Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

November 2009

Attention: J1 Post-docs who hold DS-2019s issued by Stanford

This email advisory was sent out to the postdoc email lists and to supdssworkgroup on November 16, 2009.

If you plan to travel out of the U.S. during the Thanksgiving Holiday or Winter Break, and re-enter the U.S. to continue your J1 program, remember that you must have a valid Travel Validation signature from one of the international scholar advisors at Bechtel in the Travel Validation section in the bottom right side of your DS-2019 for re-entry. The travel validation signature is also required on DS-2019s issued for J2 dependents. The signature is valid for one year for multiple re-entries. If your DS-2019 has not been signed in that section or if it was signed more than a year ago, you will need to request a Travel Validation signature at Bechtel. To request the signature, bring the DS-2019 to the upstairs front desk at Bechtel International Center during business hours of 10am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

A valid visa in your passport is also required for re-entry, so if the visa in your passport has expired, you will most likely need to apply for a new one at the U.S. Consulate in your home country before you can re-enter the U.S. (The exception is if you travel to Canada or Mexico for less than 30 days and retain your I-94 card. In this case, re-entry is permitted with an expired visa and valid, signed-for-travel DS-2019.) DO NOT RE-ENTER ON A VISA-WAIVER OR A B1/B2 VISA IF THE J VISA IN YOUR PASSPORT HAS EXPIRED!

Keep in mind that Bechtel International Center, along with most other University offices, will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday (Nov 26 and 27) and during the Winter Break, so plan ahead. For the Winter Break Bechtel I-Center will close at 5pm on Friday, December 18 and will re-open on Monday, January 4.


Lynn Kroner
Foreign Scholar Advisor
Bechtel International Center
584 Capistrano Way
Stanford University, CA 94305
phone (650) 725-0890
FAX (650) 725-0886

Postdoc Administrator Update – November 2009

Postdoc Administrator Update – November 2009 (emailed to supdssworkgroup on November 5, 2009)


In this Issue:

1. Policy Changes: terms of appointment and visa start and end dates

2. Procedural Changes: corrections or changes to signed offer letters

3. Preparing for Winter Closure: Key Dates and Deadlines

4. Upcoming Postdoc Event: Postdoc Academic Chats, November 6, 2009, 12 – 1 p.m.

5. 2010 Open Enrollment and Insurance Rates

6. Upcoming Training Session: Ending the Appointment of a Postdoctoral Scholar Successfully

7. Archives of OPA memos and this Update

8. Presentation slides attached—Postdoctoral Administrator Quarterly Meeting, November 4, 2009

1. Policy Changes: terms of appointments and visa start and end dates

The university’s Advisory Committee on Postdoctoral Scholars has voted to allow for multiple-year initial or continued appointments of postdocs at Stanford. This policy replaces the earlier practice of limiting a postdoctoral scholar appointment at Stanford to a maximum of 12 months at a time. It is expected that postdoctoral administrators as well as hiring faculty ensure that funding commitment exists when entering into a multiple-year agreement with the postdoctoral scholar. Any termination action prior to the end date of the appointment will be subject to the early termination guidelines posted online at

OPA encourages departments to set their internal policy with respect to initial postdoctoral offers. Best practices may develop such that an initial offer may be made for a year, followed by a reappointment for two years, for example.

The Committee also confirmed that start dates of Stanford-sponsored postdoctoral scholar visa requests coincide with the appointment start and end dates at Stanford.

2. Procedural Changes: making corrections or changes to signed offer letters

Please note that after an offer letter has been signed, it is a binding agreement between the university and the postdoc. Therefore, following the offer letter template online is of the utmost importance. Please update your files with the new offer letter template online at Going forward, with any offer letter, the postdoc must receive the enclosure titled “Terms and Conditions of Offer” available online at

There are circumstances when corrections must be made after the offer letter has been signed—common examples have been if there is a significant change in the start date of the appointment due to visa processing delays, to denote a change in salary, or to rectify important omissions that must be included as part of the offer to come to Stanford as a postdoctoral trainee. In such situations, the administrator must prepare an amendment (or correction) to the offer letter, noting the issue warranting the correction. You should always check with OPA before generating such amendment. The amendment must be signed by the PI and the postdoc and submitted to OPA.

OPA will limit a complete re-write of a signed offer letter to cases when OPA determines that significant omissions were made or extensive corrections are needed. Our regular practice remains unchanged that Jaclyn Lam in OPA will notify you if and when an offer letter amendment is needed for an appointment that you submitted to OPA.

3. Preparing for Winter Closure: Key Dates and Deadlines

The last business day in 2009 for OPA will be December 18, 2009. OPA will be closed from December 21, 2009 through January 1, 2010. The office will re-open on Monday, January 4, 2010. Remaining New Postdoc Orientation sessions in 2009 will be on: November 12 and 19 and December 3, 10 and 17. No Orientation session will be held on November 26, 2009 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Please note that the deadlines to submit complete appointment paperwork to OPA for processing before winter closure are:

- For postdocs appointees requiring visas: November 25, 2009

- For US Citizens or foreign postdoc appointees with valid EAD card: December 1, 2009

Administrator deadline to submit any DS-2019 initial or extension requests for OPA approval for processing before winter closure: November 25, 2009.

OPA does not guarantee that appointment or visa paperwork submitted after those dates will be processed before OPA re-opens in 2010.

4. Upcoming Postdoc Event: Postdoc Academic Chats, November 6, 2009

How Academia Really Works- What You Don’t Know Can Surprise (and Bite) You will be the topic of two simultaneous Postdoc Academic Chats on Friday, November 6, 2009:

1. Hugh O’Brodovich and Russ Fernald will be the guests of the Chat for medical and biosciences postdoctoral scholars, 12 – 1:30 in Clark S360

2. Curtis Frank and David Brady will be the guests for the chat with postdocs in engineering, social and natural sciences and education, 12 – 1:30 in the Assembly Room at the Bechtel International Center.

5. 2010 Open Enrollment and Insurance Rates

Postdoc Open Enrollment starts this week and continues through November 17, 2009. Medical rates remain the same as 2009 rates. The dental plan and short term disability premiums have a nominal rate increase, but the vision rates decreased. Highlights of the 2010 postdoc benefits plans include several NEW! Programs:

· Anthem Medical: Future Moms

· Postdoc Assistance Program

· Vision: Increased frame and contact lens allowance; Diabetic Eyecare Program

Visit the postdoc benefits website for insurance rates (which include your department contributions in 2010) and all the information related to the plans, upcoming benefit fairs, free flu shots and open enrollment:

6. Upcoming Training Session: Ending the Appointment of a Postdoctoral Scholar Successfully

For postdoctoral administrators, this 90-minute training session will cover the different procedures involved in ending postdoctoral appointments at Stanford. Topics covered will include the early termination policy and process, the administrator role in transferring a postdoc to another department, changing employment status to a faculty or staff position, how to notify Bechtel if foreign scholar ends appointment more than 30 days prior to J-1 program end date, and how to end H1B employment correctly. The session is led by Alistair Murray, Monday, November 23rd, 2009, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Register in STARS (OPA-1151-112309) starting Friday, November 6.

7. Archives of OPA memos and this Update

Important business memos from OPA as well as an archive of this email monthly update may be found in the Administrative Updates blog on OPA’s website

8. Presentation slides attached—Postdoctoral Administrator Quarterly Meeting, November 4, 2009!

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