Postdoctoral appointments are temporary appointments made to individuals who were recently awarded a Ph.D., or its equivalent doctorate, in an appropriate field, and are dedicated to full-time research or scholarship. Appointments are made on a yearly basis, and may last from three to five years, but are not to exceed five years. Postdoctoral scholars make vital contributions to the University's scientific programs, while gaining valuable research training and experience under the mentorship of a head of laboratory, culminating in the published results of their research. During this time they are encouraged to develop a distinct line of research that will allow them to gain independence in preparation for a scientific career. Promotion to Research Associate or Research Assistant Professor may be made if the individual meets the criteria set forth for these ranks.
Postdoctoral Fellows have a fellowship or stipend from training funds to conduct research under the supervision of a Head of Laboratory. They may be paid from private fellowship funds, NIH fellowships or training grants, or other funds whose purpose is restricted or designated to training postdoctoral fellows. The definition of a "stipend" is funds given expressly to support the trainee while he or she is training.
Postdoctoral Associates receive salary to perform research under the supervision of a Head of Laboratory. The definition of "salary" is compensation given in exchange for services performed.