Explanation of Current Policies
The BPP Advisory Committee recommends that the postdoctoral title be reserved for individuals that have recently received their qualifying terminal degree. In general, individuals several years past this degree should already be in a permanent career track and not considered trainees. Postdoctoral appointments are, by nature, preparatory and therefore there is an obligation for the institution, school, department and faculty mentor to provide training.
The following definition has been approved as part of the Policies for Postdoctoral Appointments, Training and Education in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine:
A postdoctoral appointee is a person who has recently earned a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, and who joins the University of Pennsylvania to perform research full-time under the supervision of a member of the faculty. The position can be held for up to five years at the University of Pennsylvania irrespective of previous postdoctoral experience at other institutions. The position is meant to provide additional research and/or scholarly training in preparation for a position in academe, industry, or government.