The term “postdoctoral” (or “postdoc”) refers to the period of study and independent research that follows the receipt of a doctoral degree (PhD) – an important stage in academic life. This period might last anywhere from one to several years.A 2010 survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics (“Career Survey of PhD Graduates”) revealed that one-third (33 percent) of PhD graduates in Israel pursued postdoctoral studies. Among men with PhDs, 35% pursued postdoctoral studies, compared with 31% of women.The highest percentage of postdoctoral scholars were recorded in the physical sciences, mathematics, statistics and computer sciences and biological sciences (33%). A total of 11% of postdocs were in the social sciences and law, and 9% in the humanities.The survey also indicates that nearly half of Israeli postdocs (48%) completed their postdoctoral studies in the US, compared with 32% in Israel and about 3% in England. Almost half of the female postdocs completed their postdoctoral studies in Israel (48%), while among men the figure was 23%.A review of postdoctoral studies by field of study reveals a significant difference between men and women. In the physical sciences, mathematics, statistics and computer science, most of the postdocs were men (75%), while in the humanities most were women (58%). In the social sciences and law, the distribution was 60% men and 40% women.In 2014 the Central Bureau of Statistics, in cooperation with Israeli universities, collected data on PhD graduates enrolled in postdoctoral studies in the Jewish state that year. A total of 58% were Israeli postdocs, and 42% were foreign. The academic institution with the highest percentage of postdocs in 2014 was Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute (29%), followed by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (21%) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (13%).Among Israelis half were men, while among foreigners 70% were men. These data reinforce what the 2010 survey found: women, more than men, tend to pursue postdoctoral studies in their home countries. Among postdocs in Israel, 42% were 35 or younger, and 51% were in the 36-to-45 age range. In 2014 the highest percentages of postdocs in Israel were in the biological sciences (27%) and physical sciences (26%), followed by mathematics, statistics and computer science (9%) and engineering and architecture (9%).Many in Israel are concerned that postdoctoral scholars will remain abroad rather than return to Israel. The 2010 survey reveals that 10% of PhD graduates who received their degrees between the academic years 1984-5 and 2007-8 resided abroad for three or more years. Among these, the highest percentages were PhD graduates in mathematics (21%) and computer science (18%). In general, it appears that among PhD graduates in the hard sciences, a higher percentage remain abroad for three or more years (14%) than among PhD graduates in the social sciences and humanities (4%).Among PhD graduates in the hard sciences and engineering, the percentage who remained abroad for a long time is higher for graduates of the Weizmann Institute (19%) and the Technion (17%), followed by graduates of the Hebrew University (14%). Among PhD graduates in the social sciences and humanities, the percentage who remained abroad for a long time is higher among graduates of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (6%) and Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University (5%). Translated by Merav Datan.