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How to Appoint Postdocs

New Postdoc Admins: read "Gain Access to Postdoc Web Forms System"

Determining Postdoc Candidate Eligibility:

  1. Has the candidate completed all doctoral requirements (PhD within the last 3 years, MD within the last 6 years) as evidenced by a diploma, degree certificate, or letter of completion (letter must meet requirements noted in Required Supporting Documents section below)?
    1. If Yes, continue to next criterion.
    2. If No, degree requirements are not complete, and the candidate is not eligible; consider a Visiting Student Researcher appointment through the University Registrar's Office, or wait to appoint until proof of degree is available.
    3. If No, the degree was conferred more than 3 years (PhD) or 6 years (MD) ago, appointment requires a policy exception and less than 51 months of research experience. If the candidate has more than 51 months of research experience, they are not eligible; consider a Visiting Scholar appointment through Faculty Affairs, or an Academic Staff-Research (AS-R) or Consultant appointment through Human Resources.
  2. Will the candidate be appointed at another institution or employed elsewhere concurrently with the Stanford postdoctoral appointment?
    1. If No, continue to next criterion.
    2. If Yes, the candidate is not eligible; consider a Visiting Postdoc or Visiting Scholar appointment through Faculty Affairs.
  3. Does the candidate have previous research experience?
    1. If No, the candidate is eligible for a postdoc appointment.
    2. If Yes, complete a Research Experience Calculator.
      1. 1 to 51 months previous research experience: the candidate can be appointed as a postdoc.
      2. 52+ months previous research experience: the candidate is not eligible; consider an Academic Staff-Research (AS-R) or Consultant appointment through Human Resources.

Appointment Process: See Job Aids for Invite and Recommendation Form for Details

  1. Eligible appointing Faculty Sponsor/PI identifies a postdoc candidate
  2. Postdoc admin confirms budget/candidate eligibility and initiates the appointment process with a Postdoc Invite web form in AXESS
  3. Candidate completes online Data Form (Information Sheet) and uploads documents
  4. Admin reviews/approves Data Form
  5. Admin creates/submits Recommendation Form
  6. Department Manager/DFA reviews/approves Recommendation Form, which auto-generates the offer letter to the candidate
  7. Candidate reviews/accepts the letter
  8. Admin verifies the appointment terms on the Recommendation Form and submits to OPA for approval
  9. OPA reviews the Recommendation Form for approval

Flowchart of process:   Postdoc Web Forms Workflow Roles and Responsibilities

Required Documents:

Documents not uploaded to the Data Form by the candidate must be uploaded by the Admin to Nolij before submitting the Recommendation Form!

Documents cannot be viewed as attachments on the Data Form or Recommendation Form. Instructions for viewing and uploading documents in Nolij are available on the Job Aids page.

Outside funding letters and Notices of Award from external fellowships are reviewed by OPA before approval.

Documents uploaded to Data Form by Candidate (.pdf or .jpeg only):

  • Copy of the doctoral diploma/degree certificate
    • English translation required (if LOTE)
    • In the absence of a diploma or degree certificate, a Letter of Completion is acceptable to start the appointment before degree conferral, IF:
      • Letter is issued by Registrar or equivalent central office (letters issued by the academic department are not accepted)
      • Letter confirms the date ALL degree requirements were completed, including submission and acceptance, defense of thesis, and the expected date of degree conferral
      • See examples: Sample Degree Verification Letter 1 Sample Degree Verification Letter 2
    • Unofficial transcript that confirms doctoral degree earned and date of conferral
  • Recent CV
    • Dates entered in mm/dd/yyyy or mm/yyyy format
    • Dates noted only as years are insufficient for research experience calculation
  • Any external Notice of Award/Funding Letters (must be reviewed by OPA)
    • Must be in English
    • Must be on agency letterhead
    • Must be signed by an official funding agency representative
    • Must provide exact award start and end dates
    • Must state specific funding amount (range of funding is not acceptable)
    • Must specify use of funds and a breakdown of any amounts intended for benefits or other coverages beyond the salary amount
    • Must specify time of payment installments and if transferred in foreign currency or USD
      • Currency conversion printout is required if Notice/Letter indicates payment in a foreign currency (www.oanda.com provides currency conversion printouts)
    • Must provide a separate letter for each outside funding source
    • Cannot require or include a postdoctoral appointment/employment with other institution
  • For international scholars: copy of bio-demographic passport page, and any prior US immigration documents (DS-2019s, I-20s, etc.)
    • For J-1 Scholars, Postdoc Admin submits a DS-2019 request web form along with the Recommendation Form
    • For F1 OPT Scholars, Postdoc Candidate uploads a copy of the EAD card or proof of application for EAD to the Data Form
    • For H-1B visa holders, Postdoc Candidate uploads a copy of the most recent I-797 approval notice to the Data Form
    • For Permanent Residents, Postdoc Candidate uploads a copy of the green card to the Data Form
    • For Postdocs whose J-1 visa is sponsored by another institution, Postdoc Candidate uploads a copy of the current DS-2019 to the Data Form

Documents uploaded by Postdoc Admin:

  • Any required documents from the list above that were not uploaded to the Data Form by the Postdoc Candidate
  • For Scholars wtih previous research experience, complete a Research Experience Calculation and enter number of months in the "Research Experience noted by Department" field on the Recommendation Form
  • Currency conversion printout (if outside funding letter states foreign currency)
  • Outside funded benefits coverage approval email (if applicable)

Recommendation Form Processing Timelines:

  • U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and F1 OPT visa holders: 5-7 business days
  • J-1 Scholars: A minimum of 8 weeks in advance of the requested appointment start date is required for DS-2019 processing; 9-10 weeks preferred
  • H-1B Visas: 4-6 months in advance of the requested appointment/visa start date; 3-4 months if premium processing is used

Processing Guidelines:

  • Appointment start/end dates must match J-1 DS-2019 program start and end dates
  • Funding levels in the Recommendation Form must match the DS-2019 Form
    • Exception: If DS-2019 period is more or less than one year, funding should be prorated accordingly
  • Recommendation Form and DS-2019 Forms are submitted concurrently to OPA for review/approval
  • If proof of degree is not submitted on or before the appointment start date, the appointment cannot start and the department must appoint candidate as a Visiting Student Researcher until proof of doctoral degree is provided. Information on Visiting Student Researcher status found at:
  • Proof of outside support must be provided if the postdoc will receive funding support from fellowships, scholarships, or awards outside of Stanford
    • Award letters are uploaded by the candidate with other documents listed above
    • No support by personal or family funds allowed
    • Typical examples of this type of support is the home country government, educational institution, Stanford Hospital (SUH), Palo Alto Veterans’ Administration Medicine Center (PAVAMC), fellowship paid directly to the scholar, etc.
    • Proof is normally a letter from the sponsoring institution (with English translation if LOTE)
    • Letters include start/end dates of support, amount of support, and name of the institution or fellowship which supports the training at Stanford
    • Exchange rates available from Oanda currency converter
    • Total annual pay to scholar, from all sources, must meet or exceed Stanford's minimum funding level, based on years of research experience
  • MDs performing clinical duties outside of a fellowship program or billing for services must sign the Agreement For Services Outside of Fellowship
    • Signed copy provided by either the postdoc/fellow or the admin via upload to the online form

Searching for a Student ID (EmplID):

It takes 24-48 hours (and longer during high volume times) for Student ID creation after appointment approval. If you do not have access to PeopleSoft or GFS to search for the student ID#, use this method:

  1. In AXESS, click the Postdoc Administrative Forms tab
  2. Click the Change Transactions button
  3. Click "Add"
  4. Click the magnifying glass to the right of the Student ID field
  5. In the Look Up box, enter the postdoc’s first and last names
  6. Click "Look Up"
  7. The student ID is displayed in the results
  8. Copy ID number
  9. Exit the Look Up box and exit the change form without saving or submitting.

Example Offer Letter:  Postdoc Offer Letter - Research 2019

For Clinical Trainees:

For Joint Clinical Instructor appointees in the School of Medicine:

  • Signed copy of the CI letter
  • For clinical postdoctoral trainees, signed agreement of services outside of the fellowship