Postdoctoral Compensation


Postdoctoral Scholars are paid semimonthly. Payday is the 15th and 30th of each month or the previous workday if the 15th or 30th falls on a weekend or holiday. At the end of each pay period, participants can review deposit information indicating gross pay, taxes, deductions, and net pay in Employee Self Service. Some Postdoctoral Scholars may be paid directly from their granting agency, or they may be paid by both Tufts and an external organization. Postdoctoral Scholars who do not receive pay from Tufts will be considered employees for health insurance and other postdoctoral policies including intellectual property rights. Postdoctoral Scholars must work half time or greater to be eligible for benefits.

Compensation Levels

The Advisor, in accord with University guidelines, will determine compensation levels for Postdoctoral Scholars. The minimum amount will be tied to the amount supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Research Service Award (NRSA) for Postdoctorals with zero years of experience. Information is available at: Scroll down to NRSA Stipend Levels on this website and select the most recent year. Compensation will be adjusted if a Postdoctoral Scholar is employed less than full-time.

Compensation levels for Postdoctoral Scholars who are funded by an organization external to Tufts will be determined by the awarding body, but will not be less than the minimum, in U.S. dollars, for Postdoctoral Scholars with 0 years of experience.

Merit Increases

The advisor will determine pay increases for Postdoctoral Scholars each year, following the University guidelines and schedule for merit increases and within any grant constraints. Merit increases are usually effective July 1 of each year. The awarding body will generally determine merit increases for Postdoctoral Scholars who are funded by an external organization.

Postdoctoral Scholar Review

Advisors/faculty mentors and their Postdoctoral Scholars should meet regularly to review research findings, discuss and plan future work and to assess progress. In addition to these regular meetings, each Scholar and advisor are required to meet annually to review research progress, performance, and career goals. A Postdoctoral Scholar Review Form is available on the HR Forms page under Performance Development Program resources to guide this discussion. The signed signature page of the review form must be returned to each School’s postdoctoral office. If a Postdoctoral Scholar’s job performance is unsatisfactory, this may be cause for termination of the appointment.

Tax Liabilities of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents

Postdoctoral Scholars who are paid by the University are subject to federal and state taxes. Each employee has the opportunity to indicate the number of federal and state withholding allowances when they complete a W-4 at the time of hire or at a later date. Postdoctoral Scholars who are paid through individual or Institutional Federal Training Grants may be exempt from FICA (Social Security) taxes. The taxability of these fellowships will be reviewed at the initiation of each award.

Tax Liabilities of Nonresident Aliens

A number of variables, such as country of origin, tax treaty terms (if any), or visa type are considered in determining the tax liability of nonresident aliens. Non-resident alien employees should contact the HR Service Center at (617) 627-5811 and ask to speak with someone regarding this particular issue to obtain additional information or to discuss their specific taxation situations.