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Post Doctoral

Ending a Postdoctoral Appointment

For departments employing Postdoctoral Fellows in Job Code 1438

It is important the PDO be informed when a postdoc is leaving the appointment.

  • Postdocs terminated by the department must be reported on the Dean’s Personnel Action Report process.
  • It is the only way to keep the postdoc lists current.
  • The PDO can begin the "exit" procedures, including inviting the postdoc for an exit interview.
  • It enables obtaining forwarding contact information for tracking careers of our alumni.

A postdoc's appointment may end for various reasons. Among typical reasons are:

  1. postdoc decision/resignation submitted
    1. new job (or moving with spouse to new job)
    2. Visa expiration
    3. Health issue
    4. Other personal reason
  2. departmental decision/termination notice given 
    1. promotion within the University (in this case, “notice” is the new letter of offer)
    2. end of agreed-upon appointment period reached
      This may be specified in the letter of offer, but in most cases was just verbal agreement. Usually appointments are automatically renewed each year, just like the other professional exempt positions, so there must be a notice to terminate.
    3. reaching term limits set by UC Denver's Postdoctoral Term Limits
    4. lack of funding to support position/lay-off
    5. performance is not meeting expectations
      1. Prior to notice of termination, meetings must have been held to inform the employee of poor performance, and a letter of expectation or direction needs to have been issued with specific outline of performance improvements that need to be manifested within a certain time period with a date set for review.
      2. IF the above has been documented, then termination notice can be delivered at the time for review.
    6. “For Cause” – postdoc employee exhibits threatening or illegal behavior
      1. In this case, the person may be escorted from the premises immediately.  (Be sure to collect keys and ID badge.)
      2. Termination letter is prepped immediately, approved by HR, and posted for certified delivery to former employee.
  3. University policy implementation
    1. Term limits reached -- Notification sent from PDO that action must be taken to promote or transition out or appointment will be terminated. 
    2. “For Cause” – department takes action to remove dangerous or illegal behavior from the workplace.  (see item “f” above). 

Departmental Processing of Terminations/Separations

Terminations (or separations) from the University shall be processed in the normal way as for any University employee, EXCEPT no leave payout is processed unused leave shall be forfeit.

  1. IF any of the reasons in item “2” above apply, department must send letter of termination notice to HR for approval.         Postdoc termination template.docx
  2. Employing unit forwards to PDO one of the following termination documents (NOTE: Please do this about a month in advance, or as soon as possible, so that an exit interview can be arranged prior to the postdoc's departure.):
    • Copy of resignation letter from employee that includes reason for leaving and final work date (email accepted), OR
    • Copy of termination notice letter from employing unit to employee stating reason for termination and final work date.  This is the final, signed and fully-executed letter.
  3. Employing unit enters termination row in HRMS job data.
  4. Employing unit processes usual exit procedures (for keys, badge, email, etc.)  (NO leave payout)
  5. Employing unit requests Certificate of Completion for postdoc (optional).

Exit interview will be conducted, or exit information otherwise attempted to be collected, by the PDO.