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 member of the faculty. 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."
The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides employment-related activities including appointment letters for postdoctoral trainees. These postdoctoral appointments may occur as one of the following several categories:
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 to be appointed with a salary at least equivalent to the current NRSA year 0 postdoctoral salaries.
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.
Individuals with an MD or PhD may also be hired as research associates (RA). RAs are employees of the University and are eligible to receive University benefits. They may be reappointed to a maximum of three years, after which time the appointee is terminated or placed in a different classification. Note that the RA position does not explicitly require mentoring and is a regular staff position with appointment letters processed by Human Resources.
Click here to read the university's Postdoctoral Trainee Handbook.
Click here to learn about The Postdoctoral Researchers Association (PRA). 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.