Postdoctoral Research at UGA

At the University of Georgia (UGA), the postdoctoral research experience emphasizes scholarship and continued research training for individuals who have recently completed a doctoral degree.

The postdoctoral research scholar conducts research under the general oversight of a faculty mentor in preparation for a career position in academe, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector. Postdoctoral research work provides essential training that may include opportunities to enhance teaching and other professional skills.

Postdoctoral research scholars contribute to the academic community by enhancing the research and education programs of the university. They bring expertise and creativity that enrich the research environment for all members of the university community, including graduate and undergraduate students.

UGA strives to provide a stimulating, positive, and constructive experience for the postdoctoral research scholar, by emphasizing the mutual commitment and responsibility of the institution, the faculty, and the scholar.

An individual who has received a doctoral degree (or equivalent) and is engaged in a temporary and defined period of mentored advanced training to enhance the professional skills and research independence needed to pursue his or her chosen career path.

The NIH/NSF definition (above), which emphasizes the importance of mentored training during the postdoctoral period, is used for all postdoctoral scholars supported by funding from NIH or NSF.

Postdoctoral Affairs
Oversight for postdoctoral affairs at the University of Georgia is provided by the Office of Postdoctoral AffairsOffice of the Vice President for Research. The terms and conditions related to postdoctoral research appoints at UGA are detailed in the University of Georgia Policy for Postdoctoral Appointments.
Postdocs at UGA
More than 250 postdoctoral scholars hold positions in over 40 UGA departments, centers and institutes.

Top Departments with Postdocs (alphabetical listing)

UGA Libraries
UGA Libraries include three principal facilities on the UGA campus in Athens: the Main Library, the Science Library, and the Student Learning Center. The Libraries also has primary responsibility for a number of smaller on-campus libraries, reading rooms, and materials centers, and collaborate with several UGA research facilities throughout the state. In addition, specialized assistance is available by subject area.

Purchasing Supplies and Equipment
Every department/school/college has established custom processes for submitting orders. Meet with your unit’s business manager and with colleagues in similar research areas to learn the ropes. Purchasing resources include:

Laboratory Safety and Research Compliance

Laboratory Safety

Before you can conduct research in a laboratory, your lab director will have contacted the Environmental Safety Division (ESD) to discuss the type of research that is performed. ESD manages UGA procedures for laboratory inspection, hazardous waste handling, chemical procurement and tracking, radiation safety, and they provide you access to the Laboratory Safety Manual.

TIP: OVPR compliance offices offer training to ensure researchers meet all university, state and federal regulations and laws. Some training is offered online, and some is offered through UGA Training and Development.

Research Compliance

If your research involves human subjects, animals, or biosafety concerns, you should contact the following offices early in your research planning (also check with your research mentor). In almost all cases, training and written approval from these offices is required before any research can commence.

Responsible Conduct of Research
All UGA postdoctoral scholars should be aware of UGA policies regarding Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR). General RCR information, including policies on Research Misconduct and Conflicts of Interest, and information specific to NIH and NSF RCR training requirements is available through the OVPR website.

TIP: As a matter of policy, all personnel employed on an NSF grant must complete NSF online RCR training. Nobody may be placed on an NSF grant payroll without first verifying that training has been completed. This includes faculty, postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students, and even those who are not UGA employees or students.

Research Funding and Proposals
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) coordinates resources for finding funding and writing proposals. Other UGA units offer workshop on specialized topics, including UGA Libraries (Finding Funding, Data Management Plans, and Copyright for the Researcher) and the College of Education (Program Evaluation).
Proposal Submission
Proposals may only be submitted by postdoctoral scholars with signature of department head/director.

Technology Development
When you joined UGA, you signed an agreement to abide by the UGA Intellectual Property Policy, which states that all intellectual property generated in the course of your research belongs to the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. (UGARF), unless specific sponsor agreements dictate otherwise. As you conduct research, you should carefully evaluate whether a particular research outcome or technology development has value as a commercialization opportunity. Find out more about how to protect your creations or inventions (intellectual properties) that result from scientific and creative activities.

Tip: If you believe you have creations or inventions (i.e., intellectual property) that should be protected, file a disclosure of intellectual property (described in Intellectual Property Policy, section III.C.) and follow the confidentiality obligations (section III.E). For more information, contact the Technology Commercialization Office.

UGA Core Facilities
Because it is difficult for any research laboratory to have all the capabilities required to carry out a research program, many of UGA’s core facilities are operated as shared-use facilities on a first-come, first-served basis. You should consult experienced faculty in your research area about whether there are either shared-use facilities or other research laboratories that provide access to instrumentation or services you require. As a post-doctoral researcher at UGA you are entitled to use these facilities. However, in some cases the account must be set up by the laboratory primary investigator. Contact the facility for rates and other information.