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Budgeting for a Postdoc Fellowship

This guide provides direction for postdocs applying to individual fellowships and who need to provide a budget to fund a postdoc appointment.

Disclaimer: This may not cover all expenses depending on specific research needs and is intended for informational purposes only.



As of September 1, 2022, the required minimum compensation for a postdoc is $68,238. This number will be higher if:

1) the fellowship time period crosses over the following September 1st and/or,
2) it is a multi‐year fellowship.

The minimum funding levels for the 2022‐23 year can be found on the OPA website under the 2022‐ 2023 Postdoc Salary Scale. There may likely be cost‐of‐living/CPI increases each September 1, so the fellowship should also take into account any potential increases. Using between 3%‐5% yearly increase estimate may suffice.


The benefits cost will depend on whether the postdoc is covering dependents on their insurance. The cost increases as a spouse and/or children are added to the insurance plan. Please review the Postdoc Benefits Rate Sheet. The budget should include Medical, Dental, Vision, and all Disability coverage. Typically, the Faculty Sponsor/appointing department is required to cover the cost of benefits, but in cases where the fellowship will be covering these costs, it is required that, at minimum, the Institutional Cost be covered by the fellowship. If the postdoc has dependents, we suggest requesting funds to cover the Total Cost as well since there is an out‐of‐pocket cost to the postdoc for these cases.

As an example, for a Postdoc Only scenario, the 2022 calendar year cost is currently $869.09 monthly ($822.70 + $41.42 + $8.47 + $23.50) or $10,753 yearly. Costs are expected to increase in subsequent calendar years and should be accounted for when budgeting. Using a 5% yearly increase estimate (starting each January 1) may suffice.

Other Considerations

Fringe Rates and/or Indirect Costs: Please work with your department’s Grants Manager to determine whether the fellowship will be administered through Stanford and incur these costs.
Research & Lab Expenses: As needed or anticipated.
Conference & Presentation Expenses: As needed or anticipated.

An Example

In a typical scenario for a single postdoc, one might request no less than $82,600 = $68,238 + $3,071 (4.5%) for salary, plus an additional $10,753 + $538 (5%) for benefits.