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.