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Policies & Benefits

Definitions

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: A Postdoctoral Research Fellow is a researcher holding a doctoral degree (or equivalent) who conducts research supported by an individual fellowship award (ex. National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship) or institutional training grant (ex. NIH/NSF Training Grant). Research Fellows receive a stipend as a condition of the award/grant. They do not receive payment for services performed and are not considered employees of the University.

Postdoctoral Research Associate: A Postdoctoral Research Associate is a researcher holding a doctoral degree (or equivalent) whose appointment is associated either with an individual research grant from an external sponsor or with departmental/school resources that is paid by the University. The individual is an employee of the University and is compensated for services performed.

Compensation of Postdoctoral Appointees

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships: Stipends associated with Postdoctoral Research Fellowships are governed by the conditions of the individual award/grant. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (including traineeships) are often prestigious and highly sought after awards to the individual and institution.  However, the monetary value of postdoctoral fellowships that do not meet the minimum stipend levels established by the NIH NRSA program should be carefully discussed with the individual’s mentor/principal investigator, The Graduate School, and Sponsored Program Services prior to application to discuss the feasibility of meeting gaps in funding commensurate with standard living expenses.

Postdoctoral Research Associates: Compensation associated with initial appointment of a full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate must equal or exceed the amount associated with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) zero year level of experience stipend amount. Compensation associated with reappointment of a full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate is expected to conform with the most recent NIH NRSA scale, with the understanding that all compensation is based on availability of funding and satisfactory job performance.

  • Postdoctoral Research Associates are typically given an annual appointment at 40 hours per week. A shorter appointment or a part-time appointment is also possible, provided that the appointment is at least half time (50%) for the period and that the rate of compensation equals or exceeds the pro-rated NRSA minimum. The compensation afforded to a part-time Postdoctoral Research Associate must be pro-rated to meet or exceed the NRSA minimums on a per-hour basis. For example, a Postdoctoral Research Associate placed in a 50% appointment may only work 20 hours per week. A Postdoctoral Research Associate placed in a 90% appointment may only work 36 hours per week. However;
    • A part-time Postdoctoral Research Associates may be given a secondary appointment to increase the part-time appointment to a full-time appointment.
    • A full-time Postdoctoral Research Associates may be offered dual employment in limited circumstances when services are limited to a specific period of time not to exceed 6 months and when the services performed are separate and distinct from the primary appointment (e.g., teaching a course). Approval from Human Resources is required prior to making any commitment for such an appointment.
  • Principal investigators may offer compensation to Postdoctoral Research Associates at rates higher than the NRSA minimum to adjust for performance or market competitiveness at their sole discretion.
  • If a Postdoctoral Research Associate is offered a reappointment, the compensation associated with the appointment shall equal or exceed the NRSA zero year level for the year in which the new appointment becomes effective.

Postdoctoral Research Associates are entitled to paid time off as outlined below:

  • Vacation: 22 Days annually
  • Holidays: 12 Days annually as follows: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas
  • Personal Leave: One day annually
  • Sick Leave: 15 Days annually

All paid time off will be earned upon the first day of the postdoctoral appointment and will be pro-rated for part-time or partial-year appointments. Paid time off does not carryover from year to year.

FAQs

FICA, or Federal Insurance Contributions Act, taxes are the Social Security and Medicare taxes paid by both individuals and employers. FICA taxes are considered payroll taxes because they are based on the amounts paid to employees.

The total FICA tax is 15.3%, which is applied to the employee's gross pay.

The employer and employee each pays 7.65%.

The FICA tax will be deducted in the first paycheck of 2018, check dated January 5, 2018.

Upon completion of the handbook, all current postdoctoral research associates will receive a link to the online document and all new incoming postdoctoral research associates will receive the link during their New Employee Orientation session.

The workload for a full-time postdoctoral research associate will be an average of 40 hours per week during the term of the appointment. The workload for part-time appointments will be pro-rated to the full-time rate. Given the professional nature of postdoctoral research associate appointments, the specific hours may vary but will not unreasonably exceed 40 hours per week.

Yes, a postdoctoral research associate on a 12-month contract receives 22 compensated days annually per contract year. Vacation days must be requested with at least two weeks advanced notice except for emergencies. Vacation days are subject to the approval of the faculty advisor. Vacation days are not able to be carried over from one contract year to another and are not paid out upon termination or expiration of an appointment.

Yes, a postdoctoral research associate receives 12 holidays per year. The holidays include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas.

If a holiday falls on a day when a postdoctoral research associate is expected to be on duty, he/she will earn a compensatory day off to be taken at a time mutually agreed to by the supervisor and the employee.

Yes, a postdoctoral research associate receives 1 personal leave day per year.

Yes, a postdoctoral research associate receives 15 sick leave days per year.

Yes, postdoctoral research associates are eligible for Federal FMLA after one year of employment and after working 1,250 hours or more in previous 12 months. Postdoctoral research associates are also eligible for leave under the CT State Statute 31-51kk after one year of employment and 1,000 hours or service. Contact Vicki Fry at 486-2036 or vicki.fry@uconn.edu for more information.

All paid time off benefits are accrued on the first day of an appointment. A full-time postdoctoral research associates with a 12-month contract will be eligible for 22 vacation days, 15 sick days, 12 holidays, and 1 personal day.

All paid time off benefits are pro-rated. If a postdoctoral research associate’s original appointment is for six months then they would begin their appointment with one half of the paid time off available with a 12 month contract.

No, paid time off benefits for postdoctoral research associates do not accrue from year to year. Any time not used within the contract period will expire.

No, postdoctoral research associates will not receive a payout for unused leave time at the end of the employment.

No, they will remain non-time reporters and will not complete time cards. Time off will be tracked in the employing departments.

Tracking of paid time off benefits and usage of such is the responsibility of the postdoctoral research associate and the employing department.

Renee Boggis in Human Resources at (860) 486-0421 or Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School Kent Holsinger at (860) 486-0983.