Search Process

1) Is a search required?

A search is required for all postdoctoral appointments, except for the following:

  1. Unpaid appointments.
  2. Appointments to be paid through postdoctoral research fellowships awarded directly to the fellow.
  3. Non-renewable employee postdoct appointments.
  4. Appointments of individuals who are continuing work begun while graduate students at Harvard.
  5. Appointments of individuals who move to Harvard as part of an ongoing research team under the supervision of a newly-appointed tenure-track or tenured faculty member.
  6. Appointments involving transfer from “unpaid” to “paid” status, when there is a temporary need to prevent the interruption of research due to lapses in outside funding.
  7. Appointments in cases where a faculty member or principal investigator is acting as formal supervisor of a successful grant application that is essentially the work of the candidate and entirely dependent upon his/her employment.
    (Source: FAS Appointment and Promotion Handbook)

2) Conducting a search

When hiring a postdoc from outside of Harvard, the position is advertised in order to reach the maximum pool of realistic applicants. Suggestions for publications in which to post include:

Advertising copy must use the affirmative byline: "Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law." The search ad also must specifically express interest in candidates who are women and minorities. Care should be taken to avoid language that could be construed as discriminatory with regard to age."