We are pleased to announce a substantive change to OSU postdoctoral programs made into law in the recent legislative session. The legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, SB  214 which allows Oregon research universities to recruit and hire into a position entitled "postdoctoral scholar." The law goes into effect January 1, 2018, and applies to research postdoctoral scholars who will begin their employment on or after January 1, 2018. The bill exempts these postdoctoral scholars from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and creates an alternative retirement plan within the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). This alternative retirement plan will allow postdoctoral scholars to receive up to a 4% university match on voluntary retirement contributions made to a tax-deferred investment (TDI) (403b) program.

To qualify, a postdoctoral scholar must be participating in a formal, mentored faculty research program; follow a formal, written mentorship program developed by an OSU research mentor and on file with the OSU Graduate School; and begin their employment on or after January 1, 2018. Current postdoctoral fellows, postdoctoral scholars, nor faculty research associates are not eligible for the new postdoctoral scholars program. The new OSU postdoctoral scholars program will be implemented on January 1, 2018, contingent upon the creation of an alternative retirement plan for postdoctoral scholars within the ORP. Additional details, including an implementation timeline, will be provided as they are available.

Passage of SB214 was a collaborative effort among Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Portland State University, and Oregon Health & Science University. We thank everyone involved in making this measure law, most notably, the Offices of the President, General Counsel, Research, and Government Relations at all four institutions. Thanks are due, too, to the faculty researchers in Oregon who made this concern a top priority for our campuses.

Additional information will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. Until then, please don't hesitate to contact the signatories below with comments or questions.

Cynthia Sagers               Jennifer Brown

Research Office & Graduate School
Oregon State University
Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis, OR 97331
Ph: 541-737-3467 / 541-737-4881