Postdoc FAQs

How to Apply

Caltech has a variety of opportunities and resources available to postdocs, as well as information about life at Caltech and the resources available to this community of scholars, available on the Caltech Postdoc Association web page. Those seeking postdoctoral appointments in CCE should write directly to the faculty member whose research is of interest to them in order to determine whether positions and funding are currently available. Please visit the Faculty page for faculty research and contact information.

Information for Incoming Postdocs

The following sites have more detailed information about becoming a postdoc at Caltech. If you have already been offered a postdoc position, please make sure to explore the Human Resources and International Scholar Services sites, as they contain detailed information about what to do before you arrive at Caltech:

Postdoctoral Scholar forms:

When should I apply?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you should apply AT LEAST 3 months before you wish to begin your appointment. Due to current immigration procedures, if you are not a U.S. citizen you must apply AT LEAST 4 months before you wish to begin your appointment, though 6 months is recommended to avoid delays.

What materials should I submit with my application?

You will need to submit your CV, research proposal, and at least 2 references to a faculty sponsor. Once your appointment has been approved by a faculty sponsor, you will also need to submit the Postdoc Application Form (pdf), and the Foreign Intake Form (pdf) if you are not a U.S. citizen. If you are receiving funding from outside Caltech, you will also need to submit a letter from your funding organization stating the funding period and amount.

I am a non-U.S. citizen and will be applying for a J-1 visa. How do I get my DS-2019 form?

Caltech will issue your DS-2019 form AFTER you have turned in ALL of your application materials. There may be a processing time of several weeks from the time you submit your materials to the time your DS-2019 is issued, which is why you are encouraged to apply more than 4 months before you wish to begin your appointment.

I submitted all of my paperwork and received my appointment letter. Now what?

Please follow the instructions in your appointment packet for setting up meetings with the International Scholar Services (ISS) office and Human Resources, and for completing the visa process if you are a non-U.S. citizen. Please see the International Offices Arrival page for important information about arrival and check in.

I'm applying for a fellowship that requires Caltech signatures. Who signs these?

Coordinate with your faculty sponsor's grant manager. Please contact your faculty sponsor or group assistant for grant manager contact information.

I received a fellowship. Do I need to do anything to process the funds?

Yes. Please let your faculty sponsor's grant manager know about your fellowship as soon as possible. S/he will need a copy of your official award letter, any specifications on your institutional allowance, and the budget.

How do I fill out my tax forms?

Around tax time, ISS will send out an email notification to all nonresident postdocs informing them about upcoming tax workshops and providing information on tax assistance that is available to them. Please find more information on the International Offices Taxes page.

What do I need to do when my postdoc appointment is over?

Contact your group assistant and Paula Higdon in CCE Postdoctoral Scholars Program at least 30 days prior to your last day. You will also need to complete a Departing Faculty Arrangements (pdf) form.