Dear UAB Faculty Member:

The documents located above 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:

1. 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

2. 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.

3. Within the first 30 days of an appointment, it is required to draft an individual development plan (IDP).  The IDP will state expectations for your trainee's research project as well as describe their career goals and objectives; a copy must be forwarded to the OPE for documentation. Three months following the drafting of the IDP, you will meet with your trainee to formally review progress with regard to the research training. If you determine that your trainee requires remediation and/or additional training in order to successfully perform the research project, a three month probationary period will begin. If research performance has not improved and/or if there is a lack of research progress as defined in the IDP following the probationary period or at any other time thereafter prior to the appointment end date, the appointment may be terminated with one month’s notice. Please note that, per the UAB Attendance Policy, three consecutive absences without approval from your mentor at any time during your appointment may initiate the termination process. Further, if termination is based upon either academic or non-academic misconduct, advance notice of termination maybe waived. In any case of possible early termination, the case must be discussed with the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs prior to termination.

4. The offer letter should include a description of performance expectations, responsibilities and position requirements.

5. 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 feedback 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.

6. We offer several competitive awards during the year for postdocs – see the OPE website for information.

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.


Lisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D.
Associate Dean Office of Postdoctoral Education
Professor of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology