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.
July 1, 2019, but grant PIs should start budgeting at the expected rate now for any
new grants that include Postdoctoral Associates.
The rate is expected to be 25%, but will not be finalized until closer to the implementation
date, July 1, 2019. In the meantime, grant PIs should use the provisional 25% rate
for their grant budgeting for Postdoctoral Associates.
Only RF Postdoctoral Associates, which are employees appointed in the Postdoctoral
Associate and Senior Postdoctoral Associate titles.
The Research Scientist title is intended for researchers who are no longer in a period
of temporary, mentored research training, and therefore are not considered postdocs
under this policy. As regular staff, Research Scientists
must be budgeted at the staff fringe rate.
It doesn’t. These changes only apply to Research Foundation Postdoctoral Associates,
Postdoctoral Fellows, and Postdoctoral Fellow Paid-Directs.
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
For questions on post-award expenditures and encumbrances, please contact Sheila Routh in Grants Management at