Healthy Brown

Guidance for Postdocs

Brown remains open, but research activities are being shifted off campus as much as possible. Only essential personnel should report to work in person. All community members who can telecommute, including graduate students and postdocs, are expected to do so. Postdocs who are not required to be on campus for critical work should plan to remain off campus.

Supervisors have been asked to work with each of their student and postdoctoral trainees to develop a telecommuting plan that allows each of them to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible. For postdocs who have been identified by their mentor as “essential personnel,” these individuals should only stay in the work area for the minimal time necessary to carry out the critical work outlined in the lab’s minimum maintenance plan. All non-critical, on-campus research is now restricted to essential activities.

FAQ for Postdocs

Critical work includes maintenance of certain equipment, maintenance of critical samples and care of animals, and work whose interruption would result in irretrievable or unrecoverable loss of data or samples or loss of time for an ongoing experiment that could not be recovered within a reasonable period.

Faculty and departments have been asked to designate some site-critical personnel for maintaining essential activities and to communicate with those personnel in the coming days. This may include postdocs, and those individuals will be listed explicitly in that department’s critical maintenance plan. Postdocs who are involved in critical research activities and who continue to come to campus after March 18 should practice social distancing, good hygiene, and sanitizing work environments. Essential personnel should only stay in the work area for the minimal time necessary to carry out the critical work.

Postdocs should work with their faculty mentors to develop a telecommuting plan that allows each of them to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible. This may include tasks such as analyzing data and preparing manuscripts and applications. Postdocs and their faculty mentors should agree on the scope of work, frequency of meetings, and best practices for communicating with each other. When possible, they should agree on working hours during which postdocs are expected to be available, and as importantly, hours when postdocs are not expected to be available and may attend to their lives outside of work.

In accordance with the University guidance, we strongly discourage any non-essential meetings to take place in person. We recommend using video- and teleconferencing options such as Zoom instead.

Postdocs will continue to be paid as they work from home as long as their funding source allows for this arrangement.