Types of Postdoctoral Researchers

A postdoctoral researcher, or “postdoc,” in our department is a scholar who holds a doctoral degree and is pursuing a program of research and training under the direction of one of our faculty members. We typically host more than 100 active postdocs, all appointed on the recommendation of a faculty sponsor.

Postdoctoral Associates receive salaries funded by research grants and are employed as academic staff sponsored by a faculty member.

Postdoctoral Fellows receive stipends funded by individual research fellowships for independent research and training. Depending on the terms of the fellowship, the stipend will either be paid directly by the agency or organization supplying the fellowship, or it will be funneled through MIT’s Payroll Office.

Transitioning from a Postdoc Associate to Fellow (or vice versa)

When transitioning between Fellow and Associate, there are several changes related to payroll, taxes, benefits, and costs to the scholar that come into play. To learn more about the process, contact the Department’s HR Office. You should request a new orientation from HR at the departmental level before you make this sort of transition in order to fully understand the changes that will take place.

Questions regarding individual fellowship or appointment conditions should be directed to the Biology Human Resources Administrator or the BioFinance Office.

Fellowships and grants

For additional information regarding fellowships, contact the BioFinance Office at 617-253-7924.

Getting Paid

If you receive a paycheck from MIT, you will paid twice-monthly, on the 15th of the month and on the last business day of the month by direct deposit to a US bank account. You will sign up for direct deposit at New Employee Orientation. Any Postdoc Fellow whose award does not come through MIT will be paid directly by their funders as per the stipulation of their award agreement.

You can learn more about payroll and benefits on the Office of the Vice President for Finance website.

Paid Time Off

As MIT employees, Postdoctoral Associates are eligible for paid time off. You can learn more about vacation and other staff benefits on the HR website. Postdoctoral Fellows are not employees and are not eligible for staff benefits.

Health Benefits

Postdoctoral Associates may be eligible for MIT-subsidized benefits depending on the length and the percent effort of the appointment. Please visit the Human Resources Benefits page for specific information regarding eligibility. You may also contact the department’s Human Resources Administrator in Headquarters, 68-132, 617-253-4701.

Postdoctoral Fellows qualify for the MIT Student Health Insurance Plan: MIT SHIP. More information about eligibility for MIT SHIP is available here. For more information contact 617-253-1322 or e-mail.

Travel Grants

All our postdocs have the opportunity to apply for funding to support travel. The process for obtaining grant funding varies: