From the Vice President for Research: English Language Proficiency for Postdoctoral Research Fellows

In response to faculty feedback about challenges regarding English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements outlined in HOP 4.3.12 Postdoctoral Research Fellows, effective immediately we are suspending option 4 in HOP 4.3.12 Part VII.C for 90 days pending review. We will continue to accept option 1 through 3. The OIS Advisory Committee will continue to adjudicate requests for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, a working group is being established in partnership with the Office of International Services (OIS) to review ELP requirements and develop recommendations.

For questions regarding postdoc policy contact Laura Moreno at and for questions regarding visa sponsorship of international visitors contact the Office of International Services at

C. For trainees who are not U.S.  permanent residents or U.S. citizens and who are from countries where English is not the native language, proof of English language proficiency must be provided to the Office of International Services (OIS). An OIS Advisory Committee will review and make decisions for exceptions to any documentation requirement. An individual can meet this requirement by providing one of the following:

1.      Evidence of earning a minimum score of 80 iBT (internet-based test) or 550 PBT (paper-based test) on Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or overall band/score of 6.5 on Academic Examination of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the past two years.

2.      Evidence of passing board or licensure examinations in English.

3.      Evidence of higher education degree or high school diploma from an academic institution where the curriculum is taught exclusively in English.

4.      Evidence of minimum required score on approved third-party English language proficiency assessment. *Effective January 7, 2022, the VPR suspended option 4 for 90 days pending review.


Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH
Vice President for Research (interim)
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

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