Postdoctoral Scholars Salary

The Graduate College highly recommends when appointing new Postdoctoral Research Scholars (FP01) and Postdoctoral Research Fellows (FP02) that the salaries be determined by the NIH/NRSA salary guidelines regardless of the source of funds.

The College is concerned about equity for postdoctoral scholars and encourages departments to bring their current postdocs into alignment with new hires.

NIH Release Date January 26, 2016:
As of October 1, 2015, NIH recommends the following salaries determined by years of experience for FY 2016.

Years of ExperienceStipend for FY 2016
0$43,692 ($3,641 monthly)
1$45,444 ($3,787 monthly)
2$47,268 ($3,939 monthly)
3$49,152 ($4,096 monthly)
4$51,120 ($4,260 monthly)
5$53,160 ($4,430 monthly)
6$55,296 ($4,608 monthly)
7$57,504 ($4,792 monthly)

Current NIH stipend schedule

If you believe there is strong justification to pay up to 5% less than the NIH/NRSA minimum, approval must be sought prior to submitting the grant. Strong justification might include very specific language in a grant agency capping the minimum salary. However, in most cases the scope of work or length of appointment or type of employee hired can be adjusted to meet minimum standards. In NO cases will salaries less than 5% below the minimum be approved.

Keep in mind that there are discussions at the national level to (1) increase minimum postdoctoral salaries by as much as $10,000 and to (2) require overtime pay beyond 40 hours for postdoctoral scholars who make less than $50,440 in 2016 as part of the new proposed changes of the Fair Labor Standards Act. You must keep this in mind when submitting new grants. Projecting accurate personnel costs is critical and should begin during proposal development. A sound estimate of the new stipend levels if submitting a grant before the recommendations are released at the beginning of each calendar year, is to project an annual 2% increase in postdoctoral salaries.

If you have salary questions regarding Postdoctoral Research Scholars or Postdoctoral Research Fellows, please contact Donna Welter ( or Sandy Gay ( in the Graduate College.