Postdoc Policies and Procedures

HR Policies and Resources

Compensation and Term Limits for Postdocs

As of September 1, 2019, all post doctoral scholars on campus must be paid a minimum salary of $48,000. The official guidance from the Office of Academic Affairs can be found here.

Individuals at Ohio State should not be in postdoc appointments for longer than five years. Official guidance from the Office of Human Resources can be found in HR Policy 4.20 here. By the end of their fifth year, post doctoral scholars, who have not transitioned to other roles at the university or in an external organization, must be moved into another position. 

Hiring Postdocs

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has developed a resource guide for faculty and staff to assist with recruitment and onboarding of postdocs. For more information on hiring processes, visit our resource for faculty and staff page.

Below are some additional resources to assist with postdoc recruitment:

The Student/Postdoc Advisory Committee (SPAC) at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has drafted a letter to be used by PIs as a template for postdoctoral position offers. The SPAC recommends that the letter includes:

  • the salary/stipend the fellow will receive
  • the source of the funding
  • time limits for initial funding and for the length of the postdoctoral position
  • whether or not a fellow is required to obtain outside funding to remain in the laboratory
  • any specific requirements and responsibilities of the fellow that must be fulfilled to ensure satisfactory progress

Access an Appointment Letter Template.

Fellowship Policies

Considerations when applying for postdoctoral fellowships

Ohio State expanded benefits eligibility for postdoctoral scholars supported by individual or institutional fellowships. Consequently, a common position title (postdoctoral scholar) and job classification (unclassified term staff) is used for all postdoctoral positions regardless of their funding source.

These positions will use the university’s fringe benefit rate for A&P staff. Some funding agencies will only allow certain benefits to be charged to the fellowship funds. Therefore, another allowable source of funding needs to be secured from faculty mentor, department, and/or college funds to cover whatever costs the fellowship will not support. The principal investigator on the fellowship application is responsible for securing this funding. The post doctoral scholar will not be appointed if all the benefits are not covered by a funding source. Currently the benefit rate for FY24 (7/1/23 – 6/30/24) is 35.6%. Check the Office of Sponsored Programs fringe benefits page for the most current information.

Please work closely with your departmental fellowship grants manager and/or HR representative to understand what costs will not be covered by the fellowship and how to configure the funding of the appointment. The appointment process in place for individuals supported by fellowships is not in conflict with the requirements by funders such as NIH.

NRSA Benefit Calculator

We have created a tool to help units and individuals calculate the cost of benefits when preparing fellowship application budgets. reach out by email to receive a copy of the summary document. 

Postdoctoral Fellowships and Funding

A full list of internal and external fellowship and funding opportunities can be found on our Fellowships and Funding page.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Handbook

Reach to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs via email for an electronic copy of our postdoc handbook.

Relocation Support

Post doctoral scholars are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in funding to support their move to one of Ohio State’s six campuses or other regional unit. The availability of these funds is contingent on the faculty supervisor’s university and grant funding, and/or departmental and college initiatives to support postdoc and trainee recruitment. The following resources are helpful when determining whether to offer relocation support and how postdocs are able to access them.

Conference and Travel Funding

Postdocs are eligible to travel on university business, attend professional development and scholarly conferences and workshops, and in support of their faculty mentor’s research program. If postdocs are planning to travel, there are a number of factors to consider when it comes to funding the trip:

  1. Does the conference the postdoc plan to attend offer travel awards?
  2. Does the postdoc’s home college have staff professional development awards?
  1. Is there another unit on campus that could potentially support all or a portion of this trip?

Once a postdoc has identified a potential opportunity, received notification that their paper or other scholarly output has been accepted for presentation, or has been asked to travel for other university-related business, they must follow the university’s policies and procedures. Please make sure to review all of the necessary steps, timeframes, and other information on the university’s Business and Finance travel guidance site. Airfare, hotels, and conference registration can all take some time to process payments for, so please plan ahead and contact your travel support staff as early as possible for assistance.

Postdoc Course Enrollment Information

 If you are interested in enrolling in courses at Ohio State, there are special circumstances to take into consideration that will dictate how you will proceed with the enrollment process. Please see the various areas below for further information.

You are an active OSU student
  1. Get faculty permission to audit the course
  2. Sign Financial Responsibility Statement (FRS) in SIS
  3. Send request to to enroll
You are not an active OSU Student
  1. Apply as a graduate non-degree student or complete a reactivation form
  2. Get faculty permission to audit the course
  3. Sign Financial Responsibility Statement (FRS) in SIS
  4. Send request to to enroll
You are unsure of your active student status
  1. Have you taken graduate coursework at OSU within the last two semesters? if not please refer to the "Not active student" section.
  2. Try logging into buckeyelink using your name.#. Check your status from the "academic Status" link. If grad non-degree code exists refer to "Active student" section if no, refer to the "Not active student" section.
Additional notes on course enrollment

To get faculty approval to audit a course, search for the class you intend to take within the semester; make note of the class name, meeting time, campus, and instructor name; email the instructor (find email through “Find People” for permission.

Before the start of each semester, you will be required to sign a Financial Responsibility Statement (FRS) on SIS. You will be unable to register for classes until the FRS is signed. If you are unable to enroll yourself into the class after being granted instructor permission, forward the permission email to and ask that they enroll you into the course.

Apply as a graduate non-degree student if you have never taken a graduate course at Ohio State. Please keep in mind that you will have to submit the following items with your application:

Copy (or picture) of your bachelor’s degree or equivalent. If you did not obtain your degree in an English-speaking country, you will need to include an English translation.

Copy of your undergraduate transcript. If you did not obtain your degree in an English-speaking country, you will need to include an English translation.

You could also submit your Ph.D. transcripts and diploma instead of your bachelor’s degree.

Proof of English proficiency (TOEFL score or similar test). The English as a Second Language program at Ohio State can administer the TOEFL ITP test. There is a $45 fee, and you need to give them 30 days to obtain the test from ETS. You are exempt from this requirement if you received a degree from an English-speaking institution.

If you take courses, later on, you will not have to re-apply, but you will have to complete a reactivation form by visiting:

If you do not remember your login information, contact the IT Service Desk at 614-688-4357 or at

Finally, please keep in mind that if you will be using the employee tuition assistance benefit, the benefit does not pay for audited hours. If you plan to pay for the course out-of-pocket, then this audit option will be possible.

For more information about the tuition assistance plan, please click here.

If you have questions about the enrollment process for graduate courses,  please contact:


Course Registration

Timely and accurate registration is vital. These instructions, calendars, and tips will help keep you on track.