OSU will be prepared to re-institute the postdoctoral scholar program, which was voted into law through SB  214, effective January 1, 2018.

To qualify, a postdoctoral scholar must be participating in a formal, mentored faculty research program; follow a formal, written mentorship program developed by an OSU research mentor and on file with the OSU Graduate School; and begin their employment on or after January 1, 2018. Current postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral scholars, nor faculty research associates are not eligible for the new postdoctoral scholars program. One of the requirements of SB214 was the creation of an alternative retirement plan for postdoctoral scholars within the ORP.   We are pleased to announce the creation of that alternative retirement plan.

To establish a new postdoctoral scholar to begin on January 1, 2018 or later, please refer to the following guidelines:

–          No formal recruitment process is required for postdoctoral scholars.  Hiring officials are encouraged to send announcements of open positions to Maureen Childers in the Graduate School for posting.

–          A written initial notice must be provided to the postdoctoral scholar.  When signed by all parties the letter constitutes an appointment.

o   The new postdoctoral scholar letter will be updated by October 27, 2017.

–          The postdoctoral scholar “job form” seats the scholar in in OSU’s systems.  Instructions for the job form are located here.

–          A written mentorship program developed by an OSU research mentor must be on file with the OSU Graduate School.

o   Mentors are encouraged to review the six Core Competencies for postdoctoral scholars established by the National Postdoctoral Association.

o   To support a successful postdoctoral scholar mentee relationship with their mentor, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) serves as a communication tool.  The IDP must be submitted to the Graduate School for approval before the end of the postdoctoral scholar’s third month.

For budgeting purposes on sponsored projects, please use the following guidelines:

–          OPE (fringe benefit costs) should be calculated at 14%.  10% covers social security, worker’s compensation, etc., and 4% covers the contributions to the retirement plan.  The retirement coverage (and deduction) begins after the first six month of their appointment.

–          For health insurance, coverage will be obtained through Student Health Services.  Depending on the coverage, the cost varies.  For a postdoctoral scholar and spouse/partner, an estimate of $500/month should be used.

More information on pay rates and benefits can be found at:


Passage of SB214 was a collaborative effort among Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Oregon Health & Science University. We thank everyone involved in making this measure law, most notably, the Offices of the President, General Counsel, Research, and Government Relations at all four institutions. Thanks are due, too, to the faculty researchers in Oregon who made this concern a top priority for our campuses.


Cynthia Sagers               Jennifer Brown



Research Office & Graduate School

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