MERIT Compensation Guidelines


Each fellow will be supported for a maximum of four years, with 75% support derived from the MERIT Program and the balance from the respective MERIT Research Mentor. 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 2018 levels.

Fringe Benefits:

In addition, UAB offers a comprehensive benefits package. A summary of these benefits that are generally available to Postdoctoral Scholars may be found at UAB Postdoctoral Benefits. These include, but are not limited to, 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.

VIVA Health Insurance:  MERIT Scholars are status 21 employees
VIVA Health is the health care plan provided for MERIT Scholars. 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.

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 July 1 – June 30) 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 The Office of Postdoctoral Education. Please check with Dr. Schwiebert for details; all purchases should be made by June 30th.