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

Research experience calculations are required for:

  • New postdoc appointment for candidates with research experience from other institutions (including Stanford department transfers)
  • Discount of previous research experience or leave period
  • Correct an error on a previous research experience calculation or system calculation error
  • Requests for a Sixth Training Year - see the Sixth Training Year dashboard!



  • Complete a Research Experience Calculator smart sheet (link below)
  • Convert the smart sheet email confirmation to PDF and upload to Nolij
    • (except for 6th Training Year requests, include the email confirmation in the 6th year packet).

When calculating previous research experience, in addition to the information found in Research Policy Handbook Section 2.A, the following guidelines also apply:

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)
  • Leave periods: maternity/paternity, unpaid leave of absence
  • 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 postdocs.


Smartsheet Tool:  Postdoc Research Experience Calculator

For questions about calculating research months, submit a SNOW ticket.

Direct questions about calculating PGY months for clinical fellows to GME.