Postdoctoral Definition

Academic Research Job Family

The Academic Research Job Family (ARJF) is a set of 12 generic titles for the appointment of non-faculty academic researchers at Boston University.

This project was launched by the Provost’s Office to address the long-standing need to more accurately define the duties, education and skill requirements, employment policies and procedures, and eligibility for accruing sick and vacation leave for individuals participating in the research and training programs of the academic units of the University, and to provide a broader selection of positions to support career advancement for our researchers.

Hiring into these positions follows the procedures specific to each individual school or college. The 12 generic titles are described in the “Non-Faculty Academic Research Job Family Matrix”. This document serves as a road map for researchers and PIs, schools and departments, and employment administrators across the university to provide guidance for non-faculty research positions. Individuals joining BU are now being hired into the new ARJF position titles.

One major consequence of this change is that the catch-all titles of Research Associate and Senior Research Associate will no longer be used.

All current academic research positions, compensated or not, are to be mapped into one of the 12 new job titles.

Please note, that the ARJF Matrix includes guidelines for Post-Doctoral fellows (trainees) who are paid from training grants. As such, post-doctoral fellows are not university employees.

As an outcome of this project, you will see the long needed changes in the way Boston University hires, evaluates, and compensates the Academic Research Staff.

These will include: clearly described position and job expectations; the same eligibility for sick, vacation, and maternity leave benefits as for salary grades 73 and above; transparent, consistent and fair policies for appointment, annual performance review, career advancement, and notification of re-appointments; and common employment guidelines that can accommodate the diverse needs of the university’s research enterprises.