Post Doc Salary Policy

Date: February 2, 2024
Number: SOM-RES-2.900
Status: Approved

Contact Office
Assistant Dean for Research
Dean’s Office, School of Medicine
PO Box 800793
Charlottesville, VA 22908
phone: 434-297-9920

Oversight Executive
Senior Associate Dean for Research
Dean’s Office, School of Medicine
PO Box 800793
Charlottesville, VA 22908
phone: 434-247-9920

Applies to: Any post doc at the UVA School of Medicine.

Reason for Policy

Establish minimum salary requirements for all postdoc classifications (Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Associate).

Guidelines Statement

At the University of Virginia, we define a postdoctoral traineeship as an appointment that is temporary and conferred upon an individual who has recently been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctorate in the appropriate field and who will be involved in full-time research and scholarship. The appointment is viewed as preparatory for a range of careers, including full-time academic or research careers, and is supervised by a senior scholar. The appointee has the freedom, and is expected, to publish the results of their research and scholarship during the period of the appointment. The postdoctoral appointment is renewed annually with a target length of appointment of three years.

At UVA a postdoc generally falls into one of two classifications, depending on the source of their funding.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Postdoctoral Fellow is the title given to postdocs who are funded through sources such as training grants, external foundations, foreign governments, or a different primary employer (e.g. foreign hospital), and who choose to carry out their training and research at the University of Virginia. In many such cases due to the requirements of the funding source (e.g. NIH training grant) as well as university regulations, fellows cannot be considered UVA employees, but are fully affiliated with the university and the postdoctoral community.

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Research Associate is the title given to postdocs who are affiliated with the university as employees. In these cases, the source of funds does not restrict direct payment/employment from the university. Postdoctoral research associates are part of the university’s Professional Research Staff (PRS). Other categories of the Professional Research Staff include Research Scientists, Senior Scientists, and Principal Scientists.


The UVA School of Medicine has established a minimum salary requirement for all postdoc classifications (Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Associate) effective April 25, 2024.  This policy will be phased in over four years.  Starting July 1, 2024, all new postdoc hires will be paid at or above the NIH minimum salary for a postdoc with zero years of experience. These minimums are published by the NIH and are updated at least annually.

During this four-year phase in period, it is expected that all previously hired postdocs within the SOM will have their salaries reviewed and brought up to the minimum, if necessary.   Increasing PRS salaries to the NIH minimum is usually performed during the annual merit process. However, departments are allowed to request PRS salary increases to meet the NIH minimum during the SOM out of cycle (OOC) review process that occurs March of each year. OOC requests to increase PRS salaries to the NIH minimums will not be allowed outside of the March OOC review process or annual merit process. It is expected that by June 30, 2028, all postdocs at the UVA SOM will be at or above the NIH salary minimum.

Related Policy: None.

Revision History: Implemented 2/2/2024

Approved: Melina R. Kibbe, MD, January 2024