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Postdocs Get a Pay Raise, but Other Issues Remain

Postdocs supported by National Institutes of Health training grants will soon see their funding increase by about 25 percent, but even NIH officials agree that the boost alone won't fix a program that has set stagnant stipends for years. In 1996, new postdocs received $20,292 under NIH's National Research Service Awards (NRSA), an amount that increased $708 for the 1998 fiscal year. The new entry-level salary of $26,256 for the 1999 fiscal year--and the new senior level of $41,268, up from $33

Paul Smaglik

Postdocs supported by National Institutes of Health training grants will soon see their funding increase by about 25 percent, but even NIH officials agree that the boost alone won't fix a program that has set stagnant stipends for years.

In 1996, new postdocs received $20,292 under NIH's National Research Service Awards (NRSA), an amount that increased $708 for the 1998 fiscal year. The new entry-level salary of $26,256 for the 1999 fiscal year--and the new senior level of $41,268, up from $33,012--will provide a fairer wage, but it still pays young Ph.D. scientists less than they are worth, argues Michael S. Teitlebaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York. "It's not a lot of money," Teitlebaum says of the new first-year amount. Also, U.S.-born postdocs need to contend with a potential glut of biologists that could result from a recent move to nearly double the number of H1-B...

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