Policies, Pay & Benefits for Postdoctoral Research Fellows
This University-wide policy sets forth minimum requirements for the official appointment of postdoctoral fellows and the salary, benefits, leave, and accommodation requirements for all postdoctoral fellows. School of Medicine-specific policies for appointments, vacation, leave, etc. are detailed in the links below.
As members of the Johns Hopkins University community, postdoctoral fellows are expected to maintain high standards of integrity, honesty, and ethical and professional conduct and to maintain a safe, respectful training and workplace environment. Failure to comply with these standards; institutional policies and other requirements; and/or laws may be reviewed and adjudicated by the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, in consultation with the Vice Dean for Education, and can result in sanctions, up to and including termination of the postdoctoral appointment.
All postdoctoral research fellows are compensated at a level at least equal to the minimum NIH NRSA stipend level (PGY0). NIH stipend levels are listed here.
View information about the benefits available for postdoctoral fellows.
SOM Benefits for Postdocs Information Session. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs hosted a virtual information session on SOM postdoc benefits in collaboration with the Registrar's Office on December 7, 2021. Access to slides from the session require a JHED ID and are available here.
A. Pay, Compensation, Benefits
Compensation type is determined by the source of funding e.g., NIH training grants, such as F- or T- grants, provide stipends; while other individual research grants, such as R grants, pay a salary.
Differences between stipends and salaries include tax withholding and retirement account eligibility (see below). For tax information, contact the tax office.
Postdocs on T32 training grants have the same benefit plans as postdocs who are supported by other funding sources. All fellows have the same benefit plans, regardless of their funding source.
B. Tax Withholding, Retirement Accounts
Postdocs who receive a stipend typically do not have automatic tax withholding (federal, state, FICA) and must make quarterly estimated federal and state tax payments to avoid tax obligations at the end of the year. Postdocs who receive a salary will automatically have federal and state taxes withheld.
C. Time Off: Sick Time, Vacation
Postdocs will continue to receive their regular pay for up to 15 days of sick leave.
Postdocs are eligible to take up to 2 weeks of vacation time each year. Additional vacation time may be approved at the discretion of their PI/program director. Vacation time must be used within the allocated year and cannot be carried over to the following year or paid out if unused. Vacation time is prorated for first year postdocs.
Postdocs are eligible to take off on all holidays that the University is closed. If a postdoc works on a day that designated as a holiday by the University, the postdoc should make arrangements with their PI/program director to take off another day in exchange.
Postdocs are eligible to take off on days when the University is officially closed (e.g., for holidays, inclement weather, etc.).
D. Leave of Absence (LOA)
Postdocs are eligible to take a leave of absence, although not all LOAs are paid or have benefits.
Postdocs do not need permission to take a medical LOA until their sick leave has been exhausted, after which postdocs must submit a request to be review by their PI/program director and designated department representative. For non-medical LOA, the fellow’s PI/program director must be notified and the absence cannot extend beyond the end date of the fellow’s appointment. Fellows do not receive their salary/stipend and must purchase their benefits (including medical insurance) during the duration of the LOA. For Family Medical Leave, requests are submitted by the fellow’s department.
International postdocs may not be eligible for LOA depending on their visa and are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office of International Services.
Postdocs continue to receive their stipend or salary throughout the duration of their 8-week new child accommodation leave.
E. Taking Courses: Registration, Tuition Coverage
Postdocs are eligible to enroll in classes with tuition coverage, but the number of courses allowed varies by School. Find the full list of coverage here.
Full-time postdocs cannot be enrolled concurrently as full-time degree-seeking students.
New: A reference guide for taking a leave of absence can be found here
Family and Medical Leave Act:
Contact your PI and department administrators to request leave under FMLA.
For Department Administrators
The FMLA notification letter and medical forms can be found at this link.
The Office of Policy Coordination website contains updated information on policies and procedures related to:
- Research Integrity
- Outside Interests and Conflict of Interest
- Interaction with Industry
- Sunshine Act
- Additional policies and regulations
You may view and download an overview of Responsible Conduct of Research resources at this link. (JHED log-in information required.)
The Office of Institutional Equity provides equal opportunity policies, procedures, and resources for:
- Discrimination and Harassment
- Sexual Misconduct
- Disability Accommodations and ADA Compliance
- Religious Accommodations
- Confidential Resources
Postdoctoral fellows who have a dispute with a mentor or colleague may bring complaints to their PI, department director, or to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. When appropriate (excluding matters of workplace safety, forms of harassment, legal matters, etc.), the Office will attempt to counsel and aid conflict mediation through informal discussion, decision-making, and goal-setting. In the event that a dispute cannot be solved by informal discussions described in the previous section, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs can advise on more formal avenues for addressing disputes, such as the Grievance Procedure for Faculty, Fellows and the Student Body.
Reporting Learner Mistreatment
If you have experienced or witnessed mistreatment and/or disruptive behavior, you can submit complaints through the Resources for Reporting Mistreatment webpage.
Additional Training and Research Policies
JHU SOM Guidelines for Conduct in Teacher/Learner Relationships
JHU Ombuds Office
The JHU ombudsperson (Annalisa Peterson) for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and serves as a confidential resource for work-related concerns, including mistreatment, lab issues, and navigating peer conflict.
JHU Ombuds Office Website
To ask a question or request a meeting, please email the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at [email protected].