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Postdoctoral Scholar Benefits & Funding

Postdoctoral scholars who are paid salaries from Mizzou funds, including grants and contracts, and are classified as university employees and receive the same health, leave, educational assistance and retirement benefits as faculty and staff.

Postdoctoral scholars who cannot be considered salaried university employees because they receive stipend or salary support directly from a granting agency or a funding source that does not allow university employee status as a condition of the award, are eligible to receive benefits, but the benefits package differs in some respects from that of individuals who are salaried employees of the university. As applicable, it is the responsibility of the faculty mentor and/or department chair to ensure that resources are available from grants, departmental funds or other university sources to cover the university’s share of the costs for medical insurance before a postdoctoral trainee is accepted.

The University of Missouri System Faculty and Staff Benefits Handbook provides a comprehensive list of benefits available to postdoctoral trainees who are classified as employees. Click here for information about who to contact regarding questions about benefits and pay. Human Resources (HR) policies and procedures can be found here.


Although faculty mentors are responsible for establishing the level of compensation for their postdoctoral scholars, it is expected that compensation will be consistent with the background of the trainee, the norms for the discipline and the minimum levels established by the Office of Postdoctoral Education. Minimum levels will be established annually and posted on the Postdoctoral Education Website at the beginning of the fall term.

As of December 1, 2016, the minimum salary for postdoctoral fellows (Job code 6990) is $47,476. For those hired or reappointed after December 1, 2016, the minimum salary for postdoctoral fellows – teaching (Job code 6992) is $36,000. Unlike research postdocs, teaching postdocs can be hired for 9-months to coincide with an academic year. The minimum salary of $36,000 is for a 9-month appointment; a 12-month appointment minimum for a teaching postdoc is $47,476. Please note that this minimum amount may be superseded by specific funding or visa requirements.


All postdoctoral scholars are eligible to receive benefits, but the type of benefits package received is dictated by the nature of the relationship between the postdoctoral fellow and the university. Postdoctoral fellows can be considered as having either an employer–employee relationship with Mizzou or one that is educational. In most instances, it is expected that benefits for postdoctoral scholars will be supported by grants and contracts or departmental funds. There are, however, several instances in which the university will assist in subsidizing benefit costs. The source of support for the graduate medical insurance program and tuition support for this group is variable and in some instances, it is subsidized fully or in part by Mizzou.

  • Stipend-funded postdoctoral fellows, including postdoctoral scholars, are supported by NIH and select other training grants. The PI should budget for agency-allowable benefits. If the costs for insurance and educational benefits exceed the agency allowance, the difference will be subsidized by Mizzou.
  • The postdoctoral fellow receives funding directly from a funding agency that does not pass through a university account and does not provide or allow support to defray costs of benefits. Mizzou will fully subsidize the graduate health insurance and fee waiver costs.
  • Postdoctoral funding passes through a Mizzou account, but the granting agency does not allow benefit charges for stipend-funded postdocs. Mizzou will fully subsidize the graduate health insurance and fee waiver costs.
Employer-employee relationship

This category includes individuals who, while pursuing their postdoctoral training, provide services to Mizzou for compensation. They receive a salary and are classified by the job title postdoctoral fellow or postdoctoral fellow – teaching. To be benefit eligible, they are expected to work 1.0 FTE with an indicated appointment duration of at least nine months. Service credit under the UM retirement program requires a minimum of 1500 hours worked per year. These benefits are detailed on the Faculty and Staff Benefits website.

Educational relationship

Postdoctoral scholars in this category typically receive support from the university through a federal training grant that enables them to pursue research and other training as defined above under the heading postdoctoral fellow.