Saturday, September 13, 2014


APPIC is pleased to offer the following Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines for the 2015/2016 Training year.




APPIC acknowledges the Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines for the 2014/2015 training year worked for some programs but not for others. Based on information gathered from APPIC’s survey of APPIC and non-APPIC postdoctoral programs and a large pool of postdoctoral applicants, the Guidelines have been revised. APPIC believes these revisions, combined with the tips listed below, will allow the guidelines to work for significantly more postdoctoral training programs.

APPIC also wants to acknowledge that it will be launching a centralized postdoctoral application system (APPA CAS this year. In addition to providing a beneficial service for postdoctoral applicants and programs, the APPA CAS should serve as a unifying force for postdoctoral training programs. Long-term, APPIC would like to see a more formal unified selection process or match for postdoctoral programs. We see these Guidelines and the APPA CAS as key steps towards achieving this goal.


APPIC strongly encourages Postdoctoral Programs to adhere to the following guidelines for the 2015/2016 selection process:

· Give applicants at least two weeks’ notice for in-person interviews where airline travel is required.

· Consider using remote interview formats such as video, Skype, telephone or interviews at regional meetings when there is significant burden or hardship to applicants in terms of costs and/or time away from internship.   

· Wait to make offers until Tuesday February 17, 2015.

· Utilize the reciprocal offer option prior to 2/17/15 only if their top applicant receives a bona fide offer from another postdoctoral training program. Program may require validation of the offer.

· Allow applicants to hold regular (non-reciprocal) offers for at least 24 hours.

**   Please note that two year clinical neuropsychology programs and predominantly research-focused programs are not expected to follow these selection guidelines.

Tips or Suggestions for Postdoctoral Programs to be Successful with the Selection Guidelines:

· Although reciprocal offers are rare, it is wise to be prepared to make one.  As such, complete interviews and have internal consensus on applicant rankings before 2/17/15. Programs will likely not be able to make reciprocal offers if they have not completed interviews with all applicants (i.e., they may be unsure of who their top applicant is).

· Consider adjusting their application deadlines and review process so they can make reciprocal offers if needed.

· Be explicit in their public materials and throughout their interview process about their intention to follow the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines.

Things APPIC will do

· Engage in significant education through the APPIC list serve and website regarding the Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines and tips.

· Reach out to APPIC and non-APPIC programs and encourage them to follow the guidelines.

· Disseminate the guidelines to applicants and Training Directors through list serves.

APPIC has the following suggestions for Postdoctoral Applicants:

· Inquire whether programs you have applied to are using the APPIC Postdoctoral Selection Guidelines.  Please note that multiple non-APPIC member postdoctoral training sites have stated intentions to follow the APPIC selection guidelines.

· Be aware, if you are applying to both predominantly research focused programs (exempt from the selection guidelines) and clinically focused programs (hopefully following the selection guidelines), timelines for offers may differ. Support or advice from your internship training director or other mentor is recommended.

· Have your rank ordering of programs completed before 2/17/15 if not earlier.

· If prior to 2/17/15 you receive a bona fide offer from a postdoctoral training program that is not your first choice, you may contact your top ranked program and ask for a reciprocal offer. That program may ask for verification of the offer.  If a reciprocal offer is extended to you, it is expected that you will promptly accept.

· On February 17, 2015, once an offer is made to you, one of three things can occur. You can:

1.       Accept the offer on the spot

2.       Decline the offer

3.       Ask to "hold" the offer.  If you decide to hold the offer, then the position is frozen and will not be offered to any other candidate during that hold period. Each site has its own allowance for how long a position may be held; APPIC has suggested at least 24 hours.

· Hold no more than one offer at a time. After receiving and holding an offer, each time you are offered a higher ranked position, you should accept or hold it and immediately release the offer that you were previously holding.

· As soon as you either accept or hold an offer, please contact all of the remaining programs that are lower on your preference list and inform them that you no longer wish to be considered at their site.

APPIC's new centralized application system for postdoctoral programs

On September 9, 2014, APPIC launched the APPA CAS, a user-friendly online centralized application system for psychology postdoctoral programs. The APPA CAS is designed to be very flexible given the wide range of postdoctoral programs. It can store typical required application materials, such as demographic, doctoral program and internship information, recommendation letters and transcripts. It also allows multiple uploads that can be tailored by individual postdoctoral programs. APPIC anticipates the APPA CAS will provide numerous benefits including:

for programs

·      streamlined review

·      reduced administrative burdens  

for applicants

·      reduced redundancy in materials across sites

·      timely confirmation when materials are received

·      reduced costs

This new system is also expected to bring more overall cohesion to the broad postdoctoral domain, especially with respect to the application and selection process.

It is available to both APPIC and non-APPIC programs, and is completely voluntary.  Applicants are charged $25 for their first application to a program and $15 for each additional application.  Some postdoctoral programs may continue to use their own application process, so applicants should inquire at each desired site.

Applicants can enroll through the following link   Postdoctoral programs need to register with APPIC’s vendor, Liaison International, to use the APPA CAS and to be listed as a designation option for applicants. To register or to obtain further instruction, programs should contact:

Jessica Scott

Director of Program Partnerships

Liaison International


Questions about APPA can also be directed to Wayne Siegel, Ph.D., ABPP, APPIC’s Vice Chair ( or 612-467-4024).