How Much Are UCSF Postdocs Paid?

At UCSF, postdocs must be hired – at minimum – at the salary level on the UC scale (see below) that is appropriate for their experience, in accordance with the agreement between the University of California and UAW, the union representing postdocs in the UC system.

While salary increments are based on the steps of the NIH/NSRA scale, the bottom of the UC postdoc salary scale (level 0) is the same as level 2 on the NIH scale. "experience level" means a postdoc's previous experience as a postdoc, including postdoctoral appointments at UC and/or other institutions.

There are five types of postdocs, designated by the following "title codes" in the University personnel system and determined by how you are paid. The same standard for compensation applies to all types; however, it is important to know what kind of postdoc you are, as this may affect your retirement benefits and how you pay your taxes. Note that a postdoc may be appointed under more than one title code, since there may be more than one source of funding for an appointment.

 Postdoctoral Scholar - Employee (3252)

 Postdoctoral Scholar - Fellow (3253)

 Postdoctoral Scholar - Paid Direct (3254)

 Postdoctoral Scholar - Part-time (3255)

 Postdoctoral Scholar - Interim (3256)

Familiarize yourself with the bargaining agreement between the University of California and UAW.


Appointment Step and Experience Level


Salary Scale Annual

Level 0 (0-11 mos.) $53,460
Level 1 (12-23 mos.) $55,596
Level 2 (24-35 mos.) $57,456
Level 3 (36-47 mos.) $59,580
Level 4 (48-59 mos.) $61,800
Level 5 (60-71 mos.) $64,008

Mandatory Annual Increases
Annual pay increases for all postdocs are mandatory. Postdocs who are already paid higher than scale, must still get at least a 2% increase each year. For complete information on the required increases, please refer to the article on compensation in the union contract.

Supplements to Base Pay
Some postdocs may receive a supplement in addition to salary. Such supplements are not considered part of the postdoc's salary and may be granted temporarily or withdrawn at the discretion of the PI. Although there is no maximum salary for postdocs, departments are encouraged to take into account equity considerations in determining salary when possible.

Continue to information about your benefits or taxes.

Looking for information about how to fund your research?



UCSF Health and Campus COVID-19 Response Town Hall

Date: December 4, 2020
Time: 4 - 5 p.m.

OCPD: Finance for Scientists

Date: December 11, 2020
Time: 1 - 3 p.m.

UCSF Health and Campus COVID-19 Response Town Hall

Date: December 18, 2020
Time: 4 - 5 p.m.

OCPD: Manage Up - Having a Career Conversation with Your Research Mentor

Date: February 24, 2021
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m.