All postdoctoral researchers are now considered to be in training — an extension of their graduate training. As such, we have set a five-year maximum to occupy a given position. There are three recommended moves after the five years:
- Leave UGA
- Apply for and be hired into a Senior Research Associate (staff) position
- Apply for and be hired into an Assistant Research Scientist (faculty) position
Assistant Research Scientists are faculty, and faculty hiring at UGA (and most universities) is the purview of academic units and the Office of Faculty Affairs. This requires creation of a position, advertisement, and a national search (the same procedure as used for a tenure-track faculty position). These positions connote a level of independence and creativity that make them not always appropriate for everyone; this option should be considered only for the best postdoctoral research trainees and only then if there is some reason that they are not able to leave UGA for career advancement elsewhere.
For Assistant Research Scientists or Research Professionals, if the unit can document that a national search was performed when the person was hired originally into the current postdoctoral position, then EOO will allow an exemption and provide a letter to that effect. For Research Professionals only, if the postdoctoral position is funded by a sponsored project and the person will be continuing with that funding working on the same project as a Research Professional, then EOO will also exempt this appointment from the requirement to perform a search. Include a letter from the PI of the sponsored project to that effect in the packet.