Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowships


The Dean's Fellowship program is currently undergoing review and is not accepting applications. A revised program supporting excellence in postdoctoral training will be initiated in 2015. Please stay tuned for an official announcement in 2015. 

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The Fellowship


Eligibility Criteria

Selection Criteria

Funding Requirements and Guidelines

How to Apply

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowships encourage and support young investigators in the first two years of their postdoctoral (Ph.D. or M.D.) research training at the School of Medicine and who are under the mentorship of faculty in the School of Medicine.   With the goal to support current postdocs and to facilitate the recruitment of new scholars, support of a Dean's fellowship is often used as "seed" money while outside funds are sought.  The stipend for the Jan. 2014-Dec. 2014, and July 2014-June 2015 cycles will be $23,491.  

The Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship Committee holds two meetings per year: one in November for awards to start in the following January through December, and in May  for awards to cover the following July through June.

The following information includes eligibility criteria, additional application guidelines, selection criteria, funding information and a list of the required application materials.

Applications from scholars and faculty mentors who do not meet the fellowship guidelines are not reviewed by the Fellowship Committee.   Scholars are expected to make sure they meet all eligibility criteria below and follow the application procedures below.

Eligibility Criteria:

1.  The applicant must be appointed as a postdoctoral scholar at the Stanford University School of Medicine at the time the award begins.  If the applicant is not an appointed scholar at the time of the application deadline, additional documents must be submitted with the application (see application checklist below).   

2.  The faculty mentor/sponsor must be appointed in the School of Medicine.  Acting, consulting and courtesy appointees are not eligible.

3. Awardees cannot be enrolled  in a degree-granting program while funded.

4. Applicants in the first one or two years of postdoctoral research training are preferred.

5. Foreign fellows must have visas that allow stipend support (typically a J-1 & F-1 OPT). H1-B and TN visa holders are not eligible.  Citizenship is not a selection factor.

6. Proposals for second-year funding: This is a one-year fellowship.  Because of the size of the pool the committee will no longer review second year applications.

Additional Application Guidelines: 

1. Faculty members may not have more than one funded Dean's fellow at a time, except for Assistant Professors who may have two funded scholars at the same time.

2. A faculty member may not serve as mentor/sponsor on more than one fellowship application per cycle.  This applies to Assistant Professors as well.  

3. Funding is restricted to support investigative activities.  Awardees must spend at least 80% of their time in research. If effort is reduced to less than 80% research while receiving funding, an exception must be requested and approved in advance.

4. Funding is limited to stipend support paid directly to the postdoctoral scholar. The award may not be used to support research expenses or towards travel or tuition expenses.  

5. If the proposed research will involve animal and/or human subjects/protocols, the applicant should apply for the required protocols at the time of submission and not wait to be funded. The award cannot be activated without approved protocols.  The protocols need to list the School of Medicine Dean's Fellowship as a possible funding source.

6. Re-applications from previous applicants whose applications were not funded are accepted.  Please see application checklist and selection criteria below for more information.

Selection Criteria:

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship selection committee consists of eight faculty of diverse interests and basic/translational focus.  They assign priority scores to applications based on:

  1. Scientific merit of the proposal and its training relevance.  The proposal must be written by the fellow and reviewed by the faculty sponsor.  Priority is given to proposals of outstanding scientific merit that will provide a novel and complementary training environment for the trainee.
  2. Scientific Potential of the Trainee.  Priority is given to trainees with the potential for independent and innovative biomedical research.
  3. Stage of Training.  Priority is given to those trainees in the early phase of their postdoctoral training.  The stage of funding is defined as the number of years as a postdoctoral fellow since your last doctoral degree.  Clinical residency years are not considered relevant research years. If considerable time has elapsed since the doctoral degree, and that time was not spent engaged in research or clinical residency, the applicant is expected to describe in the application how the time was spent.
  4. Rank of the faculty sponsor: Preference will be given to junior faculty.

Funding Requirements and Guidelines:

Fellows are awarded up to $23,491 per year for stipend support only. Funding starts January 1 for the Fall cycle and July 1 for the Spring Cycle. If the postdoctoral scholar currently has other fellowships, or has applied to fellowships that may be awarded during the dean’s fellowship award year, full disclosure of the amounts and dates of the other award(s) must be made on the BioSketch form.

Applicants should be prepared for the Dean's fellowship to begin on time (Jan. 1 or July 1) and be awarded for one full calendar year.  The recipient must be in active postdoctoral scholar status at the School of Medicine through the duration of the award.  The award is suspended during any leaves of absence, including maternity leave, but the funds are not forfeited.  Arrangements for re-distribution of the remaining funds or extension of the award year are typically made. 

The Dean’s Fellowship must be made in the form of a stipend to the scholar.  The award may not be used towards research expenses, travel or tuition payments. 

The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship is intended to offset existing support from other sources at Stanford rather than add to existing support.  The Dean's fellowship is meant to replace department budgeted funds and not be paid in addition to the normal level of pay.  Postdocs emerging from residency or other clinical training programs may be paid at current PGY levels, if this is the policy of the department.

In accepting this award, the postdoctoral scholar’s home department is responsible for adhering to the funding requirements and guidelines.  If guidelines are not met, the postdoctoral scholar may be asked to return all or part of the fellowship, if any

Other Concurrent Fellowship Support and Combination of Awards:

If a Dean's Fellowship recipient receives another fellowship award from Stanford or from an outside agency, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs must be notified.  If the two awards combined do not exceed the total support committed to the scholar as part of the terms of appointment, the Dean's Fellowship may be retained.  If the two awards combined exceed the agreed-upon support for the scholar at the time of reviewing the Dean’s Fellowship application, the Dean’s Fellowship award should be adjusted accordingly, up to a complete forfeiture of the award.   If an outside award or other funding is used that exceeds the research or GME pay levels, the Dean's fellowship must be declined/turned back unless an exception is granted.

The Fellowship Committee relies on faculty sponsors to report in writing the receipt of external support, via e-mail to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

HOW TO APPLY - Application Materials:

A complete application must be submitted online by the deadline.


Please carefully read the selection criteria, eligibility criteria and funding guidelines before starting the application process.

A complete application consists of:

LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Please begin the online application with enough time to allow the system to solicit the required letter prior to the application deadline.

For questions regarding this fellowship, please contact

*Page last updated 9/9/14.

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