An opportunity for postdoctoral scholars

Postdoc free access program

Stay current in your field--even in an uncertain job market

  • You recently completed a research project and are in between positions.
  • Your research project lost funding and your position has been eliminated.
  • You're looking for a research position and you're working--just not in your field.

As a postdoctoral scholar, these are just some of the scenarios you might be experiencing, but just because you are in between jobs, doesn't mean you have to lose your competitive edge.

Research is the cornerstone of the postdoctoral experience but the reality is, most research positions are temporary. At a certain point, all academic research projects come to an end for the postdoc. This fact, paired with a challenging economic climate, has created new challenges for early career researchers. What's more, when projects end for any reason, usually so do the benefits that come with them--such as having access to published work--which can be a lifeline for staying competitive and connected to the research community.

This is where Elsevier can help.

For scholars who recently received their PhDs and currently do not have a research position, we are pleased to offer unlimited complimentary access to all our journals and books on ScienceDirect, for up to 12 months*. This program allows those who qualify to have access to scientific journals and books in their field.

How you can apply for this program

To find out if you qualify, here's what you need to do:

  • Step 1: Complete the 3-part application form; it will take you about 10-15 minutes.
  • Step 2: You must submit a scanned image of a letter from your last academic mentor/advisor that states the position you have held and the date on which your position ends or ended and explains why you would be eligible to receive free access to ScienceDirect. The letter must be on official letterhead stationery of the department or host institution. We recommend that you first obtain this letter and create a scanned image file of it before completing the form.

Go to application form


  • You have been unemployed for 1 year or less by the date of your application to the program.
  • OR you have a project ending less than 6 months after the date of your application.


  • You have received your PhD 5 years or less before the date of your application.

How your free access will work:

Once your application has been reviewed and approval is granted, you'll receive your individual access code. Please allow up to 45 days for us to review your submission.

We appreciate your interest in staying current in your field with access to Elsevier journals and books on ScienceDirect. We wish you continued success in your academic and/or research career!

For questions about this program please contact

* Elsevier reserves the right to contact your mentor/advisor or host institution official to validate your information. Elsevier also reserves the right to deny or reject applications. The free access code is valid for 6 months from the date access is granted and can be extended for a further 6 months one time only and upon request. By accepting the terms, you agree to use your access only to stay current with research in your field and agree not to share your log-in details with others. For more information on user rights, please refer to our Author and User rights information. Elsevier reserves the right to stop access if the terms of use are violated.