Terms and Conditions | Postdoctoral Scholars

Program requirements

  • Scholars are expected to participate fully in program activities, including the Institute events to which they will be invited. Examples include events honoring award recipients, symposia and seminars, and donor events.
  • Faculty sponsors and co-sponsors are expected to serve on the review panel for the next two cycles of applications.
  • Scholars are expected to acknowledge the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute or the Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience as a source of support in all presentations and on all publications related to their work during the research fellowship period. Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholarsmust  acknowledge the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute with the following: "[Scholar] is/was supported by the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute.” Brain Resilience Postdoctoral Scholars of the Knight Initiativemust acknowledge the Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience in any publications, or orally in presentations, talks and media interactions, etc. with the following: "[Scholar] is/was supported by The Phil and Penny Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience at the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Stanford University". Institute logos are available at https://neuroscience.stanford.edu/logos-official-use.
  • Scholars must submit their annual progress reports to the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Postdoctoral Scholars Committee by October 1st of each year. Progress reports highlight the scholar’s research progress to date and training progress and plans. Satisfactory completion of the first annual progress report is necessary to release the pledged funding for the second year of the award.

Salary/stipend support

  • Funded scholars will be awarded an annual stipend or salary of $77,000 plus fringe benefits.
  • The funding period for awarded scholars must begin between February 1 and June 1 after the award is conferred. The funding period is two full calendar years; funding is guaranteed for the first year and the second year of funding will be awarded following the satisfactory submission of a complete progress report at the end of the first year.
  • The award is intended to provide full support to the postdoctoral scholars. Postdoctoral scholars that receive support from another fellowship must contact Program Coordinator Zulema Garibo immediately for approval. In rare cases, contingent upon approval by the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Executive Committee, the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Postdoctoral Scholar Award may be used for supplemental support.
  • In accepting the award, the postdoctoral scholar’s home department is responsible for adhering to the funding requirements and guidelines. If guidelines are not met, the scholar may be asked to return all or part of the fellowship. Example violations include: overspending above the award amount, or falsified or misrepresented information that affects eligibility.

Discretionary research funds

  • Scholars receive up to $5,000 per year in discretionary funds to offset scholar-related laboratory expenses or travel directly related to the research project. Equipment purchased belongs to the Department/University; travel must have prior approval from the faculty sponsor. The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute strongly encourages fellows to present their work when they attend scientific meetings.
  • Any use of discretionary funds requires pre-approval. See the Spending Procedures link below.
  • All purchases and travel must be completed during the award period for the scholar.
  • Unspent funds remaining at the end of each year of the fellowship will revert to the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. Funds do not roll over.
  • For information about how to request pre-approval for use of discretionary funds or for payment and reimbursement information, review our spending procedures below.

Leaves of absence

  • The award clock will be stopped during any leaves of absence, such as a period of medical or parental leave, and restart when the scholar returns to research.
  • All Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute scholars are eligible for up to 6 weeks of parental leave at full pay from the Interdisciplinary Scholars program. Refer to Research Policy Handbook 10.3.11 on applying for disability benefits for maternity leave. If the Scholar is eligible for disability benefits, full pay will equal a combination of a supplement from the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Postdoctoral Scholars program plus any benefits available from the disability carrier. Additionally, health benefits will continue to be paid by the program during a period of up to 12 weeks of medical or parental leave.


  • Should you have any questions regarding your appointment, including program operation, travel and research fund approval and other inquiries, please contact Zulema Garibo, Training and Fellowships Program Coordinator. 

Spending procedures 

Requesting Pre-Approval

Any use of your Wu Tsai Neurosciences Postdoctoral  Scholar Awards discretionary research funds (including both the Interdisciplinary and Brain Resilience tracks) requires pre-approval from the Training and Fellowships Program Coordinator Zulema Garibo. Any purchases or travel arrangements made prior to seeking institute approval may not be funded.


Please submit a business justification for the purchase using the format: Who, What, When, Where, and Why to Zulema Garibo. Include in this justification how your research will benefit from the purchase.


The Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute strongly encourages postdoctoral scholars to make oral and poster presentations at scientific meetings. You must have your PI's approval to attend the conference before you request institute approval. To request institute approval, please submit a travel request to Zulema Garibo that includes a business justification in the format: Who, What, When, Where, Why. In this justification, please include how the travel will benefit your research project and specify if you will give an oral or poster presentation. Trainees are generally reimbursed for their approved travel after they return. However, if paying out of pocket would be a financial burden, please contact your department administrator to request an advance, preferably at least six weeks before your travel dates.

Once your use of discretionary funds for travel is approved, please note that all faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students are required to use Stanford Travel when booking airfare, hotels or rental cars for university-sponsored travel. A complete description of the policies and exceptions can be found on the Fingate Travel Policies page.

Purchasing & reimbursement


You may use any of the following purchase methods, however please note that SmartMart is preferred.

  1. Use Stanford’s SmartMart portal to purchase equipment. Your Department administrator can assist you with this if needed; please contact Zulema Garibo for your PTA.
  2. Use your department PCard. After the purchase is made, your department administrator can use your PTA to clear the transaction. 
  3. Use cash or personal credit card and submit your receipt to your department administrator to process a reimbursement request. All reimbursements should be processed through your department. 


Stanford now requires postdocs to use Stanford Travel for their travel booking. Learn more about Stanford Travel here. Upon returning from the trip, please request your registration and travel reimbursement through your department using your unique PTA. Your backup documentation should include an agenda of the conference and confirmation of your attendance and presentation. 


Should you have any questions regarding your finances, travel and purchase pre-approval and funds-use inquiries, please contact Zulema Garibo, Training & Fellowships Program Coordinator.