Postdoctoral Benefits

Benefits to postdoctoral scholars vary according to the type of appointment. Postdoc Trainees (Status Code 20) are funded from Institutional Training grants or IRS-defined fellowships. VIVA Health Insurance coverage is provided at no cost to the postdoc with the option of purchasing the dental portion of the insurance plan.  Sponsored life insurance, sponsored accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, and long-term disability are provided.  For tax reporting purposes, UAB must provide a cost for these plans to the IRS.  Because of their unique status as "trainees" who do not receive a salary but rather a stipend, these postdocs are eligible for student housing.

Postdoc Employees (Status Code 21), because of their employee-employer relationship with the University, receive a salary. They also are provided VIVA Health Insurance coverage paid through the University with the option of purchasing the dental portion of the insurance plan. Sponsored life insurance, sponsored accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, and long-term disability are provided. Status Code 21 postdocs are not eligible for student housing.

Benefits Eligibility Table

UAB paid
Death and
UAB paid
Group Term Life Insurance
UAB paid
Long Term
Postdoctoral ScholarTrainee 20 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Postdoctoral ScholarEmployee 21 Yes Yes Yes
Employment Category Status

UAB Paid Viva

Vision Service Plan 
Postdoctoral ScholarTrainee 20 No Yes Yes* Yes*
Postdoctoral ScholarEmployee 21 Yes
(matched up to 5%) 
Yes Yes* Yes*

*individual pays premium

University Paid Benefits 

  • Viva Health Insurance 
    VIVA Health is the health care plan provided for postdoctoral trainees (status code 20) and postdoctoral employees (status code 21). The premium for either single or family coverage is paid by the University. Coverage under UAB's group health care plan must be elected on either the first day of appointment or the first day of the month following the date of appointment. The postdoc has 31 days from their starting date to complete hospital insurance forms either by participating in orientation or by scheduling an appointment with the Benefits Department. Some form of health insurance coverage is mandatory and proof of insurance is required if the University's health insurance is not elected. VIVA Health also covers medical evacuation and repatriation of remains for international postdoctoral scholars. 
  • Group Term Life Insurance 
    Group Term Life Insurance coverage varies with salary as indicated at no cost to the individual. Available to postdoctoral employee (status code 21) only. 
    Annual Salary Coverage 
    Up to $11,999.00—$22,500.00 
    $12,000.00 to $17,999.00—$25,200.00 
    $18,000.00 to $23,999.00—$30,000.00 
    $24,000.00 to $29,999.00—$37,500.00 
    $30,000.00 to $39,999.00—$50,000.00 
    $40,000.00 and above 125% of salary with a maximum insurance coverage of $300,000.00
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance 
    $22,500.00 for accidental death. 
    No cost to the individual. 
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance (Salary Continuation) 
    After a 90-day waiting period, 66 2/3% monthly salary (not to exceed $10,000 per month) for the first 90 days of benefits. After 90 days of continued benefits, plan pays 60% monthly salary (not to exceed $10,000 per month). No cost to the individual. 
  • Retirement Plan - TIAA/CREF 
    Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA/CREF). Eligible to participate in the TIAA/CREF 403(b) program on an matchedtax sheltered basis up to 5%. The program offers the individual a choice as to the distribution of the total deposit to be placed in TIAA (fixed annuity) or CREF (variable annuity). Available to postdoctoral employee (status code 21) only.

Voluntary Employee Paid Benefits 

  • Postdoctoral Met Life Dental Basic Option 
    Preventive and diagnostic are covered at 90% UCR. Basic services are covered at 90% UCR subject to a $25.00 deductible. The postdoc's monthly premium is $19.18 for single coverage and $44.16 for family coverage. Available to postdoctoral trainees (status code 20) and employees (status code 21). 
  • Postdoctoral Met Life Dental Comprehensive Option 
    In addition to the basic dental benefits, the comprehensive plan covers major services at 60% UCR subject to the deductible. Orthodontics is covered at 50% UCR up to a $1,000 lifetime maximum per patient. The postdoc pays the full monthly premium of $35.92 for single coverage or $82.74 for family coverage. Available to postdoctoral trainees (status code 20) and employees (status code 21). 
  • Group Universal Life Insurance Coverage 
    Maximum Coverage—Up to five (5) times Basic Annual Earnings or in $50,000 increments to a maximum of the lesser of five times Basic Annual Earnings or $1.4 million 
    Guaranteed Issue—The lesser of three (3) times Basic Annual Earnings or $500,000; must be elected during the first 60 days of employment without evidence of insurability. 
    Guaranteed Issue for Spouse—Amount elected by you in multiples of $10,000 up to $150,000. Guaranteed issue amount is $30,000. 
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance—Sponsored 
    $22,500 for accidental death. Dismemberment coverage varies.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance—Voluntary
    Maximum coverage up to $500,000 (Available to status 21-postdoc employees only)
  • Long-Term Care 
    Provides benefits for an array of services including home health care, assisted living facility care, nursing facility care, adult day care and respite care. To enroll in the plan call MetLife at 205-970-9782. Postdoc pays full premium.

Other Benefits 

  • Social Security - Taxes and benefits established by the U.S. Government
  • Unemployment Compensation Insurance (paid by the University)
  • On-the-Job Injury/Illness Program (paid by the University)
  • Student housing information (see
  • Vacation Leave - ten (10) paid working days per year.  Vacation days do not accrue and cannot be carried over from year to year.
  • Sick Leave - Ten (10) paid working days per year.  Sick days do not accrue and cannot be carried over from year to year.
  • Maternity/Paternity Leave - Twenty-two (22) paid successive working days immediately following or just prior to birth or adoption of a child.

Professional Development Classes

The Office of Postdoctoral Education encourages postdoctoral scholars to take advantage of the many classes and seminars offered through the Professional Development Office. The OPE will pay tuition and fee costs for one career development class per postdoc per year (up to 6 credit hours). A complete listing of these courses can be found on the OPE web page at under Career Resources, or by going directly to the Professional Development web page at Regular credit classes as well as additional non-credit classes are available to postdocs as long as the course will enhance career and professional development for the postdoc.

All courses to be sponsored by the OPE must be approved prior to registration. Once a course has been decided upon, the postdoctoral scholar must contact Linda R. Luck by email at or call (205) 975-7020 for approval. Upon approval to take the course, the Office of Postdoctoral Education will notify the postdoc of the correct method to register for that particular class.

OPE Courses

Each year, the UAB Office of Postdoctoral Education sponsors courses in Lab Management (Fall), Grant Writing (Winter), Translational Science (Spring), and Job Skills (Summer). There are no tuition fees for these courses and they are open to all UAB postdoctoral scholars. The Grant Writing and Job Skills courses are also open to senior graduate students at UAB. Please see the OPE website or contact OPE office for more detail about these courses.

  • Lab Management will introduce every aspect of laboratory management. Throughout the course, participants are expected to write and present a laboratory management plan to the class. This course is open to postdoctoral scholars in any discipline. In general, the class meets two hours every week from September to November. Course enrollment is limited to 25 participants.

  • Grant Writing Course will introduce every aspect of grant writing to postdoctoral fellows and will be instructed by successful grant writers. Throughout the course, participants are expected to write a grant application. All grants will be criqued by participating faculty in a mock study section formal. This course is open to Postdoctoral scholars in any discipline in which extramural individual fellowship funding is available. In general, the class meets for 2 hours every week over 10 weeks TBA. Course enrollment is limited to 20 participants.

  • Translational Medicine Course for M.D. and Ph.D. Scholars will introduce every aspect of preparing and conducting a clinical and translational science research program, including program design, data analysis, and regulatory requirements. It will be instructed by both physician-scientists and Ph.D. Scientists. Throughout the course, participants will be encouraged to design a pilot clinical and translational project using team-based approach. All projects will be critiqued by participating faculty. This course is open to M.D. and Ph.D. postdoctoral scholars in all disciplines. The class will meet every week for 2 hours a week TBA. Course enrollment is limited to 25 participants.

  • Job Skills Course will introduce every aspect of preparing for and completing a job search, including career options, preparing CVs and resumes, and interviewing skills. This course is open to trainees, including postdoctoral scholars and senior graduate students, in any discipline. Throughout the course, participants are expected to: 1. Attend each class; 2. Participate in class discussions; and 3. Develop a job search strategy. This class meets for 2 hours each week during the summer TBA. Enrollment is NOT Limited. Class topics will include: Academic and Non-academic Career Options, Preparing CVs and Resumes, and Interviewing and Negotiating Skills.



























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