Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Scholars

Postdoctoral scholar working
Postdoctoral scholar works to analyze samples in the Dekas Lab.

Stanford’s thriving academic community includes approximately 2,400 postdoctoral scholars distributed over six schools. Postdocs contribute to the university’s research, education and clinical missions through research, mentoring, teaching, filing patents, creating software and other activities. About 60 percent of postdocs are international, bringing perspectives from varied cultures and backgrounds to Stanford.

Fall 2021

  • 2,406* total postdocs (excludes medical fellows)
  • 30% increase in # of postdocs since 2010
  • Gender balance: 44% women and 56% men

*Excludes Medical Fellows

Professional Development

Stanford’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides professional development and administrative support to postdoctoral scholars and the more than 800 faculty with whom they train. Key programs are directed at early training plans, teaching and grant writing. The Design Your Postdoc curriculum is adapted from the d.school’s Designing Your Life work and helps new postdocs maximize their training at Stanford. A Postdoc Teaching Certificate requires roughly 100 hours of training in both required and elective classes and workshops that provide a framework for thinking about, preparing for and practicing teaching. The Biosciences Grant Writing Academy is a key collaborator that supports postdocs in writing fellowship and career development proposals. Other professional development collaborators include Biosci Careers, BEAM Stanford Career Education and the office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, which are geared to support growing independence and career transition. The NSF-funded Research University Alliance of nine research intensive institutions now provides a rich national network for research exchange, professional development and advancement into faculty careers.

Community

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs works to provide community for postdoctoral scholars. A new recruitment program has successfully expanded the pool of scholars considering postdoctoral training at Stanford, enriching the population. SURPAS, the postdoc association, actively advocates on behalf of the entire population and organizes social activities with subcommittees focused on areas such as family, international scholars, transportation and housing, and career development. Affinity groups include the Stanford Black Postdoc Association, the Stanford LatinX Postdoc Association and LGBTQ+ postdocs.