Section 1: Postdoctoral Appointments at the University of Pennsylvania
The Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows in the Physical, Biological, and Health Science and in Engineering
The University of Pennsylvania was one of the first institutions in the country to adopt a University-wide postdoc policy. The Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows in the Physical, Biological, and Health Sciences and in Engineering (Almanac April 30, 1996), was visionary in that it stipulated that (a) all postdoctoral appointments should be accompanied by a formal offer letter stating the duration of the appointment, the source of stipend, and health insurance benefits; (b) minimum stipend levels are to be the National Institutes of Health recommended minima (c) single-coverage health insurance is mandatory and that must not be deducted from the stipend; (d) no individual can be in a postdoc title at the University for more than five years; (e) postdocs are eligible to receive up to six weeks new child leave with full pay; (f) appointees must provide proof of doctoral degree; and (g) postdocs have specific obligations as part of the responsible discharge of their research duties. The policy also indicates that appointments have to be terminated in writing at least three months prior to the end of the appointment. In addition, the policy requires that a standard compendium of orientation information be provided to postdocs as well as access to mediation services for grievances.
Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania
In 2004, the former Policy was updated and revised to extend coverage to include all postdoctoral appointees regardless of School or discipline (Almanac September 7, 2004.) The new Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania also provides guidelines for the ownership of primary research records and similar unpublished materials (Almanac September 7, 2004).
Policy for Postdoctoral Trainees at the University of Pennsylvania
In 2008, the former Policy was updated to give formal acceptance of the NIH/NSF definition of postdoctoral scholars. The new Policy also contains revisions to the various leave policies for postdocs. (Almanac, January 15, 2008).