Offer letters for Postdoctoral Research Fellows should be submitted to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) for review.
The offer letter from the Mentor (on institutional letterhead) must contain specific information as outlined below. See sample template (Postdoctoral Research Fellow Offer Letter Template). The offer letter must include:
- The position title, “Postdoctoral Research Fellow”.
- The effective start and end date and/or total length of appointment.
- If the appointment is longer than one year, include, “additional years beyond the first year are dependent upon satisfactory progress, a formal annual evaluation, and availability of funds.”
- If the appointment is for an international postdoctoral research fellow and sponsorship for a visa is required, include, “Start date is effective upon the success of your J1 (or other types) visa application.”
- The annual rate of compensation and benefits. The minimum annual salary for a postdoctoral research fellow at UT Health San Antonio is $52,704.
- That the offer is contingent upon a clear background check and employment eligibility.
- Brief description of the scope of research and professional development to be addressed by the postdoctoral research fellow as well as a description of the mentors’ expectations.
- Include plans for research, e.g., “Your research project will focus on ______________ and will include working with animals or human subjects and experimental techniques such as mass spectrometry, PCR, liquid chromatography, patch-clamp electrophysiology, confocal microscopy, etc.”
- Include plans for related career development, e.g., “Your position will also include activities related to professional development, for example, you will be expected to participate in journal clubs; attend lab meetings, seminars, and departmental retreats; present your research findings at the annual UT Health San Antonio postdoctoral research forum; assist in research design and execution; supervise technical personnel and help train, educate, or assist others; assist in the preparation of grant applications, presentations, and manuscripts; and perform other related duties as assigned.”
- Include a statement of expectations regarding ethical behavior and training in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) and Rigor and Reproducibility in Biomedical Science.
- Describe the process for evaluation and monitoring, e.g., "Your performance and progress will be evaluated regularly including at least once a year on a formal basis. You will be expected to prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP) annually. In your formal yearly evaluation, we will discuss your progress as well as set short- and long-term goals and milestones. You will be encouraged to meet with me regularly to discuss research progress and professional development goals."
- The offer letter includes multiple signatures which may be a scanned original or digitally signed (all digital signatures must contain a date/time stamp).
- Department Chair of the Mentor (if the mentor is the departmental chair, signature of the respective schools’ dean is required),
- As appropriate, Center/Institute Director (for faculty mentor with a primary affiliation in a center or institute)
- Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. (Offer letters for OPA signature should be submitted in PDF file format to OPA@uthscsa.edu)
The signature of the Postdoctoral Research Fellow should be obtained after all other signatures.
An electronic copy of the fully signed offer letter (along with the Postdoctoral Research Fellow’s current CV) should be submitted to OPA and also maintained in the departmental, center, or institute personnel files. As appropriate a copy needs to be sent to OIS.
Please contact OPA for assistance in the creation of a PDF document that contains multiple electronic signature fields.
If questions, email OPA@uthscsa.edu or call 210.567.0397