Postdoctoral Affairs

Explore below to learn more about internal and external wellness resources for postdoctoral appointees at Brown.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) program is available to Postdoctoral Research Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows. EAP includes up to ten free counseling sessions with a licensed counselor for issues such as grief, anxiety, depression, and family stress. 


Postdoctoral Research Associates and Postdoctoral Fellows also can access telemedicine options available to you via University Human Resources here.

To learn more about maternity leave for Postdoctoral Research Associates, click here.

To learn more about maternity leave for Postdoctoral Fellows, click here.

The following external resources are not endorsed by the Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) or Brown University. They are listed here so that postdocs can explore them and decide if they are helpful for their needs.

Psychology Today - Psychology Today offers a directory for locating therapists, psychiatrists, teletherapy, and treatment centers.

BH LINK - BH Link's mission is to ensure that all Rhode Islanders aged 18 and above who experience mental health and substance use crises receive the necessary services quickly in an environment that encourages their recovery. BH Link offers immediate access to behavioral healthcare in a 24/7 community-based facility for those going through a mental health or substance use crisis. Call 401-414-5465 if you or someone you love needs assistance.

Zencare - Zencare is a digital platform that helps match people with high-quality, vetted mental health professionals.

Retirement Plan Consultations with TIAA or Fidelity

Do you have questions about your retirement plan? Postdoctoral research associates can schedule a virtual or on-campus individual consultation with a representative from TIAA or Fidelity as part of the University's Financial Tuesdays. These consultations are designed to help you put your retirement savings plan on track and better understand your investment options. Click here to make an appointment.

Deferred Vesting Retirement Plan for Brown Employees

Postdoctoral research associates are considered Brown employees and may be eligible for the University's Deferred Vesting Retirement Plan. Please click here to learn more and confirm your eligibility. The Benefits Office within University Human Resources is available to help with questions about retirement plans for Brown employees. You can email them at

Webinars from University Human Resources

University Human Resources (UHR) has partnered with TIAA, Fidelity, RISLA, CollegeBound, Social Security Administration, and others to offer a variety of live webinars from now until December 2024. Click here to learn more and register for any of the following events. Contact with any questions.

Financial Education Workshops for Postdocs

OUPA is pleased to offer "Seven Steps to Start Investing as a Postdoc," a virtual workshop for postdoctoral scholars at Brown University with Dr. Emily Roberts of Personal Finance for PhDs. This workshop will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, from noon to 1:00 p.m. This workshop walks attendees step by step through selecting and funding your first investment account, such as an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), brokerage account, or workplace-based retirement account. While you will not receive individual investment advice, you will be taught basic principles, learn from your peers’ experiences, and be pointed to follow-up resources. All Brown postdoctoral scholars, including postdoctoral research associates and postdoctoral fellows, are encouraged to attend this workshop. Additional workshops on financial education topics are tentatively planned for the academic year 2024-2025.

International Tax Preparation Workshop from Global Brown

Each year, as the tax season approaches, Global Brown invites all international scholars, including postdocs, to the Virtual International Tax Preparation Workshop featuring international tax specialist Mark Devine & Associates, CPA. Global Brown has shared a recording of the workshop from February 2024 here for international scholars who could not attend. 

Tax Withholding and Estimated Taxes for Postdoctoral Fellows


Postdoctoral Fellow-NRSA (PDF-NRSA) is an individual who has received National Research Service Award (NRSA) funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This category includes both those receiving individual F32 fellowships and those receiving support from T32 institutional training grants. Per the terms of the award, PDF-NRSAs are not considered employees of the NIH or the University.

When an individual is a PDF-NRSA and a U.S. citizen, the University does not withhold tax from their non-employee fellowship payments. Although the University does not withhold taxes from their check, their fellowship payment is taxable for federal and state income taxes. As a PDF-NRSA, you may be expected to pay estimated taxes on a regular basis during your fellowship. It is recommended that you consult your personal tax advisor to figure out whether or not you need to take any action. Additionally, your fellowship award payments are not subject to Social Security (FICA) and Medicare taxes.

PDF-Direct Pay

A Postdoctoral Fellow-Direct Pay (PDF-Direct Pay) is an individual appointed solely at Brown but paid by an external grant or fellowship that is not directed through the University payroll system. A PDF-Direct Pay is not considered an employee of the University. 

You might find this tax guide from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) helpful. It is recommended that you consult your personal tax advisor to figure out whether or not you need to pay estimated taxes on a regular basis during your fellowship.