Hiring Postdoctoral Scholars

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Information for Departments Hiring Postdoctoral Scholars

Designated hiring titles are Postdoctoral Associate and Postdoctoral Fellow. Collectively, individuals holding these titles are referred to as postdoctoral scholars. 

A postdoctoral fellow holds a fellowship or traineeship. The fellow may receive payment through the Research Foundation (RF), the UB Foundation (UBF), a special allocation of State funds, or directly to the individual from the funding organization (i.e., Postdoctoral Fellow Direct Pay). This will be determined by the established guidelines and regulations of the assigned entity under which the fellowship is governed.

Postdoctoral associate is the usual designation for all other postdoctoral scholars that do not fall under the fellow titles.

Minimum Salary Requirements

The minimum full-time annual salaries for postdoctoral fellows are typically set by—and subject to—the sponsor agency guidelines. Compensation for postdoctoral associates is typically guided by the minimum salary thresholds established by New York State and applicable provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when not predetermined by the sponsored agency. The Office of Postdoctoral Scholars (OPS) will monitor such thresholds to indicate the minimum salary limit for a postdoctoral scholar.

Salary Minimum

The current postdoctoral scholar salary minimum is no less than $40,000 annually.

Hiring Process Steps

Step 1: Human Resources Approval of Postdoc Position

All postdoctoral scholar positions are required to be posted on UBJobs. Exceptions will be granted only for postdoctoral scholars who are transferring to UB when a faculty member of another institution is hired by UB, or for postdoctoral scholars named in a Research Foundation (RF) administered grant.

  • The Research Foundation at UB hosts a pooled posting for postdoctoral scholars. “Pooled postings” are utilized for positions that are frequently recruited for and require an easily accessible “pool” of candidates. Pooled postings are continuous recruitment efforts and are reposted annually.
  • Departments are required to submit a position description unique to their position through UBJobs before they can utilize the pooled posting. The step–by-step process for submitting positions can be found on the Creating a New Position page of the Administrative Services Gateway. Be sure to include your intent to use the pooled posting in the notes section.
  • When the position description is approved, you will be added as a hiring manager on the pooled posting, where you can review the pool or invite candidates to apply for the pool by using the quicklink for posting.
  • Departments will complete their recruitment per the instructions described on the For Hiring Managers page of the Administrative Services Gateway.

If you plan to hire a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your process ends here. If you plan to hire an international candidate, please proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Office of Postdoctoral Scholars Provisional Approval for International Candidates

Departments wishing to hire an international candidate as a postdoctoral scholar must demonstrate that the position and proposed candidate meet the policy requirements to obtain a letter of provisional approval from the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars.

To request approval, departments must submit a Postdoctoral Scholar Approval Request form. To complete the form, you must upload the following documentation:

  • Offer letter to candidate specifying salary rate and start date.
  • Candidate CV.
  • HR-approved position description.
  • Documentation confirming support from Sponsored Projects Services is required if the position will be supported through a stipend administered by the Research Foundation and the candidate will be a J-1 Scholar. Please contact Mary Kraft, Director Post Award at mary.kraft@buffalo.edu or 716-645-4420.

The Office of Postdoctoral Scholars will review and, if appropriate, issue a provisional approval letter to the department.

Upon receipt of a provisional approval letter from the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars, please proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: J-1 Scholar Invitation for International Candidates

Pursuant to SUNY Board of Trustees Policy 8500, the Office of International Education has named UB Immigration Services as the only unit within the university authorized to handle immigration matters for international scholars.

The Information for Departments Inviting J-1 Scholars page of the Immigration Services website provides detailed instructions for departments hiring an international candidate for an approved postdoctoral scholar position.