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Term of Appointment

The typical term of appointment for postdoctoral positions at Georgia Tech is between one and three years. The recommended maximum term of appointment for postdocs is five years. This term limit is based on federal guidelines and the tenet that all postdoctoral appointments are primarily for training, which has a natural limited duration. The term refers to the total time spent at Georgia Tech as a postdoc and does not include time spent at Georgia Tech as an undergraduate or graduate student or as a postdoc at other institutions. The term may be interrupted for extended medical or family leaves.

The unit in which a postdoc is appointed should ensure that the appointment term does not exceed five years (or the term specified in the offer). If the maximum term of appointment is reached, an appointee should be moved into a regular position or separated with a minimum of thirty days’ notice. Regular positions appropriate after a five-year postdoctoral appointment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Research Scientist/Engineer II — these are Research Faculty positions in which research activities comprise the majority of the employee’s effort. These positions may be appropriate for a postdoc who remains with the same research group beyond the training period. A Research Scientist/Engineer II may act as a Principal Investigator (PI) in submitting proposals for research funding.
  • Lecturer or Instructor — these are non-tenure-track, Academic Faculty positions appropriate for those seeking to pursue an academic teaching career. Lecturers and Instructors are appointed within units following standard faculty search and appointment procedures and meet the SACS-COC Faculty Credential Guidelines.

All reassignments of postdocs should follow standard USG and Georgia Tech faculty affairs and human resource policies and procedures. Exceptions to the term of appointment must be requested to the appropriate cognizant office (EVPR or Provost).

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Term of Appointment