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  • Missing or Distressed Scholars

    Missing or Distressed Scholars

    UAB Police Emergency Telephone Numbers

    • ON CAMPUS: 911
    • OFF CAMPUS: (205) 934-3535

    Missing Postdoctoral Scholars

    1. Call and email the postdoc with a request to reply as soon as possible.
    2. Contact the postdoc’s mentor to determine if they have knowledge of the postdoc’s circumstances.
    3. If no response:
      • Call the postdoc’s emergency contact(s) and request that they contact the postdoc and ask him/her to reply to the program as soon as possible.
      • If the emergency contact reports that they are unable to reach the postdoc and they have significant concern, they should be instructed to call the UAB police and request that they visit the postdoc’s residence. You may need to provide information on the postdoc’s vehicle as well an address of residence.
      • Please Note: UAB legal recommends that UAB faculty or staff should not personally go to the postdoc’s residence, due to concerns for the personal safety of faculty or staff or other potential liability issues.
    4. If the emergency contact cannot be reached, UAB Police can be contacted for further assistance.

      The police have the responsibility to communicate further with the family depending on the nature of the outcome of the investigation. They may instruct the family to contact the local police department and/or the local fire department for further assistance if there is an urgent health concern. Depending upon the circumstances, the police may or may not communicate their findings with staff in addition to the family.
    5. If it is reported that the postdoc is found to be deceased or in distress, The Office of Postdoctoral Education Staff and others listed below should be contacted immediately:
      • Lisa Schwiebert, Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education: (205) 934-3970, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. After hours contact: (205) 965-6504.
      • Joe Talty, Program Director: (205) 975-7021. After hours contact (205) 999-3397

      UAB police will also contact the OPE if information is received by the agency that a postdoc is missing or in distress.
    6. The Office of Postdoctoral Education Staff should be in contact with the family to offer assistance as necessary. OPE will contact (based on the specific situation):
      • Media Relations
      • Housing and Residential Life
      • Student Counseling Services (after hours), (205) 934-5816, to offer grief counseling information to classmates as soon as practical.
      • Disability Support Services, International Postdoc and Scholars, etc.
      • Risk Management, Legal Counsel, etc.
      • Vice President for Postdoc Affairs/Provost
      • Family member(s) as appropriate
      • Registrar’s Office (in cases where Postdoc is deceased)

    Student Counseling Services

    Postdocs with Apparently Urgent Mental Health or Suicide Issues

    For situations involving mental health that are not urgent, contact UAB's Student Counseling Services.

    1. If the postdoc is on campus, someone (faculty, staff, or postdoc, as appropriate to the immediate situation) should take the postdoc to UAB Hospital Emergency Room immediately. If the postdoc is unwilling, or there is any reason to believe they will not be cooperative, contact the UAB police for further assistance.
      • UAB Hospital Emergency Room, North Pavilion opens a new website. 615 18th Street South (Walk-in Emergency Entrance on 18th Street South).
      • UAB Police: 911 (on campus) or (205) 934-3535 (off campus)
    2. The Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education or the Office of Postdoctoral Education staff should call the ER and speak to the Psych nurse to explain the situation. The ER physician will assess the postdoc and typically request an emergency psychiatric consultation.
      • UAB Hospital ER: (205) 934-5105
    3. If the postdoc is not on campus, ask the postdoc if there is a friend or family member who can come to get them at their residence or to meet them somewhere and transport to the ER. If the postdoc is unwilling, contact UAB police for further assistance.
      Please note: UAB legal recommends that UAB Faculty or Staff should not personally go to the Postdoc’s residence, due to concerns for the personal safety of Faculty or Staff or other potential liability issues.
    4. Follow the steps in #5 above.
  • Probationary Period

    Probationary Period

    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 research project as well as describe your career goals and objectives. A copy must be forwarded to the OPE for documentation (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Three months following the drafting of the IDP, you will meet with your advisor to formally review progress with regard to the research training.

    If it is determined that remediation and/or additional training is required 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 opens a new website, three consecutive absences without approval from your mentor at any time during an 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 Dr. Lisa Schweibert, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs prior to termination (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

  • Grievance Policy and Resolution

    Grievance Policy and Resolution

    The Grievance Policy and Resolution Procedure for postdoctoral scholars of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internal mechanism designed to assure prompt and impartial consideration of complaints that may arise in the workplace. The Dispute Resolution Procedure is available to all postdoctoral scholars. UAB postdoctoral scholars may use it without penalty or fear of reprisal.

    The procedure is a two-step process. A formal grievance may be invoked only after the prospective grievant has first reported the basis for their dispute to the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education (Associate Dean). The Associate Dean shall have a reasonable opportunity to resolve the dispute informally before a grievance can be initiated. If the Associate Dean's effort to resolve the dispute is unsuccessful, they will notify the postdoctoral scholar of their right to initiate a formal grievance.

    In order to initiate a grievance, a postdoctoral scholar must provide a written statement to the Associate Dean in which they state specifically the facts believed to support the charge and the desired outcome no later than 30 days following notification from the Associate Dean that a formal grievance may be initiated. After having determined that the facts stated by the postdoctoral scholar may be grieved, the Associate Dean shall notify the responding party that a grievance has been filed, shall provide a copy of the charge, and shall allow the responding party five (5) work days in which to provide to the Associate Dean their response to the allegation(s) made by the grievant.

    Guidelines for assessment and monitoring the performance of postdoctoral scholars in all aspects of their position are defined in You and UAB Handbook for Administrative, Professional, and Support Personnel. Guidelines in respect of scientific conduct are defined in the Faculty Handbook and Policies. Both documents can be found in the UAB Policies and Procedures Library opens a new website.

    Following receipt of the statement from the responding party, the Associate Dean will select a committee of three faculty members and two postdoctoral fellows to hear the grievance and shall provide to the Committee the written statements of the parties. The faculty members chosen to serve on the Committee shall not have had prior knowledge of the issue(s) grieved. After having chosen one of their number to be chairperson, the Committee shall determine the date of the grievance hearing and shall notify the parties of the date and time of the hearing, which shall not be sooner than five (5) work days from the date notification is sent to the parties by the Committee.

    Each party shall be required to provide to the Committee a list of potential supporting witnesses, if any, and a brief statement describing what information each witness has regarding the facts at issue. A witness should be a person with first-hand knowledge of facts pertinent to the resolution of the issue(s) grieved.

    The formal grievance hearing shall not be bound by formal rules of evidence or judicial rules of procedure. The Committee may hear any testimony or receive any supporting evidence that it deems to be pertinent to the issue(s) grieved. Both the grievant and the responding party may be present throughout the hearing. The grievant may also be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing, however, the advisor may not participate in the hearing, other than to advise the grievant.

    The grievant shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard, to question witnesses indirectly through the Committee, to rebut adverse evidence, and to make a brief closing statement. Members of the Committee may ask any questions at any time during the hearing and may elect to disallow or to curtail testimony that the Committee determines to be unnecessarily redundant or not probative of the issue(s) being heard. Throughout the hearing, all persons present shall conduct themselves in an orderly manner.

    The Committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the hearing at all times. Hearings before the Committee are confidential proceeding and only those persons determined by the Committee to have a need to be present shall be included. Except for the grievant, the responding party and the advisor of the grievant, if any, all other witnesses shall be excluded from the hearing room, except when testifying. No more than one witness shall be called to testify at a time.

    All questioning of witnesses shall be by the Committee unless the Committee shall decide otherwise. Although the specific procedure for the conduct of the hearing may vary somewhat, the process shall generally include the following:

    1. call to order by the Chair;
    2. introduction of those present;
    3. statement of the issue(s) grieved;
    4. presentation of the evidence and testimony in support of the issue(s) grieved;
    5. questioning of grievant's witnesses;
    6. presentation of evidence and testimony in opposition to the charge;
    7. questioning of responding party's witnesses;
    8. closing statements.

    As soon as practical following the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee shall meet in private session to consider all of the evidence presented, and shall decide on one of two outcomes. The outcome shall be determined by a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, that is, that the facts more likely than not either prove or disprove the issue(s) before the Committee. The decision of the Committee shall be that the issue(s) is either

    1. proven by a preponderance of the evidence or
    2. not proven by a preponderance of the evidence.

    Following their deliberations, the Committee shall provide a brief narrative statement explaining its finding(s) and a summary of the supporting facts. The Committee's written decision shall be transmitted to the Associate Dean for appropriate action. The Associate Dean shall notify the grievant and the responding party of the committee's decision and any action to be taken as a result of the Committee's findings.

    Upon notification to the grievant of an adverse outcome, the Associate Dean shall also advise the grievant of their right to appeal the Committee's decision in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School. An appeal to the Graduate School Dean shall be limited to the presentation of new, previously unavailable evidence, and/or the identification of procedural error in the hearing process.

    After a review of any new evidence presented on appeal and a review of the process afforded the grievant, the Graduate School Dean shall notify the grievant, the responding party and the Associate Dean of their decision, which shall be final.

  • Tuition Benefit, Class Registration, and Dropping Classes

    Tuition Benefit, Class Registration, and Dropping Classes

    The OPE provides six (6) credit hours of tuition per appointment year for each trainee. Postdocs are expected to attend all courses they register for. Postdocs are highly encouraged to speak with the course instructor prior to enrolling in a class to ensure it will provide the information needed to help take the next step in their career, and that the postdoc is informed of the expectations of students taking the course. Postdocs will be allowed to register for classes, and drop classes until the Last Day to Drop/Add (Without paying full Tuition & Fees), as listed in the Academic Calendar opens a new website. If a postdoc wishes to drop a course after the Last Day to Drop/Add, they will forfeit the tuition benefit provided by the OPE for the next 12 months.

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