Home » Doctor PMS life » Salary guidelines for postdocs

Salary guidelines for postdocs

According to an NSF study, the number of postdocs increased about 25% in the last 5 years. We are a massive group of research in the academic world, doing research and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students. But still, in most of the places we are still aliens in the University world. We are not students, but we are not faculty either. I’m trying to get funding to attend to a very important meeting in Sydney and I was told by my program and University that simply there is no funding available for postdocs!

In the postdoctoral association we’ve been trying to establish some salary guideline for our University. Of course, there are the NIH salary guidelines, but this just applies to postdocs being paid from an NIH grant. We wanted to put that table in our website because at least it would be some kind of guideline, but were told that no one follows this guidelines in my University, even the labs with NIH funding. Also, as a beginning association, we shouldn’t mess with that because PIs could feel “pressured” to follow the guidelines. Seriously?

How are the salary guidelines in your University? Is there any internal minimum? Or maybe people actually follow the NIH salary guidelines? I’m curious to know how it works out there!

5 thoughts on “Salary guidelines for postdocs

  1. Not sure how it’s enforced (actually, I don’t think it is), but most labs at my University follow the NIH guidelines I believe. There are some complications w/ insurance and stuff if a postdoc gets a fellowship that can matter, but largely we’re integrated into the employee system fairly well (same benefits, stuff like that). But we are still an island apart too. I really am fortunate.


  2. There was a huge push, led by the National Postdoc Association, in about 2002-2007 to ‘out’ universities that blatantly took advantage of postdocs. Most of the R1 institutes stepped up to the plate and started to require or at least highly recommend following NIH stipend guidelines (at least as a minimum salary level). I was proud to be part of that, and also for helping to ensure that all postdocs had access to sick leave and perhaps vacation. This is still dragging along, but it is better. When I was a faculty member, there were no guidelines for salary, but all postdocs got 22 days of vacation (as did students).


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