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HHMI’s new postdoc salary scale increases salaries for 96 percent of the nearly 300 HHMI-employed postdocs working in HHMI Investigator labs across the US. HHMI is also encouraging Investigators to use the new salary scale for all postdocs in their laboratories, including those who are not HHMI employees. To ease the transition, HHMI established a Postdoc Bridge Fund to assist Investigators in increasing their postdocs' salaries.
HHMI’s new postdoc salary scale increases salaries for 96 percent of the nearly 300 HHMI-employed postdocs working in HHMI Investigator labs across the US. HHMI is also encouraging Investigators to use the new salary scale for all postdocs in their laboratories, including those who are not HHMI employees. To ease the transition, HHMI established a Postdoc Bridge Fund to assist Investigators in increasing their postdocs' salaries.


The Howard Hughes Medical Institute implemented a new salary scale for HHMI-employed postdoctoral researchers, effective April 9, 2023. The salary scale and related policy changes establish an annual minimum salary of $70,000 for starting postdocs, as well as salary increases that correlate with years of experience and additional flexibility in high-cost labor markets.

“Postdocs carry out essential research in HHMI labs, and also serve as mentors for both undergraduate and graduate students,” said HHMI Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer Leslie Vosshall. “We believe it is important to increase postdoc compensation in recognition of their outstanding contributions to science and mentoring, and we’re hopeful that this new salary scale will help recruit and retain talented scientists in academic research.”

A growing number of research institutions are announcing plans to raise minimum salaries for postdocs, amid concerns about a trend in postdocs and graduate students leaving academia for the private sector. As of 2021, 31 percent of doctorate recipients across the life sciences committed to academic employment opportunities, while 49 percent accepted positions in industry. According to the National Science Foundation’s 2021 Survey of Earned Doctorates, the median first-year salary for postdoctoral researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences was $53,000.

HHMI shared its new postdoc salary plans with HHMI Investigators and Janelia Research Campus Lab Heads in March.

HHMI’s new postdoc salary scale increases salaries for 96 percent of the nearly 300 HHMI-employed postdocs working in HHMI Investigator labs across the US. Approximately 1,100 additional postdocs who are not employed by HHMI work in these same labs. Given this, HHMI is encouraging Investigators to use the new salary scale for all postdocs in their laboratories, including those who are not HHMI employees.

To ease the transition to the new, higher salary scale, HHMI established a Postdoc Bridge Fund to assist Investigators in increasing their postdocs’ salaries.

Postdocs appointed to HHMI’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Va., are compensated at a fixed level within the range that corresponds with their experience.

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HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the nation. Our scientists make discoveries that advance human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. We also invest in transforming science education into a creative, inclusive endeavor that reflects the excitement of research. HHMI’s headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.