Texas Tech University

Postdoc Policies


The postdoctoral research associate trainee (postdoc) position is intended to provide recent recipients of Ph.D.'s or equivalent doctorate degrees with advanced academic preparation and research training under the supervision and mentorship of a more experience scientist/scholar in doctoral-granting departments.

The hiring department assumes financial responsibility for the postdoc's wages and applicable benefits

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. received within the last five years, or
  • A graduate student who has successfully completed all requirements for a Ph.D., but has not actually received a diploma. In this situation, the individual must present evidence of completion of the degree requirements accompanied by a statement documenting the expected date when the degree is to be conferred.

Hiring Process and Employment

  • Postdoc positions are recruited and hired per the established guidelines in OP 70.03 Staff Recruitment and OP 70.11 Appointment of Staff Employees.
  • Postdoc appointments shall be made under a unified title of Postdoctoral Research Associate.
  • Postdocs are hired for one-year appointments that may be renewed on an annual basis up to a total of five years contingent on satisfactory performance.
  • Individual academic departments are responsible establishing internal procedures for annual review of Postdoc's performance. Review process should include results of:
  • Following the completion of a five-year training period, if additional time is still needed, the postdoc should be moved into a non-training position.
  • Employment at Texas Tech is governed by the employment at will doctrine. Nothing in this or any other Texas Tech operating policy and procedure constitutes an employment contract, either expressed or implied.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Trainee Expectations

Postdoctoral trainees shall be provided with a position description. Expectations shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Demonstrate high levels of productivity, initiative, and commitment to research excellence.
  2. Conform to standards of reasonable conduct of research, including completion of all required training as determined by the department, in addition to compliance with OP 70.41 Employee Training and Development.
  3. Comply with good scholarly and research practice.
  4. Maintain collegial conduct towards members of the research group and others as described in OP 70.31 Employee, Conduct, Discipline, and Terminations.
  5. Adhere to all Texas Tech University safety procedures including, but not limited to, laboratory safety.
  6. Maintain a laboratory notebook and/or other comparable records of research activity which remain the property of Texas Tech University upon termination.
  7. Prompt disclosure to the mentor regarding the possession and desire to distribute materials, reagents, software, copyrightable and potentially patentable discoveries derived from the postdoc's research.
  8. Maintain an Individual Development Plan (IDP). For science-related fields, this may include, but does not need to be limited to American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) Science Careers myIDP toolbox.

Faculty Member Expectations

Faculty members will provide postdocs with a written job description and expectations will be discussed at the beginning of the assignment period.

Initial Meeting Form (Needed)

Annual Development Review Form Word / PDF

In addition, faculty members shall:

  1. Engage the postdoc in meaningful research activities and projects.
  2. Provide mentoring with an emphasis on development of independence.
  3. Discuss performance expectations with the postdoc and meet regularly to evaluate performance outcomes and effectively address deficiencies.
  4. Comply with OP 70.12 Performance Management to include conducting written performance evaluations on annual basis utilizing the university's electronic performance management system (ePM).
    The postdoc should provide his/her written input to this evaluation, and the mentor and the postdoc should discuss the evaluation together.
  5. Encourage presentation of the postdoc's work internally and externally with due recognition.
  6. Help develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP). For science-related fields this can include, but does not need to be limited to, AAAS' myIDP toolbox.
  7. Help explore career possibilities and set goals to follow for a best-fit career path.
  8. Provide career guidance and assist the postdoc in setting realistic career goals.
  9. Supervise the postdoc's awareness of and compliance with institutional policies and mandatory training requirements.
  10. Recognize the postdoc is part of the Texas Tech community with responsibilities and opportunities that transcend the specific laboratory of appointment.

Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

In accordance with OP 40.01 Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Affirmative Action Program, TTU does not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, status as protected veteran, or any other legally protected category, class, or characteristic. Employment actions such as hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer, rate of pay, or other forms of compensation, selection for training, and termination shall not be made based on an employee's protected status. Discriminatory behavior is prohibited regardless of the manner in which it is exhibited, whether verbally, in writing, or electronically displayed or

Right to Change Policy

Texas Tech University reserves the right to interpret, change, modify, amend, or rescind this policy, in whole or in part, at any time without the consent of employees.


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    Administration Bldg., Room 40D, Mailstop 1030, Lubbock, TX 79409-1030
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