Amsterdam, November 13, 2012 – Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of the Postdoc Free Access Program, a new initiative designed to help early career researchers who are in between research positions stay up-to-date in their field.

For scholars who have recently received their PhD and currently do not have a research position, the program will offer postdocs a Free Access Passport, with complimentary access to journals and books on ScienceDirect for up to 6 months.

The global economic climate for science funding has created new challenges for post doctoral students, especially for those looking for employment. In response to this growing trend, the program was conceived by editors and publishers at Elsevier who began to hear from postdocs in countries where funding has been hit hardest. Many emphasized the mounting pressure to stay competitive and publish, in many cases without the resources to do so. 

Lenka Stockova, a research assistant from the Czech Republic said about the initiative, "This is a great opportunity for postdocs to keep in touch with the latest news in their field of interest and to identify the most active centers of research where they can apply for a position." According to Lenka, access to published research is "not only important, it is really necessary. Otherwise you cannot keep up with the latest research in your branch of study."

Professor Stephen Neidle, Editor-in-Chief of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, part of Elsevier's flagship Tetrahedron chemistry journal portfolio, who was part of the team that devised the program, explains, “Postdocs are facing a challenging time as big pharma has closed down many operations in Europe and the United States. University budgets are squeezed and research budgets are reduced. It will be important to keep the interest and commitment of the younger generation.”

In order to qualify for the Free Access Passport, candidates will be asked to fill out a form verifying their credentials, before December 15, 2012. Once approved, they will receive a personal code allowing access to ScienceDirect.

Qualifying criteria include:

•    Postdoc researchers who have received their PhD within in the past 10 years
•    At least one recent postdoc position which was completed in the past three months or that will be completed within three months
•    A letter of recommendation from the postdoc's supervisor and/or institution verifying employment

For Alicia Wise, Elsevier's Director of Universal Access, the program provides an opportunity to invest in the future of science by keeping promising young scientists--who would otherwise be without access to content--current in their field. "Postdocs today face a multitude of challenges, between an uncertain job market and the inherent temporary nature of research projects themselves," she said. "At Elsevier, we know that access to published research is vital for early career researchers to stay connected, to stay competitive, and to get that next project or job."

More information about the program and the application form can be accessed at