Finances | Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (2024)


Postdoctoral Associates will receive their salary biweekly. Salary rates follow the Minimum Stipend Policy.

Employee Self-Service (ESS) allows you to view your pay statements, and update your personal information online. Follow the steps below to access ESS.

  • Go to
  • Log on using your CWID and password. (Make sure CUMC is selected in the drop-down menu.) If it’s your first time logging in to myApps, you will need to download Citrix Receiver.
  • Click on the Apps icon at the top of your screen.
  • Select the Weill Business Gateway (WBG) icon.
  • Log on using your CWID and password.
  • Select the Employee Self-Service tab located on the top left of the page.

Direct Deposit

Since direct deposit is the preferred method of payment for all employees, postdocs are encouraged to open a local bank account immediately upon arrival. New employees will receive paper paychecks until they are enrolled in direct deposit. Human Resources will provide direct deposit enrollment forms during the onboarding process.


There are numerous bank branches near the WCM campus including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Foreign nationals in particular are encouraged to open a checking account upon arrival to facilitate money transfers from your home country and deposit traveler’s checks. A social security number is not required in order to open a bank account.

Credit Cards

In the U.S., credit and debit cards are widely used and often preferred over checks or cash. You can make most purchases using these cards. However, most people still use checks to pay for rent.

Credit cards are more than just a convenience in the United States -- credit card usage is also the primary means of establishing a credit history. Without a credit history, most U.S. financial institutions are reluctant to extend credit to foreign nationals. This makes it difficult to obtain financing for a vehicle, for example, and many international postdocs end up paying cash in full for such purchases.

There are options for international postdocs who wish to obtain a credit card in the short term, or wish to develop a credit history that will eventually allow them to successfully apply for a card:

  • Apply for an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) credit card through a National Postdoctoral Association/AAAS joint membership.By becoming an NPA/AAAS joint member, you are eligible to apply for the AAAS credit card issued by MBNA. As with any other credit card application, there is no guarantee that applicants are successful.
  • Apply for a secured credit card.This requires you to open and maintain a savings account in a bank as security for your line of credit. You are then given a line of credit as a percentage of the amount you put into savings, typically ranging from 50-100 percent. A secured credit card is easier to get than an unsecured credit card, however the annual percentage rate on a secured card is often higher. See the following warning to avoid applying for a secured credit card from an un-reputable source.
  • Become a secondary holder on another person’s credit card. As a secondary cardholder, you get the same purchasing power as the primary cardholder, but the primary cardholder is contractually responsible for the bill. The account and the payment history will, however, be detailed on YOUR credit report. This can be an excellent way to establish credit if the account is well-managed. However, if the account goes unpaid, then this information will hurt your credit score. See the following information on the pros and cons of being a secondary cardholder.
  • Obtain a charge card through a major department store(e.g. Macy’s). As a foreign national, such cards are easier to obtain than credit cards. Although you will only be able to use charge cards at the individual department store, this can be a quick and inexpensive means to establish a credit history in the United States, and can make it easier for you to obtain other types of credit (e.g. vehicle loan, traditional credit card).

Social Security Number

A Social Security Number (SSN) is used by employers and employees for tax-reporting purposes only. The employer needs to withhold taxes on your earnings using your unique number, and you need your social security number when you file a tax return.

An SSN is not a work permit. You do not need an SSN to open a bank account, rent an apartment, start a mobile phone contract, or get a credit card. You do not need an SSN if you already have one from a previous time in the United States. Your SSN is yours for life.

You will receive paperwork from the Immigration Office to take to the Social Security Office. Wait at least two days after your arrival is validated in SEVIS to apply. In addition, you will need the following:

Go to the Manhattan Social Security Card Center and bring all your documents:

123 William St.

(between Fulton and John Streets)

New York, NY 10038

You should receive your SSN in the mail within two weeks. After you receive your SSN, we advise you not to carry the Social Security Card with you, but to memorize the number or make a note of it elsewhere and put the card in a safe place with your other important documents. We all need to be careful to avoid identity theft.

Tax Information

Postdoctoral Associates are taxed as employees and have taxes withheld from their paychecks (federal and state income taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare, or FICA). They need to submit the necessary withholding forms during the onboarding process.

All WCM Postdoctoral Associates have the legal responsibility to file U.S. tax returns. Many factors impact whether an international postdoc pays annual income taxes or receives a refund of all or some of the withheld taxes—such as residency status and the terms of any tax treaty his/her country may have with the U.S. However, the interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service and the courts. Cornell University takes no position on what the status may be for a particular taxpayer, and it does not have the authority to dispense tax advice.

Finances | Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (2024)


How much does it cost to fund a postdoc? ›

In a typical scenario for a single postdoc, one might request no less than $82,600 = $68,238 + $3,071 (4.5%) for salary, plus an additional $10,753 + $538 (5%) for benefits.

What is the highest salary for a postdoc? ›

Highest salary that a Postdoctoral Researcher can earn is ₹42.0 Lakhs per year (₹3.5L per month).

How to find postdoc funding? ›

There are three main categories of funding available:
  1. Travel grants and other small grants – look at Research Professional, UKRI, professional and academic societies, charities.
  2. Fellowships - Personal grants to your salary and your research; sometimes also include costs for research equipment and/or students.

How much does Harvard pay for post doc? ›

Employee postdocs are hired as benefits-eligible employees of Harvard University, and their work is directed and supervised by the faculty PI. Effective August 1, 2024, the minimum salary for postdocs is $67,600.

Is a postdoc stipend taxable income? ›

Since stipendee postdoctoral fellows are not employees of the University, income taxes will not be withheld from stipends. In addition, the University's contribution to a stipendee postdoc's benefit plans must be treated as taxable income to the postdoc (i.e. imputed income).

What is the NIH standard for postdoc salary? ›

Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) will earn at least US$61,008 per year — an 8% increase and the largest year-over-year increase the NIH has implemented since 2017. Postdocs' salaries, which are adjusted for years of experience, are capped at $74,088 per year.

What is a typical postdoc salary in USA? ›

Postdoc Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$73,500$6,125
75th Percentile$66,500$5,541
25th Percentile$49,000$4,083

Can you negotiate postdoc salary? ›

PhD students can make an appointment with an NCA PhD adviser to discuss and practice salary negotiations. Postdocs can reach out to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for negotiation support.

Do postdocs make a lot of money? ›

How much does a postdoc make? Postdoctoral research fellows earn a national average salary of $61,143 per year . This amount varies between universities, specialties and locations. Some universities also provide additional benefits to research fellows.

Is there a postdoc shortage? ›

From 2021 to 2022, the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents working as postdocs dropped from 29,755 to 27,289. The 8% change is the largest year-to-year percentage-wise drop in the history of the survey, which has collected data since 1980.

Who funds postdocs? ›

While postdocs are generally funded by their Principal Investigators (PIs) for the first year or two, it is typically expected that they eventually seek out their own funding. The process of proposal development and award administration is part of the training and career development process.

Do postdocs pay student loans? ›

Many, if not most, lending agencies do not recognize postdoctoral scholar status for deferral of student loans because postdoctoral trainees are not considered the equivalent of registered, full-time students.

Is doing postdoc in USA worth it? ›

A postdoc does give you an opportunity to submit more publications and further develop and develop many skills that would be beneficial to an academic position. However, you actually don't need a postdoc for some professorial jobs if your experience and publication history match the institution's needs.

How much do MIT postdocs make? ›

How much does a Post-doctoral Fellow make at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States? Average Massachusetts Institute of Technology Post-doctoral Fellow yearly pay in the United States is approximately $66,246, which is 16% above the national average.

What is the NIH postdoc salary in 2024? ›


What is the fees of post doctoral fellowship? ›

Financial Support: The Programme provides fellowship of the applicant @Rs. 67,000/- per month, Research Grant of Rs. 2.0 Lakh per year and cost of small equipment (up to a maximum of Rs. 3.0 Lakh) along with Institutional overhead charges and House Rent Allowances as per DST norms.

How does postdoc funding work? ›

Postdoctoral training and research may be funded through a variety of sources. Most postdocs are funded through research grants, and many postdocs receive internally or externally (national and international) competitive fellowships.

How much is the postdoc stipend for NIH in 2024? ›

Career LevelYears of ExperienceStipend for FY 2024
4 more rows
Apr 23, 2024

Is it OK to negotiate postdoc salary? ›

Rest assured, you can negotiate with confidence regardless of your most recent position (and your PhD candidacy/fellowship are professional positions). One of the most important things to keep in mind is the base salary is not the only thing on the table.

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