In certain postdoc positions, the eligibility criteria says, "candidate's PhD has received their PhD within last 4 years."

So, if I defended on December 2019 and got my degree (convocation) on May 2020. Started postdoc from June 2020. So will my 4 years from now will be calculated on the basis of May 2020 or December 2019?

  • I think you can say you officially received your PhD in May, 2020.
    – scaaahu
    Oct 24 '20 at 2:57
  • Have a look on your full academic transcript - it should have a date that may be the viva date or the ceremony date or some other date. Mine is the date that the university committee agreed that I should be awarded the PhD, which was a few weeks after the end of defence matters and a couple of months before I actually got the bit of paper.
    – JenB
    Oct 25 '20 at 10:54

Major competitions for postdoctoral fellowships have detailed rules which answer this question, but in different ways. Some use the date the degree was awarded. Others use the date of the defense or viva.

If it is not specified, assume the later date is used.


It only depends on the date on your degree, not the date you defended. So if your degree was awarded May 2020, that's the date which counts.

  • This is often but not always correct. Oct 24 '20 at 3:22
  • 1
    That's sometimes not even that clear. In Germany, the PhD certificate is typically back-dated to the defense date. Oct 25 '20 at 16:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.