Post degree training appointments are for individuals who are not matriculated students and who are appointed primarily for the pursuit of advanced study or research, usually at the postdoctoral level. Coincidental benefit accruing to the University or granting agency as a result of the appointee’s activities does not preclude such an appointment. The work of individuals appointed to these titles should be independent or self-directed, subject only to such supervision as might be given by a teacher to a student. Such work should be contrasted with duties assigned under the direct supervision and control of the employer primarily for the benefit of the University or granting agency.
CALS Research Intern Policy
- A Research Intern is an employee who is continuing training directly following receipt of a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
- Once the Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree is obtained the research intern appointment is inappropriate. Current research interns who obtain their terminal degree should transfer to a Research Associate appointment the day after the degree requirements are met (dissertation deposited). This involves both a title and rate change as the Research Associate minimum is in a different pay range than the Research Intern title.
- The responsibilities of the position must be consistent with the last degree received (i.e., degree in history is not appropriate for an individual developing research methodology in dairy science).
- Duties must be consistent with employee in training responsibilities and provide continued applicable training for the individual.
- Prior approval from CALS HR is required before a Research Intern will be appointed.
- A resume/CV and job description will need to be submitted with your request for hiring approval.
- Appointments are typically 100% FTE and are one to three years in duration.
- Appointments less than one year require unit justification and approval by the Associate Dean for HR.
- Extensions (for a second or third year) can be requested using the form below.
- A request to extend beyond three years is considered an exceptional circumstance requiring approval by the Associate Dean for HR. Sufficient justification will be required to support any request that goes beyond three years’ training time.
- Departments will be notified if their request has been approved or denied via email.
Research Associate: an individual who is continuing training after receipt of the doctorate. The appointing unit must verify that all requirements for the doctorate (possibly M.D., D.V.M., or J.D.) have been satisfactorily completed before the first day of any appointment using this title. For example, the successful completion of an oral defense of a Ph.D. is not sufficient. The actual filing of the final thesis is required prior to the beginning date of the appointment. A research associate is usually funded from a principal investigator’s grant funds and other sources rather than from fellowship funds awarded an individual in national competition. A research associateship is normally for a two- or three-year term, up to a maximum of five years, and is normally given to an individual who is within five years of having received the doctorate.
CALS HR approval is required for appointments of up to three years. Over three years, up to a maximum of five years, requires annual approval by CALS HR prior to each year extension and must include a statement by the department to CALS HR indicating that training is continuing. Payments made to research associates are fully taxable as wages, and taxes will be withheld from monthly paychecks.
Policy and Process Information
- Research Associate Appointments and Postdoctoral Fellow/Trainees FAQs
- Research Associate Request Justification
- Research Associate Extension Request Justification
- Research Associate Rate Change form
- Letter Templates
Reference: NIH NRSA Stipend Levels
A postdoctoral fellow or traineeship is an award, usually funded extramurally, to an individual for the purpose of continued training after receipt of the doctorate. Appointments as postdoctoral fellows and postdoctoral trainees should be made only if it can be demonstrated that the appointee’s activities are primarily for the benefit of the appointee’s own learning and research. Otherwise, it is more appropriate to use an employment title such as researcher or scientist. Employment titles apply whenever the duties assigned are under the direct supervision and control of the employer and are primarily for the benefit of the University or granting agency. The work of individuals appointed as postdoctoral fellows or postdoctoral trainees should be independent or self-directed, subject only to such supervision as might be given by a teacher to a student.
The non-service appointments job aid form should be completed by a unit to assist in making an accurate determination about whether a payment made to an individual qualifies as service related or non-service related income and confirm appropriate title.