You may have been following along with our ongoing postdoc salary efforts, such as our page and preprint reporting postdoc salary data*. If so, one of the limitations you will have noticed is that we are only able to get data from public institutions in a standard manner through Freedom of Information Act requests; and even then, we often receive not total salaries, but what is paid through the institution (i.e. if a postdoc is paid directly on a fellowship, we see salaries of $0, or low amounts if the stipend is supplemented).
Therefore, in an effort to not only gather data more widely about postdoc salaries, but also to ensure that data collection effort results in greater transparency about postdoc salaries, we have joined forces with the team behind Personal Finances for PhDs who also run the site www.phdstipends.com (if you are a graduate student, feel free to fill this out, or please pass this along to graduate students you know). Thousand of PhD stipends have been reported on their site – and furthermore, we know of institutions using this data to benchmark their own PhD stipends. Therefore they have developed postdocsalaries.com – a site where you can enter your annual salary as a postdoc from the present back to 2013.
The site aims to make the discussion about salaries more transparent, and also by working together we hope to eventually be able to make use of salary data from the site to assist in our analysis. For institutions in the U.S., there is the option to fill in demographic data, which will NOT be posted along with the individual data entries, but will instead be used to generate aggregate data to answer some of the questions we have been looking to ask with our data collection efforts already – for example, how does visa status affect salary? Do the preliminary findings in our preprint that there are predicted regional gender disparities in salaries also hold true for self-reported data?
Our data-sharing agreement is on the basis that data which can allow identification of personal information on the individual level will not be released, to protect those who do choose to provide optional data. We may never reach sufficient numbers of responses to report on some of these elements but we prefer that some questions go unanswered rather than risk endangering those who report their data.
The form also asks information about available benefits, and whether you successfully negotiated your salary level, and provides space for text comments for any further information you wish to give. We hope you’ll enjoy sharing and looking through the data, and thanks in advance – we’d really appreciate it if you pass this along to any early career researchers you know.
Please feel free to get in touch with any questions and concerns you may have – we’ll work on an FAQ section ASAP!
*We are revising our paper for resubmission at a journal at the moment, based on peer-review comments. We are also preparing to collect data again for 2017, to see whether trends hold; and are also in the process of gathering data for intramural NIH postdocs.