Guidelines & Policies
**THIS SECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED. PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATOR OR THE POSTDOC MANUAL FOR MORE INFORMATION.
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 School’s 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 University allows birth mothers to take 13 weeks maternity leave. This is paid for by 8 weeks short term disability, 4 weeks parental leave and 1 week from vacation time (if any). Otherwise, the 13th week is unpaid. The Harvard University policy is compliant with federal* and Massachusetts** laws. The birth mother is expected to provide two weeks prior notice of maternity leave. The birth mother cannot be required to leave her position at an arbitrary stage in her pregnancy nor can she be refused return until some arbitrarily specified time. [*FMLA, **MMLA]
"Primary care" parents receive 4 weeks paid leave whether fathers or mothers, adoptive or birth parents; fathers who are not primary care parents receive 1 week of parental leave.
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, 2012
Years of Experience HMS Postdoc Minimum Levels for AY 13 0 $ 40,992 1 $ 42,552 2 $ 44,340 3 $ 46,092 4 $ 47,820 5 $ 49,884 6 $ 51,582 7+ $ 54,180
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").