NIH Postdoc Salary guidelines

M.J. Stillman stillman at
Thu Nov 21 09:28:11 EST 1996

Jim Bullard wrote:
> Jim Bullard
> CB# 3290
> Venable Hall
> University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
> Chapel Hill, NC 27599
> Lab 919-966-3184
> Fax 919-966-3675
> e-mail jbullard at
> On Wed, 20 Nov 1996, Simon Twigger wrote:
> > Hi there,
> >
> > I have been trying to find the latest NIH guidelines for postdoctoral
> > salaries by searching their web pages and looking in our library but to
> > no avail. Does anyone know what the current guidelines are for postdocs
> > with 0,1,2,3 years experience, and also where I can get an 'official'
> > copy of this information?
> >
> > Thanks in advance for any help you can give me,
> >
> >       Simon.
> >
> > Dr Simon Twigger
> > simont at
> >
> >
> Post doc pay is pretty sad in NIH, here is a list
> according to postdoc experience
> <1 year-$19608.
> 1 year-20,700
> 2 year-25,600
> 3 year-26,900
> 4 year-28,200
> 5 years 29,500
> 6 years-30,800
> 7> years-32,300

To complement Jim's answer, you can get the "official" word on
postdoctoral compensation (or the lack thereof) at the following URL:

Incidentally, I'm a former Neuroscientist who supported myself
throughout graduate school.  I refused to apply to 90% of the postdoc
positions, because of their poor salaries.  It's sad that some
organizations expect people who complete a doctoral program to enter the
last incarnation of "indentured servitude."  IMHO, the old school
mentality that "I got paid poorly after MY PhD, so should you," should
be resisted.  It'd be different if, say, a two-year, poor-paying postdoc
would be a springboard to a position whose salary was commensurate with
experience.  However, colleagues had verified my suspicions that, in
many cases, it only brings you back to a glutted workforce.

Anyhow, if you MUST do a postdoc and you don't want to sell yourself
(and all others) short, consider industrial positions.  Finally, check
out the National Science Foundation; I'd been looking into them before
my career change and believe the NSF was much more reasonable.

But don't get me started...   :-)

Postings of Comments/Gripes/Corroborations welcome.  Good luck, all.

Michael J. Stillman, Ph.D.
DendWrite Communications
33 Dinsmore Avenue, Suite 602
Framingham, MA  01702

More information about the Bioforum mailing list