Stanford University
Postdoctoral Scholars

Diversity in Postdoctoral Scholar Training

Diversity in postdoctoral training covers a wide domain that spans the recruitment of recent PhD graduates who come from under-represented backgrounds to consider Stanford for postdoctoral training, to the engagement of our postdocs in University-wide efforts to work in areas of research that affect, and with, under-served communities, to the participation in educational and teaching opportunities that inspire, encourage and support interest in science and engineering among American youth through science outreach.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is part of Stanford’s mission to bring to Stanford students and trainees from diverse backgrounds. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, culture, socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical capabilities, and life experience.  Recognizing the educational benefits of a diverse scientific workforce and a diverse academe, OPA actively recruits prospective postdocs from all backgrounds to consider training at Stanford, provides networks of mentoring and support, and creates opportunities for successful contributions within the academia and with our surrounding communities.

Ways to Get Connected

Several offices and programs at Stanford support diversity on campus through various means.   At the School of Medicine, the Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education offers programs and courses that aim to prepare the next generation of medical leaders to address the health issues of a diverse society.  The Office of Community Health serves as a conduit for the School of Medicine to engage in informed, committed, and sustained engagement with the community on local health issues.  Lastly, the  Office of Diversity and Leadership is charged by the Dean of the School of Medicine to promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students, trainees and staff -- representative of the communities in which we work and to develop faculty to their full potential as academic and community leaders.

The Stanford University Office of Science Outreach offers numerous opportunities for Stanford postdocs to engage our nation’s youth in math and science through programs in schools, classes at Stanford, field trips, and internship opportunities at Stanford.  

 Science and Engineering Graduate Women’s Association is the umbrella organization for all graduate women in science and engineering at Stanford University, providing avenues and opportunities for women to connect, meet and provide networks of support in disciplines where women are largely under-represented.  

Funding Opportunities

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs offers fellowships and travel grants to support women in academic medicine and in the sciences.  Funding opportunities are also available through the Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education for fellows.

Postdocs who wish to participate, through poster or panel presentations, at the annual meetings of the  Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) or the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) may receive some travel support from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for their participation in the postdoc recruitment booth at those conferences. Volunteer opportunities to serve as judges of attendees’ research posters or teachers engaged in community outreach activities also exist.

Funding is also available for postdoctoral scholars interested in science teaching at the college level.  The Stanford/San Jose State University Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) Program combines a traditional, principal-investigator directed postdoctoral research experience at Stanford University with mentored teaching experiences at San Jose State University. The program is NIH sponsored through the Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) postdoctoral fellowship, supported by the NIH division of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) at NIGMS.

In addition, 32 NIH-funded Institutional Training Grants at Stanford offer opportunity for advanced training in:  Cancer Imaging and Detection, Vision Research, Tumor Biology, Adult and Pediatric Rheumatology, Epithelial Biology, Molecular Biology, Developmental and Neonatal Biology, Cancer Etiology, Prevention Detection and Diagnosis, Biomedical Informatics, Myocardial Biology, Nephrology, Vascular Disease, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Investigative Oncology, Health Services Research, Anesthesia, Epilepsy, Gastroenterology, Child Psychiatry and Development, Biobehavioral Research, Comparative Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Applied Genomics in Infectious Diseases, Hematology, Radiation Sciences, Pulmonary Medicine, Genome Science, Molecular and Cellular Immunobiology, Cardiovascular Imaging, Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, and Epidemiology of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism.  (For more information, please contact the appropriate Stanford department depending on the area of research).

Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) is a four-year pilot program (2008-2012) that aims to better prepare Stanford graduate students from diverse backgrounds for academic careers and to have them, at the same time, enrich the educational experiences of others. A cohort of advanced students in their final two years is offered two-year fellowships; they participate in structured seminars and professional development modules to investigate and prepare for academic careers, and receive mentorship with a Stanford faculty member in addition to the dissertation advisor.


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs participates in two national recruitment events annually to increase the diversity among our postdoctoral researchers: the fall meetings of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).   Those meetings have provided an opportunity to showcase training programs and postdoc opportunities at Stanford.  Our participation is part of the University’s effort to increase the representation of minorities in science, and the School of Medicine’s efforts to improve the diversity of our postdoctoral trainees.
Internationally, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is partner with the Iraqi Women’s Fellowship Foundation which provides one-year fellowships for Iraqi women postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty in science and engineering to spend a year of research and study at a US institution.  Stanford Fellows are engaged in full-time research activity and courses, under the mentorship of a Stanford faculty member in their field.  The program is run in collaboration with AMIDEAST.


The Summer Leadership Institute, held in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will be held in July in Washington, D.C. The Summer Leadership Institute is an intensive five-day course featuring small group exercises, keynote speakers, leadership development planning, networking opportunities, and extensive community building among selected postdoc, junior career & mid-career professional participants. Applications will be available on the SACNAS website in the early spring.

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