Skip to main content

Postdoctoral Fellows Descriptions

Postdoctoral fellows are individuals with recently granted degrees of PhD or MD or the equivalent terminal degree who are primarily involved in continuing post graduate education or training in conducting research. Postdoctoral fellows are normally paid through the university payroll system and are research staff appointments.

Visiting postdoctoral fellows are individuals with recently granted degrees of PhD, MD or the equivalent professional degree. Visiting postdoctoral fellows are not employees of the university and are unpaid. They receive their funding directly from and external agency. Visiting status is only approved upon documented external support. They may be appointed for a period not to exceed one year. Where the situation warrants it, such externally supported postdocs may be provided with supplemental funding from university or grant funds; such funding is considered financial aid for living and/or travel expenses and is not tied to services rendered to Northwestern.

NRSA postdoctoral fellows are recipients of National Research Service Awards (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), both those receiving grants as individuals (F32) and those participating in institutional grants (T32). As provided by the terms of the award, NRSA postdoctoral fellows are considered to be trainees rather than employees of NIH or of the university. The status required by NRSA determines the availability of benefits, as described in the document Benefits, Tax and Other Policy Provisions for Postdoctoral National Research Service Awards (PDF) issued by the Department of Human Resources

Postdoctoral Fellows - Department of Education are recipients of Department of Education Awards (such as one from the NIDRR) that require similar stipend schedule and/or benefits status as NRSA postdoctoral fellows.

For further information, see the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.