An array of benefits are available to postdoctoral scholars working at Stony Brook University. There are different plans offered depending on your title and your employer. For questions on your benefits, contact Human Resources.
In this Section:
- Postdoc Employees
- Postdoc Fellows
- Other Benefits
Employee postdocs will have a different benefits plan depending on whether their employer is the Research Foundation at Stony Brook University (RF Postdocs) or the State of New York (State postdocs). Employee benefit plans typically include individual and family health insurance, retirement options, and other benefits. Your employer and appointment title should be indicated in your offer letter. The vast majority of postdocs working at SBU are hired and paid from standard research grants, and so are RF postdocs.
New employee postdocs will be invited to either an RF or State new employee orientation that will explain employee benefits options and how to enroll. State postdocs should be mindful when choosing a retirement plan that some of their options are designed for long-term permanent employees staying at SBU for ten years or more. All postdocs are also invited to New Postdoc Welcome, which is an orientation held every quarter by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). Contact OPA at email@example.com for more information.
Postdoc Fellows are supported by a fellowship or training grant or other external sources of trainee stipend funding and are not RF or State employees. Postdocs in the title Postdoctoral Fellow who receive their stipend through university payroll (e.g., NIH NRSA fellows) should consult the Stony Brook Fellow Health Insurance page for information on health benefits. Postdoc Fellows who receive their fellowship money directly from the funder (so called "direct-paid postdoc fellows," for example, NSF postdoctoral fellows) may not qualify for the Fellows' health plan and are strongly encouraged to contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Note: Postdoctoral Fellows who hold a J VISA are not eligible for the Fellow health insurance plans and are advised to contact Visa and Immigration Services for more information on the International Students and Scholars Health Insurance Plan.
All postdocs, independent of funding source or employer, are also invited to New Postdoc Welcome, which is an orientation held every quarter by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA). Contact OPA at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Maternity and Paternity Leave Resources: Postdocs considering having or adopting children during their tenure at Stony Brook should review their short-term disability and leave options for their respective employment type. Stony Brook offers Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) unpaid coverage for eligible RF and State employees. For employees, paid leave options are available primarily via accrued annual and sick leave and, for RF employees, short-term disability (note that there is a basic STD and, importantly, a voluntary STD option that provides much greater coverage). Postdoc Fellows should consult the terms of their fellowship or training grant for leave options. For general information on managing your research, talking with your supervisor, and planning your leave, the National Postdoctoral Association offers two general guides for expecting postdocs: A Postdoc's Guide to Pregnancy and Maternity Leave and A Postdoc's Guide to Paternity Leave.
Stony Brook Child Care Services: Stony Brook University is home to on-campus, nationally accredited childcare services. Stony Brook Child Care Services is located on West campus at the corner of Stony Brook Road and South Drive. The Center is open Monday through Friday, 7 am to 6 pm with various shifts available and serves University faculty, staff and students as well as Hospital employees and students. The Center is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. The student-teacher ratio in the 3 to 5-year-old centers is 7 to 1; in the Infant Center it’s 4 to 1. Fees are charged on a sliding scale according to family income. More information can be found at Stony Brook Child Care Services. The Stony Brook area also boasts a number of other childcare options for every budget.
Dual-Career Resources: Stony Brook University is a member of the northeastern region of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). which provides resources for employees seeking nearby jobs for their spouse or partner. The HERC site offers information and dual-career job searches in the metro New York and southern Connecticut area with links to other regional coverage areas. Many local universities and organizations belong to the consortium and share their employment opportunities.
Campus Recreation Center: Postdocs and their spouses are eligible for memberships to the Walter J. Hawrys Campus Recreation Center. Postdoc Fellows should bring a letter from their department to demonstrate their campus affiliation. RF postdocs may also be eligible for an insurance reimbursement for the membership fees (see the RF benefits manual on Gym Membership Reimbursement for more details).
Classes and Professional Development: A number of classes and workshops are available for postdocs at Stony Brook. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and the IREP Office offer a variety of professional development opportunities on topics such as mentoring, grant writing, and other practical professional skills. Additionally, there are classes available on-campus, some free and some that charge tuition.
Postdocs may sign up free of charge for communicating science classes at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, although spaces are limited each semester. Postdocs may only sign up for one class per semester, and must sign up through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs during regular course registration. Additional course opportunities also come up, such as How to Build a Startup: The Lean Launchpad, and other professional development workshops.
Postdocs who would like to enroll for other courses that incur tuition can enroll as a non-matriculating graduate student through the School of Professional Development. There is a $100 application fee upon initial enrollment, and then the student must pay the appropriate fees for the class, which will depend upon the number of credits and whether the postdoc qualifies for In-state vs. Out-of-state tuition rates.
Who is In-State vs. Out-of-State?
- In-state: Domestic postdocs and international H1-B postdocs who have resided in New
York State for one year.
- Out-of-state: Postdocs who have resided in New York for less than a year and all international postdocs on J-1 and F-1/OPT visas. J-1 and F-1/OPT postdocs must also pay a $100 international services fee.
Tuition Assistance: Postdoc employees are eligible for limited tuition assistance. State employee postdocs may also be eligible for an additional benefit through the UUP. The course must be at a SUNY campus and job-related. Eligible postdocs must be full-time employee.
- RF & State Employee: Complete B-140W form during the application window each July and November (eligible employees will receive
an e-mail). Approvals are decided within 1-2 months, but usually before classes begin.
Only a percentage of tuition will be waived, usually 30-50%. The amount depends on
availability of funds and how many applications the program receives.
- State (UUP) Employee Only: State employees are eligible for the B-140W application, with the same procedure for
RF above, but also have access to a separate UUP benefit that can waive the whole course tuition, one per semester, leaving the student to
pay only the fees. Again, the amount of this benefit depends on availability of funds
and how many applications the program receives.
UUP employees also can apply for an Individual Development Award for a range of types of professional development activities, from online classes and trainings to conference attendance. UUP sends out a call for these applications yearly.
- National Postdoctoral Association: Stony Brook is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), entitling all graduate students, postdocs, faculty and staff to a free, affiliate membership. Sign up HERE and be sure to use your institutional e-mail address.
As an NPA Affiliate Member, you are entitled to these benefits:
- Subscription to NPA e-alerts, a periodic news announcement, and The POSTDOCket, the NPA’s official quarterly newsletter
- Reduced registration fees to the NPA Annual Meeting & eligibility for the NPA travel award program
- Access to members-only NPA web content, such as career planning resources and policy information
- Access to NPA member groups to connect & network with fellow NPA members
- Discounts to some services and products.
- Opportunities to serve and contribute your expertise on a variety of NPA committees
- National representation on postdoctoral issues
- New York Academy of Sciences:Stony Brook’s partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) also provides an annual discounted membership to graduate students and postdocs
to the NYAS Science Alliance, which provides career resources and programming for
early-career scientists. To receive the discount, follow the instructions on the enrollment portal.
- Versatile PhD: Stony Brook has a premium subscription with Versatile PhD, a career resource for PhDs in social sciences, humanities, and science fields. Our
membership provides graduate students and postdocs premium access to the social science and humanities resources. Sign up via the membership portal on the Career Center Web site using your NETID.
- MyWorldAbroad.com: The Career Center manages a campus subscription to MyWorldAbroad.com, a vast resource of information on working and studying abroad. Make sure you enter via Stony Brook's portal, and use your campus e-mail.