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Prospective Postdocs

Initial Appointment Process

Postdoctoral Scholar Onboarding Packet, updated February 2022

Postdoctoral Scholar Hire Process. Our postdoc hire overview diagram (PDF) is a simple tool designed to help PIs and prospective postdocs understand the process of hiring postdocs in the Department of Biology and at the University of Washington. This is a two- to three-step process: recruitment (either competitive or non-competitive), hiring, and--if an employment visa is needed--visa application. Review the postdoc hire overview diagram linked above for details.

The Biology Human Resources Team will receive the hire request from the PI and contact the candidate for documentation required for hire. 

Postdoctoral Scholar Titles. Funding, pay type, and PhD conferral status generally determine a postdoc's formal title and benefits eligibility at the University of Washington. Review the postdoc appointment information sheet (PDF) for details and determinations. This document provides a detailed review of the title types, documentation required to approve and hire, limitations on appointments, UAW union representation, timelines (particularly for those coming in on employment visas), hiring process, and compensation for postdocs represented by the union. 

Compensation. For complete details on Postdoctoral Scholar compensation requirement, review Section 32 of the UAW Postdoctoral Scholar Contract.

Postdoctoral Scholars Compensation Minimums (thru 1/31/2025)

Title/Job Profile

Effective 1/1/2024

Effective 1/1/2023

Postdoctoral Scholar*

$5459/mo; $65,508/year

$5705/mo; $68,460/year

Postdoctoral Scholar-Fellow*

$5459/mo; $65,508/year;

2% increase at anniversary date

$5459/mo; $68,460/year

Postdoctoral Scholar – Interim (6 mos max appt term; UW grads)

$5459/mo; $65,508/year

$5705/mo, $68,460/year


Postdoctoral Scholars-PDR (paid direct)*

  • Minimum salary thru 6/30/2024 is $4480/mo; $53,760/year.
  • As of 7/1/2024 the minimum must be $4707/mo or $56,484/year.
  • If paid less than $5459/mo or $65,508 annually they *must* receive a stipend of $500/mo towards the purchase of health insurance. This stipend is the responsibility of the PI.


*Includes conditional titles that are pending final degree conferral


Postdoctoral Scholar experience-based salary scale (07/01/2021 – 01/31/2023). For historical reference only.

Postdoctoral experience level Minimum annual full-time salary equivalent Min monthly rate
0 (00 – 11 months) $ 53,760 $ 4,480
1 (12 – 23 months) $ 54,144 $ 4,512
2 (24 – 35 months) $ 54,540 $ 4,545
3 (36 – 47 months) $ 56,712 $ 4,726
4 (48 –  59 months) $ 58,608 $ 4,884
5 (60 – 71 months)* $ 60,780* $ 5,065
* by exception due to extraordinary circumstances for family care and/or personal illness, or COVID-19-related circumstances


Housing. The UW Faculty Auxiliary provides some assistance and information about housing options in the Seattle area. You can also find information on the housing and home loan program at the UW. Check out the priority access rentals and affordable housing near UW campuses. You can also look for rentals in a variety of neighborhoods near the University of Washington by searching on an online real estate and rental marketplace like Zillow or Airbnb, apps like PadMapper and HotPads, or local classifieds and forums for housing and other services, like Craigslist. Other options include City of Seattle MFTE (low income housing) and UW Visiting Faculty Housing Service.

Obtaining a Driver's License. The Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) issues driver licenses and identification (ID) cards for people residing in Washington State. A driver license provides permission to drive in Washington and serves as official identification. The ID card does not authorize driving, but serves as official identification. It can be useful to have legal identification from Washington for activities such as banking, domestic travel, proving your age (such as at 21-and-over venues), etc. Review the instructions for obtaining a state driver license or ID card.

Banking. Seattle offers a myriad of choices when it comes to financial institutions. The bank that lays claim to the honor of being the oldest in the area is Security State Bank (WA), which was established in 1903.

If you do not yet have a social security number, visit this U.S. Bank on campus, in the Husky Union Building. They are well-versed in setting up accounts for international students who do not yet have a SSN/card.

Obtaining a Social Security Card. International employees of the University of Washington must apply for a social security number. Salary may be withheld until the number is issued. The Social Security Office recommends that applicants wait at least 10 days after entering the U.S. before applying for the social security number. To obtain a social security number, the applicant must visit the local Social Security Office.

Childcare Resources. The University of Washington offers four childcare facilities on campus along with resources for childcare off campus. Enrollment priority and tuition costs for on-campus facilities vary for each location, and you must put your name on the wait list before enrolling (See details here.) The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allows you to take a pre-tax deduction for eligible dependent care expenses from your pay.

In addition, effective January 1, 2020, the University will create a fund to assist in childcare expenses, making available thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) per year to a Postdoctoral Scholar childcare fund. (Read more about this in the UAW Postdoctoral Scholar contract.) Contact the University of Washington Postdoctoral Association (UWPA) or your union rep (, 206-543-6236) for information on this benefit.


Welcome Day. All new employees are required to register for and attend Welcome Day, the formal UW orientation program. 

Benefits. Benefits are provided to Postdoctoral Scholars who are paid a salary by the UW and meet other eligibility requirements. If you are or will be a member of the UAW union, you can review Article 9 of the contract for information on benefits. You can find information on medical, dental, and other plans online. Questions about eligibility may be directed to Biology HR ( Questions about specific plans can be directed to the ISC and the UW Benefits Office ( More information can also be found in the Biology Onboarding Packet at the top of this section.

Benefits Summary for Postdoctoral Scholars (updated June 15, 2021)

It is important to note that Postdoctoral Scholar - Fellows do not receive retirement benefits, and that Paid Direct postdoctoral scholars do not receive any fringe benefits.

ID Card and Bus Pass. Upon arriving to the UW, you will need to obtain a UW Husky Card, which is your employee ID. Visit the UW Husky Card Office during their operating business hours - no appointment is necessary. You must obtain a Husky Card before activating your U-PASS/bus pass. Transportation Services and the U-PASS (bus pass) program will help you get to the UW’s Seattle campus and better understand your commute options. 

Training and Safety. UW Environmental Health and Safety promotes a culture of safety whereby all personnel are expected to take responsibility not only for themselves, but also those around them. For such a system to succeed it is imperative that training requirements are clear and all personnel have easy access to the necessary resources. Postdocs work with their PIs and lab managers on making sure they receive the training and have the safety resources they need.

Date last changed Nov 3rd, 2023 @ 12:02:45 PDT