Stipend Guidelines

Stipends for Postdoctoral Scholars are governed by a policy adopted on January 28, 2014 that requires stipends to be no lower than those set by the National Institutes of Health for their NRSA fellows. This policy will be phased in over a three year period by applying the requirement to all NEW appointments. The minimum rate for Postdoctoral Scholars with no prior postdoctoral experience in FY 2020 is $52,704/year with annual increments for each year of service. Postdocs and their mentors can negotiate stipends above this minimum level. For more information, see the NIH web site

Career Level

Years of Experience

Stipend for FY 2020

Monthly Stipend






























7 or More



In order to hire international scholars, some visa classifications require that the scholar be paid the prevailing wage for such employees. Compliance with this standard is required for certain visas to be issued. Before offering a postdoctoral appointment, contact Office of International Services to determine the appropriate visa type.

Compensation for Postdoctoral Fellows is governed by the agency providing funding, and therefore varies based on the source of funds.

Optional Retirement Plan Under SB 214

The SB 214 bill exempts Postdoctoral Scholars from the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and creates an alternative retirement plan within the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP). This alternative retirement plan may allow Postdoctoral Scholars to receive up to a 4% university match on voluntary retirement contributions made to a tax-deferred investment (TDI) (403b) program.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is provided at no cost to Postdoctoral Scholars (it is charged to sponsored accounts or paid by state or local accounts) and managed by the Office of Human Resources Graduate Health Benefits. There is a $13.00 administration fee which is split between the postdoc and the account that is funding the postdoc; the postdoc pays $6.50 per month for the administrative fee. This insurance policy is required.

Postdoctoral Fellows participate in a similar health insurance policy, but must pay for coverage, including the administrative fee, from their own funds or from allowances provided by the external agency providing the fellowship. This insurance policy is optional and voluntary. The policy is managed by Student Health Services Student Insurance Office.

Postdoctoral Fellows and Scholars may include family members on their insurance policy but they must pay for this insurance themselves.

Leave and Vacation Time

Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows accrue sick leave but not vacation time. Supervisors are encouraged to set reasonable expectations for leave that are consistent for the members of their work groups. Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows are encouraged to initiate a discussion about these expectations and to seek guidance from the OPP or the University Ombuds office if they feel they are treated unfairly. 

Family Medical Leave

Postdoctoral Scholars are entitled to family and parental medical leave under federal or state law. For leave due to a serious health condition, Postdoctoral Scholars are eligible once they have been appointed for twelve (12) consecutive months with OSU. All eligible Postdoctoral Scholars may take up to 12 weeks of a continuous block of approved leave from their appointment as parental leave or to care for their own serious health condition or that of a family member.  OSU will continue to pay for the Postdoctoral Scholar’s health insurance during this leave period at the same level it would pay as if the Postdoctoral Scholar had not taken leave (funds for health insurance will come from the grant or contract that supports the position).

For parental leave, Postdoctoral Scholars may take advantage of this leave policy once per new child. For all other leave due to a serious health condition of the Postdoctoral Scholar or his/her family member, only one leave may be granted during the Postdoctoral Scholar’s tenure in this position at Oregon State. Intermittent leave periods are not available under this policy, although a Postdoctoral Scholar may opt to take less than the full twelve-week period of leave. One parental leave period will be shared by both parents if they are both entitled to family medical leave (by law or policy) from a position at Oregon State, although the distribution of the leave between the parents (100% by one parent, 50-50 between parents, etc.) is at the discretion of the parents. 

A leave taken under this policy does not extend a Postdoctoral Scholar’s contractual appointment. In other words, if a Postdoctoral Scholar’s appointment ends during a leave period, the Postdoctoral Scholar’s position and leave period end at the same time. Failure to return to an existing appointment upon completion of the leave may result in the Postdoctoral Scholar having to repay the benefits received while on approved leave. On the other hand, leave time is not counted as part of the maximum allowable appointment term for Postdoctoral Scholars at Oregon State.

To request leave under this policy, a Postdoctoral Scholar must contact the Office of Human Resources.