Postdoc Benefits

GW values the contributions that postdocs make to further the university’s research mission. Just as you are committed to advancing your research and scholarship, it is also important to take time to focus on your health and well-being goals.

The university offers a Postdoc Benefit Program*, to both postdoc associates and scholars, including health and welfare benefits, well-being programs, as well as optional voluntary benefits. You will be required to make active enrollment decisions among the health and welfare benefit offerings in order to have coverage in 2024, as current benefit elections will not automatically rollover. 

*Important Note: Additional benefits may be available based on your Associate or Scholar classification. See below.


A GW postdoc is grouped into one of the following classifications, depending on the nature of their association with the university and form of financial support:

  • Postdoctoral Associates
    • Postdoctoral Associate is the title given to a postdoc who receives financial support in the form of a salary, paid by GW payroll, that is typically funded by grants, contracts or departmental funds secured by a faculty mentor. In these cases the source of funding does not restrict direct payment/employment from the university.
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Postdoctoral Scholar is the title given to a postdoc who receives financial support in the form of a fellowship or stipend, paid by GW via accounts payable, on behalf of an external sponsor. In many such cases, due to the requirements of the funding source, scholars cannot be considered GW employees, but they are fully associated with the university and the postdoctoral community.  

For questions regarding your classification, please contact [email protected].

Your Benefits

While we strive to maintain consistency in benefits for both associates and scholars, the pay mechanism (i.e. whether paid from payroll or accounts payable) does create some differences in the offerings. Please review the information below for benefit plan details:

Benefits Programs Available to all Postdoc Associates and Scholars

Health and Welfare Benefits

Voluntary Benefits

Well-Being and Work-Life programs

Retirement Savings Counseling

Discounted Parking Services

Time Off Programs Available to all Postdoc Associates and Scholars

The following annual time policy will apply based on a postdoc’s start date and months of service. In addition, postdocs will accrue 12 days of sick time per fiscal year. Use of time off must be approved by the faculty mentor.

Annual Time Policy Effective January 1, 2022

  • For Postdocs with a start date prior to 1/1/22:
GW Service Time Maximum Annual Accrual Per Fiscal Year
0-48 Months 18 Days (144 hours)
49+ Months 21 Days (168 hours)

Postdocs with a start date of 1/1/22 and after:

  • Postdoc scholars and associates will accrue a maximum of 18 days (144 hours) per fiscal year regardless of GW service time.


Pandemic Time

The university’s time off policy was enhanced in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency by adding a temporary paid time off option, Pandemic Time (PND), to the accrual balances of eligible postdocs. Beginning May 12, 2023, postdocs will no longer be provided new balances, however, any remaining balances will still be available to those that were hired and who begin work on or before May 11, 2023. We encourage you to review the  PND FAQs (PDF) to review these situations, the definition of “family member” and how to request PND time in PlanMyLeave.

Postdoc Time Off and Leave Guide

The Postdocs Time Off and Leave Guide (PDF) provides details on paid time off and leave of absence programs, including eligibility, accrual rates, manager tips and more.

Please note that personal leave is managed at the department level. Postdocs must complete the personal leave request form (PDF) as far in advance of the intended leave as possible.

For questions about your time off and leave benefits, please contact the Postdoc Support Office at [email protected].

Benefits available to Postdoc Associates

Retirement Savings

  • The 403(b) for postdoc associate contributions
  • The 401(a) for university base and match contributions

Pre-Tax Transportation

Tuition Programs


Retirement Savings

  • The 403(b) for postdoc associate contributions.
  • The 401(a) for university base and match contributions.

Tuition Programs

Pre-Tax Transportation

Benefits Guide and Resources

GW has partnered with Gallagher Benefits as support to the administration and customer care for the Postdoctoral Benefit Program.

Please take some time to review the Gallagher Postdoc website at to review summaries of benefit coverage, contribution rates, and other benefits info including FAQs. You can also view the 2024 Benefits guide and open enrollment information here.

We’re Here to Help

GW has partnered with Gallagher Benefits as additional support to the administration and customer care for the Postdoctoral Benefit program, which offers competitive health and welfare, well-being and voluntary benefit programs. 

  • Contact Gallagher Benefit Services at (800) 261-7109 to assist with any postdoc benefit eligibility or health and welfare benefit plan coverage questions.  
  • GW Benefits is available M-F from 8:30 a.m.—5 p.m. ET to assist with postdoc benefit program questions including retirement and well-being offerings. Email: [email protected] Phone: (571) 553-8382.
  • Contact the Benefits Call Center at 833-698-0324 for assistance with any enrollment system questions.