Annual Titles and Descriptions

(revised 12/18/2013)

The following titles are used for annual appointments:

RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
This title is used for individuals whose duties lie in the conduct of research. Research associates must hold a doctoral degree (e.g., MD, PhD, ScD) and be fully qualified as an investigator in the field of interest.

The PeopleSoft job code for research associates is 061103 in the “Other Academic” employee class.

RESEARCH FELLOW
This title is used for individuals in training status. Also referred to as a “postdoctoral fellowship,” this is an on-site, full-time training position. This title is used for individuals whose purpose is to achieve competence as an independent investigator. It may also be appropriate for an individual who, although well-qualified as an investigator in a given field, wishes to undertake training at the school in a different field. Research fellows must hold a doctoral degree (e.g., PhD, ScD, MD); exceptions to this policy will be made only for specific, longstanding programs (e.g., Fogarty fellowship program) preapproved by the Office of Faculty Affairs.

Generally, these appointments are limited to three annual appointments (thirty-six months of training). However, research fellows in the biological or laboratory sciences who have not had sufficient time to complete their training within three years may continue to hold this appointment for up to five years. In these cases, the faculty supervisor will be asked to verify that the research fellow is still in training during the fourth and fifth year of appointment.

The funding source determines whether a paid research fellow is an internal postdoc (paid a salary as a Harvard employee) or a non-employee postdoc (paid a stipend). Stipends will be paid only to those fellows whose funding source requires it. All research fellows are eligible for university benefits except for those fellows who are considered to be doing their own research, who are not working on a research program of a Harvard principal investigator, and who have outside health insurance.

All unpaid research fellows will be entered into the university system as non-employee postdocs, using the PeopleSoft job code 069599 in the “Non EE Post Docs” employee class.

The PeopleSoft job code for research fellows paid as employees (object code 6150) is 069591 in the “Internal Post Docs” employee class.

The PeopleSoft job code for research fellows paid a stipend (object code 6450) is 069599 in the “Non EE Post Docs” employee class.

The PeopleSoft job code for research fellows paid a stipend (object code 6452) who are NOT eligible for benefits is 069649 in the “Non EE Post Docs” employee class.

VISITING SCIENTIST
This title is used for individuals who visit the school either for a particular period of time or periodically, as well as for individuals based outside Massachusetts or overseas. Visiting scientists participate in activities of an academic nature in collaboration with HSPH faculty.  This includes individuals who occasionally visit HSPH to provide scientific expertise on a research project, scientists at non-Harvard institutions who facilitate an HSPH research project by serving as liaison to her/his home institution, as well as individuals engaged in teaching activities such as hosting HSPH students and postdocs at their home institution.  In some cases, faculty members from other institutions who visit HSPH while on sabbatical are appointed as visiting scientists.  Ordinarily, visiting scientists hold a doctoral degree.

The PeopleSoft job code for visiting scientists is 017202 in the “Other Academic” employee class.

INSTRUCTOR
This title is reserved for individuals who make substantial contributions to the school’s teaching programs and who do not already hold an academic appointment that would allow them to teach at the school. Occasionally, a director of a continuing education course may also be appointed as instructor. Instructors are expected to hold a doctoral degree or a relevant professional master’s degree. This title, which is not analogous to the instructor title used at HMS, may not be used in combination with another academic title such as research associate.

The PeopleSoft job code for instructors is 000046 in the “Other Academic” employee class.

VISITING GRADUATE STUDENTS
The Harvard School of Public Health acknowledges the value in maintaining relationships with universities and academic colleagues in other countries. These relationships offer opportunities for HSPH faculty members, researchers, and students to engage in learning and research collaborations that benefit the school.

HSPH faculty members may sponsor, for a period of twelve months or less, a student who is enrolled in a graduate program in another country. The visiting graduate student will be given an academic appointment as visiting scientist and a J-1 visa. Sponsorship is strictly limited to students in the following categories:

  • students enrolled in a doctoral degree program at a foreign institution
  • students enrolled in a master’s degree program at a foreign institution who are in the final/research phase of their program (i.e., they will conduct some portion of their thesis research at HSPH)

In addition to the documentation ordinarily required to process an academic appointment, visiting graduate students must provide the Office of Faculty Affairs with official documentation from their home institution of their status in their graduate degree program (including, for master’s-level students, a letter from their academic advisor or other institutional official verifying that they are in the final research phase of their program and will be conducting thesis research at HSPH).

The PeopleSoft job code code for visiting scientists is 017202 in the “Other Academic” employee class.