I'll be completely up front and say that I'm quite skeptical of them, but I don't have any strong data to back up my skepticism. Here are my qualms:
- Why is the institution hiring postdocs as opposed to full-time lecturers? Isn't this just a money play?
- What kind of career development program is available to the selected postdocs outside of "here, teach these classes"?
- If there's a research component, how much support does the PI offer the postdoc? No one likes dual mandates, and I can't imagine PIs are enthusiastic about postdocs that come with outside commitments.
- What is the track record of the program?
- Do the BU PFF alumni get hired as PUI faculty at a higher rate than research postdocs?
- Do the BU PFF alumni get promoted to tenure at a higher rate than other assistant professors?
- Do they show better track records in teaching or gaining outside funding?
- Does the BU program demonstrate "added value"?, i.e. do their alumni outcomes show that they have actually improved participants' chances of getting assistant professor positions?