Financial Support for Postdoctoral Scholars


A Postdoctoral Scholar is a trainee in residence at Stanford University pursuing advanced studies beyond the doctoral level in preparation for an independent career. Postdoctoral Scholars are registered as non-matriculated, non-degree-seeking students with the University. The classification of scholars as students, among other things, allows the deferment of student loans.


Postdoctoral Scholars are appointed for a limited period of time and may participate in Stanford research projects and may be supported by external awards or fellowships. In all cases, the appointment at Stanford is for the purpose of advanced studies and training under the mentorship of one or more Stanford faculty members.

Postdoctoral Scholars are appointed on a fullā€time basis in training positions normally within three years of active research after the PhD. If an appointment is to be made for a less than 100% time, it must be pre-approved by the Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs. 

The limit of an appointment is four years (total years of research past the Ph.D.); the possibility of extension to a fifth or a sixth may be granted by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Years of training refer to all years of research after the Ph.D. (i.e., at Stanford and elsewhere).  

Effort and Financial Support

Postdoctoral Scholars at Stanford must be supported by Stanford grants and contracts, training grants, departmental or school fellowship funds, or external fellowship funds, or by a combination of these sources. Postdoctoral Scholars may not be self-supporting. 

Postdoctoral Scholars, regardless of their source of funding, must be paid at least the minimum level established annually by the Vice Provost and Dean of Research and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. That level is determined by the cumulative years of research experience for that scholar. A school may also establish a higher minimum salary level for Postdoctoral Scholars paid within that school.

School of Medicine

Clinical fellows will follow the Post Graduate Year levels established by the Department of Graduate Medical Education at the Stanford Hospital & Clinics.