Announcements: Description of Changes to SPG 201.19 Research Fellows

From: Academic Human Resources
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 9:30 AM
Subject: Recent Revisions- SPG 201.19 Research Fellows

All,

I’m writing to call your attention to the recently-published revision of Standard Practice Guide 201.19 “Postdoctoral Research Fellows”. This SPG, last revised in 1986, was the subject of a faculty led review by the Postdoctoral Advisory Group, under the sponsorship of Rackham Graduate School and the Office of the Vice President for Research. The group considered the SPG in the context of emerging best practices with respect to postdoctoral training and also with an eye towards encouraging greater consistency in training and mentorship practices for fellows across campus. The revised SPG is available on-line at: http://spg.umich.edu/pdf/201.19.pdf

While some stylistic changes have been made, there have also been several clarifications and more-substantive modifications. These are summarized below, with references to the relevant sections of the document in which they appear:

  • A fuller description is provided of the circumstances in which it's appropriate to assign a postdoctoral research fellow title, specifying the scientific nature of most postdoctoral research positions. (II.A.1.).
  • Modification of the customary maximum duration of research fellowship appointments, which should be made for one year or less, with the possibility of renewal in subsequent years, not to exceed a total of five (previously six) years of postdoctoral training. This change is consistent with guidelines of external funding agencies, such as NIH (II.A.2.)
  • Requirements to be met by units before offers are extended. (II.A.3.)
  • Expectations regarding the responsibilities of appointing units and research fellows themselves for assuring a successful training experience (II.A.4.)
  • Description of the circumstances in which postdoctoral research fellows whose activities involve classroom teaching must hold a separate instructional appointment under the provisions of the University’s contract with the Lecturers' Employee Organization.  (II.A.8.)
  • Elimination of the "employee-trainee" designation, while continuing to address the special circumstances of “scholar trainees” funded by externally-designated trainee programs in which postdoctoral research fellows hold 0% appointments. (II.A.6. and II.E.2.)
  • Modification of the customary maximum duration of research fellowship appointments, which should be made for one year or less, with the possibility of renewal in subsequent years, not to exceed a total of five (previously six) years of postdoctoral training. This change is consistent with guidelines of external funding agencies, such as NIH (II.A.2.)
  • The new language addresses more specifically the process by which fellows and their assigned mentors agree on a proposed training program that will enhance the fellow's scholarship and ability as a researcher. (II.C. 4.)
  • More specific information is also provided about administration of paid time off for postdoctoral research fellows with effort. The annual vacation allowance is now described as “‘one month in twelve’ (22 workdays)” for fellows appointed in yearlong increments, with proration for partial year appointments. (II.D.8.a.) In addition, the language authorizes the use of short-term sick leave to address care of newly born, newly adopted, or newly fostered children. (II.D.8.b.)
  • Finally, the generic sample grievance procedure now includes the Office of Academic Human Resources for consultation before deciding a case. The Office of the General Counsel continues to be listed as an option for consultation as well.  (ATTACHMENT A)

Feel free to direct any questions to Academic Human Resources at: hr-acadhr@umich.edu or 764-6731