Benefits for Postdoctoral Scholars

The University of Texas Medical Branch Human Resources Office (HR) is the source for information on all university benefits information.

For a complete list of benefits, please link to the HR Benefits Page


Medical Insurance

Health insurance is required of all postdocs. Single person coverage, with a spouse or family option, is available as an employee benefit. When they are hired, new employees complete their enrollment information during the New Employee Orientation. If you choose to waive health insurance coverage through the university, you must certify you have at least comparable medical coverage.

Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is offered as a benefit, but it is not required. Individual employee coverage, with a spouse or family option, is available.

Compensated Vacation Leave

Postdoctoral fellows, as full-time employees, accrue 12 days of vacation (8 hours per month) annually during their first two years at UTMB. After that time, the accrual rate increases, depending upon longevity. New employees are on probation for their first six months, and may not use accrued vacation during that time. Upon termination of employment, you will be paid for unused vacation time.

See the UTMB Policies and Procedures for details.


The State of Texas schedules 15 official paid holidays for state employees each year. As a state institution, UTMB employees earn the same benefits. Holidays usually include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Winter Holidays (between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day).

Leave of Absence

Disability/Sick Leave

The accrual rate for disability/sick leave is 8 hours per month, and does not increase with longevity.

Maternity Leave

Because of the U.S. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if postdoctoral fellows have worked at UTMB for 12 months or more, their positions must be saved for twelve (12) weeks click here for details. For maternity/family leave, postdocs must use paid vacation leave and disability leave before taking unpaid leave, up to 12 weeks.

Postdocs should provide a written request to the mentor at least thirty (30) days before anticipated start of leave or as soon as possible under unforeseen circumstances. A statement from the health care provider is required for birth and care of a newborn child and appropriate court documents are required for foster care placement or adoption of a child. Departmental business administrators can provide the necessary forms to complete. Family Medical Leave Act time off is permitted for care of a spouse, domestic partner, child or parent with a serious health condition.

During unpaid leave, postdocs may continue health and other insurance participation but must make arrangements to directly pay their share of the contributions; retirement contributions cannot be made.

Retirement Benefits

New employees automatically become members of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) after 4½ months. Members contribute a monthly amount proportional to their salaries, taken from paychecks. UTMB also makes a monthly contribution on their behalf. Should a postdoc leave UTMB before becoming vested (five years of service) or eligible for retirement, all of the deposits, plus any interest earned, will be returned at his/her request.

UTMB also provides two additional ways to save for retirement: a tax-sheltered annuity program and a deferred compensation program. Employees may enroll in these programs at any time during their employment. A benefits representative can answer any retirement program questions at