Skip to main content


Please see our Neurobiology Postdoctoral Group to learn about news and events as well as more information about our ecellent postdocs.

The department fosters a strong training environment for postdoctoral scientists, as they learn and hone skills needed to transition to a career. By working closely with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the department promotes strong trainee-mentor relationships and is supportive of trainees considering any number of career pathways.

Postdoctoral fellows are fully integrated into the department and afforded opportunities to participate in mentored research talks, lunches with invited speakers, journal clubs, and social activities within the department, and career development activities through the Utah Postdoctoral Association.

Interested postdocs should directly contact their laboratory of interest. Stipend and health insurance is subject to negotiation with the advisor. Postdocs may also obtain financial support through competitive training grants.

Postdoctoral Salaries and Benefits Policy – Department of Neurobiology
Effective 7/1/2023

Definition of Postdoctoral appointee:

Postdoctoral appointment involves full‐time research/scholarship and is viewed as training
period to advance their academic and/or research career. The appointee must have received a
PhD or equivalent doctorate, works under the supervision of a faculty member and is expected
to publish the results of his/her research or scholarship.

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (9210) ‐ Are University employees who are receiving
    additional training while performing service for the University, for which they are
    compensated via payroll.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate w/Retirement (9211) ‐ Are University employees who
    are receiving additional training while performing service for the University, for which
    they are compensated via payroll and receive retirement benefits.
  • Postdoctoral Paid direct (9207) – Are not employees of the University and are
    compensated directly from a funding agency and do not receive compensation via
    University Payroll. Postdocs on fellowships, training grants and traineeships are moved
    to this job code and are paid by Accounts Payable and are not considered University
    employee for the duration of the fellowship.

To establish departmental guidelines governing Post‐Doctoral Fellow salaries and benefits. This
policy falls under the University of Utah School of Medicine Post‐Doctoral Fellow Salary Policy.
This postdoc salary policy applies to postdocs within the Department of Neurobiology as their
home department. Postdocs mentored by department primary faculty who reside under a
different org ID will adhere to the policy of the department or unit corresponding to that org ID.
Salary and benefits should be specified in writing at the time of postdoc hire.


  1. We expect that postdocs in the Department of Neurobiology be paid on the most
    current NIH NRSA Kirschstein scale + $2,500, according to number of years’ experience
    they have working as a postdoc:‐files/NOTOD‐
    23‐076.html, according to the NIH NRSA Kirschstein scale that is effective as of their
    anniversary date. We expect that salaries for postdoctoral research associates be
    adjusted annually to follow the current financial year NIH/NRSA stipend guidelines. The
    $2,500 supplement over NRSA Kirschstein scale is subject to change should the NIH
    increase the salary scale to match inflation. The supplement amount will be reviewed
    and may be adjusted annually when updated NRSA Kirschstein scales are published.
    Anyone with more than 7 years experience specified on the NRSA scale is expected to
    receive the standard annual increases that are applied to other university staff.
    Individual PIs may deviate from these guidelines based on financial constraints or
    performance. However, compensation practices must be applied consistently within
    each lab in order to maintain equity. The Department Administrator should get the
    approval of the relevant PI before the initial salary is set, and before each salary
  2. We expect that postdocs start at a level that corresponds to the number of years of
    postdoctoral experience that they have completed before coming to the department.
    For example, a postdoc who finishes his/her PhD and then is a postdoc for six months in
    their thesis lab gets credit for 0 years’ experience when they start in our department,
    and his/her raise to a year 1 postdoc would come at the anniversary of their start date
    in our department, whereas a postdoc who has done a first postdoc for 2 years and 3
    months before starting a second postdoc in our department will get credit for 2 years of
    experience when they start in our department (and would get a raise to a year 3
    postdoc at the 1 year anniversary of their start date in our department).
  3. Salary raises for “years of experience” for postdocs should occur on the anniversary of
    their start date in the department, unless otherwise specified by the terms of a
    fellowship. For example, a postdoc who starts here on May 1 will receive his/her first
    raise on May 1 of the following year. Salary increases for global department scale
    adjustments will occur annually in conjunction with the release of the NIH NRSA
    Kirchstein scale, but, they also may occur off-cycle based on significant market
    needs. Annual adjustments would be effective for individual post docs on their next
    anniversary date. An off-cycle change would be approved by the VP's Office to be
    effective on a specified date.
  4. In order to maintain equity, we expect that postdocs be initially appointed with job code
    9210 (postdoc res assoc) rather than with job code 9211 (postdoc res assoc w/
    retirement) and that they receive health insurance benefits but are not eligible for the
    associated retirement benefits. Exceptions may be appropriate in extraordinary
  5. We expect that postdocs with 5 years of experience in the department be considered to
    transition to job code 9211 (postdoc res assoc w/ retirement)or job code 9178 (staff
    research associate) or other staff position, and be made eligible for retirement benefits.
  6. We expect that the salaries of postdocs who are paid on their own individual awards
    from external sources or by T32 training grants be supplemented (as necessary) up to
    the current NIH NRSA Kirschstein pay scale + $2500 from PI funds (when unrestricted
    funds are available), or to their research associate pay level when not on the NIH NRSA
    payscale. Supplemental support should come from PI unrestricted funds (and may not
    come from PI NIH grant funds as per NIH policy). In cases where postdocs are funded by
    their own fellowships, all of the guidelines, restrictions, and requirements of the funding
    agency or foundation should be followed and take priority (e.g., the salary scale and
    raise schedule can be set by the funding agency). Institutional allowances associated
    with the fellowship may be used to cover health insurance. Postdocs who obtain
    external, merit‐based fellowship funding are eligible for bonus of up to $10,000 per year
    of the awarded fellowship.
  7. When a postdoc transitions off an individual fellowship and an associated salary that is
    in excess of the NRSA level for experience, the post doc will revert to the standard
    department salary plan.
  1. Postdocs should have health insurance. Faculty grants or research funds pay the
    employer portion of the postdoc's insurance. Postdocs may elect to take advantage of
    their spouse's coverage in cases where this is possible. It is ultimately the responsibility
    of the postdoc to ensure that they have adequate insurance.
  2. According to University HR policies, postdocs are eligible for 15 paid vacation days per
    year. They are also eligible for 8 hours per month of sick time (96 hours sick time per
    year) and 16 hours of personal preference days. These should be reported to the PI. The
    reporting process should be discussed with the PI and be consistent within each lab. The
    same leave recommendations pertain to postdocs on fellowship unless otherwise
    specified by the funding agency. The University allows 12 work weeks of FMLA leave.
    This is unpaid unless the postdoc uses vacation or sick leave accrued within the calendar
    year. FMLA information is published on the University’s HR website. Postdocs on
    fellowship may follow the family leave guidelines of the funding agency.
  3. Pursuant to Policy 6‐309A, eligible University Postdoctoral Fellows may receive Parental
    Leave Benefits with full pay for a period of up to a total of eight (8) weeks to care for a
    child born, adopted, or fostered on July 1, 2022, or after. The full Rule 6‐309A,
    Postdoctoral Fellows parental Leave, can be found at‐309a.php. Parental leave needs to be
    requested and postdocs should apply for support through the university’s postdoctoral
    fellows parental leave program:‐fellowsparental‐
    leave/. Postdocs should complete the Postdoctoral Fellows Parental Leave
    form and the completed form should be submitted to
    the at least 90‐days before the anticipated birth or
    as soon as reasonably possible before adoption or foster placement
Benefit eligibility chart
benefit eligibility chart
Postdoc Fellowship Bonus

Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows

  1. If the postdoc obtains an external, merit‐based fellowship funding of >$25,000 per year
    of the awarded fellowship, it is an expectation for PIs to supplement postdoc salaries. If
    granted, according to the Mentoring Faculty Financial evaluation process outlined
    below, the first‐year bonus will be processed approximately 1 month after the start of
    the fellowship funding. The bonus awarded for each subsequent year of the fellowship
    will be processed at the start of University’s fiscal year in July. This supplemental bonus
    is only in effect during the lifetime of the fellowship. Payments will be processed as nondiscretionary
    bonuses using the University bonus form -

    This department policy does not include appointment to University of Utah Training Grant
    Programs. Upon completion of the fellowship, the Postdoc will revert to the standard
    department postdoc salary plan (see above). If you are unsure if a Fellowship you are applying
    for would qualify for the program, please contact Neha Kushan with any questions.

  2. Just as Fellowship Stipend is considered Taxable Income, these Merit Awards are also
    considered Taxable Income and should be calculated along with the Stipend each year when
    filing Tax Return forms. For more information regarding Taxes and Fellowships:

Policy for Faculty

  1. Each fiscal year, faculty will examine their financial portfolio with the appropriate
    administrative staff to decide if they will be participating in the Postdoc Fellowship
    Supplemental Bonus Program for that year. If funds are available, then each Postdoc with an
    active fellowship or a newly awarded fellowship will then be paid the $10,000 from an
    unrestricted activity of their Faculty Mentor. Upon completion of the fellowship, the postdoc
    will revert to the standard department postdoc salary plan.


Original Policy Approved by the faculty: December 10, 2020
Policy Revisions Approved: March 2, 2023 and Effective July 1, 2023