Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has defined the time spent in postdoctoral positions as a training period for a career in biomedical science:
"A postdoctoral trainee is a person who has recently earned a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, and who joins Case Western Reserve University to perform mentored research full-time under the supervision of a faculty member. The position can be held for up to five years and is meant to provide additional research and/or scholarly training in preparation for a position in academe, industry, or government."
Employment as a postdoctoral scholar is governed by the Policies and Procedures of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the School of Graduate Studies. The University’s Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual does not apply to Postdoctoral Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows.
A research scientist is an experienced postdoc who is expected to apply for independent funding through NIH and other agencies.
Individuals with an MD or PhD may also be hired as research associates or senior research associates. People in both categories are employees of the University and are eligible to receive University benefits. These positions do not explicitly require mentoring and are regular staff positions with appointment letters processed by Human Resources.
Individuals in this category receive training while engaged in research projects funded by grants he/she has personally applied for, and obtained from either governmental or nongovernmental sources. A postdoctoral fellow is not an employee of the University, and while able to participate in a special healthcare benefit plan, he/she is not eligible for other University benefits.
This is a special class of University employee eligible to participate in a unique healthcare benefit plan. Postdoctoral scholars are not, however, able to receive other University benefits such as the retirement plan and Benelect. They are engaged in research projects funded by grants obtained by others at the University and receive a University salary. Postdoctoral scholars are appointed with a salary at least equivalent to the current NRSA year 0 postdoctoral salaries.
Click here to learn about The National Postdoctoral Association. The is a member-driven, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a unique, national voice for postdoctoral scholars. Since 2003, the NPA has taken on the ambitious agenda to enhance the quality of the postdoctoral experience in the United States. NPA has assumed a leadership role in addressing the many issues confronting the postdoctoral community that are national in scope and requiring action beyond the local level.PRA was established in the fall of 2000 in an effort to foster a productive and effective dialogue between the University and postdoctoral fellows. It's goal is to address issues relevant to the group, thereby strengthening the reputation of Case Western Reserve University as a top research institute. In doing this, it seeks to advance the recruitment and training of postdoctoral researchers from around the world.