Postdoctoral Scholars

Categories of a Postdoctoral Scholar

Boston University has three appointment categories for postdoctoral scholars. Postdoctoral scholars compensated via Boston University funding sources (e.g., grants, departmental funds) are University employees and should be appointed as either postdoctoral associates or senior postdoctoral associates. The postdoctoral associate title should be given to individuals with fewer than three years of professional experience after the completion of their doctoral degree, and the senior postdoctoral associate title applies to scholars who have three years or more of professional experience post-­doctorate.

Postdoctoral fellows at Boston University are scholars who are compensated but via external sources (e.g., training grants, private/foreign fellowships). These individuals are not employees, but are given noncompensated appointments at Boston University. In connection with such appointments, postdoctoral fellows are expected to adhere to all policies that govern members of the University research community.


All postdoctoral scholars will be paid at least the minimum salary set forth by Boston University. On an annual basis, the vice president and associate provost for research will communicate the salary minimum to all units sponsoring postdoctoral scholarship.


As employees of Boston University, postdoctoral associates and senior postdoctoral associates are eligible for University-based benefits associated with their salary grade and percent time.

Postdoctoral fellows are not generally eligible for University-based benefits, as they are not compensated employees of Boston University. However, they are eligible to enroll in equivalent healthcare coverage as of July 1, 2016.

Years of Service

An individual can hold postdoctoral positions at Boston University only for a period of five years, regardless of the number of unique postdoctoral appointments held within the University. However, previous postdoctoral experience at other institutions is not considered to be part of a postdoctoral scholar’s years of service at Boston University.