Postdoctoral Affairs

At Brown, Postdoctoral Research Associates receive a salary, while Postdoctoral Fellows receive a stipend. The minimum pay standard is similar for both. 

Brown generally requires that postdoctoral compensation meets the NIH minimum pay scale, regardless of the source of funds. Occasional exceptions may be made in consultation with the relevant dean or in cases where the majority or entirety of a Postdoctoral Fellow's compensation is paid directly to them by an outside funding source. Departments and PIs are welcome to pay postdocs above the NIH pay scale in consultation with their dean's office. 

Postdoctoral Salary Minimums

For Academic Year 2023-2024

Years of Experience Minimum Salary
0 $56,484
1 $56,880
2 $57,300
3 $59,592
4 $61,572

Please note:

  • University policies prohibit postdoctoral appointments beyond the fifth year. 
  • All appointments made on or after July 1, 2023 will use the AY 23-24 scale.

Compensation Above Salary Scale

Because health insurance subsidies for Postdoctoral Fellows are considered taxable income, many PIs choose to provide additional compensation to their fellows to offset tax payments. This practice is allowable and encouraged when practical. In addition, some postdocs may be paid above the standard salary scale when market conditions demand a higher salary or when an external grant sets the expected salary. 

When a full-time Postdoctoral Fellow receives external support that does not meet Brown's postdoctoral salary minimums, the PI or academic unit should typically provide supplemental funds to bring the total compensation up to the minimum standard.

Taxes and Withholdings

You should consult a tax professional for help with issues arising from your salary or stipend, and nothing on this site should be considered legal or tax advice. 

Review the following resources for tips and information for filing your federal tax return. 


  • The National Postdoctoral Association offers an Overview of Tax Issues for Postdocs, which provides information on tax withholding, reporting fellowship income, filing estimated taxes, FICA, self-employment tax, and taxes for the international postdoc.
  • IRS website
  • The NIH website also contains useful information about the taxability of T-32 NRSA grants.


  • Postdoctoral research associates who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents will have their income reported, have taxes withheld, and receive a Form W-2
  • Postdoctoral fellows will not have taxes withheld from their stipends but may still be liable for tax payments and may be expected to pay estimated taxes on a regular basis.
  • Taxes may be withheld from health subsidies or other compensation.

International Scholars

Brown's Office of International Student and Scholar Services provides international scholars with tax assessment programs (FNIS) for those working or earning income at Brown and tax preparation software (GLACIER) for non-resident aliens filing income tax returns.