Postdoctoral Handbook

DISCLAIMER

This Handbook is intended to provide postdoctoral scholars with general information about some of the procedures, practices, policies, and benefits currently in effect at The Rockefeller University.

There are several things that are important to keep in mind about this handbook:

First, it contains only general information and guidelines. It is not intended to be comprehensive, complete, or unchangeable, or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described. For that reason, if you have any questions concerning eligibility for a particular benefit, or the applicability of a policy or practice to you, you should address your specific questions to Human Resources. Neither this handbook nor any other University document is intended or should be construed as conferring any contractual right, either expressed or implied, to remain in The Rockefeller University's employ.

Secondly, The Rockefeller University reserves the right to modify the procedures, practices, policies, and benefits described in this handbook at any time. We will try to keep you informed of changes as they occur, but we may not always be able to do so. Therefore, before relying on a statement made in the handbook, you should check with Human Resources as to whether the statement is still current.

Thirdly, some of the subjects described (such as the Major Medical Plan, the Hospital Insurance Plan, among others) are covered in greater detail in official policy documents, which are modified from time to time and which are readily available to you in Human Resources. These official texts are controlling documents and govern over any statement made in this handbook or by any supervisor.

THE ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY POSTDOCTORAL HANDBOOK

Introduction

The University has a strong commitment to the full involvement of postdoctoral scholars in all aspects of the scientific, educational and cultural activities of the community. Each year, more than 340 postdoctoral scholars are associated with the research activities of the more than 70 laboratories, where they are encouraged to continue their scientific training and pursue their research interests. In addition, they typically participate in the many seminars and colloquia held at the University and are particularly active in the weekly "Rockefeller Research Exchange" seminar series.

Definition

Postdoctoral appointments are temporary appointments made to individuals who were recently awarded a Ph.D., or its equivalent doctorate, in an appropriate field, and are dedicated to full-time research or scholarship. Appointments are made on a yearly basis, and may last from three to five years, but are not to exceed five years at the University. Postdoctoral scholars make vital contributions to the University's scientific programs, while gaining valuable research training and experience under the mentorship of a head of laboratory, culminating in published results. During this time they are encouraged to develop a distinct line of research that will allow them to gain independence in preparation for a scientific career.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Applications

Recent or prospective recipients of the Ph.D. or M.D. degree who wish to apply for postdoctoral positions should write to the laboratory head whose area of research best matches their research interests. For more information on the research areas at the University, visit the University website at http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/. Candidates for postdoctoral training at the University often obtain funds from a private or governmental granting agency. The University, however, is responsible for awarding about 10 postdoctoral fellowships annually to postdocs who are in the early stages of their training.

Appointments

All postdoctoral appointments are initiated at the written request of a Head of Laboratory and are administered at the University through the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources. A formal offer letter is sent to the postdoctoral scholars from this office with important information concerning their University appointment.

Registration

About one week prior to your start date, you should expect to receive a “welcome email” to begin the Onboarding process, which will allow you to complete documentation and obtain information about the University in advance of your arrival.  Once Onboarding has been completed, all new arrivals should make a registration appointment with the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources at Ext. 8380 within three days of their arrival on campus. At registration, you will receive information on obtaining a University identification card and a U.S. social security number. You will also be asked to read and sign the Intellectual Property Agreement (which can be found here: http://formspolicies.rockefeller.edu/getfile.php?type=Policy&file=TechTrans_IPPolicyFINAL_pdf), as well as provide proof of your highest university degree.

Orientation and Postdoctoral Welcome Luncheon

At registration all new arrivals will be scheduled to attend an orientation where information on University policies, campus services, visa regulations, and health insurance is provided. Much of the material discussed is contained in the University Employee Handbook and on the University website.

All newly-hired postdocs are invited to attend a welcome luncheon on the last Thursday of the month at the Abby Aldrich dining hall in Caspary Hall. 

The following guidelines, based on years of Rockefeller postdoctoral research experience, are effective for all postdoctoral researchers at The Rockefeller University. For incoming postdoctoral researchers with prior outside experience, lab heads will determine the appropriate salary/stipend range, based on an evaluation of their previous research experience. 
 

CURRENT GUIDELINES

Effective July 1, 2014, all incumbent postdoctoral researchers will be raised to these levels, and all new postdoctoral appointees must be paid according to the new guidelines.

Year of Postdoctoral ExperienceMinimumMaximum
1st year (0-1 year) $45,000 $50,000
2nd year $47,000 $52,000
3rd year $48,650 $53,650
4th year $50,800 $55,800
5th year $53,000 $58,000

Postdoctoral Fellows who are the recipients of competitive or honorific fellowships will receive the full amount of the award. In the event that the award is below the minimum for their years of postdoctoral experience, the laboratory will be expected to supplement the individual up to at least the appropriate minimum.

Postdoctoral Fellows
are individuals who receive funds that are awarded competitively or are directed by the donor specifically for the support of postdocs. Examples, of this type of support include the NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA), Helen Hay Whitney Fellowships, Women & Science Awards, Bristol-Myers Squibb Fellowships, F.M. Kirby Fellowships, and Emerald Fellowships. Postdoctoral fellows may not be treated as employees.

Postdoctoral Associates are individuals who receive salary to perform research under the supervision of a Head of Laboratory. The definition of "salary" is compensation given in exchange for services rendered.

Taxation

Your tax liability will be determined by the source of your funding or financial support, your immigration status, your country of tax residency, and the length of time you have been in the United States. The source of your funding may vary during your time at the University. The determination of whether your financial support constitutes a "stipend" or "salary" (both are taxable, but only the latter is subject to Social Security taxes) will depend on the source of your funding and the nature of your duties. It is possible to receive both stipend and salary payments in the same year. If you have any questions about how your financial support will be characterized and reported to you for tax purposes, please contact Kretina Wright in the Office of Finance at Ext. 8388. If your salary is charged to a government grant or contract, you should be aware that you will be required to devote a certain minimum number of hours to that project, that you will be working under the direction of the principal investigator on that project, and that you will be subject to satisfactory performance requirements in regard to that project.

Below is additional useful information from the National Postdoctoral Association website.

Employee Postdocs

Tax Withholding

Postdocs who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and are employed on grants or receive a salary from their institution through the “standard” payroll disbursement will have federal tax withholdings taken out of their paychecks. (For postdocs who are temporary residents, please refer to the section below on international postdocs.) The amount of this tax withholding depends upon the individual circumstances of the postdoc, including total income, status of dependents, and any tax treaty status for international postdocs.

Upon starting a new appointment, “employee” postdocs should fill out a federal withholding form, IRS Form W-4. In states with an income tax, postdocs should also complete a state withholding form in order to set the amount of this withholding. It is very important that the withholding be calculated in as much detail as possible in order to avoid paying too much or too little tax over the course of the tax (calendar) year.

IRS Withholding Calculator

Tax Filing

All employee postdocs must file a tax return between January 15 and April 15 for the previous tax year. In order to fill out the tax return forms, postdocs will need to have received a W-2 form from their employer that lists their wages and salary accrued for the year. If too little has been paid, a postdoc risks a large payment of the balance and possibly a penalty.

IRS Federal Tax Forms

State Tax Forms

Postdoc Fellows: “Non-employee” Postdocs or Postdocs on Fellowships

Fellowships are Taxable Income

Virtually all postdoc fellowships funded from U.S. sources are subject to income tax because they pay for living expenses. However, often fellowships and traineeships are not subject to automatic tax withholding. This is most often true with “direct-paid” fellowships -- fellowship stipends that are paid directly to the postdoc -- although it is sometimes the case with fellowships that are paid through the institution.

Estimated Payments

Those fellowships without automatic tax withholding are still subject to the IRS requirement that income tax be paid on a regular basis throughout the tax year, and not all at once at the end of the year. Thus, postdocs without withholding should make estimated tax payments each quarter in order to avoid a penalty. Use IRS Form 1040ES for estimated federal tax calculations and payments, and find the equivalent form for estimated state taxes (where applicable).

See the IRS help topic on Estimated Taxes

Tax Filing

Postdocs on fellowships must also file a tax return between January 15 and April 15 for the previous tax year. Postdoc fellows and trainees may receive a W-2 or 1099-MISC Form reporting their total fellowship income, or they may receive no summary form at all. In any case, a tax return must be filed and the fellowship stipend amount should be reported with gross income. For instructions on reporting taxable fellowship income not included on a W-2, see IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education,” which has a section on "Reporting Scholarships and Fellowships."

Tax time is also a good opportunity to make sure that the estimated quarterly payments are sufficient to avoid penalties for too little tax paid.

FICA and Fellowships

For fellowships paid through the institution, there is some variation on whether the institution should withhold federal employment taxes: social security and medicare taxes (FICA) and unemployment tax (FUTA). A 2005 IRS ruling implies that all postdoc income be subject to these taxes, including postdoc fellowship income; however certain fellowships and traineeships, in particular the NIH National Research Service Award (NRSA), are not because the research conducted by these postdocs is considered non-compensatory (i.e. the stipend is more like a grant than a wage paid for services). Given the initial controversy (and confusion) over these determinations (see articles below), the policies governing those supported on fellowships have been determined on a case-by-case basis by the institution’s legal counsel. Due to these variations, postdocs should check with their own institution’s decision. 

Initial ScienceCareers.org article (inaccurately) describing the new IRS regulation and its implications:

“A Taxing Question on Postdoc Pay: New IRS Regulation Demands Deductions from All Postdocs” by Beryl Lieff Benderly

Alerted by tax attorney Bertrand Harding, Jr., that this regulation should not apply to NRSA fellows, ScienceCareers.org later received clarification of this fact from the IRS. A description of this clarification is included in the following articles:

“NRSA Fellows May Be Eligible for Substantial Tax Refunds: Background” by Geoff Davis

“NRSA Fellows May Be Eligible for Substantial Tax Refunds” by Bertrand Harding, Jr.

Self-Employment Tax

It can be a complicated question whether postdocs on fellowships are self-employed and are thus required to pay self-employment tax. Most IRS publications for the average tax payer suggest that if you receive a 1099-MISC form you should be paying self-employment tax. However, being a postdoc is a bit different than being an independent contractor. There are several tax court cases that deal specifically with postdocs and fellowships, primarily Spiegelman v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1994, 102 T.C. 394), which says that postdocs supported on fellowships are not self-employed. The crux of most of these arguments hinges on whether or not there is a quid pro quo or employer-employee relationship between postdoc and institution, and typically postdoc fellows are not required to render services to their institution in exchange for their stipend. However, as with paying FICA, this issue can be complicated. The unofficial rule of thumb is that if your salary shows up in Box 7 for “Non-employee compensation” (as opposed to Box 3: “Other income”) there is a higher chance that the IRS will scrutinize your tax return more carefully, expecting you to have paid self-employment tax. Thus, if you are not sure, it is highly advised that you talk to a tax professional.

For some additional details on this topic, see the ScienceCareers.org article by Laure Haak: "Postdocs and the Law, Part III: Are Postdocs Employees?"

Child or Dependent Care Credit

Since postdoctoral fellows typically do not have “earned income” they usually cannot claim a tax credit for child and dependent care expenses. Those who use child or dependent care services so that they may work typically can claim a tax credit for the expenses they pay or reduce their taxable income by the amount they receive in dependent care benefits (e.g. flexible savings accounts, employer-sponsored childcare, employer-paid child care subsidy). Tax payers must, however, have earned income to claim this credit, and if married, both spouses must have earned income unless one spouse is a full-time student or is unable to care for his/herself. Stipends received by postdoctoral fellows typically do not qualify as earned income for this credit since fellowship income that is not included on a W-2 is explicitly disqualified (e.g. NRSA and similar fellowships that are intended as grants and not payment for services are not earned income). Unfortunately, this currently applies to both the credit as well as dependent care benefits, since both must pass the same earned income test. So fellows without earned income who are married to regular employees with access to various child or dependent care benefits will not be able to claim a tax credit.

For more information:

Publication 503 Child and Dependent Care Expenses (in particular, see the earned income test) 

IRS Form 2441, Dependent and Child Care Expenses, Instructions

International Postdocs

International postdocs are subject to U.S. federal and state tax laws; however, qualified residents of some countries may have tax treaties that make them exempt from U.S. taxes or provide other benefits. Those who intend to pay taxes in the U.S. typically have the same automatic tax withholding as employee postdocs. Tax-exempt postdocs, however, may or may not have taxes withheld, depending on the institution and nature of their appointment.

Tax Filing

International postdocs must always file a federal tax return since it provides the vehicle for either claiming tax-exemption or for declaring (and perhaps paying) taxes owed. The need to file state tax returns varies widely depending upon the state and the amount of time an individual was physically present there. Those who are tax-exempt but who still have taxes automatically withheld from their paychecks will need to file a tax return to receive a refund of their withholdings.

Resident or Non-Resident?

An international scholar’s status as a resident or non-resident for tax purposes is different than his or her status for immigration purposes. The IRS determination depends upon several factors, including treaty status, visa status, and the amount of time the scholar was physically present in the U.S. The IRS Guide for Foreign Students and Scholars includes a section on “Residency for Tax Purposes” that can help postdocs determine their status and thus which federal tax form they should use.

For additional advice on taxes for international scholars, please consult the NPA's International Postdoc Survival Guide and Beginner’s Guide to Income Tax for International Postdocs.

The inherent complexity of the postdoc appointment, from its temporary nature to multiple funding sources to its visa implications, means that the financial circumstances of many postdoc will be unique. While this guide can provide general information, postdocs with more complex concerns are encouraged to seek out professional advice on their individual situation.

Additional Resources on Postdocs and Taxes

"Postdocs and the Law", a three part series by Laure Haak (2002) from ScienceCareers.org:

Postdocs and the Law, Part I: Meet the IRS

Postdocs and the Law, Part II: Principal Investigator Versus Individual Grants

Postdocs and the Law, Part III: Are Postdocs Employees?

Other Resources on Postdocs and Taxes at PhDs.org: http://www.phds.org/postdoc/postdocs-and-taxes 

Postdoctoral Loan Deferment

Postdoctoral researchers with educational loans that allow for deferment during their period of postdoctoral training can bring the appropriate forms obtained from the lending agency to the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources for approval. This deferment allows the postdoctoral researcher to postpone repayment of the debt.

Limit on Training

The University will continue its commitment to the proper career development of the postdoctoral population by following the National Academy of Sciences recommendation limiting postdoctoral training to five years. It is recommended that after five years at The Rockefeller University, individuals will either be promoted according to University guidelines or obtain appointments elsewhere.

Promotion to Research Associate Professor or Research Assistant Professor may be made if the individual meets the criteria set forth for these ranks in "Policies Governing Appointments Promotions" at: http://formspolicies.rockefeller.edu/getfile.php?type=Policy&file=HR_AppointmentsPromotionsPolicyResearch_pdf

 

Vacation and Holiday Schedule

Postdoctoral researchers are entitled to 20 paid days off per appointment year, inclusive of the University winter break. Time off must be scheduled with lab head approval, and unused vacation time will not be paid out or accumulated. The University holiday schedule can be found here.

Housing

The University owns 750 apartments (including studios, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units), located on and close to campus. Furnished guest rooms are also available at competitive rates on a nightly, weekly, or monthly basis.

Postdoctoral researchers holding full-time academic appointments are eligible for University housing. If you will require University housing, a housing application should be completed and returned to the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments, either by mail or fax at (212) 327-8699, for approval. The housing application is included with your offer letter allowing you to apply for housing in advance of your arrival. Please note that married postdoctoral scholars must apply on the same application.

Once received and approved, this application will be forwarded to the University Housing Office who will contact you with information about your housing arrangements. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. Apartments are generally assigned from 30 days prior to your arrival date up to your arrival date. A waiting list is maintained for admission to an apartment. If an apartment is not available when you arrive, temporary furnished guest rooms are available by the week or month. You are allowed to turn down one assignment. If you do not accept the next offer, you must reapply after one year.

PLEASE NOTE that currently, due to the high demand for housing, WAIT TIMES for studio apartments are 12-13 months.  WAIT TIMES for one-bedroom apartments are 2-3 months. You will be offered temporary housing, if available, during this time.  

You may apply for an apartment transfer after two years. Transfers occur October through April.

A general guide of the current monthly rents can be found at the Housing department website here.

All permanent apartments are unfurnished, except where noted, but do include refrigerators and stoves. Some apartments include dishwashers. Contact housing for a handbook that describes the apartment buildings and the current rents.

All questions concerning details of University housing should be directed to Sharisse Brown at (212) 327-7970 or at browns@rockefeller.edu.

Visa Processing

The Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources provides immigration services to all postdoctoral researchers, as well as members of their immediate families. The staff will advise international students and scholars on obtaining and maintaining lawful status while at the University. Additionally, this office stays apprised of all relevant immigration regulations, procedures and developments to ensure the community is informed and in compliance. All international visitors and scholars are required to register with this office upon their arrival and notify this office upon their departure.

Most foreign nationals who are entering the U.S. for the first time will be issued the form DS-2019 to enable them to work at the University in J-1 nonimmigrant status. The form DS-2019 for J-1 status is typically granted for the full five years. If your stay at the University exceeds five years, you may be eligible to change to H-1B nonimmigrant status.

Foreign nationals who are graduates of institutions of higher education in the United States may often begin employment at the University in F-1 Optional Practical Training for a period of one year based on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) approval of an application for work authorization. At the end of this one-year period, or at any time during this year, these individuals are encouraged to change to J-1 status. This status allows them to continue their postdoctoral training should they receive fellowship funding.

All decisions about the appropriate visa status are made in consultation with the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments, on a case by case basis, after careful examination of all aspects of individual circumstances.

Change of Address Notification Requirement

All foreign nationals who are in the United States on nonimmigrant visas or as permanent residents are required to keep the USCIS informed about their most current local address. If your address should change at any point during your stay, a form AR-11 must be completed and sent to the USCIS. Additionally, the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments must be notified.

Career Counseling

The University Administration and the Rockefeller PDA offer workshops and seminars throughout the year in career-related topics.  A resume/c.v. workshop is being planned for the Spring 2014.  Additionally, all Rockefeller postdocs are members of the National Postdoctoral Association which offer many valuable career resources on their website: http://www.nationalpostdoc.org/.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute publication, "Making the Right Moves" is an excellent resource, especially the first chapter.

Links
http://www.scienceallianceforum.org/career-resources/
http://www.aaas.org/
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/
http://www.postdocjournal.com/
http://www.researchgate.net/jobs/research/
http://www.nyas.org/

Books
Outside the Ivory Tower: A Guide for Academics Considering Alternative Careers. Margaret Newhouse. Office of Career Services, Harvard University, 1993.
Alternative Careers in Science, Second Edition: Leaving the Ivory Tower (Scientific Survival Skills), Cynthia Robbins-Roth, Editor, Elsevier Academic Press, 2006
Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, Madhavan, Oakley and Kun, Editors, 2008.
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development, Toby Freedman, 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Press


University Policies

You are responsible for observing the following policies of the University which will be provided to you at registration. They are also on the University website at: http://inside.rockefeller.edu/hr/academicPolicies.

Additional policies are contained in the University Employee Handbook.

Grievance Resolution Procedure for Postdoctoral Scholars and Research Associates
Summary

This policy outlines procedures for resolving the academic, scientific and employment-related grievances of postdoctoral associates, postdoctoral fellows and research associates (hereinafter referred to as "scholars") at The Rockefeller University. This grievance procedure is designed to supplement, not replace, the routine and informal methods of responding to and resolving scholars' problems and issues.

Informal Resources

It is desirable for all parties concerned to make serious efforts to resolve differences informally whenever possible. This is particularly true for disputes that occur between a scholar and a mentor. There are many resources available to assist scholars in the informal resolution of problems. Confidential resources include the Dean's Office and Human Resources. There are multiple individuals in these respective offices available to assist with resolving a grievance informally. These include the Dean of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies, the Assistant Dean of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies, the Vice President of Human Resources, the Assistant Director of Human Resources, the Director of Immigration and Academic Appointments, and the Director of Employment. Another helpful resource is The Rockefeller University Postdoctoral Association (PDA). Scholars are also encouraged to consult with trusted faculty whenever appropriate.

Informal Means

A discussion between the parties involved is always the recommended first step in settling a disagreement. At this stage the scholar is encouraged to consult with any individuals with whom she or he feels comfortable to discuss the matter. This may include parties directly involved, as well as any of the resources listed above.

Grievance Defined

Any Rockefeller University scholar who believes that he or she has been subjected to an improper decision or conduct by The Rockefeller University, or by anyone acting officially on behalf of the University, may file a grievance to obtain a review of the decision or conduct, and, if appropriate, corrective action. A "grievance" is a written complaint made to an administrative officer of the University concerning such a matter. The following grievance procedure applies to decisions or actions that directly and adversely affect the scholar. The grievance procedure is not available to challenge a University policy the scholar perceives as unfair or inadvisable, unless it is inconsistent with other University policies.

Grievance Procedure

The steps to be followed in filing a grievance are described below. At every stage the scholar may discontinue the grievance procedure with a written statement of withdrawal, if he or she is satisfied that the conflict has been resolved successfully.

Filing a Formal Grievance

If informal means do not yield a satisfactory resolution, the scholar may, after careful consideration, file a formal grievance in writing to one of the following offices of the University administration. If the grievance concerns an employment-related matter, the scholar should contact Human Resources. If the grievance concerns a scientific or academic matter, the scholar should contact the Dean's Office. If the matter is not strictly employment or academic in nature, the scholar may contact either office. The written grievance statement should include a description of the issue that is the basis of the grievance, setting forth any evidence of unfairness or impropriety. The document should also include a description of the remedy sought and the informal efforts that have been pursued. The grievance must be filed within 30 days of the occurrence of the event that is the cause of the grievance. Questions about whether or not a grievance falls within the time limit may be discussed with Human Resources.

Response to the Grievance

Once received the grievance will be reviewed by the Dean of Graduate and Postgraduate Studies in the Dean's Office or the Vice President of Human Resources. Upon request, the grievance may also be reviewed by a member of the Faculty, chosen by the head of the appropriate University office. The University office in receipt of the grievance shall, within 30 days of its receipt, submit a written response.

Review

If these steps do not yield a satisfactory resolution, the scholar may take the grievance to the other administrative department which was not involved initially. Thus, if the grievance was filed with Human Resources and the scholar finds the response unsatisfactory, a request for review can be made to the Dean's Office, regardless of the nature of the dispute. If the grievance was filed with the Dean's Office and the scholar finds the response unsatisfactory, the scholar can then request a review from Human Resources, regardless of the nature of the dispute. The request must be made in writing within 30 days of receipt of the initial University response.

Response to the Review

The University office in receipt of the request for review shall, within 30 days of its receipt, submit a written response.

In the event the two University offices do not agree on the course of action for resolution of the grievance, the matter will be resolved in the President's Office.

Additional Matters

No adverse action may be taken against any scholar for his or her appropriate use of the grievance procedure.

At any point in the grievance process, formal proceedings can be put aside in favor of voluntary mediation. Decisions resulting from mediation shall be final. The time frames set forth herewith are guidelines and may be extended by the University for good cause.

Questions concerning the filing and review of grievances should be directed to Human Resources or the Postdoctoral Association.

MEMBERSHIPS

Rockefeller University Postdoctoral Association

The Rockefeller University Postdoctoral Association (PDA) provides a forum through which the needs and interests of postdoctoral researchers and research associates can be raised with the University.

Annual Retreat

A postdoc retreat will be held annually to encourage interaction, networking and collaboration among the Rockefeller postdoc community. All postdocs and research associates are encouraged to participate. The retreat is organized by postdoc volunteers and the PDA. For information about this year's retreat contact the PDA.

New York Academy of Science Membership

The New York Academy of Sciences is a distinguished global community of scientists and a dynamic center for science in New York. Their mission is to stimulate multidisciplinary, cutting-edge discourse, and to disseminate the resulting information to a worldwide audience of scientists, engineers, physicians, students, policy makers and the public through high-impact publications. The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, published in print and online, is ranked in the top two percent of all cited scientific publications.

The Science Alliance is a consortium of leading educational institutions, hospitals and independent research facilities in the New York City metro area that have formed a partnership with the New York Academy of Sciences. The goal is to provide unparalleled career and professional development mentoring for students and postdocs in the sciences and engineering, through a series of live events and a dedicated web portal. In addition, the Science Alliance gives students and postdocs the opportunity to network with their peers across institutions and with key leaders in both industry and academia.

Through the Science Alliance, participating institutions sponsor the Academy membership dues for their first-year graduate students and/or postdocs. All postdoctoral researchers and graduate students at The Rockefeller University are given a one-year free membership to the New York Academy of Sciences. Information about your membership will be emailed to you after you have completed registration with the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources.

Membership benefits include:

BENEFITS

Postdoctoral Associates

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Associates
Overview and Summary

The following is an overview of the benefits to which postdoctoral scholars are entitled. Upon your arrival at the University, you will be expected to register with the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources. At this time you will be given a complete University Employee Handbook which provides details on University benefit plans and policies. You will also be expected to attend an orientation where the benefit plans and policies will be explained in further detail.

This summary is intended to highlight the plans that constitute the comprehensive benefits program. This summary does not cover all of the details. Those details can be found in the official plan documents or insurance contracts which legally govern all aspects of the plans. In the event of a discrepancy between the documents/contracts and this summary, the plan documents/contracts are controlling.

If you have any questions or if you need any additional information about University benefits, refer to The Rockefeller University Employee Handbook or consult a member of the Benefits Department at Ext. 7788. This summary is subject to change. Neither it nor any other document creates a contract between the University and any employee. In order to meet its needs under changing conditions, the University, at its discretion, may at any time terminate or change any of these plans or the statements made in this summary.

Postdoctoral Associates Eligibility

Postdoctoral Associates who are scheduled to work at least 910 hours per year of service are eligible for the following benefits:

Medical Insurance Plans

The University pays for most of your elected coverage. You pay a small percentage of the cost of the coverage on a pre-tax or after-tax basis.

The University offers two options:

The Rockefeller University Group Health Care Expense Plan

The Rockefeller Plan is administered by CoreSource. The Plan consists of an in-network option and an out-of-network option. The in-network option allows you to pay a small copay for services provided by a participating provider. No referrals are needed. For out-of-network services, once you satisfy your annual deductible, CoreSource covers expenses at 80% of reasonable and customary charges up to the Plan maximums. Claim forms must be submitted.

Oxford Freedom Plan

Oxford is a Point-of-Service plan providing both in-network and out-of-network benefits. You choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP). The in-network option allows you to pay a small copay for services provided by your PCP or a network specialist after being referred by your PCP. The out-of-network benefits allow you to choose any doctor. Services provided by non-network providers are subject to deductibles and co-insurance.

Comprehensive Dental Plan
The University pays for most of your elected coverage. You pay a small percentage of the cost of the coverage on a pre-tax or after-tax basis.

 

The Plan is divided into four types of coverage: Preventive care is covered at 100% of reasonable and customary (R&C) charges with no deductible. Basic restorative services are covered at 80% of R&C charges after the deductible has been satisfied. Major restorative services are covered at 80% of R&C charges after the deductible has been satisfied. All covered expenses are subject to the Plan maximum. An orthodontic benefit covers expenses for dependent children to the age of 19 at 50% of R&C charges up to the lifetime maximum. A small deductible applies to Basic, Major and Orthodontic expenses.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

You may elect to participate in the Health Care and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. If you participate in these accounts, you contribute pre-tax dollars to help pay for eligible health care and/or dependent care expenses.

Business & Travel Accident Insurance

The University pays the full cost. You are covered while traveling on business for the University.

Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA)

You may contribute to a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity with TIAA-CREF upon employment at the University. (Check with the Benefits Department as to the maximum amounts allowed by the IRS.)

You select the investment options and you may change selections on a daily basis. You will receive quarterly statements on the performance of the funds. In addition, you may receive loans from your GSRA. (See the Benefits Department for more information.)

Short Term Disability

If you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working, you may have 100% continuation of pay and benefits for up to 26 weeks. If you have less than one year of service, you will have 60% continuation of pay.

Long Term Disability

LTD insurance benefits will be administered by The Standard Life Insurance Company of New York. The cost of the insurance is paid for by the University. There is a one-year waiting period to be eligible for the plan. Postdoctoral Associates with at least one year of service as of July 1, 2012, will automatically be enrolled in the plan.

For those with less than one year of service the effective date will be the first of the month following or coinciding with your one year anniversary date. Service will only count for time spent in an LTD eligible job category.

Disability benefits will be payable after six months of continuous disability. The Monthly Income Benefit is equal to 60% of your Monthly Wage Base not to exceed a benefit of $10,000 per month minus benefits from other sources such as Social Security Benefits and Workers’ Compensation Benefits. If you return to work and you are earning 20% or less of your Increasing Monthly Wage Base, no change will be made to the amount of the Monthly Income Benefit.

For additional information, please refer to the Long Term Disability booklet

Life Insurance

The Group Life Insurance Plan is administered by The Standard Insurance Company. The University will provide basic coverage of $50,000 regardless of salary.

Transportation Reimbursement Incentive Program (TRIP)

You may claim your commuting costs to be excluded from your taxable income, if you do not live in University housing. You will not pay federal income and payroll taxes on the elected eligible amount.

Adoption Assistance Program

The University will reimburse up to $13,170 for any services connected with the adoption of a child (e.g., legal fees, medical fees, newspaper advertisements).

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is a professional, confidential, free, short-term counseling and referral service that is available to all employees and their dependents. They can be reached at (212) 746-5890 or by email at EAPC@mail.med.cornell.edu.

Childcare
Child & Family Center

The Child and Family Center (CFC) provides developmentally appropriate early childhood education for the youngest members of the Rockefeller community, beginning at age three months. The Center is located on the campus of The Rockefeller University in the Graduate Students Residence and Sophie Fricke buildings. Childcare and education at the CFC is available to families affiliated with Rockefeller University. Parents need to apply far ahead of the time that they will need childcare and education for their child as there is great demand for the spaces. Please be advised that due to high demand, the wait list  for infants and one-year olds is very long.  You should research alternative arrangements if you will need childcare when you first arrive on campus. Applications can be obtained at Human Resources, at the CFC, or online (at http://inside.rockefeller.edu/cfc/pdf/application.pdf).

Families in the Center come from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, reflecting the international and multicultural dimension of science. The mix of languages and customs provides a rich learning environment and is often reflected in daily activities. We have as many as 26 different languages represented in our student body. The teaching staff is also multinational and many of the teachers are bi-lingual.

The CFC is open 50 weeks a year from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. The CFC is closed the week between Christmas and New Year's, when the University is closed and for the week before Labor Day for the teachers' work week. Click here for the current tuition rates for the CFC.

Bright Horizons

Located off-site, this center provides free emergency backup childcare when your regular arrangements break down or are unavailable. Employees are eligible for 10 visits per year. You can register online at http://www.brighthorizons.com/back-up/; or by phone, call: (866) 273-2773. You must register before you begin using the service.

Postdoctoral Fellows
Overview and Summary

The following is an overview of the benefits to which postdoctoral fellows are entitled. Upon your arrival at the University, you will be expected to register with the Office of Immigration and Academic Appointments in Human Resources. At this time you will be given a complete University Employee Handbook which provides details on University benefit plans and policies. You will also be expected to attend an orientation where the benefit plans and policies will be explained in further detail.

This summary is intended to highlight the plans that constitute the comprehensive benefits program. This summary does not cover all of the details. Those details can be found in the official plan documents or insurance contracts which legally govern all aspects of the plans. In the event of a discrepancy between the documents/contracts and this summary, the plan documents/contracts are controlling.

If you have any questions or if you need any additional information about University benefits, refer to The Rockefeller University Employee Handbook or consult a member of the Benefits Department at ext. 7788. This summary is subject to change. Neither it nor any other document creates a contract between the University and any employee. In order to meet its needs under changing conditions, the University, at its discretion, may at any time terminate or change any of these plans or the statements made in this summary.

Postdoctoral Fellows Eligibility

Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible for the following benefits:

Health Insurance Plans

The University pays for all of your elected medical and dental coverage. The University offers the following medical and dental options:

Oxford Freedom Plan

Oxford is a Point-of-Service plan providing both in-network and out-of-network benefits. You choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP). The in-network option allows you to pay a small copay for services provided by your PCP or a network specialist after being referred by your PCP. The out-of-network benefits allow you to choose any doctor. Services provided by non-network providers are subject to deductibles and co-insurance.

CoreSource Dental Plan

The Plan is insured through CoreSource. The Plan is divided into five types of coverage: Preventive care is covered at 100% of reasonable and customary (R&C) charges with no deductible. Basic restorative services are covered at 80% of R&C charges after the deductible has been satisfied. Major restorative services are covered at 80% of R&C charges after the deductible has been satisfied. All covered expenses are subject to the Plan maximum. An orthodontic benefit covers expenses for dependent children to the age of 19 at 50% of R&C charges up to the lifetime maximum. A TMJ benefit covers expenses at 50% of R&C charges up to the lifetime maximum.

Business & Travel Accident Insurance

The University pays the full cost. You are covered while traveling on business for the University.

Short Term Disability

If you have an illness or injury that prevents you from working, you may have 100% continuation of pay and benefits for up to 26 weeks. If you have less than one year of service, you will have 60% continuation of pay.

Life Insurance

The Group Life Insurance Plan is administered by The Standard Insurance Company. The University will provide basic coverage of $50,000 regardless of salary.

Adoption Assistance Program

The University will reimburse up to $13,170 for any services connected with the adoption of a child (e.g., legal fees, medical fees, newspaper advertisements).

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The EAP is a professional, confidential, free, short-term counseling and referral service that is available to all employees and their dependents. They can be reached at (212) 746-5890 or by email at EAPC@mail.med.cornell.edu.

Childcare
Child & Family Center

The Child and Family Center (CFC) provides developmentally appropriate early childhood education for the youngest members of the Rockefeller community, beginning at age three months. The Center is located on the campus of The Rockefeller University in the Graduate Students Residence and Sophie Fricke buildings. Childcare and education at the CFC is available to families affiliated with Rockefeller University. Parents need to apply far ahead of the time that they will need childcare and education for their child as there is great demand for the spaces. Applications can be obtained at Human Resources or at the CFC.

Families in the Center come from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, reflecting the international and multicultural dimension of science. The mix of languages and customs provides a rich learning environment and is often reflected in daily activities. We have as many as 26 different languages represented in our student body. The teaching staff is also multinational and many of the teachers are bi-lingual.

The CFC is open 50 weeks a year from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. The CFC is closed the week between Christmas and New Year's, when the University is closed and for the week before Labor Day for the teachers' work week. Click here for the current tuition rates for the CFC.

 

Bright Horizons

Located off-site, this center provides free emergency backup childcare when your regular arrangements break down or are unavailable. Employees are eligible for 10 visits per year. You can register online at http://www.brighthorizons.com/back-up/; or by phone, call: (866) 273-2773. You must register before you begin using the service.

FUNDING INFORMATION

The Office of Sponsored Research and Program Development (SR-PD) at The Rockefeller University facilitates and streamlines the grant/contract seeking process in compliance with University, government and sponsor policies and regulations.

SR-PD assists investigators to navigate through the application and grant management process, before and after an award is made. We oversee the processing of research and training proposals to federal, state, local governmental agencies and private foundations. When needed, we also support submission efforts in coordination with the Developmental Office and the Office of General Counsel. We work with the IRB, IACUC, and Laboratory Safety & Environmental Health committees to ensure that University pre- and post-award activities involving human subjects, animal subjects, biohazards and radioactive materials are in compliance with federal and state regulations. We interface with the Finance Department in the oversight of post-award management and reporting requirements. We keep the faculty abreast of emerging opportunities, aiming to increase external funding and align with external developments. Lastly, the SR-PD acts as liaison to sponsor agencies in negotiating agreements and resolving funding issues as needed.

Information on funding opportunities, available at: http://www.rockefeller.edu/sr-pd/funding/ -including on fellowships and career awards, is continuously offered and updated on the SR-PD site and via weekly emails to the RU search community.

Rockefeller Funding Information

The following postdoctoral fellowships and awards are funded by private gifts and grants to The Rockefeller University. Heads of Laboratory are periodically invited to nominate postdoctoral investigators as candidates for consideration. Awardees are selected by the University Nominating Committee.

 

 

CAMPUS SERVICES

Dining

The University provides two on-campus dining locations: the Weiss Café and the Abby Aldrich Dining Room. The Weiss Café is open daily, Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The Abby Aldrich Dining Room serves lunch buffet daily, Monday through Friday, noon to 2:00 p.m.

Fitness Center

Athletic facilities on campus include a tennis court, squash courts, and a recently renovated gym.

In order to be granted access to the gym, you must sign the "Fitness Center Informed Consent for Exercise Program Participation and Waiver of Claims" form. This form is available in Human Resources. The signed form should be returned to the security desk in Founder's Hall.

To reserve the tennis court, please register to use the online reservation system with Security at the Founder's Hall Front Desk or at the Security Office (NR 105) Monday through Thursday, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. After registering, you may use the Online Tennis Court Reservation Page at https://appintpl.rockefeller.edu/tennis/t_logins. The tennis court is open 24 hours a day, weather permitting.

Sign up for squash at the Security Desk in Founder's Hall

Mailroom

All personal packages, large or small, shipped to the University, should be addressed as follows - The Rockefeller University, Box #__, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, Attn: 68th Street Receiving. Please provide both Human Resources and the Receiving Department with your home and lab phones as soon as they are established, so that you can be informed of the arrival of your packages.

Parking

On campus parking is often available on weekends (Fridays through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to midnight) and University holidays. To request parking for a visitor or weekend guest, call the Service Response Center at Ext. 8001. You will need to provide information such as the name of the guest, date and time of the visit. For weekend parking, you must call before 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Weekend guest parking is only available to Rockefeller University students and employees.

Security

The Security Office is located on the first floor of Nurses Residence. General matters concerning Security should be referred to the Director of Security at Ext. 8506. In case of an on-campus emergency, dial 1111 from a university extension. To reach security from off-campus, or by cell phone, dial (212) 327-7111. Everyone is advised to keep valuables locked in a desk or drawer.

CAMPUS LIFE

Perks
The Faculty and Students Club

The Faculty and Students Club, founded in 1958, encourages social interaction and scientific collaboration among the faculty, postdocs and students. The use of the club is limited to members and their guests only. Membership is renewable on a yearly basis. Questions regarding membership may be directed to Anne Debassac, Human Resources, adebassac@rockefeller.edu x8300.

Members may also use the club for lab related functions such as farewell parties, thesis celebrations, barbecues, etc., during its normal operation hours. For a modest fee members may also use the facility for small private functions during weekends. The member booking the event must be present at the function and must abide by the club rules.

Location: B floor, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall
Hours of Operation: 4:00 - 11:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

Friday Lectures

The University's Friday Lecture Series is held every Friday during the academic year in Caspary Auditorium from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tea is served at 3:15 p.m. in the Abby Lounge. Postdocs have the opportunity to meet with the guest speaker at the Happy Hour held in the Faculty Club following the talk.

Rockefeller Research Exchange Seminar Series

The Rockefeller Research Exchange seminar series provides an opportunity for students and postdocs to give a scientific talk to their colleagues on campus. It is a wonderful forum in which students and postdocs can showcase their work and interact with other members of the Rockefeller community. Speakers from two different labs give presentations each week. This seminar series is run out of the Dean's Office, and all postdocs are welcome to participate. To sign up, please contact Assistant Dean, Emily Harms at Ext. 8090 or harmse@rockefeller.edu.

Tickets for Museums and Other Cultural Activities

Opportunities to enjoy some of New York's premier cultural activities become available, from time to time, through the generosity of Trustees and other friends of the University. Passes are available allowing postdocs and up to four guests to visit and enjoy the amenities of the Museum of Modern Art or The Metropolitan Museum of Art without charge. A deposit of $20 is required to ensure return of these passes, which can be signed out from the Dean's Office. From time to time, tickets are available for performances at the Metropolitan Opera.

Tri-Institutional Noon Recital

Tri-Institutional Noon Recitals are sponsored by New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University. Recitals are held every Friday during the academic year from noon to 1:00 p.m. in Caspary Auditorium.

 

Life in New York City

Transportation

Borough maps

New York City services

Museums and cultural institutions

Libraries

Parks, zoos, botanical gardens, and recreational areas

New York City guides


New York City is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. There are activities to appease art and music aficionados, outdoor enthusiasts, gastronomes and shopaholics alike. It would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list of the City's offerings so we have highlighted several of the major cultural institutions and recreation areas and provided links to city guides below. To further assist you with navigating the city, we have also provided information about local transportation.


Transportation

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) transports over 2 billion New Yorkers a year through its vast transportation network of subways, buses and railroads. This network includes the New York City subways and buses, Long Island Railroad and Long Island buses, Metro North Railroad and MTA buses.

To and From the Airports

There are three major airports in the New York City vicinity; John F. Kennedy Aiport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Newark International Airport (EWR). LaGuardia Airport is closest in proximity to the University. There are a variety of options for getting to and from these airports and the five boroughs. Public transportation on subways and buses is available, although many stops and transfers are usually required along the way. Private buses are available at Grand Central Terminal and Port Authority bus terminal for all three airports. Airtrain JFK offers service between JFK Airport and the Jamaica LIRR and Howard Beach Stations, and Airtrain Newark offers direct service between Penn Station and Newark International Airport's Rail Link station. SuperShuttle runs a private door-to-door shuttle for about half the cost of a taxi, but its guarantee of a three-stop maximum is suspended during busy time periods. Taxi service is often the most convenient method of transportation. Please see below for fares concerning trips to and from Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia International airports. Private car service companies charge slightly more than taxis but offer flat rates regardless of traffic conditions. Most private car service companies also offer white-glove service that includes a meet and greet at the gate or baggage claim for a premium.

 



 



 

Train Stations

The two main rail stations in New York City are Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station. Grand Central is located in midtown on the east side at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue). Penn Station is on the west side, slightly below midtown, at 34th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Grand Central serves Metro North Commuter Railroad. Penn Station serves Amtrak, Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH). Both stations also serve several subway and bus lines.

Bus Stations

Port Authority Bus Station is located at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue and serves Greyhound, Peter Pan, Adirondack Trailways, Bonanza as well as many other local bus lines.

Subway

Transport by subway is often the most efficient method of getting around New York City because surface transportation is often tangled in heavy traffic conditions, particularly during rush hours. The closest subway stations to Rockefeller University are Lexington Ave. and 59th Street (serving the N, R, W, 4, 5 and 6 lines), Lexington Ave. and 68th Street/Hunter College (serving the 4, 5 and 6 lines) and Lexington Ave. and 63rd Street (serving the F line).

 


Borough maps

Manhattan
Bronx
Brooklyn
Staten Island
Queens


New York City services

Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Official Website
Office of the Mayor
City Of New York Police Department - 19th Precinct
New York City Fire Department (FDNY)


Museums and cultural institutions

The American Museum of Natural History and Hayden Planetarium
The Brooklyn Museum of Art
The Cloisters
The Frick Collection
The Guggenheim Museum
The Jewish Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Museum of Modern Art
National Museum of the American Indian
The Neue Gallerie
The Noguchi Museum and Garden
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
The Whitney Museum of American Art
The Metropolitan Opera
The Morgan Library and Museum
New York City Ballet
New York Philharmonic
Brooklyn Philharmonic
Brooklyn Academy of Music


Libraries

The New York Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library


Parks, zoos, botanical gardens, and recreational areas

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Central Park and Central Park Zoo
Prospect Park and Prospect Park Zoo
The High Line
Hudson River Park
Madison Square Park
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The New York Botanical Gardens
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Chelsea Piers


New York City guides

Citysearch (online guide for dining, night life, arts, shopping etc.)
Time Out New York (available weekly at newsstands)
The Village Voice (free, published each Wednesday and available city-wide in red kiosks)
New York Magazine (available weekly at newsstands)
General New York City Guide
Zagat's (New York's premier restaurant guide, online subscription and published yearly, available at bookstores)

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