MERIT Compensation Guidelines


Each fellow will be supported for a maximum of four years, with support derived from the MERIT Program in years 2-4 and the respective MERIT Research Mentor would support year 1. The annual amount of each stipend is based on the recommended stipend levels for individuals receiving support through institutional or individual National Research Service Awards (NRSA) at Fiscal Year 2023 levels.

Fringe Benefits:

In addition, UAB offers a comprehensive benefits package. A summary of these benefits that are generally available to Postdoctoral fellows may be found at These include, but are not limited to, a health care plan, dental plan, vision plan, retirement benefits, disability insurance, and life insurance. Many of the benefits can be paid for on a before-tax basis. Please contact UAB Employee Benefits at(205) 934-3458 for eligibility requirements. A list of benefits offered can be found here

  • Postdoctoral Dental Comprehensive and Basic Options
    In the basic plan. preventive and diagnostic are covered at 90% usual, customary, reasonable (UCR). Basic services are covered at 90% UCR subject to a $25 deductible. 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 MERIT Scholar pays the full monthly premium found here
  • The Vision Service Plan (VSP) offers coverage for routine eye exams, lenses and frames, contacts, and discounts for LASIK eye surgery. The MERIT Scholars pays the full monthly premium found here.
  • Retirement Plan
    • 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.

Travel Allotment:

There is an allotment in the grant of funds to MERIT Scholar for allowable travel expenses, including transportation, hotel registration, and meals, to a scientific meeting. In addition, each MERIT Scholar is allotted funds for travel to the annual IRACDA meeting. Scholars should notify The Office of Postdoctoral Education of cost. As a general policy, second, third, and fourth year Scholars should present a poster or talk at each meeting they attend. First year Scholars are encouraged to attend appropriate scientific meetings for professional development and may also submit abstracts for posters or presentations.

Research and Teaching Allowance:

Newly recruited First Year MERIT Scholars receive a laptop computer allotment. Second and Third Year MERIT Scholars are provided funds each year (grant fiscal year is September 1 – August 31) to spend on research and teaching related items; allowable expenses include books, and laboratory and teaching supplies. All purchases against the annual allowance must be made through Office of Postdoctoral Education. Please check with Dr. Schneider for details; all purchases should be made by August 31.