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Early Termination by Appointing Department

The postdoctoral appointment is contingent upon programmatic need, satisfactory performance, and the existence of funding.   There is no guaranteed or implied renewal at the end of the term; the faculty mentor and postdoc should discuss renewal well before the end date, a minimum of 3 months if a visa is required.  International postdocs may be eligible for up to five full years of a J-1 visa program, but there is no guarantee that the appointment will be renewed.  Subject to the limits set forth in university policy, the appointment may be subject to early termination or non-renewal.

A postdoctoral appointment may be ended prior to the agreed-upon appointment end date as a result of funding shortfall, change in programmatic need, or lack of sufficient research progress or inadequate performance. Early termination may also be made following a determination that misconduct by the scholar has occurred.

An early termination process does not apply if the scholar is resigning from the appointment prior to the end of the appointment contract. A Termination Web Form is still required in the case of Early Terminations.


Where termination is based upon misconduct or cause (including for disclosure or misuse of confidential information, conflict of interest, misuse of University resources, or any other misconduct or acts detrimental to University operations or violating University policy) advance notice of termination may be waived with the approval of the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs.

In all cases of possible early termination, the faculty sponsor must contact the department’s postdoctoral administrator, who may also recommend discussion of the case with the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs.

Faculty sponsors should give the postdoc an early termination notice (must follow this template Early Termination Notice Sample) 30-60 days before the early termination date , with a copy to the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs. In cases of funding shortfall, 90 days notice is typical. If the postdoc is on a visa, the faculty sponsor must also provide a written/e-mail notice of the early termination date to the Bechtel International Center.

Any terminations due to inadequate academic or research progress must follow a process by which progress discussions and written evaluation by the faculty mentor are made. This process must note the specific steps to be taken in order to remedy any deficiencies, and the possibility of early termination if those deficiencies remain by a specific date. Such process takes place several weeks/months in advance of taking this early termination action.