ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips to Negotiate Postdoctoral Salary

Updated on March 21, 2013

During a postdoctoral interview, one of the tough questions asked is: What is your desired salary? It is obvious to feel nervous to answer this question. Many universities have established funding (salary and /or stipend) levels, and it is determined based on a number of years of experience. However, you must have heard or experienced that this rule is not strictly followed by all hiring principal investigators. The employer has the right to decide the salary for the postdoc, especially when you are employed to work for a government-funded research projects such as NIH.

Postdoctoral position is considered as higher level of training of any specialty. This training prepares you to become independent investigators. After completing three-four years of training you will be appointed at the level of Assistant Professor. However, all postdoctoral fellows are not lucky to become full-time faculty members. Many of them continue as Research Associates or as Senior Postdoctoral Fellows. Usually, the salary for postdoctoral appointees ranges $35k to $70k, and senior fellows are highly compensated. Several aspects of a candidate are considered before deciding the salary. Therefore, there is a chance to negotiate your salary. This hub gives you some useful tips to prepare for salary negotiation.

When to negotiate for the desired salary?

It is bit challenging to negotiate for high salary when you apply for your first postdoctoral position. Many labs hire fresh postdocs to train them to work for their on-going projects. However, once you’ve proven yourself well qualified you should start thinking about this tough question. As a postdoc, proven refers to have good publication record and expertise in laboratory techniques. For instance, a laboratory advertises for a postdoc position in molecular biology. You can think about selling yourself if you have two-three good publications and strong proficiency in molecular biology techniques.

How to prepare for negotiation?

Before facing telephone or face-to-face interviews, do some researches on your future Principal Investigator’s lab work. For example, you may have the publication in Nature or Science, but your future supervisor may not be having. You might have developed expertise in some techniques, but those techniques are not part of that lab. This type of information will give you a clue that your experience is very much desirable for the lab you are applying for. Likewise, collecting such evidence will provide you a better chance for salary negotiation.

How to answer this tough question?

Although you may have good publication and expertise in the field, but if you don’t provide the strongest answer, you may miss of getting paid high. So, prepare your answer before facing the interview. For instance, first, you can highlight your accomplishments in the field. I have three years of experience in the field and hands-on expertise in several techniques. I can bring all my previous expertise to contribute to your project and also can train others in your lab. Then you can ask the interviewer: Could you share with me the range that you have budgeted for such an experienced position?

Likewise, construct your own answer. Avoid giving weak answers such as, my current salary is $45,000/annum, and I am expecting more than that. By giving the number is that you are taking a chance. This salary range can be too high for this position or perhaps too low. Additionally, try not to give passive answers. For example, I am very much interested in this project and like to work in your lab. I am not much fascinated in making money and offer me with a fair salary which goes with my experience and qualification. Later, you don’t have to be disappointed when you realize that a technician in the same lab is earning more than you.

Love Research and Earn More!

Scroll down to vote if this hub has served you with some information

Good Luck.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)