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All the following steps must be completed for the appointment process to be finalized in the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE).

1. Appointment Letter

All postdoctoral appointments and re-appointments are coordinated through the OPE.

STEP 1: If the appointment will be in Heersink School of Medicine, the departmental chair, departmental administrator, or fiscal officer of the requesting department must first complete and sign the Medicine Postdoc Approval Form opens a new website to document that funding for support of the new hire is in place. Once completed and signed, the form should be uploaded with the appointment letter request. No HSOM appointment letter will be prepared without receipt of the Medicine Postdoc Approval Form.

STEP 2: The departmental administrator or faculty mentor will submit the information needed for the detailed appointment letter. This information will be printed on OPE letterhead, signed by the Senior Associate Dean, sent to the mentor for his/her signature, and then forwarded to the postdoc applicant. In some cases, the appointment letter needs to be sent several weeks or months prior to the actual starting date (for example, to begin the visa process) and will specify the following:

  • postdoc's name, degree, and mailing address
  • department or division to which the postdoc is assigned
  • effective date of appointment and if renewable for up to three years
  • duration of appointment and possibility of re-appointment
  • mentor's name, degree, and title
  • annual award/stipend amount 
  • a description of research activities and expectations in which the postdoc will be involved and the qualifications needed by the postdoc to complete these activities

Mentors may agree but are not required to provide relocation support to postdoctoral scholars as a part of a recruitment package. If mentors decide to support postdoctoral scholars by providing additional resources, the following must be stated explicitly in the position offer letter.

Postdoctoral 21 (employee)

  • "As a part of your start up package, you will receive an incentive of $ . This incentive is subject to tax withholdings and will be included through your next direct deposit."

Postdoctoral 20 (trainee)

  • "As a part of your start up package, you will receive an additional award of $ . This additional award is subject to federal tax reporting and will be included through your next direct deposit."

Once the postdoctoral scholar is hired, an ACT document will need to be created with the document reason of Nonrecurring Element. The element is "Trainee 1T" for Postdoctoral Trainees (Status 20) and "Start-Up 1T" for Postdoctoral Employee (Status 21).

An accepted offer is signified by the postdoctoral scholar's signature with a copy of the signed letter kept in the OPE. The department will keep the original letters.

International Candidates: If the prospective scholar will need assistance in entering the USA, the department will contact UAB's International Scholar and Student Services opens a new website (ISSS) when the letter of offer is ready to be mailed. ISSS will process visa information and forward to the postdoc.

2. Mentor Letter

This letter informs the mentor of their duties to the incoming postdoctoral scholar, and by signing the Mentor Letter, the faculty member acknowledges the conditions of hiring and training a postdoc at UAB.

Signed copies of both the letter of offer and the mentor letter should be forwarded to the department administrator or to the mentor, who should provide copies to OPE.

3. Proof of Degree

The appointment letter states that the appointment is contingent upon receipt of written confirmation that a terminal degree has been awarded. Proof of the degree is required by the appointment date. Proof of degree can be a transcript showing the awarding of the degree, an actual copy of the degree, or statement of completion, translated into English if necessary.

If the terminal degree has not yet been awarded at the time of appointment, but all requirements have been completed leading to the award, a letter can be submitted from the Graduate School or director of the degree program confirming that the degree is forthcoming.

Appointment to the UAB system will not be finalized until proof of degree is received by OPE.

4. Copy of Curriculum Vitae

An up-to-date copy of the curriculum vitae is required at the time of appointment for our files.

5. Departmental Personnel Officer

The postdoc should also contact their departmental personnel officer as soon as possible after their arrival. The personnel officer will also need additional documents completed in order to process the postdoc's appointment into the UAB system. The OPE will schedule the postdoc's orientation session with HR Training and Development.

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