Thinking about UTHSC for your Postdoc Career

Definition of a Postdoctoral Research Trainee

Postdoctoral Research Trainees are individuals who typically come to UTHSC to further their training in a chosen discipline after recently obtaining their terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.V.M.). This training is for a limited term, expected to last no more than five years with any given UTHSC mentor. It is conducted in an apprenticeship mode where the trainee works under the supervision of an investigator who is qualified to fulfill the responsibilities of a mentor.

Postdoctoral Research Trainees are classified as special employees of the University with benefits and work conditions as described below. Other individuals, such as Research Associates or Clinical Fellows/Residents completing a period of research training may utilize some of the training principles and goals listed below; however, their benefits and work conditions are different and are described on the Human Resources benefits page for Research Associates and on the Office of Graduate Medical Education Policy page for Clinical Fellows/Residents.

Postdoctoral training in a given mentor's lab is expected to be completed within five years. Plans to extend beyond five years should be discussed with the Postdoc Office before re-appointment for additional years. It is the mentor's responsibility to support and, when possible, assist in the postdoc's transition to the next stage of his/her career.  When the mentor concludes that the training is nearing its conclusion, he/she shall meet with the postdoc to discuss a transition plan. Following this meeting, the mentor will provide the postdoc with written confirmation of the agreed-upon date for termination as well as plans for transition of lab duties. It is expected that this notice shall be provided at least three months prior to the anticipated transition date unless precluded by extenuating circumstances such as changes in the availability of funding. Should the postdoc wish to terminate training at a time of his/her choosing, he/she should discuss the timing of this termination with his/her mentor. Notice should be at least one month prior to the planned termination in order to assure a smooth transition of laboratory duties. Copies of resignation letters and/or of the mentor's plans for termination should be provided to the Postdoc Office.

It is the policy of UTHSC that all original notebooks, research data and reagents generated in UTHSC research groups are the property of UTHSC. Before leaving the University, postdocs should provide these items to the faculty mentor sufficiently organized to allow for smooth continuation of the research project(s). These materials must remain with the faculty mentor; however, the postdoc may be provided copies of these data and access to the materials unless otherwise restricted by UTHSC policies.

Upon leaving UTHSC, postdocs are required to return to the UTHSC Campus police all keys to buildings, offices, labs and other facilities. University IDs should be returned to the Campus police. Campus police may inactivate an ID within 24 hours of the end of an appointment, rendering the ID inoperable when used to access parking lots and locked buildings. Postdocs must also complete a UTHSC Employee Clearance Record form provided by the home department. The form must be signed by the home department, library, bookstore, parking service, cashier's office, human resources and payroll office in order to clear postdocs of outstanding books, tools, phone card, uniforms, equipment, parking citations, return checks charges. Any unresolved charges will be deducted from postdocs' final paychecks.

Training Certificates

The Postdoctoral Office offers certificates to postdocs to recognize the completion of their training. These certificates will display the postdoc's name, training program or project, departmental affiliation, and dates of training and contain the embossed seal of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. To request a certificate before leaving UTHSC, postdocs should download the following form: Certification of Completion.

Exit Survey

Upon leaving a postdoc position at UTHSC, postdocs are expected to complete an exit survey. Information from the survey will be used in a confidential manner to help enhance the postdoc program for future postdocs and mentors. A copy of the survey can be found at this link: Exit Survey.

Applying for a position

All open positions at UTHSC are displayed on the posting page; candidates must specify the job posting(s) for which they intend to apply. UTHSC does not accept applications to a general UTHSC postdoc pool:

1. Proof of doctoral degree

Employment at UTHSC will become effective only after an application and proof of completion of a doctoral degree have been submitted. If the final degree has not yet been formally conferred, but all requirements have been met, the candidate may present evidence of completion of the degree together with a statement of completion of all requirements from the prospective home institution's Registrar's Office or Dean of Graduate Studies. This statement should indicate the date on which all requirements were completed and the expected degree conferral date. If the degree is not formally conferred by the projected date, the postdoc shall be terminated.

2. Visa status

A postdoc candidate must prove that he/she is eligible to work in the United States by completing Form I-9 and providing appropriate documentation. The hiring department will provide this form. Postdocs coming from abroad may require UTHSC sponsorship before beginning an appointment at UTHSC. The University's International Affairs Office, located at 227C Johnson Building, can provide information regarding non-immigrant visas. (See contact information below.) The sponsoring faculty member or department will provide assistance in completing the appropriate application.

UTHSC International Office
Connie L. Childs, Director
phone: 901-448-8484
FAX: 901-448-1870

Mailing Address:
847 Monroe, #277C
Memphis, TN 38163