Skip to content Skip to navigation

Calculate Months of Experience for Research (non-Clinical) Postdoctoral Appointments

Research experience calculations are required for:

  • All initial postdoc appointments for candidates coming to Stanford with postdoctoral research experience from other institutions
  • All requests for discount of previous research experience from other institutions
  • All requests to correct previous research experience that is incorrectly shown on the recommendation form
  • All requests for a Sixth Training Year

Using the instructions below, please complete a Research Experience Calculator and then convert it from Excel to PDF.

For initial appointments, email the PDF Research Experience Calculator to your OPA Manager.

For correction of previous research experience that should have been discounted, email the PDF Research Experience Calcultor to your OPA manager.

For Sixth Training Year requests, please include the PDF Research Experience Calculator with the full supporting document packet and email to your OPA manager.

  • Calculations are completed by the Postdoc Administrator based upon the candidate's prior research experience listed on their CV (and Data Form, if submitted).
  • After completing the Research Experience Calculator spreadsheet (Excel form linked below), save it in PDF format for upload to the Recommendation web form.

Please read the University policy: Research Policy Handbook Section 2.A

In addition to what is listed in the University policy, the following guidelines also apply. When calculating previous research experience:

INCLUDE TIME for the following:

  • Research prior to the date of doctoral degree conferral IF all degree requirements were completed and the research began in advance of the date of degree conferral, EXCEPT when the research was carried out in the same dissertation lab with the same PI as the PhD research
  • Current Stanford postdoc appointment
  • Any previous Stanford postdoc appointment (e.g., department transfer)
  • Postdoctoral Scholar/Fellow
  • Research Associate/Assistant/Research Scientist
  • Visiting Postdoc
  • Visiting Scholar
  • Any other research or training-related position

EXCLUDE TIME for the following:

  • Non-research industry positions (Creative Director, Founder, etc.)
  • Instructor/Teaching positions
  • Visiting Student Researcher
  • Consulting positions
  • Time spent in a matriculated program (unless also in a postdoc position)
  • For MDs:
    • Internship/Residency years
    • Med Fellow appointments at Stanford
    • Training related to medical sub-specialty accreditation - including research years

Additional Research Calculation Notes:

  • Experience is counted from the degree verification letter date or the thesis approval date (may not be the same as degree conferral date).
  • If a postdoc started a position at a University other than where they received their doctorate after the thesis is accepted, time counts even if it is prior to degree conferral.
  • Up to 12 months can be deducted only if the postdoc work was completed with the same PhD advisor, in the same lab, and the same research was conducted as for their PhD.
  • If a postdoc candidate has held any kind of Professorship, they should not be appointed as a postdoc, but rather a Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar.
  • Postdocs with MDs who are completing research for after a second sub-specialty program will still have any prior research years included; a 6th year will be approved.
  • Dual-appointed postdocs and matriculated students—allow postdoc through the end of the matric degree (more than 5 years), but time as a postdoc still is counted.
  • ARTS trainees should not be appointed as a postdoc.

Tool:  Research Experience Calculator v11.2019 (Excel Spreadsheet)

If you have any questions about calculating the number of research months for a postdoctoral candidate, please submit a HelpSU.

If you have any questions about calculating the number of PGY months for a clinical fellow, please contact Graduate Medical Education .