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Postdoc Policies

This section provides an overview of some of the policies affecting postdoctoral scholars at Stony Brook.

In this Section:


The postdoctoral appointment at Stony Brook is intended to be a time-limited period of mentored research training. Research Foundation (RF) postdoc employees may serve up to five years in a Postdoctoral Associate title at Stony Brook University. This includes local RF titles Postdoc Associate and Senior Postdoc Associate. At the end of the 5th year as a Postdoctoral Associate, or at any time prior, subject to the appropriate authorization, an employee who is continuing must move into a new appropriate title. Those remaining in research often move into the RF title of Research Scientist at the appropriate salary range for the title. State postdoc employees may serve up to three years in a postdoctoral appointment on West Campus, and up to four years on East Campus in the School of Medicine.


All postdocs are expected to comply with Stony Brook’s Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) training policy P211. The required training includes an online and in-person component, the details of which are set individually by college or department. Postdocs should consult this page for their "complementary policy" to determing the frequency and source of training that applies to them.  


In order to be the Principal Investigator (PI) on a grant at Stony Brook, an individual must hold a faculty title. Faculty titles include, but are not limited to: Adjunct Professor, Research Assistant/Associate Professor, Assistant/Associate Professor, Instructor, Research Instructor, Lecturer, Visiting Faculty. Note that the faculty appointment can be secondary and unpaid, therefore a postdoc who is also appointed with an adjunct title with zero salary and zero percent effort would be able to submit grants as the principal investigator. A faculty title is not necessary for Co-PI status.

For more information on serving as a principal investigator/project director at SBU, consult the SBU Proposal Submission Guide


Postdocs at Stony Brook University are classified as either staff employees or Fellows. Postdocs at SBU  are not classified as students and are therefore not likely to be eligible for loan deferment; however, it is ultimately the decision of your lending agency as to whether or not a postdoc is eligible. For more information on common questions associated with loan deferment and loan repayment options, the National Postdoctoral Association has developed a Student Loan FAQ for postdocs ( join the NPA for free to access this member benefit). 

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