Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

May 2012

New Funds to Support Postdocs - Family Healthcare Fund Subsidy Increase and New Grant-in-Aid (Hardship) Fund

Dear Postdoctoral Scholars,

I am pleased to announce good news that is the result of the advocacy of the Stanford University Postdoctoral Association and the generosity of Provost and Acting President John Etchemendy and Dean Phil Pizzo of the School of Medicine.

The Family Healthcare Fund (FHF) which benefits postdoc families in order to offset the costs of health insurance premiums in 2012 has been doubled. This change increases the subsidy amounts from a maximum limit of $120/month to $240/month. The change is effective retroactively to January 2012. Those currently receiving subsidies will see a credit on their University Bill within the next couple of weeks going back to January 2012, doubling the monthly amounts that had been received.

Nearly half of postdoc families with children have yet to take advantage of this subsidy program. In light of this change, the deadline to apply is extended to Monday, May 21. Information on how to apply and eligibility is online at

Additionally, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has established a separate Emergency Grant-in-Aid (aka Hardship) Fund to assist postdocs who experience an emergency or unanticipated expenses (e.g., medical, dental, or legal) causing financial hardship. This Fund is designed to assist any postdoc regardless of family, insurance or citizenship status.

It was a true team effort that led to the provision of those new financial resources. SUPD demonstrated wisdom and leadership in tackling the issue of insurance premiums for families. It is a pleasure to see the dedication of the SUPD council and the commitment of University leadership in recognition of the role each one of you plays as a member of Stanford’s research community.

Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have questions or concerns. Feel free to reach out to the staff in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs or the Student Services Center with questions. I have provided some common questions and answers below.

With Best Wishes,

Rania Sanford, Ed.D.
Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs * Stanford University

1. I am currently receiving FHF subsidy but it is not the maximum $120 (now $240)/month, how can I ask for a different amount?

The FHF committee considerations include household income and assets, expenses, and number of children. If your circumstances changed or if you wish to be reconsidered for a different subsidy amount, submit a complete new application by May 21, 2012, describing the reasons for the change request.

2. I do not have children, but the cost of covering my spouse’s insurance is significant for me, is there any aid available?

The purpose of the FHF subsidy is to support dependents (as defined by the US tax code) and following the guidelines of similar programs available to faculty and staff. However, if the cost of providing health insurance to your spouse is causing hardship, you are eligible to apply to the Emergency Grant-in-Aid (Hardship) Fund.

3. I dropped my dependents from the Stanford plan but I would like to re-enroll them if I receive this new FHF support. What do I do?

First, check with Postdoc Benefits ( about adding your dependents mid-year. Then, be sure to submit an application for FHF consideration by the May 21, 2012 deadline. You will be notified of your subsidy amount and based on that information you can decide to proceed with the change in your medical coverage enrollment. Then email Postdoc Benefits ( no later than June 15, 2012 to add your dependents with a June 1, 2012 effective date.

4. How do I apply for the Emergency Grant-in-Aid (Hardship) Fund?

Stay tuned for information on this new fund to be posted on the OPA website at in the next few days. The application form and instructions will be done online.

5. What is the deadline to apply for the Emergency Grant-in-Aid Fund (Hardship Fund)?

Recognizing that the nature of the fund is to deal with emergencies and unexpected expenses, there is no deadline. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, as they come in.

6. I have a question about my University Bill…?

Start with the Student Services Center by submitting your question online at Alternatively many questions and answers about the Bill and other postdoc-related matters are available on

7. I have a question about the FHF that isn’t mentioned here, where do I go?

OPA maintains over 100 questions and answers online at, including many that are related to the FHF. If you cannot find the answer to your question on AskJane, you may contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at or Beth Leman, the associate director, at

8. I have a question about the Emergency Grant-in-Aid (Hardship) Fund, where do I go?

This is a new fund. Please send your questions directly to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Materials and information will be available on the OPA website in a few days.

For other general questions, feel free to reach OPA by going to > Request Category: "Student Services" > Request Type: "Postdoctoral Affairs"

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