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Institutional Policy Database and Report
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Institutional Policy Report (2017)

Supporting the Needs of Postdocs: 2017 National Postdoctoral Association Institutional Policy Report from the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) in collaboration with Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society seeks to improve the postdoc experience. It is published as a supplement to the January–February 2018 issue of Sigma Xi’s magazine, American Scientist, and is also posted online at the Sigma Xi website.

The report summarizes the results from a 2016 survey of 130 institutions that hire postdocs and hold NPA membership. The key recommendations are that institutions that hire postdocs should increase the staff and budget for their offices that handle postdoc affairs, provide higher compensation and equality in benefits, increase parental leave policies and family-friendly benefits, and implement more tracking of postdocs after they leave an institution. 


A heartfelt thank you to our NPA Institutional Members who take the time to complete the 2016 NPA Institutional Policy Survey. Without your commitment this project would not be possible! 

In addition to Sigma Xi, the report also received support from The Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Elsevier.


Institutional Policy Database

The NPA Institutional Policy Database is a source for current postdoc policies and practices at U.S. research institutions. The NPA Institutional Policy Survey is conducted every three years to institutional sustaining members of the NPA.

To view the basic aggregate reports for the 2016 and 2013 data sets go to: 
2016 NPA Institutional Policy Survey Aggregate Results
2013 NPA Institutional Policy Survey Aggregate Results

Custom reports are available for institutions to compare themselves with their peer institutions using the institutional policy survey data. Please email Kryste Ferguson at for further information.


Institutional Policy Report (2014)

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is pleased to announce the release of the National Postdoctoral Association Institutional Policy Report 2014: Supporting and Developing Postdoctoral Scholars.  


We believe that this data is critical for postdoc offices to assess the needs of the postdoctoral community in the areas of postdoc stipend levels, insurance benefits, appointment policies, collection of outcomes data, access to training programs, and retirement benefits. Our postdoc offices have grown considerably from less than 25 postdoc offices when the NPA began in 2003 to 167 Institutional Members in 2013. 

In the Institutional Policy Report, we have national data on postdoctoral office structure in particular their reporting structure, who funds the office, their operating budgets, as well as training and benefits information. We intend to gather data longitudinally and will ask you to update your survey responses on an annual basis. This will allow us to use the 2014 data as a baseline for future comparisons. 

We thank our Institutional Members for their membership in the NPA, and their contribution to the Institutional Policy Report. Your involvement in this project has enabled this important document to come to fruition. We are indebted to you for taking the time to fill out the Institutional Policy Survey.

Our vision is that this data will inform policy makers, institutions, and postdoc offices about the significant needs of our postdoctoral scholars. We believe the data on the stipend levels, insurance benefits, appointment policies, collection of outcomes data, and more will enable postdoc offices to advocate for better programs and services, and identify best practices.

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