Compensation and Benefits


Memorial Sloan Kettering provides postdoctoral researchers with a highly competitive salary and benefits package with yearly increases. Minimum salary is guided by the postdoc’s corresponding title.

MSK has three postdoc titles: Research Fellow, Research Scholar, and Research Associate. Title is determined according to the postdoc’s funding source. The term limits to hold a postdoctoral position at MSK is 5 years, with an additional partial 6th year that will required approval by the department chair.

Title Employee Class Postgraduate Year Funding Sources Minimum Salary (3% yearly increases)*
Research Fellow

Trainee          (Max: 2 years)


Laboratory head or some external sources (extramural fellowships, training grants, and/or philanthropic funds)

$51,900 (year 0)**

Research Scholar

Employee      (Max: 2 years)


Federal sources (salary could be supplemented with institutional and/or philanthropic funds)

$58,500 (year 0)

Research Associate

Employee       (Max: 5 years)


Laboratory head, some external sources (extramural agencies, institutional training grants, and/or philanthropic funds in full or part)

$70,000 (year 3)

*This table is not intended to provide a complete description of benefits. Although every effort has been made to ensure that the above information is accurate, the legal documents that describe the postdoctoral classes will govern in the case of any discrepancy. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs hosts an orientation for incoming postdocs to fully explain compensation and benefits.

**Research Fellows’ and Research Scholars’ net pay is equivalent after taxes;  Research Scholars pay FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare); therefore their base salary is adjusted to account for the taxes.


All incoming postdocs have access to low-cost housing options for a period of three years. All housing is located within a short distance of research labs. For those who stay longer than three years, we offer assistance in securing independent housing.

To begin the housing assignment process, the administrator of the lab that is hosting you must submit a written request to the Housing Office at least three months in advance of your arrival. Assignments are made based on the following criteria: application date, apartment type, affordability, family size, overall apartment availability, and institutional priorities.

If you have questions about the housing services we offer postdoctoral researchers, please call Residential Services at 212-639-7696 or 212-639-7697.

Medical Benefits

All MSK postdocs receive full medical, dental, and vision coverage for themselves and any eligible dependents. For Research Fellows and Research Scholars, three medical plans are available; all insurance expenses are covered by MSK. For Research Associates, additional medical plan options exist; Research Associates contribute a fractional amount toward their coverage. 

Daycare Benefits

Postdocs who reside at one of our housing facilities on Roosevelt Island may qualify for daycare benefits. MSK postdocs are eligible to apply to the MSK-Manhattan Bright Horizons Center; selection process is based on a lottery system. A limited number of spots are available at discounted rates for children under four. All postdocs have access to additional resources to help secure childcare, including referral services, free access to, and backup care at Bright Horizons daycare facilities.

Additional Benefits for Research Scholars and Research Associates

Additional benefits available to Research Scholars include:

  • 403(b) plans
  • pre-tax commuter benefits

Research Associates receive the full MSK employee benefits package, including:

  • 403(b) plans
  • employer matching program
  • pre-tax commuter benefits
  • life insurance
  • long-term disability

Vacation and Sick Time

  • Research Fellows and Research Scholars are generally allowed two to four weeks of paid leave per year.
  • Research Associates are eligible for 20 vacation days and 12 federal holidays per year and may bank a combined total of 26 vacation days. Research Associates also accrue one sick day per month, for up to a maximum of 72 sick days.

Parental Leave

All postdocs can take up to twelve weeks (fully paid) of paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Research Scholars and Research Associates may be eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which grants up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period due to certain medical and family circumstances. The NY State family leave policy overlaps with the MSK parental leave policy.