Post Doctoral

Conditions of Post-Doctoral Staff

Post-Doctoral Hiring

This toolkit is designed to assist hiring departments by consolidating information needed to fill vacant Post Doctoral position(s). Employment Services looks forward to partnering with you throughout the hiring process to help identify the best qualified candidates.

Preparing for the Recruitment Process

Preparing for the Selection Process

The Selection Process

Position Filled- Next Steps

Supplemental/Additional Compensation

Employment Period

Per ARP 6.42 - Post Doctoral Appointments Post-Doctoral Staff appointments are for at least one (1) year, renewable annually not to exceed five (5) years, absent an exceptional circumstance. The appointment letter will specify the annual term of employment. An annual post-doctoral appointment may be terminated prior to the end of the termination date specified in the appointment letter or other Office of Human Resource Services documentation for two reasons:
  1. For just cause, in accordance with the university’s procedures governing involuntary termination of regular faculty; or
  2. Loss or reduction in funding affecting the position.

Hours & FTE

Post-Doctoral Staff contemplate 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week) employment.  Exceptions to reduce FTE percentage, to not less than 0.50 FTE will require written approval from the appropriate dean or equivalent administrator and the vice president of research.

FTE Calculation

FTE is based on a full time equivalent of 40-hour work week. Using the total number of hours you intend for the employee to work (estimate the average if it is not exact) divide by the full time equivalent of 40. Examples:
  1. 35 hours per week ÷ 40 hours per week = .875 FTE (round to .88)
  2. 30 hours per week ÷ 40 hours per week = .75 FTE

Minimum Salary

The Provost Office has established the minimum annual salary at $48,000.

Education Requirements

To be hired into Post-Doctoral Positions individuals must provide a transcript (unofficial or official) confirming PHD/Doctorate Degree earned, this should be collected during the application process. All foreign transcripts will need to be evaluated for US equivalency, please visit the Foreign Transcript Evaluation page for more information. 

Quick Links

PeopleAdmin User Manual


Underutilized Placement Goals
Staff Hiring Flow Chart
Background Check Process Flow
Manager’s Guide: Propose a Starting Salary
Manager’s Guide: Qualifying Applicants
Quick Guide – Rehiring Retirees
Onboarding New Employees
Helping Student Employees be Successful
NMSU Template Language
Hiring Insights

Tools & Samples

I-9 & E-Verify Compliance
Applicant Qualification Calculator
Department Personnel File Checklist
Department Recruitment Checklist
Initial Screening Tool

Invitation to Interview Sample Templates
Position Management Info
Recruitment Publication Resources
Sample Ads
Sample Criteria Tool
Sample Offer Letter w/ Contingency
Suggested Referencing Questions

New Mexico State University, in compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, retaliation, serious medical condition, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, or protected veteran status in its programs and activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs and activities. Inquiries may be directed to the Executive Director, Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, P.O. Box 30001, E. 1130 University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88003; 575.646.3635; 575-646-7802 (TTY); is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request an accommodation, please contact Student Accessibility Services, Corbett Center Student Union, Room 2008, Las Cruces, NM 88003; 575.646.6840 (V/TTY) or or the Office of Institutional Equity, O’Loughlin House, E. 1130 University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88003; 575.646.3635; 575.646.7802 (TTY) or  One week advance notice is appreciated. To request this document in an alternate form, please contact HR Services, 575-646-8000,

Preparing for the Recruitment Process

Prior to beginning your recruitment process, conduct a review of the position needs, current staffing structure, budget/funding, qualifications and requirements etc, also keeping in mind that the post-doc should always report to a faculty in line with their research. Hiring Assistants/Managers can review the current vacant position through the NMSU Jobs system (PeopleAdmin) by conducting a search by position. If the position does not meet your needs and changes need to be made to the position description, refer to the Position Management page.  Otherwise, here is a checklist to assist you with recruitment and hiring Departmental Recruitment Checklist (staff).

Request to Post Position

Requests to post vacant positions are submitted utilizing PeopleAdmin at Vacant positions are posted on the NMSU Jobs system through the Employment Services staff once the position is approved for posting.

Advertising the Position

Advertising is optional for post-doctoral positions. If externally advertising, applications must be collected electronically through PeopleAdmin.  The recruitment process for a post-doctoral appointment shall include consideration of any individual who expresses an interest in such an appointment.

If advertising externally, advertisements for external sources must be submitted as an attachment for central HR Services review.  Departments are responsible for funding and placing external advertisements, once approved.

Advertising beyond the NMSU job posting site (which applicants view at should target audiences with a goal of obtaining a diverse qualified applicant pool.  There is no specific advertising requirement; however, your goal should be to make a good faith effort in obtaining a qualified applicant pool by placing advertisements in media sources that target applicants with the functional-specific areas for your position.

  • Be aware of how language in the advertisement may adversely impact a diverse pool of candidates if the requirements are too restrictive.
  • All advertising must include: department name, position title, requisition number, link to full posting and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement.
    • Short Version of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Statement for Job AdvertisementsAll electronic job ads must include a link to the position announcement on the NMSU website, which contains instructions for requesting disability accommodation.
      • NMSU is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.
      • NMSU is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

Preparing for the Selection Process

Establishing Selection Committee

NMSU is dedicated to providing equal employment opportunities in all areas of occupation without regard to age, ancestry, color, mental or physical disability, gender, serious medical condition, national origin, race, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, or veteran status, according to state, federal laws and NMSU’s LEADS 2025 Strategic Plan. The purpose of a Selection Committee is to ensure that the search process is fair and equitable to all and leads to the recruitment and selection of the best qualified candidate.

Staff Selection Committee Recommendations

If a selection committee is used, each participant must complete the Search Advisory Committee Declarations Statement and route to the search chair for the department recruitment file.

Initial Review of Applications

Applicants are required to apply online for University vacancies.  External application materials should not be accepted.  Departments will directly receive all electronic applications.  During the recruitment process, application materials are confidential. Review and screening of positions should begin after the posting close date. The employing department must evaluate and screen candidates to identify those that meet the posted minimum qualifications and of those which meet the department’s selection criteria, while at the same time documenting the reasons for not selecting other candidates.  Use caution when deselecting candidates, because an automated email notification is sent immediately upon deselection.  If an error is made in deselecting a candidate, contact your HRS Team Partner to discuss options.  The deselection can be reversed, but the email notification cannot.


Manager’s Guide to Applicant Qualifications

Applicant Qualification Calculator

Candidate Assessments/Evaluating Candidates

Verify candidate provided an awarded Doctorate degree in related field.

The purpose of candidate assessments is to assist in making an objective and informed decision about which applicant will best provide the knowledge skills and abilities to be successful on the job.

A chart or matrix can be devised listing all interviewed candidates and listing, on the other axis, criteria for successful performance in the position such as experience, education, key skills, knowledge, abilities, presentation in interview, etc. This approach helps the interviewer organize and display a variety of pertinent information for consideration in making the final selection decision.


Initial Screening Tool

Sample Criteria Tool

Preparing Interview Questions

Advanced preparation of interview questions provides a uniform basis for evaluating candidates. Prepare open-ended questions that will assist in evaluating the knowledge, skills and abilities required for a new employee to be successful on the job. Inappropriate questions that relate to an applicant’s personal life or protected class status cannot be asked.


Sample Interview Questions

Examples of Illegal Questions

Determining the Interview Process

Hiring departments may conduct interviews after the closing date of the posting. Telephone interviews and/or face-to-face interviews provide viable information about the applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.  As a standard practice, it is recommended that interviews be conducted in a consistent setting.  The interview will also provide valuable information to the applicant about the department, university/community college and the local area.  In structured interviews, the same questions are asked of each candidate.  Responses to each question should be documented for further evaluation of the candidates and retained by the department for three (3) years in the Department’s recruitment file in a secure location. NMSU encourages departments to invite candidates for interview in writing (email or letter).  We have created two sample templates for invitation to interview. The minimum interview requirements are:
  • Exempt – Interview a minimum of two qualified applicants.
NOTE: Please see the Manager’s Guide: Qualifying Applicants to determine if the applicant meets the qualifications.

The Selection Process

Conducting Reference Checks

As a standard practice, central HRS recommends conducting the reference checks on your finalist prior to interviewing.  It is a good practice to notify your finalists of your intent.  The online application has the candidate release form built in and applicants are required to agree in order to apply for the position.  Hiring departments can minimize the risk of hiring an employee who will not be able to succeed in the new job by contacting previous supervisors to ask about job performance.  Reference information provided by the applicant is an essential step in cross-referencing information received. You should only conduct reference checks on finalists for the position.  Many companies will only confirm employment dates and positions held.  You have a better chance of getting the information you need if you are able to contact previous supervisors directly.

References will often feel more comfortable confirming information provided rather than being asked a general question about job performance.  If you are unable to obtain sufficient references, the next step would be to contact the candidate and let him/her know that without references, you cannot pursue his/her candidacy further.

Suggested Referencing Questions: Questions should not be asked of any reference that cannot legally be asked of the applicant.

The Interview

The interview gives you an opportunity to further evaluate the applicant’s job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.  This interview also provides the ability to gather additional information about critical points on the application or to resolve any inconsistencies or contradictions that were noted. Responsibilities as an interviewer are:
  • To interview applicants and select employees on the basis of job-related qualifications
  • To record the steps taken in the hiring process
  • To project a professional and positive impression of NMSU on prospective candidates for employment
  • To be consistent and treat all applicants equal when conducting the interviews
  • Be cautious of informal conversations or inappropriate questions

Making the Offer

After the required reviews are completed, the hiring manager must submit the Hiring Proposal with the requested salary, proposed future start date, and draft offer letter to central HRS to obtain approval to extend the offer.  The start date must be a future date allowing for time to process. It is highly recommended that the first day coincide with the beginning of a new pay period. Central HRS will conduct a standard review, including but not limited to verification of qualifications, internal inequities, etc.


Manager’s Guide to Proposing a Starting Salary

Letter of offer: Postdoc w/ contingency (sample) 

  • Once the candidate has accepted the offer, the Hiring Department will complete the Hiring Confirmation and submit it to HRS. The candidate will receive an electronic notification initiated by central HRS to complete the Background Check Release (Background Check Process Flow). The Hiring Department will be notified when background check results are received.

Position Filled-Next Steps

Onboarding New Hire

To assist you with successfully onboarding your new employee, NMSU utilizes an electronic onboarding process via NMSU’s hiring system, PeopleAdmin. To learn more about this process, visit

More forms and documents to assist you in this process can be found on the New Employee webpage.

Disposition of Applicants/Following up with Candidates

After the Hiring Confirmation has been approved, the department will need to change the status of finalists to notify them that the position has been filled. This information is used to record and summarize recruitment activities for the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program reporting requirements. The online application system will generate an electronic response to all applicants that a final selection has been made. Non-selected applicants who request specific information or access to selection documents should be referred to central HRS at (575) 646-8000 or

Recruitment Record Retention

All application documents generated externally from the PeopleAdmin process may be scanned and attached as supplemental documents to the Hiring Proposal. Departments should be aware that these documents may be released to the public under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (NMIPRA). Examples of the application documents include but are not limited to: interview notes, candidate assessments, reference checks of finalists and online disposition of each candidate. For more information regarding records retention visit

Supplemental/Additional Compensation

Regular staff and faculty serving as a temporary faculty member must be hired as supplemental compensation (note cannot exceed a total FTE of 1.50 under ARP 7.53 – Additional Compensation for Supplemental NMSU Employment. All other circumstances, university wide (including the community colleges), please use position number 918898 for Temporary Staff Supplemental Pay.