Skip to content

Duration of Appointment

On this Page


Postdoctoral trainee appointments are for one year and may be renewed annually based on satisfactory performance and availability of funding. Under current University policy, the cumulative PDT experience should not exceed five years in total. Under exceptional circumstances, such as a prolonged period of leave (e.g., extended medical leave) or other extraordinary situation (e.g., pandemic) during any of these five years, upon request of a faculty mentor, an extension may be granted by the appropriate Dean or Vice Provost for Research.

Related FAQs

Can postdocs work part-time?

No, postdoc appointments are full time (40 hours per week), based on the expectation that the postdoc will be fully involved in scholarly pursuits. In special cases, upon written request of the appointee and concurrence of the mentor; the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, may grant an exception when the postdoc is unable to make a full-time commitment for reasons of health, family responsibilities, or employment external to Penn. Such a request must take into account extramural funding agency requirements, if any. When a reduced-time appointment has been approved, the mentor and postdoc shall sign an appointment letter specifying the reduction in hours of work, reduction in stipend, and concomitant responsibilities. NOTE: Benefits are based on a postdoc percentage of full-time employment (FTE). A change in FTE may result in a change to benefits.

Can postdocs work remotely?

Generally, no, postdocs are expected to be based primarily in Philadelphia for the full duration of the fellowship period unless the research program requires a remote location. However, the final determination of a postdocs eligibility to work remotely is left to the discretion of their PI and/or Faculty mentor. Postdocs on a J-1 visa, or any other visa are not permitted to be fully remote. Postdocs on a J-1 visa can only participate in remote work two days in a five-day work week. The postdoc and mentor should follow the University Flexible, Hybrid & Remote Work policy as well as their school, department, or center’s policy regarding remote work.

View All FAQs