Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

Postdoctoral Research at CWRU

Introduction to Postdoctoral Scholars

Policies and Procedures

Case Western Reserve University recognizes the importance of offering mentored training appointments to scholars who hold a Ph.D., MD, ND, MD/Ph.D., Pharm.D or equivalent doctorates from an accredited institution that will enhance their ability to acquire regular positions in their field of choice.

As a Postdoctoral Scholar at Case Western Reserve University, you are an important member of the University team that includes staff, faculty, researchers, and administrators who are dedicated to achieving excellence in teaching scholarship and research. Your mentored training (employment) experience will be a positive one as you take the time to become familiar with the University's policies and procedures for Postdoctoral Scholars listed in this handbook and realize your shared responsibility in the University's commitment to excellence.

Definition of Postdoctoral Scholar

A Postdoctoral Scholar is defined as a special class of employee who:

  • holds a Ph.D. or equivalent,
  • works on scholarly projects funded by grants obtained by themselves or others at the University or is funded by department funds,
  • is engaged in a mentored training relationship with a member of the University faculty, and
  • actively pursues fellowship/grant funding for his/her own research project in order to develop his/ her future professional career.

The Postdoctoral Scholar is eligible to receive medical coverage under a separate group health policy, but is excluded from participating in all CWRU employee retirement and benefit plans.

Criteria for Postdoctoral Scholars

  • The Postdoctoral Scholar was recently (normally within 5 years) awarded a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in an appropriate field.
  • The appointment is temporary and postdoctoral scholars are expected to complete their mentored training within 5 years.
  • The time devoted to this appointment as well as the specific scholarly training activities will be decided in collaboration with the mentor and committed in writing in the form of a training plan. All postdoctoral scholars will be encouraged to pursue additional training and other opportunities in their respective areas up to 25% of their time.
  • The appointee will train under the supervision of a senior scholar (mentor). 

This handbook should not be construed in any way to constitute an agreement between the University and its postdoctoral scholars with respect to level of compensation, duration of employment or any other matter. Under no circumstances should this handbook or the Human Resources Policies and Procedures be considered a contract of employment or a legally binding agreement.

Administration of Postdoctoral Scholars Program

Employment as a postdoctoral scholar is governed by the Policies and Procedures contained in this Postdoctoral Scholar Handbook and the Policies and Procedures of the School of Graduate Studies. The University's Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual does not apply to Postdoctoral Scholars.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, located in the School of Graduate Studies, has been established to ensure that the highest possible standards underlie a postdoctoral scholars training experience at Case Western Reserve University. Specifically, this office is responsible for assisting in the development and implementation of all University policies applicable to postdoctoral scholars and for monitoring the application of these policies. The following are some of the services that are offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs:

  • Employment-related activities including letters of appointment, extensions, and termination of appointments
  • Postdoctoral employment opportunities
  • Annual performance evaluations
  • Training and education program development
  • Surveying quality of training experience