Whitehead Institute Postdoctoral Association


The Postdoctoral Association consists of postdoctoral scholars and members of the administration and faculty who have a special interest in issues that are important to Whitehead Institute postdocs and wish to work together on those issues. We are currently focusing on career development, postdoc mentoring, communications, and social events. Our past achievements include the establishment of higher salary levels and equalized benefits for postdoctoral associates and fellows, and the implementation of childcare benefits for Whitehead employees.

Role of the Postdoc Association

•            Advocate for the good of the WI postdoc community.

•            Provide a forum for discussion of postdoc concerns.

•            Foster community within and communication for WI postdocs.

•            Educate postdocs about topics relevant to their current positions.

•            We look forward to your input to the community!

The postdoctoral staff at Whitehead is made up of Postdoctoral Fellows and Postdoctoral Associates. Both Fellows and Associates are designated as academic appointments. Postdoctoral appointments are designed to be for a period of three to five years, providing that an appropriate match between the Postdoc and the lab is maintained and funding is available. The purpose of a postdoctoral appointment is to enable the Postdoc to develop as an independent researcher while contributing to the advancement of the principle investigator’s research. Appointments may be part-time.

Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellows receive stipends from government funding agencies such as NIH and private funding agencies such as the American Cancer Society. Receiving a Fellowship Award is a mark of distinction and an important career step for new researchers.

Some Postdoc Fellows receive their stipends directly from the funding agency. Other stipends are disbursed by the Institute on behalf of the agency. In either case, fellowship stipends are not characterized as compensation for services and, therefore, Postdoc Fellows are not employees of the Institute and are appointed as affiliates. The Institute may supplement stipends to bring them to certain minimum levels. The supplement does not change the characterization of the appointment.

Postdoc Fellows are generally full-time and are appointed for a one-year term, renewable annually in accordance with the terms of their fellowship awards. The terms and conditions of fellowships are dictated by the funding agencies and thus vary widely.

Postdoctoral Associates

Postdoctoral Associates are paid by the Institute. Most Associates are full-time. They are appointed for a one-year term, renewable annually.

Associates are encouraged to apply for fellowships to advance their careers and secure outside funding for their research projects.