Post-doctoral scholars

A Postdoctoral appointment is a temporary appointment designed to give individuals an opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a faculty mentor. For many, postdoctoral work is a critical step in securing future employment. 

A Postdoc is an individual who:

  • Has been awarded a PhD (or equivalent) within the past five years.
  • Will pursue a full-time program of advanced training and research under the direction of a faculty member with an appointment in an academic department or organized research unit. 
  • Will be supported by campus research grants or contracts, by fellowships administered by the campus, or by other external sources.
  • May not have had more than five years of postdoctoral experience, including at other institutions.
  • Cannot have held or hold a tenure-track professional appointment (Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor).

Prior to Arrival

1. Offer Letters: All postdoctoral appointees must be offered positions by a faculty mentor in writing with the approval of the Statistics Department Chair. Offer letters will clearly state the length of the appointment, the amount of annual compensation, the category of postdoctoral appointment being offered, and relevant information regarding benefits associated with the offer. Potential postdoctoral appointees must also accept the offer in writing.

2. If you are an International visitor please see: Visa Information for Visitors.

Procedures Once Appointed

1. Hiring Documents: You will be sent a number of hiring documents that will need to be filled out as soon as possible so that you can be entered into the Berkeley payroll system. An instruction sheet for completing the forms will be included in your packet of documents. You will be asked to sign your I-9 and patent form in person. Please review the I-9 form for a list of acceptable identification.

2. Check-in with Leori Gill, 377 Evans Hall, when you arrive in Berkeley to turn in your hiring documents and obtain an employee ID number. Be sure to bring all necessary documentation such as passport, visa, DS 2019, etc. if applicable.

3. CalNet Photo ID Card: Generally, it takes approximately 24 hours before you’re in the system after you check in with the department. The Cal Photo card office is located at 110 Cesar Chavez Center, Lower Sproul Hall (Phone: 510-643-6839; office hours are M-F, 9 AM-5 PM). In addition to providing your non-employee ID number, please be prepared to present a photo ID card, e.g., U.S. driver’s license or passport, for identification purposes. This office will also provide you with a CalNet ID token, which you will then authenticate and use to access many UC Berkeley online services. 

4. CalNet ID: All individuals new to the Berkeley campus must activate a CalNet identity before you can access many online campus services. 

  • Obtain a temporary "token" (a numerical code) from the Cal photo Office listed above. 
  • Your default CalNet ID will be the same as your employee ID number. 
  • Go to the web page Activate CalNet ID to set up your CalNet ID and passphrase.

5. Berkeley Email Account: Once you receive your CalNet identity and have authenticated your CalNet token, you can set up your UC Berkeley email account using the URL

6. Office Space: Once you obtain your Calnet ID return to the Statistics Department front office. You will be assigned a shared office for the duration of your stay and asked to provide a $25 deposit for the office key.

7. Enroll in Post Doc Benefits: You will have 31days from your appointment start date to sign-up for benefits. The University is pleased to offer the University of California Postdoctoral Scholars Health and Welfare package through Garnett-Powers Associates. The Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits Plan (PSBP) provides a comprehensive program which offers Medical, Dental, Vision, Life and AD&D Insurance, Short-Term Disability Insurance and Voluntary Long-Term Disability Insurance. The Standard Life Insurance program includes Medical Evacuation and Repatriation for J-1 and J-2 Visa holders. You can find out more at: You may sign up for benefits at:

8. BLU: Employees can self-manage direct deposit, access pay stubs, update contact information, print W2 statements, etc. through the Blu system. You'll need to authenticate using your CalNet ID and go to the People tab. Open desired link on the left hand side under Self Service and make necessary changes. For access, one needs an Employee ID (EID) number (located on your pay stub) and a CalNet ID & pass phrase

9. Direct Deposit: Once you have an active CalNet ID you may enter BLU at  Blu has a wealth of resources including a place to access direct deposit. Navigate to my blu/direct deposit and enter your banking information.

10. Tax Withholdings: Access At Your Service at (Please see above if this your first time accessing the site.)

11. Pay: Berkeley is on a monthly pay schedule, with pay being issued on the 1st of each month.  You’ll be paid on the first of the month following your hire date, February 1st for all spring semester hires, and August 1st for all fall semester hires.  You can arrange to have your pay deposited directly into your checking account by entering the information in BLU (see Direct Deposit above).

12. Libraries: Library cards are issued at the Circulation desk in Doe Library.  You will need to show your employee ID card to obtain at library card.

13. Computer Resources and Statistics E-mail: To get a Berkeley-Statistics e-mail address, please contact Ryan Lovett at: ryan [at] stat [dot] berkeley [dot] edu.

14. Parking Permit: To obtain a parking pass or discounted BART/bus tickets, please visit Parking & Transportation with proof of affiliation with UCB (your EID/Non-EID#). The monthly fees for the various parking permits are posted on the Parking & Transportation website:

15. Mandatory Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Orientation: Please e-mail vspa [at] berkeley [dot] edu with your name, department, telephone number, and e-mail address where you can be contacted. 

Terms of Appointment:

  • All postdoctoral appointments are temporary and typically are for a two-year period. Postdocs may be appointed for up to three years, subject to the availability of funding. 
  • All postdocs are required to work and be compensated at 100-percent time. Exceptions to less than full-time appointments must be initiated by the postdoc and endorsed by the appropriate university officials.
  • Health Insurance: Health insurance provided to postdocs varies by the type of appointment held, and changing a postdoc appointment from one type of funding to another may result in a change of benefits and possibly a loss of health insurance coverage. You should check that your coverage will be adequate for your needs before accepting an appointment. If you will be using your own health insurance plan, check the coverage your plan will provide, especially if you are from another region of the country or an international postdoc.
  • International Postdocs: If you a citizen of another country, you must have the appropriate visa type, are required to have or obtain health insurance coverage, and are required to have repatriation insurance. Postdocs must arrive with sufficient funds to cover the high cost of living in the Bay Area for several months (including covering the first and last month's rent for housing). More information on Foreign Visitors Visa Information can be found at: Visa Information for Visitors.
  • Postdoc Privileges: All postdocs receive library privileges and an e-mail account, and are eligible to purchase a campus parking fee-lot permit, use housing services and University Health Services, receive a discounted membership at the Cal Rec Club, and purchase Cal football tickets.
  • Questions and Assistance: Since issues regarding postdoctoral appointments are often complex, questions regarding postdocs should be directed to the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Program : or to leorig [at] berkeley [dot] edu in the Statistics Department.
Resources for Potential Postdocs: 
Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs
44 Barrows Hall #2572
510/643-9681 (phone), 510/642-3328 (fax)
vspa [at] berkeley [dot] edu