Post-Doctoral Application

Please examine the research interests and laboratory descriptions available from the Department Faculty page.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs maintains a site that maintains a list of open postdoctoral positions. This site also provides useful information to those considering postdoctoral postions at Stanford.



·      They MUST have a PhD or letter of completion from their University (not the dept or PI) before the PD office will approve appointment.

·      J-1 Visas take 8 weeks to process

·      If they have an F1 in OPT status they need an EAD card

·      Postdocs can only have a total of 5 years combined postdoc experience maximum

·      Minimum time allowed for an appointment is 9 months

·      To be reappointed into a 5th year a meeting plan must be submitted (there is a form)

·      If you have a pregnant postdoc they should go see Anita Bevins (HR Manger) to arrange disability leave.

·      When postdocs announce they are leaving your lab, please let me know so I can stop their pay lines, end their benefits and get their keys and badge back.


Postdoc Office link for Faculty


Appointing a postdoc

Please discuss with them how much you intend to pay them and the length of time you plan to appoint them.

Postdocs must be appointed on line in the Stanford system, an offer letter will be generated for them to approve. Once I get the intake form (link below) I will contact the postdoc and process their appointment.

As a courtesy please inform your admin that you are hiring a new postdoc and approximately when you expect them to start.

IMPORTANT: To start that process you must complete this intake form. This should be done as soon as you determine the person will be joining your lab

First Day

On the postdoc’s first day they are instructed to come and see me (Wendy) to complete their employment forms, get building access, get a physical key if needed, get their Stanford ID card, take a brief tour. I will also enter in their pay lines and go over some general information with them. They have also been provided a detailed Welcome Guide.

Initial Meeting

Postdocs are instructed prior to their arrival to set up a meeting with you their first week. This will also help them determine the exact safety training they will need to take.


Currently year 2-4 only need approval to extend from you. I complete an on line form. Visas are extended at the same time.

Reappointments into the 5th year require a meeting plan (exit plan) and a letter of support from you.

Reappointments into the 6th year are very rare and only approved if the postdoc has a K-99 (or equivalent fellowship), or numerous job offers or a pending job start date.

Visas are extended at the same time as PD appointments, in fact the dates must match. J-1s are limited to 5 years. Can be moved over to H1B but takes 3-4 months (plan accordingly)

Maxed out at 5 yrs. - Move to Staff

If you have a postdoc that would like to continue working in your lab and they are maxed out on the allotted time as a postdoc they can move over to a staff position.

J1-H1B – Majority of international postdoc are on a J-1 visa (a total of 5 years is allowed) by the time they max out. If this person needs to move over to an H1B visa please allow 3-4 months for processing so as not to pay rush fees.


Visa Overview

J-1-OPT status: New international postdoc coming from a US school have an F-1 visa for grad school. They apply for OPT status good for up to 17 months. Prior to their OPT status expiring we submit a request for a J-1 visa. They will need to exit the country and come back in to switch their status to a J-1 visa.

            OPT status requires and EAD (Employment Authorization card) in order to be appointed as a postdoc. This take several months to receive.

J-1 visa are good for a max of 5 years

H1B visas- If a postdoc is moving over to staff and has maxed out their J-1 visa they can request an H1B visa. Anita Bevins (HR Manger) processes those. Please allow 3-4 months for processing time


Wendy Christiansen

Student Services Officer