Postdoctoral Program

Postdoctoral Fellows are typically recent Ph.D. recipients who want to further their research careers by working in the labs of faculty members with complementary research interests.  These Fellows are usually invited by a Harvard faculty member to work in their lab. Candidates must have completed all of the requirements for the Ph.D., including thesis defense, before they can begin their appointment at Harvard. Postdoctoral Fellow appointments at Harvard University are yearly appointments, renewable for up to a maximum of 3 years.  

Several of our faculty members have grants to support Postdoctoral Fellows. When these positions become available, they are advertised on our Psychology Department website and in the various online bulletin boards maintained by psychology journals, such as the American Psychological Society's Observer or the American Psychological Association's Monitor. 

Several Postdoctoral Fellows come to Harvard with their own fellowship awards.  These Fellows are usually divided into two groups. One group has fellowships that are administered through Harvard (e.g., NRSA awards and other U.S. Federal awards) with one of the Harvard faculty members acting as the Principal Investigator.  The other group has fellowships (usually through foreign institutions) that are paid directly to the Postdoctoral Fellow and are not administered through Harvard.  

Postdoctoral Fellows with funding that is administered through Harvard are eligible for benefits. The benefits payment structure can vary depending on whether the Fellow is paid from a faculty member's grant or from a fellowship.  Benefits include 4 weeks of paid vacation, health insurance, dental insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, contributory life insurance, and tuition assistance.  In addition, Postdoctoral Fellows, like all Harvard University employees, can purchase athletic stickers, discounted MBTA passes, and have access to a broad range of perks offered through Harvard University. 

The Department of Psychology offers a rich and dynamic environment for those interested in postdoctoral research.  If you have questions regarding postdoctoral appointments, please contact Bob Woods in the Psychology Department Administrative Office.