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Postdoctoral Associates

Researchers kneeling on the ground, collecting samples from a stream.

Postdoctoral associates are critical members of the Virginia Tech community who innovate, create, and help propel the university to achieve its mission. Virginia Tech’s postdocs contribute to every college and institute, advance the pursuit of knowledge in every discipline, and represent the next generation of experts in their fields.

Virginia Tech is committed to supporting postdocs through this critical time in their career development by fostering community, supporting professional development, and providing opportunities to advance their scholarship. There are currently 224 postdoctoral associates at Virginia Tech.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Established in 2022, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs serves and supports scholars so they may serve the world. 

The office's  vision is to make Virginia Tech a national model for exceptional postdoctoral training and support. The office supports a vibrant and connected postdoctoral community and exceptional training experience by leveraging both university and national resources to enhance the holistic development of our postdoctoral associates. The office cares about the career and professional development as well as the well-being of the community. Virginia Tech provides comprehensive employee benefits to our postdoctoral associates and a training environment that extends beyond geographic and disciplinary boundaries. 

In the spirit of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs seeks to prepare Virginia Tech postdocs to live lives of meaning and impact that go beyond a job title. By engaging with the diverse campus community and the broad range of resources and opportunities available, Virginia Tech postdocs discover how their values can be lived out everyday through actions that impact their fields, their colleagues, students, and society.

Postdoctoral Scholar or Associate

According to the National Postdoctoral Association, a postdoctoral scholar is an individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing.

At Virginia Tech, the term postdoc can refer to two different employment situations:

  • Employees in the official university rank of “postdoctoral associate.” Eligibility for this rank requires an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree in an appropriate academic field awarded in the previous five years. Appointment to this rank is a traineeship under the supervision of a more senior faculty scholar in preparation for a career in academia or research. The appointment is temporary in nature and is limited to a minimum of one year and a maximum total of five years, from the date of terminal degree conferral. The Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree must be awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of appointment with a minimum of one year eligibility remaining.
  • Employees who have earned a Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree in the previous five years who are in an official university rank other than “postdoctoral associate." These positions are not considered traineeships and may fall under a number of official ranks such as “research associate,” “research scientist,” or “research assistant professor,” among others.