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This section provides an overview of some of the policies affecting postdoctoral scholars at Stony Brook.
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 appointment or be authorized by the appropriate chair, dean or other senior leadership. For postdocs, according to the SBU Proposal Submission Guide, “[e]mployees whose primary responsibility is to carry out research but who do not have a faculty appointment (e.g., postdoctoral trainee, research associate, fellow, (senior) research scientist) are eligible to serve as PI with authorization from the Department Chair, Center Director and their Dean (or Dean’s designee) or the appropriate senior leadership of other University units.” This approval is provided during myResearch proposal routing, and postdocs must enter the appropriate PI title within the myResearch interface.
No additional approvals are needed for postdocs to have 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).