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Appointment & Guidelines

Collective Bargaining Representation

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is the exclusive representative of the postdoctoral scholars. Individuals in the following titles are in this systemwide bargaining unit:

  • Postdoctoral Scholar - Employee (Title Code 3252)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar - Fellow (Title Code 3253)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar - Paid Direct (Title Code 3254)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar - Employee NEX (Title Code 3255)
  • Interim Postdoctoral Scholar - Employee (Title Code 3256)

>> See Current Contract (effective October 17, 2016 through September 30, 2021, extended to October 31, 2022)

The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) considers all appointees to these titles to be “employees” for the purpose of collective bargaining and exclusive representation.

Under HEERA, the UAW is the exclusive representative of employees in the PX unit.  In accordance, the union has the exclusive right and authority to negotiate with UC management about the wages, hours, benefits and working conditions that the employer provides to the employee it represents.

The negotiated terms (the contract) govern most of the University’s relationship with the postdocs.

Campus Appointment Guidelines and Process

Appointments (Article 2)


  • Requires doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., M.D.) or foreign equivalent.
  • Excluded are individuals pursuing clinical fellowships and residencies in the health sciences.

Terms of Service

  • Appointments are temporary and have fixed end dates.
  • Initial appointment at the University is for two years; however, for Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellows and Paid Directs, the duration is the length of their fellowship award funding.
  • Reappointments of Postdoctoral Scholars from any title into the Postdoctoral Scholar-Employee title must be for one year.  However, reappointment may be for less than one year under certain circumstances: programmatic work, eligibility, and work authorization.
  • It is within the University’s sole discretion to appoint, reappoint or not reappoint a postdoctoral scholar.
  • Total duration of an individual’s postdoctoral service may not exceed five years, including postdoctoral service at other institutions. Under unusual circumstances the University may grant an exception to this limit, not to exceed a sixth year.

Compensation (Article 4)

Effective October 1, 2023

  • All newly appointed postdocs must receive at least the UC Salary Scale rate for their years of experience as a postdoc.

10/1/2023 Annual

10/1/2023 Monthly

Level 0  (0-11 months) $64,480 $5,373.33
Level 1  (12-23 months) $66,868 $5,572.33
Level 2  (24-35 months) $69,342 $5,778.50
Level 3  (36-47 months) $71,908 $5,992.33
Level 4  (48-59 months) $74,569 $6,214.08
Level 5  (60-71 months) $77,327 $6,443.92

Salary Increases

  • Salary increases are not based on performance.
  • Nothing shall preclude the University from providing compensation at rates above those required by the contract.
  • If a postdoc’s rate is already greater than the next step, then the increase must be at least 3% at time of experience level increase.

Time and Effort Commitment (Article 25)

  • Postdocs are considered “exempt” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Required work schedule must be reasonable and related to research needs
  • Emphasis is on meeting professional goals and on demonstrating research and creative capabilities, rather than working a specified number of hours.

Appointment Submission Process

The appointment submission process for postdoctoral scholar appointments is through the Research Scholars Appointment System (RSAS).  RSAS is an online administrative portal and database.

It is VERY important that before you start using RSAS you know and understand postdoctoral appointment and compensation policies. 

To request access to RSAS, send email to .  Once you have been set up to use RSAS, refer to the RSAS user manual for instructions.

The following documents will be required to be uploaded in RSAS prior to submitting your request:

Initial Appointment:

  • Biography Form
  • Proof of Degree
  • Proof of Funding (for Fellows and Paid Directs)


Exception Request:

Amendment Request:

Once the request is submitted by department postdoctoral scholar administrator into RSAS, the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs (OPSA) will review the request and generate an official offer letter or other approval. An offer is not an offer unless it is a written offer from the Dean of the Division of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Departments and PIs may communicate with a potential candidate and discuss the possibility of an appointment, but, the authority to make an official offer is with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.

Please be aware that the University if required to provide the postdoctoral scholar with a written notice of appointment within seven (7) days following the start of the appointment, or thirty (30) days prior to the start of the reappointment. (Article 2:C:1).  To adhere to this requirement, OPSA requires appointment requests be submitted at least two (2) months in advance of either action type (and three (3) months if a visa is required) to allow time for processing. 

Once appointment has been approved by OPSA, department can enter the appointment into the Payroll System (PPS)

RSAS Process for Restricted Party Screening

In order to comply with Federal laws, UCSD is required to check foreign persons and entities against a list of Restricted Parties.

Effective August 1, 2015, the RSAS process will require all department administrators to enter the restricted party screening information.

 Instructions to register for and get access to Restricted Parties Screening tool:

  1. Visit and complete the listed steps. Be sure to use your email address to register. This email address will also be your username.
  2. Once you are registered, go to and sign on with your unique username (email) and password.
  3. After logging in, CLICK on the “RPS” –or- “Restricted Party Screening” links and enter the scholar’s name, associated entity (company), country     and indicate comment for screening, i.e. postdoc or visiting scholar.
  4. Download RPS Guide for full instructions and definitions:
  5. For additional information, visit the Export Control website or contact their office at

  Instructions for RSAS entry:

  1.  For new appointments, create the person and complete the Person, Degrees, Experience and Appointments tabs.
       Make sure all information is completed and required documentations have been uploaded.

   2. Once you have completed the normal appointment process, open the new Compliance tab.

    1. If the person is a US Citizen or Permanent Resident, check the “Screening Not Required” box.
    2. For all others foreign persons, proceed with screening (see instructions above).
    3. If no records are found, in the Screening Notes box, enter “no results”.
    4. If results are found, check the “Results/Matches/Alerts Returned” circle and add result comments in the Screening Notes box.
    5. Click the “Save” button to forward the result to Export Control.

  3.  Do  not submit the appointment to OPSA until you receive a notice from Export Control Office that the match is cleared.

  4.  Once you received the notice from Export Control, you can submit the appointment to OPSA.

 FAQs (restricted party screening)

  1.  Do I have to screen all visiting scholars and postdocs?

Screening is required on all foreign persons (not US citizens, legal permanent residents or protected persons) and those associated with foreign entities to ensure no export licenses are required for restricted entities or persons affiliated with restricted entities.

  2.  What is the process if there is a hit and escalation to Export Control?

Export Control will review the screening hit to determine if it is a hit on a US export control list, a partial name hit, an entity (company or university hit) or a sanctioned country hit (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria or Sudan). For non export control list or partial name hits Export Control may clear the individual. For individuals with direct name hits additional information may be requested such as a middle name or other identifying information in order to ensure the listed restricted person is not the same person being appointed as a post doc or visiting scholar. For individuals associated with a restricted entity or a sanctioned country Export Control will consult with the PI to perform an export license review. There may be  3 options: no export license is required, a license is required and will take a minimum of 6 weeks to obtain from the US government or  a control plan will be implemented to ensure no unlicensed exports occur.

  3.  How long will it take the Export Control Office to review a case?

For partial name hits and non export control list hits Export Control generally will be able to respond the same day. For individuals associated with restricted entities or sanctioned countries the response is dependent on the complexity of the review and licensing and control plan requirements. For questions on reviews, email

If you have any questions on the restricted party screening process, please contact the Export Control office by emailing For questions on RSAS, please email


RSAS User Manual (updated Jan. 30, 2017)