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Postdoctoral Fellows at Tulane

Policies and Benefits

Tulane has adopted the National Postdoctoral Association's (NPA) definition of postdoctoral fellow as " individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarship training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing."

At Tulane, the appointment of postdoctoral fellows falls under guidelines developed by OGPS. Postdoctoral fellows (or postdocs) whose salaries are paid from Tulane sources of funding, such as sponsored contracts and grants, are subject to the university's policies and procedures for determining compensation. As employees, they are also eligible for Tulane's benefits program. The Benefits Guide for Non-Teaching Postdoctoral Fellows provides detailed information. Postdocs whose salaries are derived from non-Tulane or external sources of funding are compensated by their funding agency. These postdocs are not eligible for Tulane's benefits program. OGPS, however, serves all postdocs at Tulane regardless of source of funding.

Travel Grants for Postdoctoral Fellows

OGPS awards a limited number of travel grants for postdoctoral fellows to present at professional conferences. All postdoctoral fellows based at Tulane are eligible to apply. Grants are a maximum of $500 for domestic travel and $1000 for international travel. Application guidelines and the application form are available here.


Professional Development

OGPS believes that professional development and mentorship is part of the postdoc experience at Tulane.  We encourage each department, along with their postdocs, to create an Individual Development Plan.  As resources for this, we encourage you to use the National Postdoctoral Association's Individual Development Plan and the NIH's Individual Development Plan. These are intended as guidelines, or examples, to help you create a plan that suits your needs.

OGPS is planning to develop professional development seminars for postdocs. If you have suggestions for topics or speakers, e-mail OGPS at



The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) website contains many useful resources, including information on the responsible conduct of research, core competencies for postdocs, and International Postdoc Survival Guide. OGPS has compiled lists of campus resources as well as postdoctoral funding opportunities.

Information for NRSA Postdoctoral Trainees

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Survey

In spring 2012, OGPS surveyed Tulane's Postdoctoral Research Fellows to help determine what services OPGS might offer and to learn more about Tulane's postdoc population.  The survey was distributed to 139 postdocs and 36 responded, a response rate of 26%. The characteristics of the respondents in terms of work location, gender, and nationality aligned closely with that of the total postdoc population. Some highlights of the survey results include:

  • 81% of the respondents long-term career goal to work in academia.
  • The top three areas for support and training are: writing grant proposals, publishing, and job search skills.
  • 86% of the respondents receive adequate feedback from their mentors or supervisors on their performance.
  • Almost 100% are interested in having a Postdoctoral Association at Tulane.
  • Most respondents are over 30 years of age and about half expect to remain at Tulane as a postdoc for the next 1-2 years.