Requirements Prior to Appointment Start
Before the Fellow may begin the NASA Postdoctoral Program appointment, he/she must have completed the requirements for a Ph.D. or doctoral research degree. If the Fellow has fully completed the degree requirements, but has not received the actual degree, the Fellow’s graduate dean, registrar, or recorder must provide a signed statement directly to ORAU verifying that all requirements for the doctorate degree have been met before the Fellow may begin the appointment.
If the Fellow is not a United States citizen, he/she must provide evidence to ORAU of an acceptable J-1 Visa status as a research scholar, lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with pending LPR status, before beginning the appointment. Non-U.S. citizens must have a Visa status that allows them to participate in the program for at least two years.
Some NPP facilities may require a security or visitor clearance before the Fellow can start the appointment (see Access to NASA Facilities on the Policies and Procedures page). The Fellow will be notified in advance by the NPP Center representative if a clearance is required and will be provided instructions for meeting this requirement.
The Fellow may not begin the NPP appointment until all education and/or prior employment obligations have been met. ORAU will not issue an advance stipend check or start stipend payments until all required forms have been returned and prior obligations have been met.
Appointment Start Date
The Fellow’s appointment start date should normally be within six (6) months of the date of the ORAU offer letter. The Fellow’s official ORAU offer letter will include the approximate start date that he/she has provided for the appointment. If the Fellow has special circumstances, including Visa requirements, which require the start date to be changed, the Fellow must notify the NPP advisor, NPP Center representative, and ORAU immediately. Any change to the Fellow’s start date must be approved by the NPP advisor and the NPP Center representative, and ORAU must be notified of the change.
Change of Advisor
If the advisor associated with the Fellow’s research opportunity must be changed because of illness, loss of project funding, retirement, change in research area, etc., the NPP Center representative must notify ORAU and provide the name of the new advisor. A Fellow’s request to change research advisor must be justified and discussed with the NPP Center representative. The new advisor must be in the same research area. The NPP Center representative will have the final approval of any change to the advisor, and must notify ORAU of any change.
Change in Research or Research Management Program
If the Fellow believes that they need to change their approved research or management program, the Fellow must provide justification and receive written approval from the NPP advisor and the NPP Center representative. The NPP Center representative must immediately provide the written approval and a written description of the revised program to ORAU.
Non-Compliance with Terms of Appointment
If, for any reason, the Fellow becomes unable or refuses to comply with the terms or objectives of this appointment, ORAU and/or NASA will withdraw or terminate the appointment upon such basis, as it deems proper.
Inaccurate or Missing Application Information
ORAU and/or NASA reserves the right to withdraw or terminate an appointment that was offered as a result of misinformation given by the candidate or any reference, or as a result of any person withholding information that could have prevented the appointment.