Postdoctoral Scholars

Part of the Office of Faculty Affairs

Tufts is a vibrant academic community with more than 200 postdocs on its Boston, Medford and Grafton campuses. Tufts and the Friedman School views these scholars as vital to our research and educational community. Here at Friedman, our postdoctoral scholar administration is strongly committed to enriching trainees’ preparation as researchers within the university setting as well as in their future career paths.

What’s the process?

  1. The first step is to make sure you have funding for your postdoc.  Once an award notice for the funding is received, the position can be posted.
  2. You must obtain a position specific Interfolio application link. Interfolio is the premier university platform for maintaining faculty and postdoctoral searches and it ensures that we are in compliance with OEO policy.  Please contact your faculty coordinator or Elizabeth Horner to obtain the link.
  3. Prepare the job description. Sara Folta, Postdoctoral Officer, can assist with preparing the job description. If you have not hired a postdoc recently, please send the job description to Sara Folta for review, to make sure it contains the right language about professional development that sets a postdoctoral position apart from a research staff position. Work with your faculty coordinator to post the position to the Friedman careers page.

Once the position is posted:

1. Log into Interfolio and select a candidate that meets the requirements for the position. Maintain a long list and short list of candidates by using Interfolio.
2. For all candidates interviewing, documentation of Ph.D. completion must be submitted showing the completion of Ph.D. degree. If the candidate has completed all requirements for the degree, but the degree has not yet been awarded, they must submit documentation from the university that will award this degree certifying that all the requirements for the degree have been satisfied.
3. Work with your faculty coordinator to schedule an interview day and job talk  for the candidate. A brief interview should be scheduled with Sara Folta in addition to any other relevant faculty or staff.  Your faculty coordinator will send out announcements about the job talk.

You’ve selected a candidate, now what?

Congratulations, you’ve selected a top candidate! The next steps include finalizing a salary, drafting an offer letter, and working with your faculty coordinator on completing the relevant on-boarding procedures. 

Postdoctoral Salary Information:

On May 9, 2018, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published new minimum pay rates for postdoctoral researchers that go into effect for the federal fiscal year 2018. The University will update our minimum rates for postdoctoral scholars and research associates based upon the updated NIH rates. These minimum pay rates apply to postdoctoral scholars and research associates paid by the University using funds derived from research grants, contracts, training grants, etc., and those who have been awarded a fellowship and are paid directly by an organization external to Tufts. Please note the following change to minimum pay rates:

The NIH minimum for postdoctoral scholars with 0 years of experience has been adjusted from $47,484 to $48,432 ($2,018.00 per semi-monthly pay period), an increase of 2.0%.

With the annual review and merit process underway, Executive Administrative Deans in partnership with Human Resources will review salary levels and make any necessary adjustments to minimum rates effective July 1, 2018. For postdoctoral scholars engaged in biomedical research, the NIH minimum pay rates for all years of experience should be followed, where possible.

Submitting an Offer Letter:

When you are ready to present an offer, please use this offer letter template. Before the offer is submitted to the candidate, coordinate with Sara Folta and Krissy Day to approve the letter.

They’re coming! Now what?

The candidate has accepted the position! After confirming the start date, the next step is to work with your faculty coordinator to make sure the incoming postdoc will have a space, phone, and computer equipment.  Your faculty coordinator will also make sure the appropriate paperwork is completed for the hire.  If you want, your faculty coordinator can also send out a welcome announcement.  If it is an international hire, your faculty coordinator can also connect the postdoc with the international office to finalize J-1 Visa status.

Once the postdoc arrives:

  • All postdocs attend new hire orientation (often scheduled and included in the Offer Letter).
  • If the postdoc is an international hire, the postdoc must check-in with the international office upon arrival to the campus. They will attend an international office orientation. They will be asked to enter information into “windstar”. TSS will communicate taxation allowed, and then the postdoc will attend new hire orientation. TSS will be present to verify I-9 documentation at orientation.
  • Next, the candidate will report to Friedman for their first day of work and attend School or division specific onboarding.
  • On their first day of employment, arrange to meet the new hire, and give them a tour of the building, introduce them to their new team, and consider having a welcome lunch or breakfast.

Postdoctoral Handbook & Benefits Information

Tufts offers benefits to postdoctoral scholars who work at least 17.5 hours per week. Please visit the Postdoctoral Handbook and Dental/Health Benefits Page for benefits information and the university postdoc manual.

Checklist to provide to your new Postdoctoral Scholar:

  • Please reference this helpful Tufts New Employee Checklist for steps to follow before your first day, on your first day, during your first week, and other additional resources.
  • Within 31 days of your start date please follow this checklist for benefits registration.
  • I-9 employment eligibility form must be verified by the end of your third day of work. After you’ve completed the form online, bring the appropriate identification to Tufts Support Services in Medford/Somerville, Boston, or Grafton. You’ll be able to enroll in benefits and obtain your Tufts ID about 24 hours after your I-9 has been verified.
  • Within the first month of employment, schedule a time to meet with Sara Folta, Postdoctoral Officer.

Care of Postdoctoral Scholars

Making an employee feel welcome and setting expectations is the first step towards building a successful working relationship and experience. Please reference the suggested tips outlined below for providing a welcoming introduction to the Friedman School.

  • Communicate expectations for the first 3 months, 6 months, and 1st year of employment.
  • Determine work hours - Postdocs are typically 9:00AM-5:00PM Monday-Friday, with some expected flexibility in going past 5PM.
  • The mentor should make plans to meet with the new postdoc for weekly or bi-weekly check-ins.
  • The mentor coordinates with the postdoc to set up an Individual Development Plan. Per Friedman School policy, IDPs must be completed by all postdocs by the end of October each year, and ideally updated monthly thereafter. Also per Friedman School policy, Annual Progress Reports (APRs) are due by the end of July each year, and a copy of the completed APR must be submitted to Sara Folta, Postdoctoral Officer (either by printed hardcopy or electronically). Postdocs and mentors will receive a reminder each spring to complete APRs.

Need Assistance?

Friedman Contacts:

  • Sara Folta, Postdoctoral Officer
  • Jennifer Zahradnick or Hollis Gesen, Faculty Coordinators
  • Krissy Day, Director of Business Operations
  • Elizabeth Horner, Faculty Affairs Officer and School contact for Interfolio access/training.

Postdoc Contact List:

  • Tufts Support Services, Questions about benefits, payroll or anything HR Related: 617-627-7000, tss@tufts.edu
  • IT Computer Issues, 617-627-7336, it@tufts.edu
  • Dan Jay, Tufts Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, 617-636-6714, daniel.jay@tufts.edu
  • International Office, 617-627-3458, InternationalCenter@Tufts.edu

Tufts Postdoctoral Association
Anna Wronski, President
anna.wronski@tufts.edu

Tufts University Postdoctoral Officer
Daniel Jay
daniel.jay@tufts.edu

For questions about health and dental benefits, contact Cynthia Linton, Student Health Administrator, cynthia.linton@tufts.edu

  1. Tufts Postdoc Website has a listing of opportunities
  2. Community of Science (COS): Go to “Sign Up” in upper right-hand corner to create a customized search.  You’ll received weekly emails with matching funding opportunities. 
  3. For women: L’Oreal USA for Women in Science Award: Note that there is a strong emphasis on STEM, and it says that social science is not eligible. 
  4. National Science Foundation: Opportunities are listed by discipline, including SBE (Social, Behavioral & Economics). 
  5. Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program: Established in 1936, the Charles A. King Trust was created to “support and promote the investigation of human disease and the alleviation of human suffering through improved treatment.” Clinical and Health Services Research fellowships support human studies including physiological research, behavioral science and health education research, translational research (the application of bench research to patient care), epidemiological research, health policy, outcomes research, and population health, regardless of specialty or discipline. Research may take place in a broad range of settings including community sites. Applicants without Clinical Responsibilities: Commit at least 90% time to research; have completed at least three (3) years and no more than five (5) years of full-time postdoctoral research experience.

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