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Research Associates

Research associates have already completed some postdoctoral training. Researchers in this category may be one of the following:

  • postdoctoral researchers who have had at least three years of postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering and have made a significant contribution to the research of the laboratory
  • postdoctoral researchers who have had at least three years of relevant postdoctoral research experience at another institution
  • postdoctoral researchers who have exceeded five years of postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering

Research associates may be funded by extramural agencies that require them to be an employee of the institution or by institutional or philanthropic funds, in full or in part. They are classified as employees by payroll and receive a salary.

Appointment Term Limits

Research associates are appointed for a maximum of five years.

Memorial Sloan Kettering postdoctoral researchers may not serve for more than eight years total as fellows, scholars, and associates.

Compensation (Salaries/Stipends) and Taxation

Research associates receive a salary. The minimum salary you will be paid is determined by the number of years of relevant research experience you have had since you completed your doctorate.

Please see below for the current recommended minimum salary level for an individual with three years of relevant experience effective September 4, 2016. At the time of reappointment, stipend/salary increases must be paid at least at the minimum of the next level of year of experience. Increases are not at the discretion of the principal investigator.

Years of Research Experience
Since Doctorate
Recommended Salary Level
3 $62,636
4 $64,515
5 $66,451
6 $68,444
7 $70,498
8 $72,613

Note: These stipend levels are the new required minimum salary guidelines for any postdoc hired on or after September 4, 2016. 

All applicable taxes will be withheld, including city, state, and federal taxes, and FICA payments (taxes that go toward Social Security and Medicare). You will receive a W-2 form (which is used to report annual income and calculate taxes) every year that you work for us.


Research associates are eligible to participate in FlexNow, Memorial Sloan Kettering’s flexible benefits program. The program allows employees to choose the benefits that best suit their needs. Benefit costs are shared between the research associate and Memorial Sloan Kettering, and most costs are deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis. FlexNow benefits include:

  • medical, dental, and vision coverage for the postdoctoral researcher and eligible dependents
  • long-term disability insurance
  • accidental death and dismemberment insurance
  • life insurance
  • flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for healthcare and dependent-care expenses

Other benefits include:

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Retirement Savings Plan (RSP): A defined contribution program that offers a variety of investment funds managed by TIAA-CREF.  Memorial Sloan Kettering will automatically provide a base RSP contribution determined by an individual’s age as of December 31 of the prior year. Research associates are not required to make any contribution to receive Memorial Sloan Kettering’s base contribution. In addition, research associates may make voluntary contributions to the RSP. Memorial Sloan Kettering will match these voluntary contributions up to a set limit, dollar for dollar.
  • Commuter Spending Account Program: Research associates may contribute pre-tax dollars to the program to pay for eligible transportation expenses related to their commute to and from work.
  • time off, parental leave, and other related benefits

For more information about doctors covered by available plans, visit the Find a Physician or Dentist page on our intranet.

Note: The above listing provides a brief summary of benefits and programs offered by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. It is not intended as a complete description of each plan or program. Although every effort has been made to ensure the above information is accurate, the legal documents that describe the plans and programs will govern in the case of any discrepancy. The plans, programs, eligibility, and corresponding employee contributions are subject to review and may be modified at any time.

Vacation and Sick Time

You will accrue one sick day per month, up to a maximum of 72 sick days. You are eligible for 20 vacation days and 12 holidays per year and may hold a combined maximum total of 26 vacation and holidays in your bank. You will not be paid for unused sick time when you leave Memorial Sloan Kettering. You may be eligible for leave under the Family Medical leave Act (FMLA), which grants up to 12 weeks of leave within a 12-month period due to certain medical and family circumstances.

Parental Leave

You may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical leave Act, which grants up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave due to certain medical and family circumstances. Concurrently, paid leave for childbirth is available through MSK’s short-term disability policy. Please refer to this policy for specific details. Employees may also use accrued, vacation days and holidays for additional paid parental leave. For more information, please email or call 646-227-2149.