Postdoctoral appointments afford recent Ph.D. (and equivalent advanced degree) recipients a period in which to extend their education and professional training. The opportunity to carry out postdoctoral studies in a research environment such as provided at Yale University can significantly broaden an individual’s expertise, provide a period of more independent scholarship, and help define future career paths. The breadth of the academic community, together with the physical resources in the libraries and laboratories, make Yale University a particularly rich environment for postdoctoral training. In addition to deriving individual benefits, postdoctoral appointees make important contributions to the research mission of Yale University.
Postdoctoral appointees may be appointed by or affiliated with a department or other academic unit authorized to make non-ladder academic appointments, such as the MacMillan Center and the Institution for Social and Policy Studies. There are two categories of appointees: Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Associates. The difference arises from the requirements of the funding source. Appointees funded from Yale-administered research grants, contracts, or other University sources in order to provide services related to the supported research are classified as Postdoctoral Associates; they are employees of the University even though they are considered trainees. Postdoctoral Fellows are also trainees, but they are not Yale employees. They may be funded either from training grants to the University or from funding awarded to the trainee from an outside source.