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Administering Postdoc Fellowship Pay

This page provides an overview of fellowship payments to postdoctoral scholars and non-matriculated students. Fellowship payments are entered into the Graduate Financial Support (GFS) system by administrators across campus. Fellowship recipients are paid monthly by the Payroll Department on the last business day of each month.

For information on fellowship payments to medical residents and clinical fellows at Stanford hospitals (SHC/LPCH), refer to School of Medicine Expense Guidelines for Residents and Fellows (e.g., payment method, expense and payment types, tax implication). 

Monthly fellowship payments are entered into GFS with an NM-Payroll item type. Administrators must enter and fully approve payments four business days before the end of each month to ensure payment. For specific monthly deadlines, refer to Resource: Postdoc Fellowship Deadlines. For policy guidelines, refer to the GFS Policy Resources.

Payroll administrators must substantiate fellowship payments to nonresident employees and permanent residents (green card holders). Payments are withheld until the following backup is verified by Payroll:

For J-1 Visa Holders

  • Copy of foreign passport
  • Copy of signed DS-2019 form (sponsored by Stanford, issued from Bechtel)
  • Copy of I-94 card (given to J-1 when entering U.S.)
  • Completed LA-6 Form listing all dates of presence in the U.S.

For U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)

  • Copy of Permanent Resident (Green) Card

H-1B visa holders are ineligible to receive fellowship payments. Stanford will pay these visa holders as employees.

Fellowship recipients are encouraged to enroll in direct deposit by completing the paper direct deposit form and sending it to Payroll per the instructions on the form. Postdocs cannot use the online forms in Axess, unless they are separately receiving salary as an employee.

Direct deposit advice notices and paychecks are delivered to the department mail code on the last business day of each month. Direct deposits generally post to bank accounts the day before checks arrive to departments.

Administrators can verify fellowship payments by running the PS8 GFS Monthly Postdoc Stipend Report, which is available in the OBI (Oracle Business Intelligence) Reporting Graduate Financial Support folder.

Payments are not automatically generated if the monthly GFS entry deadline is missed. After the GFS entry has been fully approved, submit a Support Request to Process Off Cycle Postdoc/Non-Matric Stipend Payment. The payment is then added to the next monthly check.

If the payment is needed immediately, please make that indication on the Support Request. Emergency direct deposits are generated each Friday.

One-time fellowship payments, such as travel grants, are also paid by GFS entry. To make a one-time payment, enter the start and end dates of the current month and the full payment amount into GFS. The payment will be included with the regular monthly check.

If the payment is needed in advance, please submit a Support Request to Process Off Cycle Postdoc/Non-Matric Stipend Payment after the GFS entry is fully approved.

U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents and Residents for Tax Purposes

Fellowship payments to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes are taxable to the recipient; however, they are not reported by Stanford on a tax document. Stanford does not withhold tax from these fellowship payments. Recipients should consult a tax agent for information on making payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the State of California. Federal and state tax forms are available online at and

Year-to-date (YTD) totals are provided on monthly pay statements for the recipient’s use in year-end tax reporting.

Non-resident non-U.S. Citizens

Fellowship payments to non-resident non-U.S. citizens are subject to 14% federal tax withholding and reporting on Form 1042-S. Form 1042-S is mailed annually by March 15. Nonresidents from a country with a tax treaty can claim exemption from the withholding by filing Form W-8BEN with Payroll. A Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required to claim the tax treaty benefit. Refer to How to: Claim Tax Treaty for Fellowship Payments.

Contact a tax agent for information on making tax payments to the State of California.

Payment methods to postdoctoral scholars (university employees or scholars) vary based on educational affiliation and expense type. Locate the payee affiliation to determine the appropriate payment method using the following table.

Payee Affiliation Expense Type Payment Type Payment Method Taxable Income?
Postdoctoral Scholars (University Employees or Scholars)
  • Conference/training fees
  • Travel expenses*
University business expense No**
  • Computers
  • Books and supplies
Fellowship Yes

* Conference and training fees, and travel expenses meeting university policy as documented in Administrative Guide Policy 5.4.2: Business and Travel Expenses. If the expense being reimbursed falls outside this policy statement, grant the postdoctoral scholar a fellowship in GFS

** Substantiate university business expense reimbursements as stated in Administrative Guide Policy 5.4.2: Business and Travel Expenses within 60 days of the date that the expense was incurred or the travel was completed. Expenses submitted after 60 days will be reimbursed in compliance with university policy. IRS guidelines require that the reimbursement is made taxable to the person incurring the expense.

In some cases, an external agency may award a fellowship directly to an individual, and the funding is not processed through Stanford. The student’s department administrator should enter this support in GFS as “Information Only” to allow coordination of all aid students may receive.

Last Updated: Aug 10, 2023