We write today with guidance about postdoc and postgrad associates and fellows that faculty may be planning to hire or have hired to begin work in your department in the coming months. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the likely global economic downturn, Provost Scott Strobel and Senior Vice President Jack Callahan have asked all units to forego all non-essential expenditures and to avoid significant new financial commitments where possible. As you consider the impact of this guidance on your department’s current and future hiring decisions, some factors you will want to consider are:
- If the funding for the appointment comes from a source other than an external grant or a start-up package/research account, the offer must be pre-approved by both the relevant Dean and the Provost’s office. Requests must be reviewed by your Dean, who will escalate requests to the Provost’s office. In particular, with the expectation of a decrease in endowment values, appointments funded by endowments require approval from the Provost’s office.
- Federal grant guidance – at this point, paying postdocs/postgrads to ‘work from home’ appears to be OK. Please reference the most recent sponsored award FAQs for the most up to date guidance.
- University policy continues to be that first-year postdocs may not be terminated for financial reasons. [link]
- Early termination of a postdoc appointment will have significant implications for the postdoc, and may affect their health insurance, benefits, and have visa implications for those with non-immigrant status. Please give such decisions careful consideration.
As you consider postdoc and post grad appointments for the coming year, we have prepared guidance specific to the current circumstances, below and attached. If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact the John Alvaro, Director of Postdoctoral Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for all of your work to support the University in the current unprecedented situation. We sincerely appreciate all of your efforts.
With all best,
Vice Provost for Research
Associate Provost for Research