Do postdocs in the United States get raises in general? (Is this different for postdocs hired under specific grants vs postdocs hired through departments, such as in mathematics?) If there are raises, how are they determined?

  • 1
    Often there are institutional policies that control this, along with the available grant budget. Everything is ultimately subject to the approval of the funding agency and compliance with government regulations. If you're writing a proposal to hire a postdoc you should talk about this with your research office. If you're thinking about accepting a postdoc offer you should ask about pay raises (and fringe benefits!) Jun 28, 2016 at 2:33
  • You probably also need to specify country and context. Jun 28, 2016 at 5:30
  • @JeromyAnglim what do you mean by context exactly?
    – Aru Ray
    Jun 28, 2016 at 5:36
  • @AruRay I'm not sure what the perfect scope for this question would be to make it useful given that the answer depends on a lot of factors. Country is the main consideration that jumps out at me. But I imagine other factors would be relevant and what those factors are would probably also vary by country. Jun 28, 2016 at 5:39
  • You are probably better of talking to the personel department of your university, or maybe your university has a department that helps with external funding and they could help you further on some of the specifics. Jun 28, 2016 at 9:22

3 Answers 3


From my experience in the US, it is typical for a postdoc to be on a fixed "short term" contract where there are certainly no "promotion" raises, but might or might not provide cost-of-living increases.

A one-year contract will almost certainly contain no salary increase; for a 2- or 3-year contract, they will be minimal at best.


In my experience (U.S., both East and West coasts) where postdocs are state employees, they will get whatever nominal raise is given across the board to state employees, if such a raise occurs. This is what happened both when I was a postdoc, and it is standard practice for us to build small raises into the budget for postdocs.

  • I think it would be helpful to supplement this answer with geographic information: e.g. does your experience pertain to US / Canada / Europe / elsewhere [e.g. UK!!]...For instance, I work at the "University of My State." Postdocs at my university are state employees in the sense that their salaries can be publicly accessed on a "My State's Open Records" webpage. But in my experience there are zero raises given "across the board to state employees" in My State. Which does not falsify your answer -- but still, I think you see what I mean. Jun 28, 2016 at 18:51
  • @PeteL.Clark see edit.
    – Fomite
    Jun 28, 2016 at 18:53

In the UK, postdoctoral Research Fellows, just as permanent academic members, are normally entitled to a annual increase of a salary spinal point, up to a maximum of the salary band. The precise arrangements are of course University-specific.

  • Please note that the question is tagged "United States"
    – jakebeal
    Jun 28, 2016 at 11:04
  • @jakebeal I was not when I answered it. Jun 29, 2016 at 14:15

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