Two postodcs reading a computer screen in a lab. Benefits to postdoctoral scholars vary according to the type of appointment. Due to IRS restrictions placed on non-taxed fellowships, retirement benefits are not allowed for postdoc trainees (Status Code 20). VIVA Health Insurance coverage is provided at no cost to the postdoc with the option of purchasing the dental and vision portion of the insurance plan. 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. VIVA Health Insurance is available for purchase for UAB postdocs with the additional option of purchasing the dental and vision portion of the insurance plan. Status Code 21 postdocs are not eligible for student housing.

Learn More about Types of Postdoctoral Appointments

  • Compensation & Taxes

    Compensation & Taxes

    Salaries

    All mentors at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are strongly encouraged to follow the National Institutes of Health, National Research Service Award (NRSA) stipend level guidelines.

    The current compensation amounts for years of experience for 2021 can be found on the NIH website opens a new website.

    If it is impossible to fund according to the NRSA guidelines, the minimum starting salary at UAB is $47,484.00 (effective December 1, 2016) plus benefits.

    UAB is committed to ensuring compliance with sponsor and university requirements while providing effective stewardship of resources. In support of this commitment, it is important to remember that external support of research activities (including salary, supplies, stipends, etc.) must be processed through the UAB Office of Sponsored Programs. This helps ensure transparency and facilitates compliance with UAB’s regulatory and other responsibilities by allowing for institutional reviews (e.g., COI, export control).

    Taxes

    UAB withholds taxes (federal, state, FICA) from the wages of Postdoctoral Employees (status 21). Postdoctoral Fellows (status 20) do not have taxes withheld from stipends as stipends are not considered taxable income, but they are responsible for paying taxes. These estimated taxes are typically paid quarterly. Due to the intricacies of individual tax situations, please familiarize yourself with federal opens a new website and state opens a new website tax information. International trainees should consult the International Student and Scholar Services opens a new website office for further information on their tax circumstances.
  • Benefit Eligibility Table

    Benefit Eligibility Table

    Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

    Employment Category

    Status Code

    UAB paid Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

    Employee paid Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

    Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee

    20

    Yes

    Yes*

    Postdoctoral Scholar Employee

    21

    Yes

    Yes*

    Other Benefits

    Employment Category

    Status Code

    TIAA-CREF Retirement

    Viva Health Insurance

    Dental and Vision Insurance

    UAB paid Group Term Life Insurance

    Postdoctoral Scholar Trainee

    20

    No

    Yes

    Yes*

    Yes

    Postdoctoral Scholar Employee

    21

    Yes, 403(b) Plan matched up to 5% of salary

    Yes**

    Yes*

    Yes

    *Individual pays premium.

    **Individual pays premium effective December 1, 2016.

  • 2021-2022 Benefit Summaries
  • University Benefits

    University Benefits

    • Viva Health Insurance: VIVA Health is the health care plan for Postdoctoral Trainees (status code 20) and Postdoctoral Employees (status code 21). 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 UAB New Hire Orientation or by scheduling an appointment with the UAB Employee Benefits. 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: Varies with salary. Provided at no cost to the employee. (Sponsored)
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance: $22,500.00 for accidental death; dismemberment coverage varies. Provided at no cost to the employee. (Sponsored)
    • 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). Proved at no cost to the employee. (Sponsored)
    • Voluntary Retirement Plans
      • 403(b) Plan: The 403(b) plan is a voluntary, defined-contribution, tax-deferred as well as Roth after-tax plan governed by the Internal Revenue Code 403(b). Eligible employees can choose between both TIAA/CREF and VALIC for investments. Vesting in the 403(b) plan is immediate. The University matches the individual’s contributions up to 5% of gross monthly pay not to exceed the IRS 401(a) annual compensation limit.
      • 457(b) Plan: UAB also offers a voluntary, defined-contribution, tax deferred as well as Roth after-tax plan governed by Internal Revenue Code 457(b). Similar to the 403(b) plan, the 457(b) plan offers the same expanded investment options, convenient payroll deductions, pre-tax contributions, and tax-deferred growth through both TIAA-CREF and VALIC. There are no University matching contributions under this plan.
  • Voluntary Employee-Paid Benefits

    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 will pay a monthly premium for single or family coverage.
    • 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. Orthodontic services are covered at 50% of UCR up to a $1,000.00 per patient lifetime maximum. The postdoc pays the full monthly premium for single or family coverage.
    • Vision Service Plan (VSP) Vision Plan: The VSP plan offers employees coverage for routine eye exams, lenses and frames, contacts, and discounts for LAKIK eye surgery. The postdoc pays the full monthly premium for single or for family coverage.
    • Group Universal Life Insurance Coverage, Maximum Coverage: Up to five times your Basic Annual Earnings, not to exceed $1.4 million. Guaranteed Issue - Three (3) times salary, not to exceed $500,000.00 during first 60 days of employment without evidence of insurability. Individual pays full premium. Rates vary based on age.
    • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, Maximum Coverage: Lesser of 10 times your basic annual earnings or $500,000.00. Individual pays full premium. Rates vary based on coverage level.
  • Vacation, Sick, & Maternity/Paternity Leave

    Vacation, Sick, & Maternity/Paternity Leave

    • Vacation Leave: Six months after the effective appointment date, all postdoctoral scholars are eligible for ten (10) paid working days per year. Vacation days do not accrue and cannot be carried over from year to year. All requests for vacation leave should be made in writing and must be approved by the direct supervisor. Postdoctoral Scholars and their supervisors are responsible for maintaining appropriate records.
    • Sick Leave: 10 paid working days per year. Sick leave should not be used as vacation. Sick days do not accrue and cannot be carried over from year to year.
    • Maternity/Paternity Leave: 22 paid successive working days immediately following or just prior to birth or adoption of a child. If both spouses are employed as postdoctoral scholars, each one is eligible for a consecutive term of maternity/paternity leave. Additional, non-paid leave, following the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act, must be requested and approved by the supervisor and UAB.
  • Student Loan Deferment

    Student Loan Deferment

    Postdoctoral scholars at UAB appointed via the Office of Postdoctoral Education as either postdoc trainees (status 20) or employees (status 21) may be eligible for an Education Related Student Loan Deferment under most federal loan programs, including Stafford, Perkins and similar loans. The specific qualification requires that the postdoc be "engaged in a full-time course of study in a Graduate Fellowship program.” To be eligible, the Graduate Fellowship program must:

    • provide sufficient financial support to allow for full-time study for a period of at least six months
    • require, prior to awarding of financial support, a written statement from each applicant that explains the applicants objectives
    • require a graduate fellow to submit periodic reports, projects, or other evidence of the postdoc's progress

    Lending agencies may differ in their deferral requirements, and therefore will make the final determination of eligibility.

    Forms should be submitted for signature of a University Official to our office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Additional Benefits