There is very little information available on how much postdocs are actually paid in the U.S., beyond data on institutional salary policies gathered by the National Postdoctoral Association. Following on from recent discussions about postdoc salaries changing as a result of proposed updates to U.S. Federal labor law, we have gathered data from a selection of institutions through Freedom of Information Requests, asking only for titles and salaries of postdocs, to see if we can identify actual postdoctoral salaries. The aggregate data, and more information, can be found at out “Investigating Postdoc Salaries” Resource. Every day, we will be releasing a discussion of each individual institution or system from which we received data. Today: the University of Texas.
Cost for FOIA Request: $24.50 total
Additional notes: None
The University of Texas system generally had data that matched the expected number of postdocs with the exception of the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Sending the data to Deirdre Brekken at UT Southwestern, who kindly took the time to compare with her data and provide us with feedback, allowed us to clarify some of the discrepancies that we had been finding across the data-gathering effort. The salaries were identified as being salaries as of 9/1/2017, the start of the fiscal year and probably what has to be reported to the State, rather than on 12/1/16 when they were raised to the new FLSA levels. The data also only included 1 of 4 current postdoc job codes. The job codes include: Fully Paid Direct by an outside agency; true part-time postdoc, now non-exempt and having work hours tracked; Partial Paid Direct, a full-time, exempt postdoc that gets part of their pay from UTSW and part from an outside agency, (ie. their fellowship doesn’t pay the minimum); and full-time, exempt postdoc paid fully by UTSW funds, including R01, F32, T32.
In addition, some postdocs are paid more than the NRSA levels due to bonuses they receive based on stipulated criteria such as receiving a competitive fellowship.
With this in mind, the data from the different schools is variable and some appear to include more discrepancies than others, but this could well be due to errors/discrepancies such as the ones described.