What does a Postdoctoral Fellow do?

Research fellows perform academic research at an educational institution, often while working towards earning an advanced degree. Their work is usually supported for a specified period of time by a grant, endowment, or other dedicated source of funding. They are often researching innovative and cutting-edge technologies or concepts, or investigating complex challenges where the findings could have significant consequences.

Research fellows typically have a doctorate degree in their technical field of expertise, although some institutions also have predoctoral research fellow programs. They generally have already had peer-reviewed research published in academic journals. They are often expected to pursue or compete for additional research grants. Advanced research skills are required, along with excellent writing skills. Research fellows must be detail oriented with strong project management abilities.

Work/Life Balance
3.8 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.8 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Postdoctoral Fellow Salaries

Average Base Pay

$49,783 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $50K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Postdoctoral Fellow Career Path

Learn how to become a Postdoctoral Fellow, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

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Postdoctoral Fellow Insights

Read what Postdoctoral Fellow professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
University of IdahoUniversity of Idaho
Postdoctoral Fellow
Nov. 7, 2019

“People are nice and friendly maybe just because of the university which is the only source o good employment”

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
Orise Fellow
Dec. 3, 2019

“Working on the Zika epidemic was a fantastic opportunity and I could not have asked for a better team”

Miami UniversityMiami University
Sep. 11, 2019

“never felt to overloaded with work and was given ample opportunities to help with other projects apart from my own”

Rocky Mountain PrepRocky Mountain Prep
Teaching Fellow
Dec. 10, 2020

“Almost everyone I have worked with and met have been nothing but kind and helpful.”

The Johns Hopkins UniversityThe Johns Hopkins University
Postdoctoral Fellow
Jun. 2, 2021

“The insurance offered isn't the best and is not as good as what postdocs at JHMI receive.”

Royal College of Obstetricians and GynaecologistsRoyal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Research Fellow
Nov. 9, 2021

“Some really good people who are committed to their work and work with little resources.”

University of Colorado DenverUniversity of Colorado Denver
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dec. 1, 2021

“My immediate advisor was not great but there were many others who were more than helpful”

University of BrightonUniversity of Brighton
Research Fellow
Feb. 23, 2020

“Salaries are not enough to live in this city better to go ti the north of England.”

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Postdoctoral Fellow Interviews

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Postdoctoral Fellow jobs