State law makes it easier to recruit new postdocs

First published in Around the O, in July 2017. A new Oregon law will make it easier for researchers at the UO to recruit postdoctoral scholars and secure federal research funding, chief research officer David Conover said in a campus message July 18.

“I am pleased to announce that the Oregon State Legislature has passed Senate Bill 214, a law that will make it easier for us to recruit postdoctoral scholars and bring in more federal funding,” said Conover, UO’s vice president for research and innovation. “Our UO team led the way for the rest of the state in the multiyear effort of passing this legislation.”

The law applies to postdoctoral scholars — or “postdocs” — trainees pursuing advanced studies beyond the doctoral level in preparation for independent careers. Many postdocs participate in research projects under the direction of faculty mentors.

The new law will exempt postdocs from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and provide them with an alternative retirement plan after it takes effect Jan. 1. It will allow them to receive up to a 4 percent university match on retirement contributions they make.

The new law applies to scholars at other Oregon universities as well, but the UO was the initial driving force behind efforts to pass the legislation. Conover credited members of his staff, the UO Office of Government and Community Relations, United Academics and the UO Postdoc Association for working to pass the measure, which supports UO President Michael Schill’s goal of increasing academic excellence and research productivity.

More details about how SB 214 will be implemented will be posted to the Research and Innovation websitein the coming months. In the meantime, questions can be directed to Cass Moseley at [email protected].

Read the full version of the announcement.