Hiring a postdoc

Please notify the administrative staff in your department as soon as you identify a candidate whom you plan to hire.  Depending on the candidate’s need for a background check or a visa, the hiring process may take as long as 6 months.  Contacting your department several months prior to the start date is essential.

The immigration visa

It can take up to 6 months for a postdoc to secure a visa, so the first step in hiring a postdoc is to begin the visa application process. Most postdocs come to Yale on J1 visas, but the university will sponsor H1B visas in some instances. Contact your business office for more information about visa options and to begin the application process.

Starting salary

The minimum compensation level for a new postdoctoral appointee is available at http://postdocs.yale.edu/policies/compensation.  The minimum yearly salary for hiring a new postdoc is $47,484 starting December 1st, 2016 (Click here for 2017 salaries). It is strongly recommended that postdocs with prior experience receive a higher starting salary, based on the salary scale shown under “Reappointing a Postdoc” below.

Term limits

Individuals generally hold postdoctoral appointments at Yale University for no longer than four years, although extensions may be granted in exceptional cases. The total term of postdoctoral appointments may not exceed six years, including previous postdoctoral experience at other institutions.


All postdocs are required to attend a mandatory orientation session given by the Postdoctoral Affairs staff. Sessions are offered each month, and you should urge your postdocs to attend.

Problematic Appointments

“Clinical Observers”
For foreign MDs who wish to observe in the clinic, contact Julie Perry, Physicians Services at 688-2615 to appoint through Y-NH Hospital. They will receive a hospital I.D. but NOT a Yale appointment or I.D.

“Unpaid Postdocs” and “Research Volunteers”
There are no unpaid postdocs at Yale, nor are people allowed to volunteer to do research.