Hiring a postdoc

Firstly, please notify the administrative staff in your department as soon as you identify a candidate whom you plan to hire (titles and eligibility). 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.

Visas for international postdocs

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.


The minimum compensation level for postdoctoral and postgraduate appointees is available on the compensation page.  New appointees with prior postdoctoral experience at another institution should receive compensation that reflects their expertise and prior years of experience. Prior experience is considered at the time of hire rather than delaying until a future reappointment.

Term limits

Individuals generally hold postdoctoral appointments at Yale University for no longer than four years, although extensions may be granted for current postdocs in exceptional cases for a 5th or 6th year. 


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.


Other types of visitors:

“Clinical Observers”
For individuals with non-U.S. medical degrees who wish to observe in the clinic, please contact the Medical Education Office for details on their observership policy. If approved, these visitors will receive a hospital I.D. but NOT a Yale academic appointment or I.D.

“Visting Assistant in Research”

Students enrolled in graduate programs at other institutions in academic units with PhD programs are appointed as VARs, not postgrads. 

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