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A postdoctoral appointment may be terminated or ended at any time during the appointment for a variety of reasons, including when the postdoc decides to leave Vanderbilt before the end of their appointment or for a violation of relevant Vanderbilt and/or VUMC policies. All postdocs are expected to adhere to relevant Vanderbilt policies (and VUMC policies if VUMC employed/paid). 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.

2. Unsatisfactory performance: If a postdoc’s performance remains unsatisfactory after an initial period of evaluation, the mentor will 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: Cases of misconduct will be addressed on a case by case basis in consultation with the appropriate offices and may lead to immediate dismissal.


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

Trainee (VU or VUMC) 1. 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.

BAFs are located at:

2. Termination:
VU: via Oracle Cloud

VUMC: Stipend Request Form : follow the instructions for submission on the form.
VU Postdoc Scholar, Research or VUMC Research FellowTermination – submit termination information in the appropriate system:

VU: via Oracle Cloud
VUMC: via ePac


Please email if you have any questions.


Updated: January 5, 2021