Postdoc Free Access program is back

Postdoctoral scholars in between jobs can get free access to Elsevier's journals and books on ScienceDirect

In November 2012 and again in June 2013, Elsevier launched a program to support young scholars in between jobs or looking for their first postdoctoral position. Applicants who qualified were granted up to six months free access to all our journals and books on ScienceDirect and were able to use this access to work on grant applications and research projects.

We were delighted with the response, both from postdoctoral organizations who forwarded the application form link and from researchers who qualified for the free access.

One of the recipients of the 2012 program, Dr. Daniele Vergara of the University of Salento in Italy, wrote:

As a postdoc fellow in biological sciences, this program (gave) me the chance to maintain a vital scientific network, to read papers and write grants. In the absence of help from government and local institutions, the Elsevier program was a great experience, an innovative way to support postdocs during their research career.

As the international economic situation continues to be challenging for scientists starting their career, we have decided to bring back this program. In order to give even more people the option to apply, we have extended the application period to six months.

How to get the Free Access Passport

postdocfreeaccessTo qualify, candidates must complete a form verifying their credentials by August 31, 2014. Once approved, they will receive a personal code allowing access to ScienceDirect.

Qualifying criteria:

  • Postdoctoral researchers who have received their PhD within the past five years.
    Candidates must have completed their last research position (either PhD research or a postdoc or equivalent) on or after January 1, 2014, or have a position that will end before August 31, 2014.
  • Applicants should submit a scanned image of a letter from their last academic mentor or advisor that states the position held and the date on which the position ended or will end. For more on the program and an application, visit

A version of this article originally appeared on Elsevier's Editors Update.[divider]

Elsevier Connect Contributor

Gaelle HullGaelle Hull is a Marketing Communications Manager at Elsevier.

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13 Archived Comments

Nasir March 13, 2014 at 6:36 pm

I will complete my Phd by this month, thereafter unemployed :-( can I get free access even without having any postdoc position?

Gaelle Hull March 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

Hi Nasir

Yes, this program is available for people who have just completed their PhD. Just fill in the form at and we'll take it from there.


Habib Gul March 14, 2014 at 5:25 pm

I m very pleased to see that science Direct are giving free access to researchers, but the thing that I have really feel in my educations career is that basically I m from Afghanistan having no access to any kind of digital library it will be impossible for me to full fill all the requirements. Please have a concession for me

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Hi Habib,

Thank you for telling us about your situation. I will make sure the organizers of the program see your comment.

All the best,


Dickson Giong March 18, 2014 at 12:26 am

Can you set up similar program for those are doing PhD or even to those might want to do it.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hi Dickson,

Thank you for your comment. I will make sure the organizers of the program see it.


Pimpan Pimonrat March 18, 2014 at 1:41 am

It is a wonderful project. I would love to join.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Thank you, Pimpan. Here's a link to the information and application form:

Sylvia Lindinger-Sternart March 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

I thank you so much for this opportunity. I will apply for it after my graduation.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm

That's wonderful, Sylvia. Good luck to you!

Mohammed Danish March 19, 2014 at 2:31 am

Hi, G. Hull

I had completed my PhD on Sept. 2012. Now doing Post doctorate, am I eligible to get ELSVIER free Access?



Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Hi Mohammed, According to the instructions, it's for researchers who currently do not have a research position or have a project ending before 31st August 2014. Here are more details:

Good luck!


mostafa sabry March 19, 2014 at 11:30 pm


Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Hi Mostafa,

The link to apply is in the article, but here it is for your reference:

Good luck!


hany kamal kamel March 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm

i have MD in histology but at 2007. can i submit for the free access program or not. many thanks for El Elsevier.

khalid March 21, 2014 at 9:40 am

I would like to get the free access as I have competed my PhD two years back and am yet to join a job.

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 21, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Hi Khalid,

It looks like you might qualify. Here's a link to more information and the application form.

Good luck!


Narinder Singh March 21, 2014 at 10:00 am

I am simply a graduate in mehanical engineering.I wanted free lessons on designing a small cnc lathe which I intend to make in my small workshop.The knowledge of designing will make me aware of many aspects which will guide me to learn more and explore the market for purchase of equipments needed.I cannot spend on costly books but can make use of libraries.The information on this page is,however,a sort of catalyst for me to explore further in the subject. Thanks

Salimeh March 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm


I have finished my PhD on10th of March 2013 and I started my postdoc on 5th of January 2014 and It takes one year, can I get the free access?

Alison Bert, Editor-in-Chief March 21, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Hi Salimeh,

Congratulations on your postdoc position. This program is for researchers who don't have positions. Since you do, you can probably get access to ScienceDirect through your institution.

I posted the criteria below, and you can also find it here:


• I have become unemployed after 1 January 2014, or have a project ending before 31st August 2014.

• Must have completed your last research position (either your PhD research or a postdoc or equivalent) by 1 January 2014 or have a position that will be completed before 31st August 2014.

All the best,


Manar ramadan March 21, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I finished my doctoral degree in basic medical science ,parasitology 2008 and I am trying to publish reasearch papers...can I get this free acess?

Atul Kumar Gupta March 21, 2014 at 7:14 pm

I completed my PhD in April 2013. Now i am working as Lab Supervisor With Intertek India Pvt. Ltd.. Can I get free access?


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