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Refresher Training: PD Web Forms and Tips & Tricks


Confidential Information

  • Information entered in PD Web Forms is part of Student Records.
    • Postdoc can request to view student records.
  • System notifies Postdoc of changes made and requested.
  • Sensitive information should not be entered into PD Web Forms.
  • IDP forms should not be uploaded to PD Web Forms.

Inviting Postdocs

  • Navigation to Invite page is in PeopleSoft, not Postdoc Administrative Forms.
  • DO NOT send a 2nd invitation to the same email address. PD Web Forms will remember only the 1st invite and Postdoc will not be able to accept Offer Letter in SecurePortal.
  • If faculty sponsor cannot be found to add to invite, you must add to the instructor/advisor table. Faculty sponsor must be a member of the professoriate.

New Department: Navigation to PostDoc Invite


Add a new value, complete Stf Postdoc Invite Page:

1) Modify email text for clarification (eg. Department/Division)

2) DO NOT remove language, only add;

3) Send to generate invitation and email notification to postdoc.


Tips for Recommendation Form in PD Web Forms

Do not submit for approval unless requirements for approval by OPA have been met

Upload Documents for Recommendation Form

Required documents not uploaded by Postdoc, e.g., degree conferral, can be uploaded by you to Nolij.


How to Upload Documents to Nolij


Academic Information Section

  • Non-degree granting Programs, e.g. Freeman Spogli Institute, Dean of Research, Woods Institute, BioDesign, all use the “Other Associations” field and the Academic Program of the faculty sponsor.
  • Only School of Medicine divisions use Academic Sub-Plan field.
  • INCOMPLETE Academic Information will result in return of Recommendation Form.

Years of Research

  • Admin must carefully review research experience months with the CV to determine if any postdoctoral research time should be excluded after doctoral degree conferral.
  • Enter months in Research Experience, noted by Department field on Recommendation Form (see next slide). Review University Policy to determine if time should be discounted.
  • Complete and submit a Research Experience Calculator smart sheet 
  • If you are still unsure of your calculations, please submit a Service Now ticket with CV attached.


  • Once Rec Form is approved by OPA, the data cannot be changed. It must be correct or form will be returned for correction and resubmission.
  • Prior research experience impacts the length of time a postdoc can stay at Stanford.

Outside Funding Letters Must...

  • Provide start and end dates.
  • State a specific funding amount (salary range not acceptable).
  • Be in US dollars; use for conversion rates.

Postdocs on External, Direct-Pay Funding

  • Award Letter should be uploaded by Postdoc to Data Form
    • Upload copies of award letters to Nolij if extending appointment and email confirmation of upload to OPA postdoc manager.
    • External funding entered in GFS as “Info Only” stipend lines.
    • Other currencies must be converted to US dollars.
      • is a good resource for currency exchange rates.
      • REMINDER: Double-check that currency exchange rates have not caused a postdoc to fall below funding minimums.
        • External funding must be supplemented by department funds if below the required minimum.

Offer Letter in Recommendation Form

  • “Area of Research Training and Research Description” feeds to the middle of a sentence – please be sure to double check this language and punctuation prior to submission.
  • If “additional details” are added to the offer letter, please open and review the offer letter for grammar and consistency of text.

Form Saved

Prior to viewing the offer letter, the Rec form must be saved


Then you can click on Offer Letter; verify completeness and formatting before submitting form.

Scroll to top or bottom of form and open draft offer letter. Note: Editable text is highlighted.


Draft Offer Letter: Review Mode


Submission of Appointment for Approval: Required documents

  • Prior to Departmental and OPA approval, ensure appointment includes all required documents.
  • If PhD completion has not yet occurred, e.g., dissertation review is in process, appoint as VSR instead.

Clinical Trainees

  • Recommendation Form must contain:
  • MD diploma
  • CA Medical License
  • Patient Care Contact Form
  • CV
  • Billing Agreement (if applicable; usually for Clinical Instructor appointments)
  • Passport (if on J1, DS-2019 approval by ECFMG and GME. Upload copy of approved DS-2019 when received.)
  • Canadian citizens cannot apply for CA Medical License until resident in CA with a SSN.
  • Residents and Clinical Fellows who apply for, and are awarded, research grants, sponsored projects, and fellowships through RMG must have academic appointments with Stanford University. These trainees must be transferred from SH&C to OPA and appointed as clinical trainees.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Recommendation Form must contain:

  • Doctoral diploma or University letter of completion (no department letters)
  • CV
  • Outside Funding Award(s) (if applicable)
  • Passport (if international)
  • EAD Card (if in F1-OPT status)
  • Green Card (if Permanent Resident)

Recommendation Form Workflow

Postdoc admin has two roles in this process:

  • Admin Entry: creates web form and submits to DFA/Department Manager.
  • Admin Verify: reviews web form for errors or changes and submits to OPA for approval.
  • A GREYED OUT APPROVAL BUTTON indicates that the postdoc has not accepted the offer letter.
  • IF sufficient proof of degree is not yet available, DO NOT VERIFY/APPROVE – rather, HOLD the recommendation form in admin workflow until proof of degree is received and uploaded.


Searching For Records in PD WEB Forms

To retrieve a record after viewing offer letter


Retrieve all records or find student ID

To find student ID in PD Web Form

  • In Postdoc Administrative Forms: choose Change Request, then Add a New Value:
  • Click magnifying glass next to Student ID:

Enter Student Name and LookUp:

Paying Postdocs

  • Postdocs are paid through GFS. 
  • Mail Code in GFS Aid-Year Activation is where the pay stub is sent for stipend-paid postdocs and where the pay check is sent (if direct deposit is not yet set up).
  • Salary-paid postdocs can view their pay stub in Axess after first pay day.
  • Postdocs MUST check Axess to ensure they have a mailing address listed. If no mailing address is listed and online delivery has not been requested, the W2 issued by Payroll will be sent to the home address. International Scholars will have their foreign address listed as home address.
  • Postdocs cannot change where the pay stub or check is sent by changing their mailing address in Axess. A live pay check is sent to the Mail Code listed on GFS Aid-Year Activation screen. They must contact their GFS Administrator to change the mail code in GFS.
  • Postdocs should sign up for direct deposit as soon as possible after 1st pay check is issued.

September 1st Minimum Salary Increase

Review your Postdocs to ensure they meet Minimum Funding Requirements

All postdocs must be paid at the appropriate pay level in GFS.

Postdocs on External, Direct-Pay Funding

  • Upload copy of award letters to Nolij and notify OPA.
  • External funding must be entered in GFS as Outside funding.
  • Foreign currencies must be converted to US dollars:
    • is a good resource for currency exchange rates.
    • REMINDER: Double-check that currency exchange rates have not caused a postdoc to fall below funding minimums. Do this every quarter.
  • External funding must be supplemented by department funds if it does not meet the required minimum.

Postdocs on an unpaid Leave of Absence

  • End stipend or salary lines in GFS.
  • Enter the appropriate salary/stipend rate when postdoc returns from leave.
  • Postdocs retain their “active” status in PeopleSoft.


Leave of Absence (LOA) Unpaid

LOA webform inititated by Postdoc in Axess

Benefits during LOA Period

  • Postdocs are required to maintain their benefits while on an approved, unpaid LOA. Although customary, faculty mentors are not required to pay for the Stanford health insurance coverage for the Postdoc while on an approved, unpaid LOA. In this instance, a Postdoc must be willing to pay the total cost of their benefits that includes the institutional and Postdoc portion while on an unpaid leave. The Postdoc will be required to enter their banking information in Benelogic so that the total premium can be collected through a direct debit to their bank account.
  • If faculty sponsors/PIs agree to pay the full cost of the University contribution to the postdoc’s benefits, they typically use unrestricted funds and must provide a PTA to which the premiums can be charged.
  • Faculty sponsors/PIs are required to pay for life/accidental death and disability coverage for their postdocs while on an unpaid LOA.

J1 Visa Postdocs and LOA

  • International postdoc requests are reviewed in light of visa regulations and may not be approved if the leave violates visa requirements.
    • International postdocs in J-1 visa status MUST leave the U.S. in order to qualify for an unpaid LOA.
  • International postdocs who request an unpaid leave should do so BEFORE the start of the leave's occurrence, and immediately upon learning of the need to take a leave. The University is required to report infractions in the scholar's SEVIS record.

Departmental Transfers (Helpful tips)

What is a "Departmental Transfer?"

  • A current Stanford postdoc ending their appointment in one Stanford department/division being hired as a postdoc in another Stanford department/division.
  • IMPORTANT: Transfer must be coordinated with the other department to comply with visa policies and ensure continuation of pay and ID Card privileges.

Departmental Transfer Steps

1) Current department/division must go into PD Web Forms and choose “Termination Form” and select “Departmental Transfer” as the reason for termination.
2) New department/division must hire the postdoc via STF Postdoc Invite and complete the Information Sheet & Recommendation Form process.







New Department: STF Postdoc Invite

Department Transfer follows same procedure as a New Appointment

A non-Stanford email address not previously used on an appointment invite must be used.

Remember to Add a New Value when creating the Invite

Go to Postdoc Administration Forms in Axes to start recommendation form


Select "YES" for department Transfer


Termination Codes: How To Choose The Right Codes

  • PACC - Accepted another position
    • Use when postdoc ends appointment early to take another position
  • PDEP - Department transfer
    • Use when postdoc is transferring to a new postdoc position in another Stanford department
  • PEAR - Early termination
  • PEND - End of appointment term
    • Use when postdoc has substantially completed the appointment term
  • PPER - Personal/family reasons
    • Use when postdoc ends appointment early for personal reasons
  • PQWN - Quit without notice
  •  Use when postdoc ends appointment early without notice
  • PRES – Resignation
    • Use when postdoc resigns appointment early
  • RRTN - Failure to return from LOA
    • Use when postdoc fails to return from an approved leave of absence


Postdoc Benefits: Current Year Rates, ACA Minimums, Waiving Stanford Coverage, and Postdoc Paid Insurance

ACA Minimum

Medical Benefits must include:

  • Ambulatory Patient Services
  • Emergency Services
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity and Newborn Care
  • Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Services (including behavioral health treatment)
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Rehabilitative and Habilitative Services and Devices
  • Laboratory Services
  • Preventative and Wellness Services and Chronic Disease Management
  • Pediatric Services, including Oral and Vision Care

Additional requirements for the policy:

  • No pre-existing condition clauses or exclusions
  • Cannot charge higher premium for women than men
  • Medical plan must cover at least 60% of medical expenses (75% for J1 Visa holders)
  • No lifetime or annual limits on dollar value of benefits
  • Out-of-pocket maximum cannot exceed $6,600/individual and $13,200/family
  • Deductibles can vary, but cannot exceed the out-of-pocket maximum

Waiving Stanford Coverage

Outside health plans must substantially meet ACA minimums to waive Stanford Benefits

  • There can be no maximum medical benefit limits;
  • No waiting periods or exclusions;
  • Regardless of gender, there must be coverage for maternity and newborn care;
  • Coverage for preventative care (routine exams and lab screenings);
  • Mental & Substance abuse coverage (no maximum visits);
  • Chronic disease management;
  • Prescription coverage;
  • Emergency and ambulatory services;
  • Hospitalization

Postdoc Paid Insurance