Provisional appointments may be approved depending on how close the candidate is to completion of a doctoral level degree at the time the department wants the candidate to begin work. Below are three scenarios, please find the one that applies.
The PDO has final approval on provisional appointments and language used in the offer letter, so, do not hesitate to contact and consult with the Postdoctoral Program Manager when drafting the letter of offer. Timing is everything here!
- If the candidate has completed all the requirements for the degree but is awaiting the actual graduation ceremony to obtain the diploma, there are two options:
- Option 1: Obtain an official letter from the graduate school conferring the degree, declaring the final "requirements completed" status of the candidate. Send that to the PDO along with the rest of the hiring packet.
- Option 2: Use the provisional language in paragraph two of the first page of the
UCD Postdoc LOO template 7-2014.docx
- "This offer is also a provisional one, contingent upon your submission of proof of doctoral degree by or before the appointment start date, or the offer will be rescinded and the appointment terminated. [or set a specific due date within 60 days of the appointment start date] (There are the two options for due dates, depending on timing of the offer letter prior to start date and/or the department’s wishes, which can always be more restrictive than the PDO.)
- At the beginning of the next paragraph add the word "provisional" to read as: “Your provisional appointment will begin..."
- This means proof of degree must be submitted by the department by the due date or the appointment wiil be terminated.
2. If the candidate has completed all requirements EXCEPT dissertation completion, there must be provisional language added to the letter of offer (see paragraph two of the template). However, a realistic start date needs to be set based on when POD will be available. Keep in mind the 60-day rule. Insert the same language as above in option 2. If the person is not within a maximum of 60 days of obtaining proof of degree, the start date should either be delayed or a new candidate selected.
- Note: Due date here may be based on how far into the future (from the date of the letter of offer) the start date is set for, or whether the department ideally wants the degree to be granted before the person begins work.
- Note: If the candidate is from outside the U.S. the time between dissertation and POD may be many months. Use discretion and reasonableness based on the circumstances, or delay the start date. Anything longer than 60 days need to be discussed with the Postdoctoral Program Manager and approval obtained based on particulars of the unusual circumstances.
3. If the candidate is not at the completion of dissertation stage, s/he is not considered close enough to achieving a doctoral degree to be hired as a postdoctoral fellow. If the department wishes to hire this person, another job code category must be selected until the proof of degree is available.