A postdoctoral fellow is a person engaged in a period of special study and/or research at the postdoctoral level. The postdoctoral fellow (PDF) is a trainee, which is a unique category of employment at UNM, distinct from staff, faculty and students enrolled in a degree-granting program. Being a trainee, each PDF must have an identified faculty mentor (advisor). It is the responsibility of the institution, college, department and faculty mentor to supervise, encourage and foster the education of the PDF in a manner consistent with PDF's career goals. PDFs will be appointed through the Faculty Contracts Office.
An individual may be appointed as a PDF for no more than five years at the University of New Mexico. At the conclusion of five years employment is terminated. If the PDF is to remain a UNM employee, he or she must go through the normal UNM hiring process for a staff or faculty position.
During the period of appointment, the PDF is considered an exempt employee and generally has a forty (40) hour work week, though the PDF is paid a salary which is not based upon the number of hours worked.
A PDF is permitted to also be hired to teach as a part-time instructor. This will be handled as a separate hiring, subject to the normal UNM hiring process. In total, the PDF's FTE cannot exceed 125% (100% if funded entirely with federal funds).
Due to the unique and temporary nature of their employment, PDFs are considered employees at will. Because of this classification, PDFs are allowed to terminate employment without advance notification, although mutual consideration between the PDF and the faculty mentor should make this an infrequent occurrence. Similarly, the University may terminate the employment of a PDF without advance notice. Again, the relationship between a faculty mentor and the PDF would usually preclude such an event.
The following benefits will apply to eligible PDFs
- Fifteen (15) days annual leave per year or 10 hours per month
- A PDF must have at least a 50% appointment to be eligible for annual leave benefits
- Annual leave balances will carry over from contract year to contract year but may not, at any point in time, exceed 180 hours
- Annual leave balances may not be converted to cash
- When postdoctoral fellows separate from the University, they will not be paid for unused annual leave
- Fifteen (15) days sick leave per year or 10 hours per month
- A PDF must have at least a 50% appointment to be eligible for sick leave benefits
- Sick leave balances will carry over from contract year to contract year but may not, at any point, exceed 360 hours
- Sick leave balances may not be converted to cash
- When postdoctoral fellows separate from the University, they will not be paid for unused sick leave
- UNM holidays.
- PDFs who have a contract of at least nine (9) months or more working at least .50 FTE are eligible for medical, dental, life, and vision insurances only
- Courses available through Human Resources Employee Training or the Teaching and Research Center.
- Discounts available to faculty and staff, which do not incur additional fringe benefits charges.
- Flexible spending plan.403b Tax Shelter Annuity plans.
The hiring department will maintain leave records.
Leave balances will appear on payroll earnings statement.
If fringe benefits are not an allowable cost on the contract or grant paying PDF's salary, the department shall identify another allowable source of funds (usually unrestricted) to pay the University's portion of the fringe benefits.
No other employee benefits apply.
If a PDF is appointed for less than full-time (1.0 FTE) but more than .50 FTE benefits will be pro-rated.
Appt. Status FHB B3.1
Contract Renewable FHB B3.1
Typical Appt. Length
Contract Term Limits if Any
Min. Annualized Base Salary
Min. Weekly Wage
Instructional Post-Doctoral Fellow
Max. of 5 Years
Teaching or administrative functions directly related to teaching
Research Post-Doctoral Fellow
Max. of 5 Years
Ranks. Minimum requirements are based on the following credentials: Lecturer I = Baccalaureate; Lecturer II = Masters; all other ranks require a terminal degree
Minimum Wage. Contract term (annualized base salary x FTE percentage / 39 or 52 weeks) cannot be less than the posted minimum weekly wage:
Job Description. A description of primary duties must be provided to show eligibility for exempt status under FLSA.
Alternatives. Appointments will not be processed unless the above criteria are met. If the above criteria are not met, please work with your HR consultant to identify appropriate staff classifications such as Research Scientist positions (regular, term, on-call).
Processing. New hires are processed through UNMJobs. Contract extensions, when possible, are made with this form: http://ofas.unm.edu/faculty/compensation/documents/extension-request.pdf