Postdoctoral Fellows 

Postdoc appointments are characterized by all of the following conditions:
  • the appointee was recently (within the last eight years) awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., Sc.D., M.D.);
  • the appointment is temporary;
  • the appointment involves substantially full-time research or scholarship;
  • the appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time academic and/or research career;
  • the appointee works under the supervision of a faculty member; and
  • the appointee has the freedom and is expected to publish the results of his or her research or scholarship during the period of appointment.
  • the appointee may teach one accredited course per semester in addition to his or her normal research appointment duties.


Postdocs fall under a special category of temporary employment defined by University Policy 102.10. There are two key features of Policy #102.10 that faculty investigators should know:
  • The Graduate School in coordination with The Office of Academic Affairs and Research and Economic Development has the responsibility for monitoring and applying policies that relate to postdoctoral appointments. Postdoc appointments are made using Academic Affairs Form AA-35 ("Agreement for Temporary Postdoctoral Fellow Appointment") and require the signature of the Department Chair, Dean, and the Senior Associate Provost of Academic Affairs.
  • A key feature of Research and Economic Development’s joint oversight is the degree to which the University's postdoc hiring is nationally visible. It is critical for UNC Charlotte's development as a research university that we be known for hiring Postdocs and for treating them well. Consequently, Postdoc opportunities should be communicated nationally within the discipline. This doesn't necessarily mean that expensive advertisements are needed, but rather that we make an effort to inform colleagues throughout the country of our openings.
  • Postdocs are appointed for one year and may be renewed for additional one-year increments. However, Postdocs will be limited to not more than five years' total duration, and we will count prior experience as a Postdoc in that five-year total. 
  • Funding source changes do not require pre-approval and can be handled by a superseding PD-7, however if the appointment terms change (e.g. change in duties, change in pay, change in dates) a new contract may be required and the hiring department should contact the Office of Academic Budget and Personnel in advance of any proposed changes.  Appointment term changes should be rare exceptions. 


As temporary employees, postdocs will not accrue vacation or sick leave. However, the University recognizes that postdocs will likely work non-standard hours in the course of their duties, and faculty supervisors may make appropriate arrangements for compensatory leave in accordance with the specific working conditions.

University Policy 102.10 states that "the Chancellor is authorized to arrange for Postdoctoral Fellows such health care coverage and retirement benefits as may be appropriate, consistent with the requirements of law and University policy." Under that Policy Statement, the University has classified postdocs as students for health care purposes, and the University's student health fee will be paid as a fringe benefit. The University will also pay for supplementary student health insurance for the employee, and the postdoc may pay to add family members to the insurance plan. Under this coverage, the postdoc first goes to the Student Health Center and may then be referred to outside primary health-care providers; family members may go directly to outside providers for health care.  The University does not currently provide a retirement benefit but is exploring possible options for such a benefit.

The Postdoc Medical Insurance premium for the 2022-2023 academic year:


Annual Amount

Blue Cross Blue Shield


Student Health Center


Total Postdoc Medical Insurance



For those Postdocs with insured spouses, their monthly premium will be an additional $401.37. The monthly premium to cover children will be an additional $408.67 (the child rate does not depend on the number of children enrolled). The monthly premium to cover family (spouse and child/ren) will be an additional $807.15.
If a spouse and/or children are not currently insured under this plan, the Postdoc may add them with an effective date of July 1, 2022, during the open-enrollment period (July 1 through July 31). 

Find more information about what the Student Health Center fee covers here.

For policy coverage details, please call 800-762-8505 or visit the “Student Blue” portal of Blue Cross/Blue Shield: (Here is a guide for navigating the portal.)

Note: Coverage begins the first of the month following the month of hire and ends the last day of the month of appointment (does not extend for 30 days). For questions regarding eligibility, please contact Aura Young with the Center for Graduate Life and Learning at