Friday, October 14, 2011

Uniform notification date for postdoctoral positions in professional psychology

APPIC, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers, runs a centralized match for (pre-doctoral) internships that uses the Roth-Peranson algorithm, which replaced the prior telephone market, which suffered from congestion.
As their name suggests, they also are involved with postdoctoral positions. The field of clinical neuropsychology also operates a postdoctoral match, but the other postdoctoral areas do not. Recently APPIC has taken steps to try to organize that market in a decentralized way.

In May of 2011 APPIC polled its member postdoctoral programs about whether they would prefer a system that operated with a uniform offer notification date versus a uniform acceptance date. Under a uniform acceptance date, programs could make offers whenever they liked, but all offers would be supposed to remain open until the designated acceptance date. Under the uniform notification date, all offers would be made at the same time, with applicants having a short time to reply.

My understanding is that the organization has decided to go ahead with a uniform notification date, which would however allow programs to make early offers if one of their non-complying competitors makes an early exploding offer to a candidate to whom they are planning to make an offer themselves. Here's an outline of the proposed rules. I worry that some of the same problems that afflicted the old telephone market for internships may quickly resurface...(and that this proposed organization of the market will not work as well as the reorganization of the market for gastroenterologists, which instead of dealing with reciprocal offers by employers, empowered applicants to change their minds on early acceptances...)

Uniform Notification Date with Option for Reciprocal Offer (UNDr)
March 14, 2012

UNDr Procedure

All APPIC non-neuropsychology postdoctoral programs (those that do not offer the specialty of clinical neuropsychology) will make offers to applicants only on the APPIC selected date for offers. Programs may make an exception if an applicant is made another earlier bone fide offer, which must follow the guidelines below. On March 14, 2012,  at Noon EST, the program will call their top candidate. Once an offer is made to an applicant, the applicant may proceed with one of the following actions: accept the offer, decline the offer, or hold the offer for four hours. If the position is held, it is considered to be frozen and cannot be offered to any other candidate during that time period. (At the four hour mark, the candidate must either accept or decline, otherwise the offer is no longer valid). Candidates may not hold more than one offer at a time. Once a candidate accepts an offer they should call the remaining programs that are lower on their  preference list and inform them that they no longer wish to be considered at those facilities. Postdoctoral Training Directors (or their designee) will contact all applicants by phone or e-mail on the day of the UND to inform them of the status of the position. After a site and an applicant come to an agreement, a formal offer letter will be mailed to the applicant who will then formally accept the offer in writing.

Reciprocal Offers Process
Candidates who have been made an offer from a non-APPIC site (whether clinical or research postdoc or job offer) requiring a decision prior to UND date may contact an APPIC site request a reciprocal offer. The candidate would indicate the name of the program making the competing offer and how long they have been allowed to hold their offer.
Before making a reciprocal offer to the candidate, the APPIC site should call the candidate's Internship Training Director and verify the offer or ask the applicant for written verification of the competing offer (e.g., a faxed or scanned letter or a forwarded e-mail).

When an APPIC program makes a reciprocal offer, the candidate is expected to accept immediately. The acceptance is binding. If a program declines to make a reciprocal offer, only then is the candidate permitted to contact another site indicating it is (now) their #1 choice.

Application Deadlines
Application deadlines are permitted at any point prior to UND as determined by each program.

Notification of Applicants Who are No Longer Being Considered
APPIC programs should notify applicants at the point that they are out of consideration for the position for which they have applied.

UNDr Posting by APPIC Postdoctoral Members
By September 24, 2011, APPIC postdoctoral programs are expected to update their brochures, website, and directory information to explain their use of the UNDr process.

Programs who Wish to Make Offers after UND
Programs are permitted to make offers after UND if they are uncertain of funding at time of UND.

No clearinghouse will be set up during this initial year. Programs that do not fill positions on UND may fill their empty positions on any future date.

UNDr Frequently Asked Questions

Does the UNDr process apply to non-APPIC postdoctoral programs?
APPIC is currently marketing this process to non-APPIC postdoctoral programs as a mechanism of providing increased collaboration among all training programs. Many non-APPIC postdoctoral programs previously participated in an informal UND process. These programs in particular have all been contacted personally to request their continued participation as in years past. Any program who would like to participate is most welcome to do so and we strongly encourage every program to follow this procedure. We ask any non-APPIC program who wishes to participate to contact Dr. Lisa Kearney at so that they can be kept informed of any updated processes as they occur.

Does APPIC plan to move forward to a formal match system for postdoctoral programs as it previously did with the internship?
There is no current plan to move forward to a formal match system.
However, the APPIC Board will continue to survey members regarding their interest and commitment to a formal match system, and implement as voted on by the membership.

If I do not obtain funding for a new postdoctoral position until AFTER the UNDr date, may I proceed with filling the position after the UNDr date?
Yes! If you receive funding after the UNDr date, you may proceed with recruitment for the fall. This is also the same for new internship programs who receive funding after the Match date.

I have a Neuropsychology Postdoctoral program which does not participate in the formal neuropsychology match system. Must I participate in the UNDr process?
No, Neuropsychology Postdoctoral programs are not included in this process as they already have a process for organizing offers available to them through the APPCN match system.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The correct link for the APPCN match web site is <a href="></a>