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Postdoctoral Stipend Levels for FY04


Several recent developments have led to a revised approach to guidelines for stipend levels for Postdoctoral Fellows (PDFs).
These events include:
(1) a new set of NIH guidelines for NRSA (National Research Service Awards) postdoctoral stipends that involve substantial annual increases above present levels;
(2) the lack of supplements for existing NIH research grants to accommodate the new stipend levels; and
(3) the minimal increases in grants awarded by NSF and other Federal agencies.

As a result fiscal realities have created increasingly disparate financial situations for faculty, depending upon their source of support. In view of these considerations, a decision was made in the fall of 2001 that the recommended minimum stipend levels would no longer be based on NIH guidelines.

It is important to remember that recommended stipend levels represent minimums. Penn investigators are also expected to comply with any postdoctoral stipend guidelines that are promulgated by their sponsors, if these sponsor-specified guidelines exceed the Penn minimum stipend levels.

Recommended Minimum Stipend Levels for Penn FY04

(Penn FY: July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004)

1. Beginning postdoctoral fellows, with no prior experience at Penn, will be paid a minimum of $30,880. This represents a 3% increase above the minimum for FY03.

Levels for all years are:

Years of Experience          Compensation FY04
00                         30,880

01                                 31,807

02                                 32,761

03                                 33,744

04                                 34,756


2. Those current postdoctoral fellows who receive stipends in excess of the minimum should also receive an increase of at least 3%.

Other Items

  • Stipends should be adjusted upwards during the course of the Penn fiscal year, either at the time of the annual postdoctoral reappointment, at the time of the annual grant renewal, or at the beginning of the NIH fiscal year.
  • Individual Schools can set their own stipend levels above those recommended in this revision.
  • For FY04, University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral stipend levels apply to all postdoctoral fellows.
  • Under postdoctoral policy, no one should hold a postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania for more than five years.

--Neal Nathanson, Vice Provost for Research


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 14, November 26, 2002