The definition of postdoc used by Georgia Tech includes the following criteria :
- The appointee has received a Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate (e.g., D.V.M., Sc.D., M.D.), typically within the past 5 years, in a field directly related to the appointee’s assigned responsibilities;
- The assigned responsibilities of the appointee are substantially research and/or scholarship but may combine these responsibilities with significant formal instructional responsibilities (typically no more than 50% effort);
- The appointment is full time, limited term (recommended to be 1-3 years, with a maximum of 5 years); and
- The appointment is viewed as preparatory for a full-time career in academia, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector.
Georgia Tech currently uses the following appointment types and titles. A summary table comparing the details of each appointment type is provided below.
Postdoctoral Fellow — Postdoctoral Fellows are usually funded from Georgia Tech-administered grants, contracts, or funds and for the purposes of services and benefits are considered employees of Georgia Tech. Postdoctoral Fellows receive compensation for services defined by the sources of the corresponding Georgia Tech administered grants, contracts, or funds. Appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow can include responsibilities in formal instruction (typically less than 50% effort).
Postdoctoral Scholar — Affiliate Postdoctoral Scholars primarily have training status; they are not considered Academic or Research Faculty. They are provided a stipend for which no specific service to Georgia Tech is required in exchange for the stipend. The stipend may be provided directly to the recipient from an external source or provided by Georgia Tech from an external source (e.g., a federal training grant).
Academic appointments — If instructional responsibilities are significant, postdocs may be appointed with an appropriate academic title. Examples of academic appointments include Postdoctoral Teaching Fellows, Brittain Fellows in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and postdocs within the School of Mathematics who are appointed with the title Visiting Assistant Professor.
 Based on the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology definition of postdoctoral fellows.