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Postdoctoral Scholars

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

Stanford’s thriving academic community includes more than 2,400 postdoctoral scholars distributed over five 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% of postdocs are international, bringing perspectives from varied cultures and backgrounds to Stanford.

In Fall 2019

  • 2,468 total postdocs (excludes medical fellows)
  • 47% increase in # of postdocs since 2009
  • Gender balance: 41% women and 59% men

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 highlights are directed at early training plans, teaching, and grant writing. The Design your Postdoc curriculum is adapted from the’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 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 oSTEM.

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