Postdoctoral Scholars at UCSC

Postdoctoral scholars at UC Santa Cruz participate in cutting-edge research backed by the resources and benefits of the University of California statewide system, all while enjoying UCSC’s collegial atmosphere and scenic California coast location. At the end of September, we celebrate the National Postdoc Association’s Postdoc Appreciation Week, and all October, we celebrate postdocs with Postdoctoberfest!

What is a postdoctoral scholar? 

Postdoctoral scholars, or postdocs, are researchers pursuing additional training under the guidance of faculty mentors after receiving their Ph.D. “Postdoc” in this context refers to a specific training position and does not mean “anyone with a Ph.D.”

Postdoc positions are temporary and intended to provide experience and training for careers in academia, industry, government, or the nonprofit sector. UC Santa Cruz postdocs may not accrue more than five years of postdoctoral experience at other institutions prior to appointment at UCSC.

What do postdocs do?

Postdocs carry out research under the direction of faculty advisers in a manner similar to graduate student researchers. Postdocs are expected to be more independent and experienced than a graduate student. Postdocs often train and mentor graduate and undergraduate students while receiving mentorship from faculty members, making them an important part of the training environment.

In the academic year 2022-2023, UC Santa Cruz has postdoctoral scholars in the following departments:

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Arts Division
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Computational Media
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Science
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Feminist Studies
  • Film and Digital Media
  • The Genomics Institute
  • History
  • History of Consciousness
  • Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC)
  • Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Latin American and Latino Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology
  • Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
  • Ocean Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics (SCIPP)
  • UC Observatories