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The benefits described here apply to Postdoctoral Scholars who work half time (17.5 hours per week) or greater. Employees who work less than half time are not eligible for benefit programs.

Health Insurance

Postdoctoral Scholars are required to enroll for individual coverage in the University’s postdoctoral health insurance plan or submit proof of comparable coverage in order to waive the university offered plan. The plan offered and administered by Aetna is the Health Network Only Open Access Plan, which is an HMO Plan. Aetna is a health maintenance organization that provides both routine medical and major medical insurance coverage. The cost of this health plan is provided at no cost to eligible Postdoctoral Scholars. Coverage for spouses, qualified same-sex domestic partners, and dependent family members is paid for in full by the Postdoctoral Scholar through payroll deduction.

Dental Insurance

Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible to participate in the Delta Dental PPO Plus Premier Plan. This plan includes in and out-of-network coverage for preventive care and for other basic and major restorative services. These Scholars pay reasonable rates for this coverage which is administered for the University by Crosby Benefit Systems. Postdoctoral Scholars are also eligible to receive limited dental health services through the Tufts University Undergraduate Dental School Clinic. Services are provided at no charge and include radiographs, oral examinations, prophylaxis, and emergency services. The Health Administration Fee for these services is provided as a no cost benefit to the Postdoctoral Scholar. All other treatment procedures through the Undergraduate and Graduate Dental School Clinics will be provided at the full fee, although those enrolled in the dental plan receive discounts on services.

Tufts University Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Postdoctoral Scholars holding an appointment of twelve months or longer may contribute to an FSA. Postdoctoral Scholars must sign up during the Open Enrollment period each year, for the following calendar year. Flexible Spending Accounts allow you to set aside a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision, child care and elder care expenses. For additional information see the Human Resources website.

Tufts University 403(b) Retirement Plan

Postdoctoral Scholars holding an appointment of twelve months or longer ANDwho pay FICA tax are allowed to contribute to the Tufts University 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan. Eligible Postdoctoral Scholars may sign up for the 403(b) Voluntary Retirement Plan at any time throughout the year. Enrollment is available through Employee Self Service. When you log in and make your election or change your contribution, the election takes effect the first paycheck of the following month. You may elect to contribute an annual amount up to the current federal deferral limit.

Tuition Benefits

Postdoctoral Scholars are not eligible for Tufts Tuition Remission or Reimbursement programs.

Sick Time

Non-exempt benefits apply. (See Employee Handbook)

Extended Sick Pay

Non-exempt benefits apply. (See Employee Handbook)


Non-exempt benefits apply. (See Employee Handbook)

Unpaid Personal Leave of Absence

Under exceptional circumstances, a Postdoctoral Scholar may need to take an unpaid leave of absence. Such leave may be granted at the discretion of the Advisor, in consultation with the School’s Postdoctoral Officer and Human Resources, whether or not the Postdoctoral Scholar has vacation or sick leave to his/her credit. For further information. (See the Employee Handbook)


Postdoctoral Scholars are entitled to three weeks of paid vacation (15 days/105 hours each year) pro-rated for part-time and part-year schedules.

  • Vacation time is awarded on July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year.
  • Unused vacation may not be carried from year to year, nor will it be paid out upon separation from the University.
  • If a Postdoctoral Scholar is hired after July 1, the vacation award will be prorated to reflect a partial year. A Postdoctoral Scholar who begins employment on the first of a month will receive their vacation award that month. A Postdoctoral Scholar hired after the first will receive their award at the beginning of the next month.
  • If a Postdoctoral Scholar is transferred or promoted to another position in the university, s/he will forfeit their postdoctoral vacation award and follow the vacation policy applicable to their new status.

Scheduling vacation: All vacation schedules must be approved by your supervisor. Whenever possible, vacation time should be requested at least three (3) weeks in advance. Progress in your research and the scheduling of experiments (for laboratory-based scholars) may be considered when setting vacation schedules.

Personal Days

Full-time employees receive two personal days (14 hours) per fiscal year (July 1 –June 30). Part-time and part-year employees receive pro-rated personal days based on their regular work schedule. These days must be used each year; they do not accrue. (See Employee Handbook)