Budgeting for postdoctoral positions

May. 3, 2019

Following a recent onCampus Today article regarding the new guidelines for postdoctoral researchers, I am writing to provide clarity on what this means for our college. As indicated in the article, beginning today all new postdoctoral researchers are to be hired at a minimum salary of $48,000 and hold a 100% FTE term appointment. This also means all postdoctoral researchers will be exempt (ineligible for overtime). 

Due to our college’s proactive decision in 2016 to require $48,000 as the minimum salary for postdoctoral researchers as a result of proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) threshold, these guidelines will have minimal impact for us. 

The college’s decision at that time has minimized the number of current postdoctoral researchers whose positions and salaries will need to be updated to align with the university’s new guidelines. Our HR partners are working with department chairs and faculty to address this population in our college to meet the September 1 deadline. Given there are salary changes needed, we are also coordinating our efforts with our Finance partners. The university recognizes there may be limitations due existing grants or funding sources and as a result the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Research will coordinate short-term assistance in arrears to support the salary increases of existing postdoctoral researchers. 

Moving forward, it is imperative that all new grants that include postdoctoral researchers are written to align with the new guidelines. Should you have any questions regarding the new guidelines feel free to contact your HRP.

Gary Pierzynksi, CFAES Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education