There are three types of postdoctoral trainees at UW–Madison: Research Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Trainee. Salary/stipend, benefits and some policies vary depending on title. Type of appointment is stated in the appointment letter. University policy UW-5005 Non-Service Appointments and the associated Job Aid Form provide guidance on factors to consider when choosing the appropriate postdoctoral training appointment(s) for an individual.
UW–Madison requires that all full-time Postdoctoral Fellows, Postdoctoral Trainees, and Research Associates have a minimum base salary/stipend of $47,476. This may occur through two appointments allowed under university policy UW-6101 Supplementation And Concurrent Appointments For Postdoctoral Fellowships Or Traineeships. An individual, for example, may receive a fellowship stipend of $40,000 as a Postdoctoral Fellow, in addition to a salary of $7,476 as a Research Associate. In total, this individual would have a base salary/stipend of $47,476.
The distinction between the different types of postdocs is very important in terms of taxes and compensation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers Research Associates to be employees and thus payments made to Research Associates are fully taxable as wages and the University must withhold taxes from monthly paychecks in most cases. The IRS, however, does not consider Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Trainees to be employees. As a result, the University will not withhold taxes from monthly stipend checks. Stipends, however, may be taxable as income: Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Trainees may be required to pay taxes quarterly on an estimated basis.
Absence with Pay
University policy UW-5088 Postdoc Absence with Pay & Legal Holidays provides two types of absence with pay:
- Absence with pay (personal): Hours when a postdoc may be absent from their training for personal purposes, and still receive their stipend or salary.
- Absence with pay (medical): Hours when a postdoc may be absent from their training due to personal and immediate family medical reasons, or for the birth or adoption of their child, and still receive their stipend or salary.
For absence with pay (personal), annual-basis postdocs are eligible, but academic-basis postdocs are not eligible. For absence with pay (medical), all postdocs are eligible. The amount of leave granted for full-time postdocs is below. Postdocs in appointments less than full-time are granted amounts based on their percentage of appointment.
- Absence with pay (personal): 176 hours per fiscal year (July 1–June 30)
- Absence with pay (medical): 96 hours per fiscal year (July 1–June 30)
Any absence with pay remaining at the end of the fiscal year will be lost and not carry over into the next fiscal year. Postdocs are ineligible to receive cash payouts for any unused absence with pay.
University policy UW-5088 Postdoc Absence with Pay & Legal Holidays provides the same nine legal holidays to all postdocs as are provided to employees. Under the policy, full-time postdocs are granted eight hours of pay for each legal holiday. Part-time postdocs are granted a prorated amount based on their hours in pay status during the pay period that includes the legal holiday. Postdocs are not eligible for floating legal holidays.
- Standard Job Descriptions: Research Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Trainee
- UW-5005 Non-Service Appointments
- Non-Service Appointments Job Aid Form
- UW-6101 Supplementation And Concurrent Appointments For Postdoctoral Fellowships or Traineeships
- UW-5088 Postdoc Absence with Pay & Legal Holidays
- Principal Investigator Status