Information for Postdoctoral Fellows

The following information is provided as a general resource for postdoctoral fellows in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. This is meant to serve as an introduction, however, more detailed information and answers to specific questions can be obtained through the Department Business Office.

Professional Resources

Other Training Programs
A central mission of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology is the training of the next generation of scientists. Post-doctoral fellows at Duke may be supported via several interdepartmental training programs in addition to their post-doctoral appointment, including:

Tri-Institutional Molecular Mycology Pathogenesis Training Program (Tri-I MMPTP)

Duke Scholars in Molecular Medicine Program (DSMM)

Virology Training Program


Funding Opportunities
This section describes various sources of available internal and external funding for post-doctoral fellows in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.

MGM Distinguished Fellows Travel Awards
The Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology will award travel grants of $1000 each to support postdoctoral fellows associated with primary or secondary MGM faculty to attend national and international scientific meetings. These travel grants will be awarded on the basis of the scientific quality of the submitted abstracts. More . . .

Mitchell Meritorious Research Travel Awards
The Duke University Center for Host-Microbial Interactions (CHoMI) will award travel grants, worth $1000 each, to support students or post-doctoral fellows to attend national and international scientific meetings. Travel grants will be awarded on the basis of the scientific quality of the submitted abstracts.
More. . .


Duke Postdoctoral Association
Established in 2002, the Duke University Postdoctoral Association (DUPA) works to address the needs and concerns of Duke postdocs, including professional development, social interaction, and advocacy. The Association sponsors workshops, symposia, and various other activities to enhance the post-doctoral experience at Duke.


Additional Resources

The Department maintains a listing of various apartment rentals and other housing options that are in Durham and Chapel Hill.

Duke’s parking and transportation system provides faculty, students, post-doctoral fellows, and employees with a variety of options that balance price and convenience. With a robust alternative transportation program, reliable on-campus transportation services, an appropriate mix of on-campus student and employee parking, and off-campus park and ride lots, there is a transportation option for most every need.Please visit the Duke Parking and Transportation web site for further information.

Social Security
International scholars often have questions regarding obtaining a social security card. Please visit the Social Security Administration web site for further information.

Visa Information
The Immigration and Naturalization Service web site contains Visa information for temporary/exchange visitors. For assistance with visa issues and applications, please contactJason Howard.

Health Insurance and Benefits
Duke’s overall benefit plan has long been recognized and valued because of its comprehensiveness and competitiveness in the market. In addition to a wide array of traditional benefits including health care and dental care, Duke also offers a wide range of family-friendly and cultural benefits to attract, support and reward the skilled employees that help Duke remain a premier education, research and health care institution. Please visit Duke Human Resources for health insurance and benefits information.

Tax Information
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), income received from a postdoctoral appointment is considered taxable income.

US citizens and permanent residents with a Postdoctoral Fellow appointment DO NOT have federal tax withheld from their stipends. Postdoctoral Fellows who do not have significant withholding being taken from another income source must make estimated quarterly tax payments, as needed, directly to the IRS. Please obtain the IRS’ estimated tax forms in order to assess whether or not you will need to make estimated quarterly tax payments. These forms are available online from the IRS website (PDF) or in Headquarters 68-132.

Nonresidents of the United States will have federal taxes withheld from their stipend awards at a flat rate of 14%. However, if one’s home country has an applicable fellowship tax treaty, s/he should complete the tax treaty forms which, when returned to the Payroll Office (E19-510), may reduce or eliminate federal tax withholding from the stipend. Scholars should refer to the tax laws of their country of citizenship, as they may owe tax in that country. Please contact the Payroll Office (684-2642) for more information on tax treaties.

To avoid penalty charges, taxes on this income must be paid in quarterly installments using Estimated Income Tax Vouchers for Individuals (From 1-ES PDF from the IRS Website).

When to pay estimated tax: For estimated tax purposes, the year is divided into four payment periods.

The Payment due dates are April 15, June 15, September, 15 and January 15.

If you have income subject to estimated tax during the first payment period, you must make your first payment by the due date for the first payment period. You can pay all of your estimated tax at that time, or you can pay it in four installments.

If any of the due dates fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the due date is the following business day.

For more information, please contact the IRS webpage.

Also helpful is the W-4 worksheet online calculator (IRS Website) to help you determine your number of exemptions.

Non-resident aliens may wish to look at the IRS “Frequently asked questions of non-residents aliens.”