post·​doc·​tor·​al | \ ˌpōs(t)-ˈdäk-t(ə-)rəl How to pronounce postdoctoral (audio) , ˈpōst-ˌdäk- \
variants: or less commonly postdoctorate \ ˌpōs(t)-​ˈdäk-​t(ə-​)rət How to pronounce postdoctorate (audio) , ˈpōst-​ˌdäk-​ \

Definition of postdoctoral

: being beyond the doctoral level:
a : of or relating to advanced academic or professional work beyond a doctor's degree a postdoctoral fellowship
b : engaged in such work postdoctoral scholars

Examples of postdoctoral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About a decade ago, Graham, now deputy director of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center, took a new stab at the RSV problem with a postdoctoral fellow, Jason McLellan. Arthur Allen, Scientific American, "For Billion-Dollar COVID Vaccines, Basic Government-Funded Science Laid the Groundwork," 18 Nov. 2020 The National Institutes of Health has chosen Khanh Do, a postdoctoral fellow at LSU Health New Orleans Neuroscience Center of Excellence, as one of 30 Outstanding Scholars in Neuroscience. Staff Reports,, "LSU Health New Orleans researcher honored, and other metro area health news," 18 Nov. 2020 Back on the case Fast forward to 2017, when Keri Hoadley joined Martin's team as a postdoctoral fellow. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "When stars collide: Solving the 16-year mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula," 18 Nov. 2020 After three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, Dr. Koshiba returned to the University of Tokyo. Dennis Overbye, New York Times, "Masatoshi Koshiba, 94, Dies; Nobel Winner Tracked Ghostly Neutrinos," 16 Nov. 2020 Vaccines inspire both unbridled optimism and skepticism, said Emily Harrison, a postdoctoral fellow in the history of epidemiology at Harvard University. Author: Evan Bush, Anchorage Daily News, "Why a coronavirus vaccine might not get things back to normal," 15 Nov. 2020 Dina Mistry, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Disease Modeling, has conducted cutting-edge work on human interaction networks, and social mixing patterns. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "The Science That Spans #MeToo, Memes, and Covid-19," 27 Oct. 2020 Her postdoctoral work at Bell Labs led to a breakthrough in understanding electrical resistance in metals. National Geographic, "Why has it been so hard to let brilliant women shine?," 2 Sep. 2020 Nural Cokcetin, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney, who studies the sweet stuff, previously told Refinery29 that honey has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and prebiotic properties. Elizabeth Gulino,, "Yes, Beyoncé Has 80,000 Bees. But Does Her Honey Have The Power To Heal?," 2 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'postdoctoral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of postdoctoral

1929, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about postdoctoral

Time Traveler for postdoctoral

Time Traveler

The first known use of postdoctoral was in 1929

See more words from the same year

Statistics for postdoctoral

Last Updated

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Postdoctoral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for postdoctoral


How to pronounce postdoctoral (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of postdoctoral

: relating to work that is done after a PhD has been completed

Comments on postdoctoral

What made you want to look up postdoctoral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!