Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Announcing PeopleSoft Postdoc Web Forms

Posted 2:02 PM, September 1, 2011, by tjwilson

Sent by Rania Sanford, Assistant Dean, to all faculty sponsors of postdoctoral appointments on August 10, 2011.

Dear Faculty,

I am writing to share with you that Stanford has moved the transactional work for postdoctoral scholar appointment actions (new hires, extensions, terminations and leave of absence requests) to an online interface using web forms and workflow. With the rapid increases in the number of postdocs in the last two years, and the large volume of transactions, paper forms and submission by email could not keep up with the need for efficiency, fast review and processing time, and the required security in handling personal confidential information. So, thanks to support from Randy Livingston, the Universityís CFO, and Sameer Marella, Senior Director of PeopleSoft at Stanford Administrative Systems, a custom-built Postdoc Web Forms were developed as a new module in the Universityís records system: PeopleSoft. The Web Forms are now in use in two schools, five academic departments in H&S, Engineering and Medicine, and one independent research center under the Dean of Research. This group of 15 administrators is helping us make the final tweaks. The system goes live campus-wide on August 25. All administrative staff handling postdoc paperwork are required to go through training in order to use the system on that date.

Why Do You Need to Know?
Prospective postdocs will enter their information directly online and upload their documents rather than complete a form by hand and fax it or email it. Your staff will continue to obtain the offer information from you and will enter it in the system. The new system will then generate the offer letter, with designated space to include any additional terms and conditions besides the standard language required by Stanford. When your staff complete their step in the process, you will receive an email notification that includes the complete language of the offer letter that the postdoc will receive electronically, with the additional terms and conditions included. The following step, final Department approval, then sends the letter to the candidate for acceptance online.

In addition to the electronic version of the offer letter, if you prefer to sign the letter in person and send it to the candidate as a hard copy, your administrator can printout the PDF version on your letterhead and send it simultaneously with the electronic version.

Department Chair Signature
The paper form to Recommend a Postdoctoral Scholar for Appointment at Stanford requires a departmental signoff by the Chair. In the online system, departmental signoff is still required, and most departments have identified the senior administrator, known as Department Manager, Division Manager, Director of Finance and Administration, Administrative Services Manager or Associate Director, to fulfill this role. This role indicates departmental approval that stipulations or commitments can be met. It is meant to be an overarching role that is distinct from the originator of the transaction and one that has a global view of potential issues such as funding, space or teaching/other commitments that may be part of the offer.

I met with Department Managers across all schools over the course of this project. In addition, your administrative staff were regularly updated with the progress of this project and have already started taking Stanfordís training requirements to use the system. We hope that this change will translate to tangible efficiencies in the services that the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides administratively.

Please do not hesitate to reach me by email at or by phone at 5-5075 if you have any questions about this transition.

Best Regards,

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