Faculty Mentors & Staff
Postdoctoral Faculty & Staff Administrators
This page is designed to provide information and resources available for faculty and staff administrators who work with Vanderbilt postdoctoral scholars, fellows and trainees (VU and VUMC).
Note: If you have difficulty downloading the documents, please email OPA@vanderbilt.edu and indicate which document(s) you need.
NEW: Office Hours for Training & Technical Assistance
Staff administrators can schedule an appointment for training and technical assistance on the postdoc appointment/reappointment process, postdoc policies and other related topics. Please reach out to OPA@vanderbilt.edu to schedule time.
Postdoctoral Appointments and Reappointments
Postdoctoral scholars, fellows and trainees (both VU and VUMC) are processed and appointed through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) in the VU Graduate School, upon the approval of an individual school or college. The recruitment and selection of postdoctoral appointees occurs at the individual school or college level in accordance with the procedures and policies in the Appointment and Reappointment Guide for Faculty and Staff Administrators. All appointments and reappointments are paperless and managed via a secure, web-based system.
Key Points when Managing a Postdoc
- All postdocs must be appointed to a VU or VUMC academic home department.
- Postdoctoral appointments are one-year terms and may not exceed the maximum five-year term. This includes total training time at other institutions.
- Allow ample time to process initial/first appointments. There are several factors that impact the amount of time it can take to process an initial appointment such as if the appointee’s PhD degree has already been conferred and if the appointee requires immigration documents. All appointees require a background check. The OPA notifies departments when a background check is completed.
- An individual development plan (IDP) is required to be completed by the postdoc and PI/mentor within the first three months after the postdoc’s start date and annually thereafter. All IDPs are completed online.
- Retroactive appointments will not be accepted.
- Clinical residencies/fellowships are considered house staff positions and are not appointed through the OPA.
- Concerns and Complaints
OPA Orientation for University Postdocs
OPA has new postdoc orientation on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. Click here for more information or to register your postdoc.
For VUMC orientation, please contact Faith Bishop in the School of Medicine.
School Point of Contact (SPOC)
All schools and colleges have designated a school point of contact (SPOC) who is responsible for working with their faculty and staff on the appointment/reappointment process. This individual has been trained by OPA and should be your first point of contact. Once a school/college recruits and selects a postdoctoral appointee, it is the responsibility of the SPOC to work with you to complete the required documents and processes before forwarding the appointment request to the OPA.
Faculty (College of A&S, School of Engineering and School of Medicine): Please review school-specific guidelines outlining the process and faculty member’s responsibilities for appointing a postdoc here.