final salary amount, and starting date

Completion of Paperwork

Forward to OPE copies of signed letter of offer and signed status letter        

Forward to OPE proof of degree (in English) and CV                                                

Contact Human Resource areas, if necessary, for other documentation                   

required for appointment

Forward to OPE a completed Postdoctoral Scholar Personal Data Form when

Their Blazer ID and UAB campus e-mail address are known   

Contact Mary Floyd at 934-3359 to schedule new employee orientation.                  

Confirm date, time and location of orientation with postdoc.

Office of Postdoctoral Education

www.postdocs.uab.edu

 

Page 1

 


The following information is needed for the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE) to prepare the two required letters for each new postdoctoral scholar:

1.  Letter of offer:

·         Postdoc’s name, degree, and home address

·         The name of the appointing school, department, division          

·         Mentor’s name, degree and title

·         Effective date of appointment and if renewable for up to 3 years

·         Salary/stipend amount (see NRSA guidelines on Web site listed below)

·         A description of the knowledge/skills that the postdoc must have to perform in this capacity as well as the duties that will be required

For example: “Postdoc must have experience in XX function in order to continue grant study which will require publication of results.  Responsibilities will include design and execution of experimental procedures, the maintenance of complete laboratory records of any experiments, the preparation of manuscripts suitable for publication and presentations at internal and external venues as required.” 

·         Department Chair’s name, degree and title. (A copy of the letter will be forwarded to their office)

2.  Status Letter - A second letter detailing status information/benefits can be completed at the same time as the letter of offer if the funding source is known.  The status letter will have to be completed before the start date and be attached to appointment paperwork along with letter of offer and required documentation needed by other areas.  The only question needed to be answered for the status letter is:

·         Will the postdoc be paid from a training grant (IRS defined fellowship)?

The Office of Postdoctoral Education will print letters on postdoctoral letterhead and forward to department for signatures along with a packet of information about UAB and the community.

UAB strongly encourages mentors to fund according to the NIH guidelines (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-07-052.html).  If the funding source cannot meet these levels, the 2009 UAB minimum entrance salary for a postdoc is $34,500.00 plus benefits.

A proof of degree (in English), CV, and copies of signed letters are required in the Office of Postdoctoral Education before the new postdoc can be approved in the UAB Oracle system.

Please contact the Office of Postdoctoral Education at 975-7020 or sharontj@uab.edu with any questions.

Page 2
Sample Letter of Offer to be printed on Office of Postdoctoral Education letterhead

Today’s date

Postdoc’s name, degree

Street Address

City, State, Zip

Dear Dr. __________

We are pleased to offer you an appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of __________, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), reporting to Dr. __________. Your appointment is for one year, effective __________ - __________ .   Pending satisfactory progress, your appointment may be renewable annually for up to an additional three years upon written agreement between you and Dr. __________. Your annual award amount will be $__________ and will consist of salary and/or fellowship, with the specific content to be determined later by UAB.

A postdoctoral position is a time-limited appointment, the primary purpose of which is to provide research and/or scholarly training for an academic or research career. As a postdoctoral scholar under the direction of Dr. __________ in the Department/Division of __________ at UAB, you will be engaged in research activities that will include, but may not be limited to the following:

·         Please provided a brief overview of performance expectations, responsibilities and position requirements to be place in this area 

Early in your training period career goals and objectives for your program will be discussed with Dr. __________. Training as a postdoc includes all relevant academic activities related to the preparation for a career in research or academia. These are typically: manuscript preparation of research findings, reading broadly the literature, manuscript reviewing, presentations at meetings, attendance and presentation at seminars, organization and attendance at training related activities (including grantsmanship workshops and limited training in teaching related activities). All these activities should have the objective of enhancing the performance of the trainee in the pursuit of the research related projects from which they draw their support. In many cases the training component of a postdoctoral position may involve the joint preparation and development of proposals for extramural funding. Participation in these activities should be discussed with your mentor.

Please understand that this offer of appointment is contingent upon our receipt of written confirmation that you have been awarded a terminal degree. Proof of your degree (in English) must be received in the Office of Postdoctoral Education before the appointment will be finalized.

Page two

Letter of Offer

Today’s date

Further, during your appointment as a postdoctoral scholar at UAB, you will be subject to the applicable policies and procedures of UAB and the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. Any questions or concerns you may have regarding your appointment or University policies and procedures may be directed to your faculty supervisor or to the Office of Postdoctoral Education.

You also will be required to attend during your first year a Postdoc Orientation which will be scheduled at least twice a year. You will receive a notification of when and where the Orientation will be scheduled.

We are excited about the prospect of your joining the Department/Division of __________ as a Postdoctoral Scholar. We feel confident you will find that the research environment at UAB will provide ample opportunity for you to further your professional development. 

Please indicate your acceptance of this appointment by signing below and returning a copy of this letter to your department who will provide a copy to this office.

Sincerely,

__________________________                                __________________________

Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D.                                          Mentor name, degree

Associate Dean                                                           University job title

Office of Postdoctoral Education                              Department of __________

Cc:       Department Chairman/Division Director name, degree

            University job title

            Department of __________                                                              

            I accept this offer as a postdoctoral scholar in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of ____________, reporting to Dr. __________.

                                                                        __________________________

Postdoc’s name, degree                                                      (Date)

Street Address

City, State, Zip


Sample Status 21 letter to be printed on Office of Postdoctoral Education letterhead

Today’s date

Postdoc’s name, degree

Street Address

City, State, Zip

Re:       Appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar Employee (status code 21)

Dear Dr. __________

Congratulations on your new postdoctoral appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Your appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar Employee (status code 21) in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of __________, reporting to Dr. __________, is effective ______ - ______.  Pending satisfactory progress, your appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar may be renewable annually for up to an additional three years upon written agreement between you and Dr. __________. The service that you provide to UAB will be designed to enhance your professional development, as well as contribute to the teaching and research missions of the University. Your annual compensation will be $__________.

As a Postdoctoral Scholar Employee, you are eligible for benefits which include single or family insurance coverage by UAB Viva Health, group term life insurance, and long term disability insurance, all at no cost to you. Details about these as well as elective benefits available will be explained to you in detail during the Human Resource Management orientation or by scheduling an appointment with the Benefits office (934-3458). A representative of your department is responsible for scheduling a date for your orientation. Please note that you have 31 days from your starting date to enroll in coverage or you will not have another opportunity for enrollment until “Open Enrollment” period usually in October with coverage to begin in January. If you are not a citizen of the United States, the International Scholar and Student Services office will contact you regarding tax related information.

The final step to complete the appointment process is to provide the OPE with proof of your degree (in English) and to complete a Postdoctoral Scholar Personal Data Form after you arrive at UAB. This form is enclosed and may also be found on the postdoctoral Web page at www.postdocs.uab.edu. The Postdoctoral Scholar Personal Data Form requests information needed for UAB and governmental record-keeping. We especially need your UAB campus e-mail address to enable the OPE to contact you regarding opportunities available to enhance your training while at UAB. Our intent is to help you make your postdoctoral experience as productive and rewarding as it can be.

Page Two

Status 21 letter

Today’s date

Please indicate your acknowledgement and acceptance of these conditions by signing below and returning to your department.

Sincerely,

__________________________                                _________________________

Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D.                                          Mentor, degree           

Associate Dean                                                           University job title     

Office of Postdoctoral Education                              Department of __________

Cc:       Department Chairman/Division Director, degree

            University job title

            Department of __________

I accept this offer as a postdoctoral scholar employee (status code 21) in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of __________, reporting to Dr. __________.

_________________________                      _________________________

Postdocs’s name, degree                                                 (Date)

Enclosure


Sample Status 20 letter to be printed on Office of Postdoctoral Education letterhead

 

Today’s date

Postdoc’s name, degree

Street address

City, State, Zip

Re:       Appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee (status code 20)

Dear Dr. __________

Congratulations on your new postdoctoral appointment to a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) training grant. Your appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee (status code 20) in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of __________, reporting to Dr. __________ is effective ______ - ______ .  Pending satisfactory progress, your appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar may be renewable annually for up to an additional three years upon written agreement between you and Dr. __________. Your fellowship award amount will be $__________. This award is intended to aid you in your advanced training and research pursuits as described in the letter of offer dated __________. No services to UAB are required as a condition to receiving this fellowship.

In accordance with regulations, federal, state, and local income taxes will not be withheld from your award amount if you are a citizen of the United States. The State of Alabama, Jefferson County, and the City of Birmingham currently excludes fellowships (in this case, training grant funds) from taxation in their entirety.  You may have to file federal quarterly estimated income tax returns and pay quarterly taxes to comply with individual income tax regulations. Please consult an income tax professional or the IRS (1-800-829-1040) for advice on this matter. If you are not a citizen of the United States, the International Scholar and Student Services office will contact you regarding tax related information.

As a postdoctoral scholar, you are eligible for single or family health insurance coverage through VIVA Health with the full premiums paid by the University. However, the premium paid by UAB must be reported as additional taxable fellowship dollars on your federal tax return. If you wish, you have the option to purchase single or family dental coverage. You have the opportunity to complete application forms for health and dental insurance during the Human Resource Management orientation or by scheduling an appointment with the Benefits Office (934-3458). A representative of your department is responsible for scheduling a date for your orientation. Please note that you have 31 days from your starting date to enroll in coverage or you will not have another opportunity for enrollment until “Open Enrollment” period which is usually in October with coverage to begin in January. 

Page two

Status 20 letter

April 22, 2005

The final step to complete the appointment process is to provide the OPE with proof of your degree (in English) and to complete a Postdoctoral Scholar Personal Data Form after you arrive at UAB. This form is enclosed and may also be found on the postdoctoral Web page at www.postdocs.uab.edu. The Postdoctoral Scholar Personal Data Form requests information needed for UAB and governmental record-keeping. We especially need your UAB campus e-mail address to enable the OPE to contact you regarding opportunities available to enhance your training while at UAB. Our intent is to help you make your postdoctoral experience as productive and rewarding as it can be.

Please indicate your acknowledgement and acceptance of these conditions by signing the attached form and returning to your department. 

Sincerely,

___________________________                              ___________________________

Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D.                                          Mentor, degree

Associate Dean                                                           University job title

Office of Postdoctoral Education                              Department of __________

Cc:       Department Chairman/Division Director, degree

            University job title

            Department of __________

I accept this offer as a Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee (status code 20) in the School of __________, Department of __________, Division of __________, reporting to Dr. __________.

___________________________                              ___________________________

Postdocs’s name, degree                                                                 (Date)

UAB News

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Dennis McLernon will direct Bruce Norris’ “Clybourne Park” at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center Oct. 15-19.

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty members Won Cho and Yakov Kasman will be featured in a recital at Reynolds-Kirchbaum Recital Hall at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center Oct. 30.