Postdoc Fringe Rate FAQ
The following are frequently asked questions about the Research Foundation of SUNY's upcoming establishment of a new fringe rate for RF Postdoctoral Associates and the ensuing improvements to postdoc benefits.
Because postdocs rarely, if ever, retire out of their postdoc position, retiree health (health insurance during retirement) was an unutilized benefit. This new fringe rate realizes this savings. All other current RF employee benefits will remain available, plus postdocs will gain an additional health insurance option from UMR (the plan for grad student RAs). The net result is an increase in benefits, giving all RF postdocs additional health insurance options and the opportunity to stay with one plan even if they switch between RF grant funding and a prestigious fellowship.
This change establishes a new category of postdoctoral fellows who receive their fellowship or traineeship directly instead of through the Research Foundation: Postdoctoral Fellow Paid-Direct. Both our existing category of RF Fellow and this new category of Fellow will now have the option to join either the employee or the UMR health plans, allowing for seamless benefits in the event of a funding change.
Postdocs who switch between Postdoctoral Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow Paid-Direct appointment categories due to a change in funding now have the option of staying with the same health insurance plan, because both the employee plans and the UMR plan will be available to all three categories of postdoc.
Current RF postdocs will have the option to change their benefits options during an open enrollment period coming later this Spring.
Postdoctoral Associate – (Employee) An individual holding a doctoral degree who is engaged in a defined temporary period of mentored research and/or scholarly training for the purpose of acquiring the professional skills needed to pursue a career path of his or her choosing. Postdoctoral Associates train under the direction and supervision of faculty mentors in preparation for academic or research careers. Postdoctoral Associate and Senior Postdoctoral Associate are titles that can be used for this classification.
Postdoctoral Fellow – (Non-Employee) An appointment is made as a fellow when the Postdoc has been awarded a fellowship or traineeship for postdoctoral study by an extramural agency and the fellowship or traineeship is paid through a Research Foundation account.
Postdoctoral Fellow Paid Direct – (Non-Employee) An appointment is made as a fellow paid direct when the Postdoc has been awarded a fellowship or traineeship for postdoctoral study by an extramural agency and the agency pays the fellowship or traineeship directly to the Postdoc, rather than through the RF.
- For questions on post-award expenditures and encumbrances, please contact Sheila Routh in Grants Management at Sheila.Routh@stonybrook.edu.
- For questions on pre-award budgeting and planning contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at