Appointment Guidelines

Postdoctoral Appointments

Postdoctoral appointments are temporary, fixed term, and may be renewed on an annual basis. The initial appointment is for one (1) year and may be renewed for a maximum of five (5) years. A postdoc can hold a postdoctoral position for a maximum of five (5) years. For example, if one were a postdoc at another institution for two (2) years then the maximum eligible time to be a postdoc at the University of Miami would be three (3) years. After the completion of a five-year term, a postdoc is no longer eligible for renewal and must exit the position. An additional year can be granted under unusual circumstances and on a case-by-­case basis. Additional time to complete work is not sufficient justification for a sixth year.

Postdoctoral Recruitment

According to the HR Research policy, Postdoctoral scholar appointments are exempt from University recruitment and advertising procedures. However, if the Postdoctoral scholar position is posted for recruitment and advertised by the University, an adequate search must be completed. 

Postdoctoral Appointment Letters

The postdoctoral offer letter includes the anticipated beginning and ending dates of appointment, compensation information, and may include the title and a brief explanation of the research project. The offer letter also includes information on the New Employee Orientation and the Compact between Postdoctoral appointees and mentors, which should be signed within 90 days of the start date.

The Mentor and a Human Resources representative must sign each postdoctoral appointment letter. Postdocs must submit the signed offer letter to the Human Resources office. Signed appointment letters are then filed with Human Resources and the Postdoctoral Programs Office. Postdocs will be informed of the scheduled end of their appointment at least two (2) months before the end date.

Leaving the University of Miami

Resignation of a Postdoctoral Position

Postdocs who need to resign from their position must provide appropriate written notice of their intent to resign. Postdocs are required to provide notice of their resignation one (1) month prior to their departure and must present this notice to the mentor. Although the University of Miami requires that one-month written notice be given to the mentor prior to resignation from a postdoctoral position, it may be both desirable and prudent for this event to be discussed several months ahead of time with the mentor, to ensure that there is sufficient time for a smooth transition out of the laboratory.

Reasons for Separation of a Postdoctoral Associate or Scholar

Separation from the University may be initiated at any time by the Postdoc through resignation, or by the mentor through dismissal, layoff, and/or end of the assignment. A Postdoc who resigns, transfers within the University, or retires is required to provide one calendar month’s written notice.


Resignation: a voluntary separation from the University initiated by the Postdoc.

Transfer: a voluntary transfer within the University to another position, initiated by the Postdoc and according to the University’s policies on recruitment, selection, and placement.

Dismissal: an involuntary separation from the University due to unprofessional conduct, unsatisfactory work performance, and/or as a result of a University policy violation.

Layoff: an involuntary separation from the University due to the decreased need for certain services, reorganizations, unexpected loss or lack of funds, lack of work, elimination of positions, restructuring of positions, or following an extended leave of absence.

End of Assignment: a separation from the University upon completion of the training the Postdoc was hired to complete, not to exceed a combined total of prior and proposed experience of greater than five (5) years of service, as determined by the University’s Postdoctoral Programs Office. Assignment may end based on:

  • The expiration of funds on the project for which the Postdoc was hired
  • The time period outlined in letter of appointment
  • Upon completion of the training/project for which the Postdoc was hired or upon completion of the training/project subsequently assigned to the Postdoc after the initial training/project.

At the End of the Appointment

The following should be completed in order to end a postdoctoral appointment:

  • Return UM ID, keys, passes, etc. to the appropriate office;
  • Research data must be organized and left with the mentor, including notebooks and electronic files;
  • Provide new contact information to the Postdoctoral Programs Office; and
  • Submit an exit questionnaire.