Postdoctoral Salaries

The Graduate College requires that 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 fellows and encourages departments to bring their current postdocs into alignment with new hires. As of January 1, 2017, the NIH minimum salary for a postdoc is $47,494. However, John C. Keller, Associate Provost for Graduate & Professional Education, announced new salary guidelines after an adhoc committee conducted a market analysis. The new directive requires that all postdoctoral fellows and scholars must be paid a minimum or $50,000 (100% appointments) by July 1, 2018. This change is required for all new and existing postdocs. Annual salary increments based on merit and service should plan for a 3% salary increase per year.

As of January 1, 2017, NIH recommends the following salaries determined by years of experience for FY 2017.

Years of Experience

Stipend for FY 2017


$47,484 ($3,957 monthly)


$47,844 ($3,987 monthly)


$48,216 ($4,018 monthly)


$50,316 ($4,193 monthly)


$52,140 ($4,345 monthly)


$54,228 ($4,519 monthly)


$56,400 ($4,700 monthly)


$58,560 ($4,880 monthly)

Current NIH stipend schedule (external link)

Until July 1, 2018, 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.

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

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