Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

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Postdoctoral Trainee Definition

The following information is excerpted from the Academic Staff Handbook; please see the handbook for official policies.

The non-faculty academic staff at Weill Cornell Medicine are valued employees who contribute to the teaching, research and/or clinical programs of the Medical College. Among the non-faculty academic staff, postdoctoral trainees could have any of the following titles: Postdoctoral Associate, Fellow or Visiting Fellow. A postdoctoral trainee at the Medical College is an individual who has a terminal degree (Ph.D., M.D., DVM or equivalent) and is appointed for the purpose of training to develop the ability to reason in a scientific manner, formulate hypotheses independently, and to perform independent research, including basic, clinical, translational or behavioral research. An individual engaging in research activities for a year or two as part of a clinical training program is not considered to be a postdoctoral trainee, unless the training is designed to develop the ability to perform independent research. A postdoctoral trainee must have no clinical or professional responsibilities that interfere with research training. However, while research training is the principal activity of postdoctoral trainees, they can elect to participate in teaching activities, including but not limited to lecturing, moderating small group conferences or mentoring junior scientists. Postdoctoral trainees are expected to publish the results of their research.