Learn more about University of Pittsburgh postdoctoral classifications.
Postdocs are compensated for 20 days total for vacation, sick, and personal time per contract year. These days are in addition to University holidays and Winter Recess, for which postdocs are also eligible.
PDA/PDSs are eligible for paid parental leave in conjunction with the birth or adoption of a PDA/PDS’s child.
Birth Mothers: Parental leave provides the birth mother with either 6 weeks of paid parental leave for a non-surgical delivery or 8 weeks of paid parental leave for a surgical delivery (cesarean section). If employed for one or more years, the birth mother’s, parental leave will be used in concert with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). A parental leave in conjunction with FMLA coverage is recorded on the PDF/PDSs Employee Record. See FLMA policies below.
PDA/PDS birth mothers are eligible for parental leave regardless of their eligibility for FMLA. In cases where the PDA/PDS has been employed less than one year, the birth mother’s leave is managed within the department without a change to the PDA/PDSs Employee Record.
Non-birthing Parents: Parental leave provides 4 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a PDA/PDS’s child for the non-birthing parent. This nonmedical-related leave is managed within the department without a change to the PDA/PDSs Employee Record.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
PDA/PDSs have 20 compensated days to use for vacation, personal, or sick time. Once these benefits are exhausted, PDA/PDSs who have been employed for at least one year are eligible for a health-related leave under FMLA policies.
FMLA is a federal law that provides up to 12 weeks (60 working days) of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees of the University of Pittsburgh. In order to qualify, you must have been employed by the University of Pittsburgh for at least 12 months, and you must have worked at least 1,250 hours for the University of Pittsburgh in the past 12 months.
Why should I apply for FMLA?
FMLA leave is meant to protect you and your job. University policy requires that you file an FMLA claim if you have missed more than three consecutive work days. If you are normally off on a weekend and you are absent from work Thursday, Friday, and Monday, you must file an FMLA claim on Tuesday if you are still off from work.
How do I apply for FMLA?
- Contact your department administrator1,2 to inform them of your intent to take a medical leave.
- Contact MetLife at 1-888-777-7418 approximately 30 days prior to the start of the medical leave or as soon as you know of your need for leave.
- Request a Total Absence Management (TAM) claim (not a short-term disability claim).
- MetLife will send you a packet of information and forms that you must review.
- You and your attending physician complete the forms, which must be returned directly to MetLife.
What should I do if I do not meet the eligibility criteria for FMLA?
You may request an unpaid leave of absence through your department.
How does FMLA apply to a birth mother’s parental leave?
- If employed for one or more years, birth mothers should follow FMLA instructions to request their parental leave.
- If employed for less than one year, birth mothers are not eligible for FMLA; however, they are still eligible for Parental Leave.
What happens to my benefits and other deductions while I am on FMLA?
Depending on the length of time you will be on an unpaid status, you will either be directly billed for the cost of your health and welfare benefits by the Benefits Department, or the cost of the insurance will be deducted from your paycheck upon your return to work. It is your responsibility to ensure your premiums are paid.
Please contact the Benefits Department if you are currently using or planning to use education benefits while on FMLA to ensure proper application of the benefit.
What is required when I return to work?
You must contact your department to inform them of your return to work date. The end date of your leave must be the same date your FMLA claim is approved through. You must also provide your department administrator with a fitness for duty (return to work slip) from your attending physician.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
1For a list of department administrators within the Schools of the Health Sciences, please click here.
2For postdocs outside of the health sciences, please contact the office of your department chair.
Student Loan Deferments
Most financial institutions will defer student loan payments upon verification of the length of your postdoctoral training.
- Contact your lending institution and request a student loan deferment form.
- Postdocs within the Health Sciences should complete this forms and email to email@example.com. For postdocs outside of the health sciences, please contact the office of your department chair.
- Your status will be verified based upon the length of your postdoctoral contract, the form will be signed by an institutional representative, and it will be returned to you.
- You are responsible for submitting the signed deferment request form to your lending institution.
- If you are reappointed, or if you transfer to another postdoc position, a new student loan deferral form is required.
If you are employed by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
- PSLF forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
- Postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh meets qualifying employer criteria.
- Complete the Employment Certification Form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request that an institution representative verify your employment/training.
The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers.
- The LRPs counteract that financial pressure by repaying up to $50,000 annually of a researcher's qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research.
- Eligibility requirements for applicants include:
- U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident;
- Doctoral-level degree (except the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP);
- Domestic, non-profit research funding (Extramural) or NIH employment (Intramural); and
- Qualified research for an average of at least 20 hours per week during each quarterly (13 weeks) service period of the award
- Forms for institutional verification are provided after creating an account through the LRP application system
- Postdocs within the Health Sciences should complete these forms and email to email@example.com. For postdocs outside of the health sciences, please contact the office of your department chair.