Free access to journals for unemployed postdocs

Out of work postdoctoral scholars can get free access to Elsevier's journals and books on ScienceDirect

For several years now, Elsevier has been offering free access to ScienceDirect to researchers who were out of work. This access allowed them to keep up to date on developments within their fields of research. One bottleneck in the process however was that applications could only be submitted within certain time periods.

Due to the positive responses we received over the years, we have decided to remove that hurdle and make the application process ongoing. This means that young scholars who are out of work can now apply for this free access at any time.

In addition to this, those who do not find a position after the first six months can request an extension of their access to ScienceDirect for a further six months.

Dr. Atheesha Singh, who has a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in South Africa and who took part in the program in 2013 commeDr. Atheesha Singhnts:

“This free access program had taken away tremendous financial burden of having to actually pay for some really good scientific content. I have read through papers that I would not have gotten the chance to read had it been at a cost. I have learnt a lot and am very grateful for this valuable opportunity. I have already informed my new colleagues about this exciting endeavor."

Since taking part in the program, Dr. Singh has found a new position as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Water and Health Research Centre - University of Johannesburg.

How to apply for free access

Candidates should complete a form verifying their credentials. Once this is approved, they will receive a personal code allowing access to ScienceDirect.

Qualifying criteria:

  • You have been unemployed for 1 year or less by the date of your application to the program.


  • 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.

For more information and to apply, visit

What is ScienceDirect?

ScienceDirect is Elsevier' full-text database with almost a quarter of the world's peer-reviewed scientific content. It's home to nearly 2,200 journals, 900 serials and 25,000 book titles. Journals include The Lancet, CellCurrent Biology, Biomaterials, Biological Psychiatry, Social Science & Medicine, Cognition, and Behavioural Brain Research.

Did you know? We also offer free access for journalists:

Credentialed science journalists can get free access to ScienceDirect through a media code. For more information, email the Elsevier Newsroom.

Author biography

Gaëlle HullGaëlle Hull has been a Marketing Communications Manager at Elsevier since 2006. She initially worked on the engineering portfolios before moving to energy. She took on responsibility for her current portfolio — chemical engineering — in 2010. Since January 2014, Gaëlle has been responsible for promoting the Postdoc Free Access program.

comments powered by Disqus