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Completing a Research or Post-Doc Appointment Position Summary Form

The Research or Post-Doc Appointment Position Summary (.pdf) provides a synopsis of the purpose, key functions and qualifications and responsibilities associated with the work that the individual you are appointing will perform.

A well written position summary is concise, typically 1-2 pages, and provides an analysis of the position that focuses on the functions of the position, not the specific tasks performed, and the position itself as opposed to the skills and qualifications of the individual who will be appointed to it.

In the first section of the position summary, you are asked to provide identifying information relating to the position, including the position title, name of the appointee, department and the name and title of the individual to whom this position will report. The information provided in this section should match the information provided in the Request for Research or Post-Doc Appointment form.

In the Position Overview section, you are asked to provide a brief summary, typically 1-3 sentences, of the key functions and responsibilities associated with the position. The position overview should provide a concise explanation of why the position exists but should not include details enplaning how tasks are performed or elaborate on specific activities associated with the position. 

When writing the position overview, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why does this position exist?
  • What is this position intended to achieve?

In the Key Position Functions section, you are asked to list the key deliverables that the position must produce in order to achieve the purpose(s) outlined in the Position Overview section. Each function should be distinct and should described key areas in which results must be achieved. This section should list major functions of the position but should not list individual tasks. Most positions will have 4-6 key functions.

When writing the key functions, you should:

  • Use clear, concise and direct language
  • Avoid using technical language where possible
  • Use present tense
  • Begin sentences with a verb
  • Avoid using abbreviations

Once you have identified the key functions of the position, elaborate on them by providing the key duties associated with each function. Only include major duties, not specific activities, actions or tasks. Duties listed under each key function should be condensed into 2-3 duty statements.

Next, review the key functions and determine the percentage of time that the appointee will spend performing each function over the duration of their appointment and enter this percentage in the column to the right of each key function. The percentage of time allocated to each function should be fixed, not variable, and should not be less than 5%.

In this section, you are asked to list all essential and preferred skills, knowledge, experience and education requirements related to the position. 

Under Essential Qualifications, list the minimum level of qualifications that an appointee must possess in order to successfully perform the key functions of the position. These qualifications should include:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Licenses and certifications
  • Knowledge and skills

Essential qualifications must be measurable and related to the position. They should not include qualifications that are less than that required to perform successfully in the position. For instance, if you have indicated that a PhD is an essential qualification, you need not list a Bachelor's Degree as a requirement. 

Under Preferred Qualifications, list any qualifications that, while not essential to successful performance in a position, would be considered desirable in a candidate or would heighten an individual's capacity to perform successfully in the position.