Postdoctoral Studies

Welcome to the University of California, Riverside!

The campus has a lively community of over 200 postdocs working in diverse disciplines. Postdoctoral Scholars are automatically members of the Riverside Postdoc Association (RPA), which is an active community that seeks to engage with postdocs to improve and promote their welfare and interests living in Riverside and working at UCR. Upon arrival, every postdoc is invited to contact the RPA to meet new contacts, receive tips for living in Riverside, and participate in cultural and recreational activities organized by the association. Beginning in Fall 2014, when the keynote speech was given by Nobel Laureate in Medicine Randy Schekman, the Association has held an annual symposium featuring poster and paper presentations.

The Association now has an important advisory role giving the Graduate Division input on the needs of the Riverside postdoc community. Be sure to visit their website.

  • Unionization

    The University of California and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) have agreed to a new four-year agreement, effective October 17, 2016 through September 30, 2020. 

    As of September 2010, Postdoctoral Scholars working within California at the University of California are represented by the UAW union.  Postdoctoral Scholars not working in California are governed by the Academic Personnel Guidelines 390. The full UAW contract is available online and UCR Postdoctoral Scholars can contact their union at All Postdoctoral Scholars should be given a UAW Deduction Authorization Form upon hiring which is then forwarded to Labor Relations.

  • Salary Scale (as of March 1, 2020)

    All new Postdoctoral Scholars must be appointed using the salary scale below based upon months of experience as a Postdoctoral Scholar and must receive an increase annually on their anniversary date. They may be paid more than the minimum. If they are already being paid above the appropriate step, then they receive an annual 2% salary increase. 

    Experience Level                  Annual               Monthly 

    Level 0 (0-11 months)         $53,460           $4,455

    Level 1 (12-23 months)       $55,596          $4,633

    Level 2 (24-35 months)       $57,456          $4,788

    Level 3 (36-47 months)       $59,580           $4,965

    Level 4 (48-59 months)       $61,800           $5,150

    Level 5 (60 months plus)     $64,008           $5,334  by exception only

  • Fellowship Opportunities for Postdoctoral Scholars
  • Professional and Academic Development

    The Graduate Division, together with the Riverside Postdoctoral Association, provides numerous resources for the professional and academic development of postdocs at UCR. These are primarily available through the GradSuccess office.

    These resources include:

    Postdocs are invited to attend workshops on topics such as student-centered teaching techniques, online teaching, and antiracist pedagogy (many past workshops are recorded and available to view). In addition, postdocs can sign up to give a teaching demo or for one-on-one teaching support/advising sessions with members of the TADP team. Finally, postdocs are eligible for the University Teaching Certificate program, although they will not receive graduate credit for their participation.

    Postdocs are eligible to receive writing assistance in any academic genre during any stage of the writing process (e.g. abstracts, grant applications, developing journal articles, CVs and other job documents, etc). The Graduate Writing Center offers one-on-one consultations as well as live and recorded workshops on topics such as cover letters, diversity and teaching statements, and grant applications.

    GradQuant provides training and support in quantitative methods, programming, and digital research methods. Postdocs are invited to take advantage of weekly drop in hours, make appointments for a one-on-one consultation, and attend workshops on topics in statistics as well as basic and advanced operations in platforms such as R, Python, LaTeX, and more (many past workshops are recorded and available to view).

    GradSuccess hosts three annual After Grad professional development events: Academic Pathways Week in Fall (focused on academic research careers), Career Pathways Week in Winter (focused on a range of non-academic professions), and Teaching Careers Week in Spring (focused on teaching-oriented positions and teacher training). Each of these events consist of panels, workshops, keynote addresses, job document clinics, networking receptions and other events. Postdocs are also invited to attend our quarterly workshops on topics such as Financial Wellness and Inclusion in the Academy, as well as community-building events such as the quarterly Stress Relief Fair and weekly coffee socials.

  • Five Year Limitation

    Postdoctoral Scholars may not work for more than five years at any university; time spent as a postdoc at other universities prior to coming to UCR counts against that time. 

  • Health Insurance

    Postdoctoral Scholars working in California are eligible to participate in the Postdoctoral Scholar Benefit Plans, which include medical, dental, vision, life, AD&D, short term disability, and  voluntary long term disability. In addition, Postdoctoral Scholars are required to contribute to the University of California Defined Contribution Plan (DCP) as Safe  Harbor participants, and may make voluntary contributions to any of the  University of California Retirement Savings Program plans. In addition, the  University shall pay the Workers Compensation Assessment and the Benefit  Broker Fee for all Postdoctoral Scholars. All Postdoctoral Scholars are provided with repatriation and evacuation insurance. There is information on benefits with regard to domestic partnerships

    The health plan rates with the monthly premiums for 2018 and 2019 are available for faculty and departments to view to prepare for grants at . Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. is a broker who administers the medical insurance for the University. If there are any questions about the insurance itself, the broker should be contacted at or 1-800-254-1758.  

    Postdoctoral Scholars are obligated to contribute to the monthly health benefits plan for both the HMO and PPO. Postdoctoral Paid Directs who do not have an on-campus source paying their salary will be billed the monthly premium by Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. Postdoctoral Fellows will have their monthly premium taken out of their salary unless they elect to be billed.  Postdoctoral Paid Directs will be invoiced by Garnet-Powers and Associates. 

    All UCR Postdocs must sign-up or opt-out of benefits by visiting Garnett-Powers & Associates, Inc. at Once they have made their choices, they will be directed to the UCPATH Portal to officially sign-up for their benefits.  

    Initial eligibility requires an appointment at 100% time for at least 3 months or 50-99% time for at least 12 months. To retain eligibility, a Postdoc is required to maintain an average regular paid time of at least 17.5 hours per week (43.75%).  


  • Sick Leave and Time Off

    In general, Postdoctoral Scholar-Employees are eligible for paid sick leave of up to 12 days per 12-month appointment period. The University shall carry forward unused sick leave to subsequent eligible appointments at the University of California. See Article 23 of the Contract. 

    Postdoctoral Scholars do not accrue vacation but are eligible for 24 days of paid personal time-off per one-year appointment period. These days do not carry over upon reappointment nor require payout when the appointment ends. See Article 17 of the Contract.

  • Department Resources
    Appointment Letters and Forms 

    All Postdoctoral Scholars MUST have an appointment letter with a copy of the  2020 benefit contribution rates table attached to the letter and a completed Graduate Division Postdoctoral Scholar Form.  Copies of both must be filed in the Graduate Division once the Postdoctoral Scholar has signed. College Deans must approve before the letter is sent and the appointment is made. 

    All Postdoctoral Scholars MUST have a reappointment letter   with the 2020 benefit contribution rates table attached to the letter. A Progress Assessment must be done annually. This is an evaluation of the Postdoctoral Scholar's progress and accomplishment in research and professional development.  Sample Postdoc Performance Appraisal Form