Postdoctoral Scholar

Job Code:  81901
FLSA Status:  This position is typically exempt.
Prepared by:  NAU Human Resources Department
Revision Date:  09/26/2012


The postdoctoral experience provides individuals who have recently completed a doctoral degree with a full-time program of advanced academic preparation and research training under the guidance of a supervising faculty mentor. Postdoctoral appointments are temporary by nature and are designed to develop the postdoctoral scholar as an independent scientist and to enhance their professional skills in academia.  Postdoctoral Scholar positions are typically subject to the availability of funds and are not eligible for layoff or recall status.



This position differs from the service professional position of Research Associate in that it is temporary in nature and may not last more than four years after the initial appointment and functions under the direction of principal investigators (PIs).  This position differs from classified staff research positions in that typically greater education and experience in required, and projects tend to be more complex and wider in scope.



The following are examples of typical duties.  Other duties may be assigned.  Essential duties should be identified on a more specific working job description. 

  • Data collection, processing and analysis
  • Assists faculty researchers and other collaborators, or may act independently, in planning and designing research experiments; establishing priorities and recommending schedules, time tables and costs.
  • Presentation of project results to internal and external parties.
  • Operates specialized scientific equipment.
  • Performs statistical analyses, including selecting the appropriate analysis procedure, setting up data for analysis, judging validity and reliability of data, designing and writing programs to perform analyses, and producing written reports on the result of the analyses.
  • Effectively uses available technology to facilitate the success of the project.
  • Liaisons with other NAU departments, outside collaborators, and others to ensure success of project.
  • Engaged in fieldwork and writing of technical publications and reports.
  • May supervise classified staff, graduate assistants, or student employees.
  • May be responsible for training staff, graduate assistants, or student employees.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. 

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of the subject disciplines.
  • Organizational and project management skills.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Skill in leading, coordinating, and/or supervising the work of others.
  • Awareness of and commitment to NAU’s EEO/Affirmative Action Plan and Safe Working and Learning Environment goals.
  • The ability to work effectively with people from a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds



Requires a PhD in the subject discipline by the time of appointment.   Relatively recent graduate or graduation by the time of appointment.