Postdoctoral fellows receive stipends, rather than a salary, for independent research and training. Their stipends are funded by either institutional or individual research fellowships. This funding is not intended to pay compensation for services, nor should a postdoctoral fellow be required to perform services to receive the grant. Therefore, postdoctoral fellows are NOT classified as employees.
Stipends may be charged to grants, fellowships, or various university funds. The appointments may be in the University’s Payroll and Human Resources System (PHR) as Non-Paid, where it will generate a UID for them to be able to use University resources, but will show as a "0%” Full-Time Employee , with a "special purpose funding indicator” indicating a stipend to be paid through the Financial Aid System.
Because of the nature of these appointments, changing the type of appointment held (e.g., changing from employee-trainee to postdoctoral fellow) or changing from one type of funding to another may result in a change or loss of certain benefits.
Because postdoctoral fellows are NOT considered state of Maryland employees, Fellows should check with their department of residence to ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed on their behalf.
Postdoctoral Fellows’ salaries are paid via the Office of Financial Aid’s Student Award System. This requires that fellows have a student account, to which salary funds can be applied on a bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-annual basis. Each semester, the fellow should check with the Bursar’s Office to ensure that the student account is active and updated for the current semester.
Because postdoctoral fellows are not considered employees, they are not eligible for state of Maryland employee benefits. If fellows wish to have health coverage, they must arrange for coverage on their own, unless their grant includes funds that have been set aside to defray the fellows’ health insurance costs. In this case, fellows must purchase health insurance on their own and be reimbursed from their grant funds upon proof of payment.
Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible to buy a Student Health Insurance Plan as a Visiting Scholar, as offered through FirstStudent.com. This plan costs between $1,300 and $5,500 per year, depending on the type of plan selected and the number of dependents covered. While vision and dental are NOT included as part of this plan, it does provide discounted services, and prescription drug coverage is included.
Maryland residents without health coverage may be eligible to enroll in the Maryland Health Connection plan via the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plan details and cost information is specific to your household and eligibility.
Fellows may also be eligible for temporary COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) continuing coverage from their previous employers. Fellows covered under this plan often must pay a much higher percentage (up to 102%) of their policy premium than when actively employed.
Private health coverage is available from a number of sources, including UnitedHealthCare, Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Kaiser Permanente. The university does not make recommendations on specific health plans or carriers.
Dental and Prescription Benefits
Postdoctoral fellows, if they desire dental coverage, must purchase it themselves. The University of Maryland Student Health Plan, FirstStudent.com, and the Maryland Health Connection include prescription drug benefits with varying levels of coverage and copays.
Dentalplans.com compares dental plan rates and coverage in the DC Metropolitan Area. Rates range from $80-200 per year.
Retirement, Life Insurance, and Disability
Postdoctoral Fellows must arrange Retirement, Life Insurance, and Disability coverage (if desired) on their own.
Some grants will cover tuition remission for postdoctoral fellows. Please check the grant documentation and ask the departmental business manager for the appropriate forms.
Parking is administered at the department level. Consult with the departmental business manager, and then send the appropriate departmental forms to:
Deborah M. Smith-Wiley
Operations Manager, Department of Transportation Services
0123 A Regents Drive Garage
Postdoctoral fellows are NOT eligible for payroll deduction of parking expenses and generally must pay the entire year’s parking fee in advance.
DIT / Computer
Postdoctoral fellows will be able to get a Faculty / Staff ID and have access to all the computing resources of the university. They will not, however, be eligible for the discounts on software that university employees receive through the software licensing program.
Postdoctoral fellows will have full Faculty/Staff borrowing privileges at the University Libraries.