Guidelines & Policies
**THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED. PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATOR OR THE POSTDOC MANUAL FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Benefits for postdocs at Harvard vary depending on the postdocís employment classification. To participate in many of Harvardís benefits, you must be:
- Employed on a regular University payroll
- Receiving a paycheck from Harvard
- Working at least 17.5 hours per week or paid at a base annual rate of at least $15,000
Click HERE for more information about benefits.
Postdoctoral fellows are granted the academic title of "Research Fellow" in their academic appointing department. The academic appointment and title provides you with a Harvard University ID badge and privileges associated with officers of Harvard University. Your academic appointment as a "Research Fellow" is an annual appointment that commences at the time of your arrival and is renewable on July 1st of each year to end on June 30th of the following year or until your postdoctoral training is completed.
A "Research Fellow" is described in the Purple Book (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/fa/handbook/purplebook/index.html) as a training status appointment under the mentorship of a faculty member. Your appointment record is maintained by the HMS Office of Human Resources (HR) in the University's HR/Payroll/Benefits system, Peoplesoft.
Please Note: This appointment is merely the conveyance of an academic title. Although "Research Fellows" working in the Medical Schoolís affiliated hospitals and institutions may have a HMS appointment, they are generally not paid by Harvard and their salary and benefits derive and are administered through their place of work.
Full time Research Fellows who serve on a 12-month basis are allowed 20 days of vacation per year at a time arranged with their supervisor. This time may not be accrued from year to year, and there can be no payout of unused vacation time when an appointment ends.
Sick leave may be taken as needed. If illness extends beyond two weeks then documentation from a doctor may be required to qualify for short term disability coverage.
Harvard offers a total of 13 weeks of maternity leave for birth mothers, comprised of:
• Eight weeks of short-term disability paid leave at 75 percent for postdocs with less than seven years of service (100 percent for those with more than seven years of service)
• Four weeks of parental leave as outlined below
• One week of vacation, personal time, or unpaid
Parental leave for birth or adoptive parents includes up to four weeks of paid time off,to be taken within the 13 weeks following birth or placement for adoption, paid for through the same source as the postdoc’s salary/stipend. You may choose between two options:
Option 1:One week of leave paid at 100 percent of your current pay rate;
Option 2: Four weeks of leave paid at 75 percent of your current pay rate for those postdocs with less than seven years of service.
HMS Salary/Stipend Levels
Each year the preclinical chairs and the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine set the recommended minimal salary/stipend levels for HMS postdoctoral fellows. Incomes above these guidelines are at the discretion of the individual PIs and/or their departments.
Recommended Postdoctoral Salary/Stipend Guidelines beginning July 1, 2014
Years of Experience HMS Postdoc Minimum Levels for HMS FY '15 0 $ 42,000 1 $ 43,680 2 $ 45,432 3 $ 47,244 4 $ 49,128 5 $ 51,096 6 $ 53,148 7+ $ 55,272
Tax Reporting of Fellowship Income
A fellowship is any amount paid or allowed to, or for the benefit of, an individual to aid such individual in the pursuit of study or research. As Research Fellows at Harvard Medical School are non-degree seeking trainees, any fellowship amount received is considered taxable income. For more information, please see the Tax Services document found HERE. Please be aware that the Tax Services unit and the HMS/HSDM Office for Postdoctoral Fellows cannot administer individual tax advice in paying income taxes and you are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance of tax professionals.
Environmental, Health and Safety Training
All laboratory personnel (including postdocs) are required to take environmental, health and safety training courses to include common regulatory training requirements for their job category and additional training specific to the type of work they will be performing in the lab. Postdoctoral fellows must complete the mandatory training prior to receiving a Harvard ID card as is outlined in the Risk Assessment Form. For more information on required training, please visit the EH&S website at http://www.uos.harvard.edu/ehs/lp.shtml.
Annual Refresher Courses: Postdocs are required to take annual refresher training courses in Blood Borne Pathogens and Hazardous Waste. These courses may be completed online at the UH&S Training website found HERE (see bottom of page under "Web-Based Courses").
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training
If you are a Postdoctoral Fellows engaged in research at Harvard Medical School you are required to participate in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training at some point during your tenure here. If you are a trainee on an NIH-sponsored training grant you MUST receive compulsory RCR training in order to be awarded funding. If you have received RCR training in the past 3 years and can demonstrate the same (typically through the possession of a certificate), you may be relieved from fulfilling this requirement. If you have not completed the training, then you are strongly encouraged to enroll in the course conducted under the auspices of the Division of Medical Ethics within Harvard Medical School. More info can be found here: http://medethics.med.harvard.edu/education/rcr/
Send an e-mail to RCR@hms.harvard.edu to be notified when the next series of sessions is scheduled.