What is a Postdoc?: Postdoctoral Appointments at UNLV
A postdoctoral appointment is a temporary specialized education and training position in research, teaching, performance, or scholarship. It is established for the continued education and professional growth of the candidate. The appointment is under the direction of faculty sponsor(s) and it can be in any discipline or academic unit on campus. Below is important information on the appointment terms of postdoctoral scholars, according to the Board of Regents Handbook (Title 4, Chapter 7, Sections 5 – 7), and the UNLV Top Tier Postdoctoral Scholar Committee.
Minimum Appointment Percentage
A Postdoctoral appointment must be of at least 50 percent FTE (BOR Handbook: Title 4, Chapter 7, Section 5).
Minimum and Maximum Length of a Postdoctoral Position
The minimum length of a postdoctoral position is usually one year, while 2 or 3 years is typical, and 4 or 5 years is not customary. NSHE does not allow postdocs over 5 years (Title 4, Chapter 7, Section 6). Research positions that do not meet this requirement should be established using other available employment types and recruitment strategies.
Degree Requirements for a Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment
Completion of a doctoral degree in the appropriate or related discipline is required.
Minimum Base Salary Policy
The minimum allowable base salary through UNLV’s HR is $42,800. However, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs recommends a minimum salary of $50,000 based on the National Postdoctoral Association.
Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits
Below we provide a snapshot of Postdoctoral Scholar benefits at UNLV. For additional information, please visit the UNLV Human Resources Benefits webpage or check-out the specific links below.
- Health Insurance Plans: UNLV’s group health plan offers a comprehensive medical package that includes your choice of health insurance plan, dental, vision, prescription, a $25,000 term life insurance plan, and long-term disability insurance.
- Family and Dependent Coverage: When you enroll in a university health plan, you can also elect coverage for your family or dependents.
- Retirement Plans: All university employees, including postdoctoral scholars, are required to participate in a mandatory retirement plan in lieu of Social Security. Postdocs are enrolled in a mandatory defined contribution 403(b) retirement plan beginning on their date of hire. Under the terms of this retirement plan, employees must contribute 6.2% of their gross salary to the plan and the employer also makes a matching 6.2% contribution.
- Annual Time Off: Postdoctoral scholars receive 1.25 days of annual leave each month. Time off requests (Annual, Sick, etc.) are submitted through Workday.
- Holidays: University employees receive 11 paid holidays. Holiday leave is paid time off.
- Sick Leave: Postdoctoral scholars receive 15 days of sick leave the first day of employment. After one year, they accrue 1.25 days of sick leave each month. Sick leave is paid time off.
- Parental Leave Policy: There is not a specific University parental leave policy for Postdoctoral Scholars. As a compensated employee, postdocs would be eligible for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave if they meet the criteria of working for the institution for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months. Additional information on FMLA can be found here. Postdocs could also apply for an ADA accommodation if 1) they do not qualify for FMLA and 2) the request is for their own medical condition. Spouses would not qualify for an ADA accommodation. Additional information can be found here.
- Grant-In Aid: Grants-in-aid for tuition and fees will not be provided by the NSHE institution. Postdoctoral Scholars with appointments of half time or more, along with the spouse and dependent children, will not be charged out of state tuition.
- Jury Duty: Nevada statue NRS 6.190 prohibits employers from terminating or threatening to terminate employees for jury duty. Title 4, Chapter 3, Section 23 of the BOR Handbook states that “Judicial leave also will be granted to serve on a jury or when summoned to be a witness.” UNLV also has a policy of paid leave for employees who are serving on a jury or as a court witness. Thus, postdoctoral scholars cannot be terminated or threatened to be terminated if they have jury duty. Postdocs should let their supervisor know as soon as possible of up-coming jury duty services. For additional information, please see the Board of Regents Handbook, UNLV’s Human Resources Jury Duty, Civil Leave, and Military Leave page, and Nevada Administrative Code, Rules for Personnel Administration, Classified Employees.
- Civil Leave (Voting): UNLV grants all employees paid time off to vote. The amount of time you receive to vote depends on the distance between the polling place and the university. With prior supervisory approval, NRS 293.463 permits employees to use “civil leave” to the extent reasonably necessary to vote, when it is not “practical” for employees to vote on their own time. Postdoctoral scholars fall under this policy. If you anticipate the need to use any work time to vote, you need to talk with your supervisor in advance. Supervisors are encouraged to work with employees to provide reasonable opportunity to vote (and may not unreasonably withhold approval for civil leave). For additional information, please see Board of Regents Handbook, UNLV’s Human Resources Jury Duty, Civil Leave, and Military Leave page, and Nevada Administrative Code, Rules for Personnel Administration, Classified Employees.
How to Apply for a Postdoctoral Position at UNLV?
Postdoctoral Scholar Eligibility
In order to qualify for an appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar, the individual must:
- Provide evidence of completion of a doctoral degree
Applying for a Postdoctoral Scholar Position
To apply for a UNLV Postdoctoral Scholar position:
- Find an opening by visiting UNLV’s Current Openings webpage and selecting View Administrative Faculty Openings. Once you are on the Search for Jobs webpage, select Postdoctoral Scholar under Job Category. We also recommend looking at professional and/or academic bulletins within your discipline or closely related discipline. UNLV department, program, and research centers and institutes web pages are great resources for identifying appropriate supervisors/mentors.
- Submit an application to the appropriate position through UNLV’s online application system.
All correspondence regarding any potential openings, the application for any such openings, and one’s status must be directed to the prospective supervisor/mentor in question. In conjunction with the department/unit, the supervisor/mentor is responsible for determining if there is a match with both the applicant and area of interest and for facilitating the appointment in regard to financial resource allocations and space.
Resources on Picking a Postdoc Position and Finding a Mentor
Postdoctoral scholars are paid on the first business day of each month. In the event that a pay date falls on a weekend or holiday, pay distribution will be made on the first business day after the weekend or holiday.
For a snapshot of the onboarding process, please see the brief Onboarding checklist, which provides guidance on things to know prior to your first day and what tasks should be completed when (e.g., your first few days at UNLV, your first month, your first few months, your first six months, and your first year).
Please see UNLV’s Human Resources New Employee Onboarding webpage for additional details regarding the onboarding process.
Trainings & Orientations for New UNLV Postdocs
HR Benefit Orientation Dates
All new postdocs or postdocs who are newly benefits eligible should attend a benefits orientation session as soon as possible after their contract begins. New benefits-eligible employees will be automatically scheduled to attend the New Employee Orientation during their first week of employment. If you do not receive a scheduling confirmation during your first week, please contact University Human Resources at 702-895-3504 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
HR Benefits Enrollment Class
All newly hired full-time faculty and staff are required to attend the new-hire benefits enrollment class. By attending the benefits enrollment class, you will complete all the necessary forms to process your benefits. Please the Benefits Enrollment Class webpage for additional information, including class times.
New Faculty Orientation
New Faculty Orientation is part of the university’s welcoming and onboarding of new faculty. The event is held every August. As a result, you can attend if you are a brand-new postdoc or have been on campus for several months. It is designed to introduce postdocs and other new faculty to important information and campus resources to assist you in your career at UNLV. In addition, the orientation enables you to meet other new faculty, senior faculty, and campus administrators. For additional information, please see the New Faculty Orientation webpage.
Postdoctoral Scholar Handbook
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