I will be starting a math postdoc position with salary x for 10 months. Nothing is mentioned about summer funding in my contract.

How do math postdocs generally draw a salary during the summer? If they choose to teach in the summer, do they get the same amount as salary as during the rest of the academic year? Although things may differ from department to department, I am just curious about the norm.

  • 3
    Opting to take the 9/10 month salary over 12 months is usually an option, should one choose to have the summer free to do research.
    – Jon Custer
    May 29, 2023 at 14:57
  • Are you sure this isn't a 12 month appointment? May 29, 2023 at 17:21
  • 2
    You should certainly ask about possibilities for summer salary. This could come from teaching summer school classes or working on research grants. You might also consider working in industry in an internship role. May 29, 2023 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


The norm for postdocs, as for most professors in the US, is that the fact that salary is for 9/10 months is an accounting fiction, and the salary is treated as a full year salary, going unpaid over the summer. Frequently, it is possible to arrange with the employer to pay your salary out over 12 months if you have trouble saving.

  • 1
    In my experience, research postdocs are often on 12 month contracts. I've heard of 9 month contracts more often in the case of "postdocs" that are more teaching-focused positions like visiting assistant professors. May 29, 2023 at 22:17
  • @BrianBorchers: Math postdocs almost all involve teaching - usually with the same or slightly fewer teaching expectations as regular faculty, but with less teaching than "visiting assistant professor" positions. Remember that math research looks like humanities research, not science research. May 30, 2023 at 5:49
  • @AlexanderWoo I've also only heard of 12mo contracts for postdocs in math. I'd be interested in hearing about the actual distribution in 9/10 v 12 months at that level.
    – user137975
    May 30, 2023 at 7:17

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