International Postdocs

Almost half of Postdoctoral fellows at Emory are international. Moving to a new country, with a new culture and language can be very difficult. Below is information that may help ease the landing for International Postdocs. 

International Students and Scholars Services

The International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS) office serves international students, faculty and researchers in the nine schools of Emory University. The office provides programs, services, particularly involving visa and relocation issues, and activities designed to enhance the goals of international educational exchange. The office is dedicated to assisting international students and scholars in achieving their academic, personal, and professional goals through advocacy, consulting, and training with our University partners, government agencies, and the international education community.

Below are selected links from the ISSS website:

Further information for scholars on maintaining visa status, permanent residency and more can be found here

Looking for more information about Atlanta from parks to attractions to entertainment - please check our about Atlanta page.  

English Language Support Program (ELSP)

The ELSP is a professional development program offered by the Laney Graduate School. ELSP's mission is to provide high quality language instructions to ensure that students advance their language skills as quickly as possible and to encourage ongoing and long-term improvement of speaking and writing skills.  

The goals and objectives of these credit-bearing courses have been established with the consideration of the learner and focus on improving scholarly and If you are a full-time, regularly employed postdoctoral fellow - you may qualify for the  Courtesy Scholarship benefit and your tuition for these courses will be covered.  

Here are a couple of testimonials from postdocs who participated in ELSP programs:

"I found this speaking class helped me a lot in conference presentations"

"I had never learned before how to write a professional essay or research paper. This course helped me to develop those writing skills."

The types of courses offered by ELSP are listed below. All employees who would like to take ELSP courses are required to take both the speaking and the writing placement test. The total test time is 90 minutes. From these exams, we can accurately place you into the correct track (intermediate or advanced) and recommend classes. For a typical class schedule throughout the academic year, please click here.  

For more information please visit the ELSP website or contact Heather Boldt at: hboldt@emory.edu

Spoken English courses:

Fluency Building courses:  They are designed to improve the communication skills of Emory research employees with an intermediate speaking level. These classes provides foundational support focused primarily on grammar, pronunciation, and fluency before an employee enrolls in the graduate student intermediate speaking sequence. Courses include:

  • ELSP 502: Fluency Building I (3 credits) 
  • ELSP 503: Fluency Building II (2 credits)


Intermediate Speaking Track: This track designed to improve the communication skills of intermediate students. Intermediate speakers can handle many of the speaking exchanges of routine life and work; however, they typically require a sympathetic listener accustomed to non-native speakers. Intermediate speakers may have difficulty sequencing and/or linking ideas into paragraph-length discourse, maintaining appropriate past, present, and future time frames, sustaining fluency, and/or being readily comprehensible. Courses include:

  • ELSP 505:  Communication Skills for Intermediate Speakers I (3 credits)
  • ELSP 515:  Communication Skills for Intermediate Speakers II (3 credits)
  • ELSP 516:  Communication Skills for Intermediate Speakers III (2 credits)

Advanced Speaking Track: This track is designed to improve the communication skills of advanced (OPI level 3) students. Advanced speakers can narrate and describe in the past, present, and future time frames in paragraph-length discourse. Although they may have varying degrees of fluency and accuracy, advanced speakers typically can convey their message without confusion and be understood by listeners not accustomed to non-native speakers. However, they may lack the language to discuss topics extensively, participate in formal and professional conversations, and consistently provide a structured argument in extended discourse. Courses include:

  • ELSP 517: Communication Skills for Advanced Speakers I (3 credits)
  • ELSP 518: Communication Skills for Advanced Speakers II (2 credits)
  • ELSP 520: Seminar in Professional Communication (3 credits)
  • ELSP 597: Laboratory in Professional Communication (2 credits)

Writing Courses:

Graduate writing track is designed to address the needs of intermediate writers. Writers at this level contain some of the qualities of clear and purposeful academic writing; address the topic but may slight parts of the task; can adequately organize and develop; possibly inconsistent facility with syntax and vocabulary.  Errors may distract reader from the message or obscure the meaning. In general, students at this level need direct instruction and consistent writing practice. Courses include:

  • ELSP 510: Fundamentals of Graduate Writing I (3 credits)
  • ELSP 511: Fundamentals of Graduate Writing II (2 credits)

Funding for International Postdocs

Funding sources from private funding and limited federal funding opportunities (like K99/R01 and RO3/R21) exist for non-US citizen applicants. Please visit our Funding section to find more information and be sure to attend our sessions related to grants.