Postdoc Researcher Program

Position

Postdoc Fellow

Reports To

Lab Leader

Definition

The Post-Doc is a scholar who has recently held a Ph.D. in the last 2 years. He is supposed to conduct research after the completion of his Ph.D. in a research lab associated with Prince Sultan University.

Duties

  • Conduct research under the supervision of a research lab leader
  • Supervise undergraduate/graduate students
  • Apply for/attract research grants
  • Co-supervise Master and Ph.D. students
  • Conduct national, regional and international research cooperation
  • Publish in top-ranked journals and patents
  • Give seminars and training
  • May teach a course (0-1 courses per semester) - should have no teaching load

Selection Criteria

First, we have to make sure that the post-doc is likely to provide the expected outcomes. For this reason, we need to analyze the following metrics when reviewing each postdoc candidate:
  • the number of publications in his Ph.D.: a good fresh Ph.D. graduate should have at least four publications, among which 2-3 good quality journals should be produced during his Ph.D.
  • the quality of journal publications: this is an important indicator as it will give an understanding of the quality of research. If the journals are in Q1 and Q2, then, this is definitely a good indication, where at least one Q1 journal should be there. If all journals are Q3 and Q4 this is not a good indicator of research with high impact.
  • the quality of conference publications: the Ph.D. student typically targets conference papers as well. It is important to look at the quality of the conferences. High-quality conferences give a good indication of the quality and impact of publications. In the case of computer science and engineering, we look at the ranking of the conference and its impact on this website . For other disciplines, active researchers should be consulted about the quality of conferences.
  • the University of the candidate and his supervisor: this also can give an indicator of the relevance of the candidate, although what matters the most in what he has produced during his Ph.D. If the Ph.D. supervisor is well-reputed, this will potentially lead to establishing a research collaboration with him through the postdoc which will increase his productivity.
  • other scholarly activities:
    • research network and collaboration,
    • review duties,
    • editorship in journals
    • TPC of conferences
  • h-index and number of citations: although a fresh graduate is not expected to have a high h-index or number of citations, it is good to look at google scholar profile and Scopus profile to see the impact of his research. h-index above 5 would be considered as good enough.
  • A candidate who meets these criteria is eligible (does not mean should be accepted), and then we conduct an interview with him. The purpose of the interview is to check the communication skills of the candidate and assess his potential in fulfilling the expectations.

    The Recruitment Process

    The college dean or research lab/group leader post an announcement for a postdoc. It is important to clearly specify the target research profile of the candidate that fits the scope of its related research thrust. Once applications are received they are short-listed and the relevant candidates will be contacted for an interview. After the interview, the college dean and/or research lab leader write a report stating their recommendation about the candidate with justifications in case of recommendation of his acceptance. The report is raised to the rector's office for final approval.

    Teaching Load

    • No teaching load
    • Can be assigned a course with the coordination with the lab leader as a part-timer

    Duration of the Postdoc Contract

    The postdoc candidate can be renewed as a postdoc 3 maximum times, annually. This means the total number of years as in a postdoc position should not exceed 4 years. After the end of the possible extension period, there are three possibilities:
    • The postdoc can be converted to an assistant professor at the University
    • The postdoc can be promoted to a senior researcher
    • The postdoc may not be admitted for any other contract
    The decision is based on the recommendation of the lab leader and the availability of the position at the University, in addition to the research interest and budget.

    Conversion to a Faculty Member

    The postdoc researcher can be converted to a faculty member with mutual agreement between the lab leader, the postdoc and the college in case there is a mutual interest for such a conversion, either at the end of three possible extensions or before. In this case, the candidate will have the same teaching load and duties and also the same salary package as other assistant professors. In this case, a request is raised from the college dean and the lab leader to the rector for the approval of the conversion to a position of a faculty member, for the rank of an assistant professor. In the case of the conversion, a new contract has to be signed between the University and the faculty member for the position of assistant professor.

    Vacation

    • The vacation of the postdoc researcher is 30 days in the summer.
    • They have 3 days of vacations for the week of inter-semester.

    Outcomes & Evaluation

    The evaluation of the postdoc researcher should be based on an activity report but there are some minimum expected outcomes that he has to fulfill. The expected deliverable for a postdoc is at least 5 Scopus papers where 3 of which journal papers and 2 additional as conference or book chapter papers. Furthermore, the postdoc will be assessed as per the following metrics.
    • Number of ISI/Scopus papers.
    • At least three (Q1, Q2, Q3) journals every year
    • Keeping a number of citations per year no lower than 100 citations in Google Scholars and 70 citations in Scopus.
    • Number of research events/training organized
    • Number of students supervised
    • Number/amount of research grants attracted

    Progress Reports

    The researchers are requested to send a progress report on a regular basis upon the request of the rector office. They are required to fill in the Activity Report of PSU Researchers.

CONTACT US

Prince Sultan University, Research and Initiatives Center (RIC)
P: +966 (11) 494 - 8851
research@psu.edu.sa