Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Professional Development Opportunities for Postdoctoral Administrators

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides training and professional development activities for Stanford staff who manage postdoctoral affairs in labs and departments campus-wide.

Training is offered through in-class courses, monthly Open Labs, Quarterly Administrator Meetings, and online through the PeopleSoft Learning Center and on the OPA website.

The following is a list of training opportunities related to postdoctoral administration.  Staff must register via STARS where applicable. 


Administrative Policy, Procedures and Systems

Postdoctoral Scholar Policies and Procedures (OPA-1001) Overview of Stanford policy and procedures for the administration of postdoctoral appointment actions of postdocs. 

Required for administrators to work with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Classroom.

Register in STARS.

PD Webforms Systems Training (OPA-1011) Overview of Postdoc web forms transactions to appoint postdoctoral scholars, manage their appointments and end them successfully.

Required training for users of the PeopleSoft Postdoc Web Forms. Classroom.  Online module Forthcoming.

Register in STARS.

ClearBenefits Training for Postdoc Admins (OPA-1501) Training for Administrators in order to gain access to the third-party ClearBenefits system for managing postdoctoral insurance.

Required for new staff to use ClearBenefits. Classroom

Register in STARS.

Salary Entry and Policy (OPA-1051) Funding policy and entry to set up financial support for postdoctoral scholars. This course does not fulfill the requirement for entry access to the GFS system. Recommended. Classroom.
Ending Postdoctoral Appointments Successfully (OPA-1151) Applicable procedures and business practices for ending postdoctoral appointments, including early termination, transfers to another position at Stanford and the required steps in PeopleSoft for processing. Recommended. Classroom.
Processing Clinical Appointments (OPA-1201) Specific to the appointment of clinical trainees at the School of Medicine.  Policy regarding joint appointments with GME or with Academic Affairs.

Required for administrators appointing clinical fellows every spring. Offered annually. Classroom.

Register in STARS; Course #: OPA-1201

Visas for International Postdoctoral Scholars (OPA-1251) Overview of visa regulations, policy and procedures for postdocs. Covers categories such as OPT, J1, and H1B.  Includes information on administrator responsibilities in monitoring status and compliance with J1 and H1B federal regulations. Strongly recommended. Classroom.
Appointing New Postdoctoral Scholars (OPA-1301) Specific focus on the process of appointing new postdocs. Overview of policy to determine eligibility, funding and visas.  Includes procedural tips and guidelines. Recommended.  Classroom.
Open Labs Hand-on sessions with an OPA manager for staff who need one-on-one help with PeopleSoft or other appointment-related procedures.  GFS questions also addressed. As needed. First Friday of Every Month, 9:00 am -12:00 pm, Birch Lab, 215 Panama St.
GFS User Forum (AS-5000) Free educational forum provides information related to graduate & postdoctoral financial support. For more info, click here. Recommended. Conference.

Business Practices

Orientation and On-boarding of New Postdoctoral Scholars Online toolkit and best practices recommendations for effective preparation, transition and support of new postdoctoral scholars by department staff. Required. Click here.
Postdoctoral Administrators Quarterly Meetings (no registration required in STARS) Regular quarterly policy and procedure updates, presentation of issues and concerns by various offices supporting postdocs at Stanford. Required.  Presentation/Discussion.
Postdoctoral Support, Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Intervention I: QPR Workshop (OPA-1610) Teaches participants how to recognize a mental health emergency, invite a dialogue with someone in distress and how to get the person at risk the help they need, and what to do if they refuse to get help. (Includes suicide prevention.) Recommended. Workshop.
Postdoctoral Support, Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Intervention II: Threat Assessment (OPA-1620) Overview of incidents of violence on university campuses, common issues, ways to recognize potential threat, how to react and ensure the safety of students and colleagues. 

Recommended. Presentation.

More Information:

Postdoctoral Support, Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Intervention III: Conflict Management (OPA-1630) Discussion of the nature of conflict in the research environment, stressors, strategies to manage difficult situations, when and where to escalate concerns and provide referrals.   Review of the nature and role of the Ombuds office, and the counseling support resources available through the Help Center. Recommended.  Workshop.

Additional Training:


Stanford University FERPA Compliance Training is organized by the Office of the University Registrar.  Postdocs at Stanford are in student status and as such, their records are subject to FERPA Compliance.  Slides of the November 17, 2011, training can be downloaded here.


Stanford Medicine Resources:

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