Postdocs receive an annual stipend of $70,000, plus a $5,000 stipend supplement to off-set the cost of health insurance. Depending on location of the research facility, the Postdoc may receive a locality supplement of up to $4,000 based on the most recent OPM Locality Pay Tables.
Stipend payments are issued on the last business day of each month.
If the Postdoc’s appointment begins after the first day of the month or terminates before the final day of the month, the stipend award and insurance supplement for that month will be prorated based on the number of days of participation in that month.
Postdocs must sign up for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), i.e., direct deposit, for payments. The EFT Application form is included in the appointment packet. Payments will be electronically deposited to one account only. EFT requires the participant to have a U.S. bank account; we cannot transfer funds to foreign institutions.
Health Insurance Deduction
If the participant enrolls in the ORAU health insurance plan, he/she can expect to have the premium deducted from the stipend each month.
Other Sources of Income
Because the educational benefits of the appointment are the primary focus of the program, Postdocs are not allowed to supplement their stipends through simultaneous employment, grants, or other sources of income that compete with the Fellowship activities. The Program requires that the Postdoc to be fully involved in the research opportunity addressed in the original proposal. During the appointment, the Postdoc may not provide services for compensation to a third party.
Taxability of Stipends
This section is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal or tax advice, or a definitive interpretation of the law.
All stipend payments are paid by ORAU directly to the Postdoc and are considered taxable by the U.S. federal government and should be reported annually.
Awards paid to Postdocs will be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by ORAU as Miscellaneous Income-Prizes and Awards, as defined in IRS Code Section 74. To be consistent with ORAU reporting, all payments by ORAU should be reported on the Federal income tax return, Form 1040, as “Other Income” and be identified as a “Fellowship Award.” For further instructions on how to report this amount on the federal tax return, refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, which can be downloaded from www.irs.gov/formspubs or request at 1-800-829-3676.
Since Postdocs are not employees and they receive awards (not wages), ORAU does not withhold state or Federal taxes, Social Security, worker’s compensation, or Medicare taxes from award payments. Postdocs are not self-employed, and therefore do not pay self-employment taxes. ORAU also does not withhold state income tax for any Postdoc.
Postdocs should consider filing Form 1040-ES on a quarterly basis and paying estimated Federal income taxes; this action will help avoid being out of compliance with Federal regulations about the timeliness of tax payments.
To assist with tax preparation, Postdocs will receive an annual Statement of Payments letter from ORAU. The Statement of Payments will specify the total amount of payments made to the Postdoc by ORAU during the previous calendar year.
Please Note: The insurance supplement is part of the Fellowship award and, therefore, is taxable. Travel and relocation expense reimbursements, however, are not taxable and therefore are not reported to the IRS by ORAU.
For more information on state tax liabilities and how to file federal tax forms, Postdocs must contact a licensed tax professional in their jurisdiction. We recommend that Postdocs provide to the tax preparer a copy of their most recent Terms of Appointment.