Faculty & Staff Resources

This page provides resources for faculty and staff navigating postdoc appointments and reappointments as well as resources for faculty and staff support of postdocs once they are on campus.

Resources for Faculty

Below are resources for faculty that work or fund postdoctoral fellows.

VU Credentials (dual-identity for VUMC faculty) are needed to view.

 

To post an open postdoc position: 

  • Faculty and administrators may submit job opportunities to be posted on this page by completing this form.
  • When the job has been filled and you would like the post taken down, submit a request via email.
  • Faculty in the School of Medicine can also post positions on the BRET website through their Faculty Profile. Directions are found on this website.

 

If you have any questions or are looking for other resources, please reach out to OPA@vanderbilt.edu.


Postdoc Data Requests

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs can provide postdoc data as needed for training grant submissions, departmental reporting, and population data. To request data, please complete this form (VUnetID or VUMC ID required) and provide as much information as possible.

Please allow 7 to 10 business days for reports, although simple requests will be generated more quickly. If the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs anticipates more than 10 business days, we will be in touch as soon as possible. Additionally, if we cannot provide or do not have the data requested, we will let you know.

Requests with identifying information will be sent via secure file.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to opa@vanderbilt.edu.


Postdoctoral Appointments and Reappointments

Postdoctoral scholars, fellows, and trainees (both VU and VUMC) are processed and appointed through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), upon the approval of an individual school or college. The recruitment and selection of postdoctoral appointees occur 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 all verifications are complete.
  • A postdoctoral appointment is a full-time position. Activities are determined by the department/program. Requests to reduce from 100% FTE must be approved by the faculty advisor, dean of the school/college, and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
  • Departments work with the correct immigration office (ISSS, OIS, or VUMC Immigration) to complete immigration paperwork for incoming postdocs.
  • 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 & Complaints
  • Terminations
  • Stipends and Salaries

    In December 2016, a minimum salary and stipend level for all full-time postdocs was established by Vanderbilt and based on the NIH NRSA stipend recommendations. Annually, when the NIH NRSA stipend recommendations are updated, Vanderbilt’s minimum salary and stipend level for all full-time postdocs are similarly updated. Minimum stipend and salary levels and more information can be found online here.


School Point of Contact (SPOC) and Guides

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.

Below is a list of SPOCs organized by school/college. Policies and procedures, including approved postdoctoral appointee classifications and codes, can be found in the Appointment and Reappointment Guide for Faculty and Staff Administrators (University credentials, VUnetID required).

All school/college administrative guides are located in the Postdoctoral Administrators Microsoft Teams Channel. New administrators should contact OPA@vanderbilt.edu for access and training.

  • School Point of Contacts (SPOC)

    College of Arts and Science
    Zoe Canales
    Administrative Specialist
    615-343-0459

    Peabody College of Education and Human Development
    Scott Gubala
    Assistant to the Dean
    615-322-8264

    School of Engineering
    Brittany Champion
    Senior Administrative Officer to the Dean
    615-936-3160

    School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University
    Aaron Howard
    Grants and Contract Coordinator
    615-875-9050

    School of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Aaron Howard
    Grants and Contract Coordinator
    615-875-9050

    School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    Aaron Howard
    Grants and Contract Coordinator
    615-875-9050

    School of Nursing
    Daien Sanchez
    Program Manager
    615-875-8931

    Divinity School
    Victoria Dorward
    Assistant to the Deans, Office of the Dean
    615-343-3966

    Law School
    Dominique Millen
    Chief of Staff
    615-343-6245

    Owen Graduate School of Management
    Morgan Leeson
    Program Coordinator
    615-343-0834

    Blair School of Music
    Tania Carter
    Administrative Manager
    615-322-7660

  • Training and Technical Assistance

    OPA Open Office Hours will take place every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

    Staff administrators can attend OPA Open Office Hours for training and technical assistance on the postdoc appointment/reappointment process, postdoc policies, and other related topics. All office hours are currently via Zoom. Please use this link to let us know you would like to join. A calendar invite and Zoom link will be sent.

    For any other questions, please email opa@vanderbilt.edu.


Orientation and Onboarding for New Postdocs

This section is for Vanderbilt University postdoc orientation.

All Vanderbilt University Postdocs (9145, 9146, 9136) should attend the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs orientation.

This is a 90-minute orientation to give new postdocs information on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, resources on campus and benefits information (if applicable). Orientations take place once a month, on the second Wednesday, at 9:00 a.m.

Please choose one of the below links to register your postdoc for orientation. Please put their name and email in the reservation. They will automatically receive the Microsoft Teams meeting link information, as well as a reminder email.

Please use the link below to register the postdoc for orientation.

Human Resources Benefits Orientation

The Benefits Team has created a webpage for all new hires. In lieu of a synchronous orientation, new hires can access all benefit information along with vendor presentations at their own pace.

The website provides great detail into all benefit offerings, eligibility and the deadline to enroll.  The benefits team is always available to answer questions regarding benefits, please have your new hires contact us via email at benefits@vanderbilt.edu.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Research (job code: 9145) HR Benefits Information

Postdocs will additionally receive this information when registered for the above OPA orientation.

If you have any questions, please email opa@vanderbilt.edu.

Orientation for VU Postdocs

  • OPA holds VU postdoc orientation on the second Wednesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. All Vanderbilt University Postdocs (9145, 9146, 9136) should attend the OPA orientation. This is a 90-minute orientation to give new postdocs information on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, resources on campus and benefits information.
  • At this time, all OPA orientations are taking place virtually.
  • Postdocs classified as 9145 (VU-employed) are also expected to review VU Human Resources benefits website. New hires can access all benefit information along with vendor presentations at their own pace. 

More information for new postdoc hires can be found online here.


Terminations

A postdoctoral appointment is at-will and may be terminated or ended at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice. However, absent extraordinary circumstances or misconduct, at least two months’ written notice should be provided before ending a postdoctoral appointment.

Prior to taking action, the faculty mentor must discuss the proposed termination in advance with the postdoc, department chair, and/ or the respective school dean. A faculty mentor should pay particular attention to the following situations and guidelines:

  1. Loss of funding: At least two months before the last day on which the postdoc performs duties, the postdoc should be given written notice of the loss of funding which will result in the ending of the appointment. A funding loss template letter is found in the Postdoctoral Affairs Administrators SharePoint.
  2. Unsatisfactory performance: If a postdoc’s performance remains unsatisfactory after a sufficient period of evaluation and allowable time for corrective action, the faculty mentor should provide at least two months’ written notice before ending the appointment, unless misconduct is involved. Written documentation of any performance concerns and needed corrective actions should be given to the postdoc in a timely fashion, outlining a time frame for corrective action and the consequences of continued unsatisfactory performance, including termination of the appointment. Any performance concerns and plans for corrective action should also be carefully documented in the annual IDP.
  3. Misconduct: All postdocs are expected to adhere to relevant Vanderbilt policies (and VUMC policies if VUMC employed/paid). Cases of misconduct will be addressed on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the appropriate offices and may lead to immediate termination.

Non-Renewals

If a postdoc appointment will not be renewed, the postdoc should be provided written notice stating the non-renewal at least two months before the last day of the current appointment.

A non-renewal template letter is found in the Postdoctoral Affairs Administrators SharePoint.

Postdoc Resignation

Postdocs should provide a one-month working notice prior to resignation per relevant Vanderbilt and VUMC policies.

Postdoc PTO/leave time is not paid out if unused.

Regardless of the reason for the termination, the department must submit the following to terminate a postdoctoral appointment:

  • Trainee (VU or VUMC)
    • Benefits Action Form (BAF) – follow the instructions for submission on the form. Required to terminate insurance coverage. Submit a BAF prior to the requested termination date OR no later than two weeks after the requested termination date. Center numbers and/or COA/POETS will continue to be charged until a termination BAF is received.
    • Termination:

    Please email OPA@vanderbilt.edu if you have any questions.

  • VU Postdoc Scholar, Research or VUMC Research Fellow

    Termination – submit termination information in the appropriate system:

    • VU: via Oracle Cloud
    • VUMC: via WorkDay

    Please email OPA@vanderbilt.edu if you have any questions.