Postdoctoral scholars and fellows are a vital part of the university's vibrant research community. The Graduate College is committed to your success and supports a wide variety of resources that will help you thrive in your research efforts and further develop your professional skills.

Postdocs are individuals who are engaged primarily in research, as part of a continuum of post-baccalaureate education and training, unique from either students or faculty members. As such, your classification, responsibilities, and benefits have been tailored to this unique status. As a postdoc at Iowa, you have access to many of opportunities and services available to students, as well as several of the benefits provided to faculty.

University of Iowa Vice President for Research and Economic Development Martin Scholtz chats with postdocs.
University of Iowa Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz chats with postdocs during Postdoc Appreciation Week. 

Postdoc is a general term used at The University of Iowa to designate temporary, doctoral-level researchers engaged in advanced education and training designed to prepare for an academic and research career. The university recognizes two classifications of postdocs, depending on the source of their stipends and research funding, as well as the nature of their research. 

  • Postdoctoral Research Scholars are engaged in research supported by external grants, contracts, or University of Iowa General Education funds that may be made available to faculty members. This type of appointment is used for those not on an NRSA grant. Persons appointed under this classification (HR appointment code FP01) have specific responsibilities and research expectations directly related to the grant, contract, or university-funded program.
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellows are supported by NRSA grants. The primary obligation to accomplish the aims of the fellowship rests with the Fellow (HR appointment code FP02).

For information concerning tax classification, please see the memo from Selina Martin, University Controller, and Dean John C. Keller (June 1, 2018).

Length of Appointment: Postdoctoral Research Scholars and Postdoctoral Research Fellows are temporary appointments at The University of Iowa. The postdoctoral experience at The University of Iowa will not extend past 5 years unless there are unusual circumstances. To extend the length of the appointment, the department needs to send a justification for an extension at least 3 months before the end of the current appointment. This request requires approval from John Keller, Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate College.