Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Texas

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Texas

There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of Texas.   Cost for FOIA Request: $24.50 total Additional notes: None   The University of Texas system generally had data that matched the expected number of postdocs with the exception of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.   Sending the data to Deirdre Brekken at UT Southwestern, who kindly took the time to compare with her data and provide us with feedback, allowed us to clarify some of the discrepancies that we had been finding across the data-gathering effort. The salaries were identified as being salaries as of 9/1/2017, the start of the fiscal year and probably what has to be reported to the State, rather than on 12/1/16 when they were raised to the new FLSA levels. The data also only included 1 of 4 current postdoc job codes. The job codes include: Fully Paid Direct by an outside agency; true part-time postdoc, now non-exempt and having work hours tracked; Partial Paid Direct, a full-time, exempt postdoc that...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Colorado

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Colorado

There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of Colorado.   Cost for FOIA Request: $60 total Additional notes: None   The University of Colorado system should have in excess of 1000 postdocs, but data was only received for around 350.   Colorado Springs provided the data in aggregate and claimed 3 hours of labor for preparing the summary, charging $60 for the data to be released, which we have been unable to place in our aggregate set: 1 Job Title Number of employees Number of employees Average Annual Salary 2 Senior Research Associate All 5 $53,561.00 3 Senior Research Associate Full-time 1 $114,999.00 4 Senior Research Associate (Part-time Annualized) 4 $30,201.00 5 Research Associate All 7 $45,105.00 6 Research Associate Full-time 5 $51,278.00 7 Research Associate (Part-time Annualized) 2 $29,672.00 8 Professional Research Assistant Full-time 1 $56,000.00 9 Faculty Fellow (Part-time Annualized) 1 $76,440.00 10 Total Number of Full-time Employees 7 11 Total Number of Part-time Employees 7 12 Total Number of...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.   Cost for FOIA Request: $0 Additional notes: None   The data from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill appears excellent, with the one caveat that the number of postdocs is about half that expected from the NSF data. We know that postdocs are counted very well at Chapel Hill and so suspect there may be some data missing from the salary request.   The salary range reported was from $42,000 (the 2014 NRSA Year 0 stipend to $90,000, but these were both extreme data points. 310 postdocs were on less than $50k (190 at exactly $47,476). 103 had salaries in the $50ks, and 27 were on $60k+. Breaking this down by titles: Clinical Fellows: 8; $58885-65249 Post-Doc Research Associate: 325; $42k-90k Post-Doc Trainee: 107; $47476-65k (more representative of true range)   The distribution of salaries is plotted here:         Also plotting salaries for those on fellowships vs...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of California

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of California

  There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of California system.   Cost for FOIA Request: N/A; request refused Additional notes: Data only received for UC Santa Barbara   The University of California employs around 6,000 postdocs and potentially would have made up a third of our dataset alone. However, the only data we have that is of any use is from the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus.   FOIA requests were made to each individual campus in the UC system for postdoc data, but were shut down centrally by the Public Records Office:   “UCOP Public Records Office is responding on behalf of all UC campuses in response to your recent California Public Records Act (CPRA) requests for “annual salaries, on December 1st 2016, of all full-time PhD or MD-holding postdoctoral employees and fellows, and employees under any other titles that encompass postdoctoral research roles” at UC campuses. As you may know, UC entered into a new collective bargaining agreement...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Florida State University

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Florida State University

There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: Florida State University.   Cost for FOIA Request: $0 Additional notes: None   All postdocs at Florida State University in our dataset are paid above the proposed 2016 FLSA minimum threshold. FSU in fact made a strong commitment after the injunction to continuing raising the minimum salary for postdocs to $47,658. The institution provided bridge funding to support salary increases. The institution appears to be a very strong example of institutional commitment to raising postdoc salaries.   There is good transparency about postdocs at FSU on their website, and we have heard that this was largely due to an effort to push for more transparency by the postdoctoral association....
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Michigan State University

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Michigan State University

  There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the Michigan State University.   Cost for FOIA Request: $0 Additional notes: None   Michigan State University is one of the institutions that cancelled salary raises for postdocs after the injunction against the updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However they issued a memo from the Office of the Provost on December 21st 2016 stating that salaries for postdocs (which they call “Research Associates”) would change in the following way (it is not clear what AN/AY stand for):   “Currently, MSU’s minimum salary for Research Associates is $39,010 (AN) / $31,918 (AY). Going forward, I am raising the minimum salary for all Research Associates to $42,500 (AN) / $34,772 (AY). Additionally, we intend to raise all Research Associate salaries to $47,484 by July 2018.”   Michigan State is part of the Big Ten Conference, which was heavily represented in institutions who initially cancelled postdoc salary raises (several have since reversed that decision). We know from discussions...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Boston University

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: Boston University

  There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today is a different case, of a private institution that volunteered information, rather than a public institution where data was collected by FOIA request: Boston University.   Cost for FOIA Request: N/A; private, therefore not “FOIAable” Additional notes: This data was provided through a personal connection to our advisory board member, Sarah Hokanson of Boston University, and so is different in nature to all of the other data we will be presenting i.e. by going through those who work directly on postdoctoral issues, rather than through FOIA channels.   Sarah Hokanson provided the following information about the data in our aggregate dataset: “Boston University is pleased to voluntarily contribute the data of our 297 full-time (100%, 12 month appointment) employee postdocs. Not included in this dataset are 1) 64 non-employee postdocs 2) 9 part-time postdocs 3) 4 postdocs paid from multiple sources (combination stipend/salary) [Editor’s note: the 2015 NSF data suggests there were 421 science, engineering,...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Illinois

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Illinois

UPDATE: This post has now been updated with the name of a department that has raised salaries, and some analyses kindly sent over by UIC.   There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of Illinois.   Cost for FOIA Request: $0 Additional notes: None   Salary changes On November 23rd 2016 – the day after the injunction against updates to the FLSA, due to come into effect Dec 1st and raise postdoc salaries to $47,476, and the day before Thanksgiving – the University of Illinois was the first institution to announce its decision to cancel its planned salary raise:     On December 5th, this decision was reversed, and salaries were raised again to $47,476:       As salaries are paid on the 15th of every month, this meant in theory that no-one should have lost out on salary for that month.   But in May 2017, it was announced that salaries would change yet again. Board member Adriana...
Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Washington

Investigating Postdoc Salaries: University of Washington

There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of Washington.   Cost for FOIA Request: $0 Additional notes: Names also supplied   We wanted to begin our month on a positive note: that institutions can provide accurate salary information, for what we believe to be all postdoctoral researchers at the institution, through public reporting channels.   The amount data received from the University of Washington approximates the number of postdocs reported in the National Science Foundation’s data. While of course both are dependent on the institution, these data likely came from different parts of the institution, and so the data is at least highly internally consistent, suggesting a well-functioning administrative setup.   The salaries reported also do not encounter the common problem of reporting only what is paid through Human Resources at the institution, rather than what is paid to the postdoc. For example, at many institutions, if postdoc are paid directly on a fellowship, and no salary passes through the...
Increasing transparency around postdoctoral salaries in the United States

Increasing transparency around postdoctoral salaries in the United States

  There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S. It is generally assumed that biomedical postdocs in particular are paid roughly in accordance with the NIH NRSA scale and indeed the National Postdoctoral Association’s Institutional Policy Report and Database show that most institutions have a policy to pay postdocs in accordance with the NRSA scale. This scale is a guideline, however, and the absolute legal minimum for postdoc salaries is largely determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.   In 2016, we tracked how institutions were changing policies for salaries in response to updates to the FLSA, which would in effect have brought the legal salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476. The tracking effort is documented in our FLSA and postdocs resource and published in our paper, Monitoring the compliance of the academic enterprise with the Fair Labor Standards Act.   The updates never came to pass, and so the mandate to raise salaries was removed. Many institutions committed to continuing to raise salaries, as did the NIH; but a very small number of institutions chose to cancel plans to change salary policies. This led us to consider the question of what the salary landscape for postdocs looks like in the U.S. – and whether it would be possible to determine salaries easily, given that we are already involved in efforts to harmonize postdoc titles, and have pointed to the difficulties in even counting postdocs caused by the administration of postdocs. We are also gathering information on differences in compensation and benefits for postdocs on research grants, vs postdocs on fellowships or training mechanisms in the U.S. At some institutions,...