T O P
ac13332

Simply ask for more. The university will likely have pay bands that are public to see. You can ask for more pay within a band far easier than asking to move up a band. First step is to check your pay band out and where you are in it, likely you're at the bottom of the band so could negotiate pay within said band. Though if you've only just finished your PhD it will be trickier to negotiate this. In this situation, you can negotiate a pay progression based on agreed milestones (e.g. time, papers etc) Going up a band is unlikely as all post docs are probably in a specific band.


huh_phd

Think long and hard about it. A postdoc is no joke. Personally, I fucking hated mine and left for industry.


The_Re_Face

Thanks, I was miserable in my MSc and almost left then and there. I had a good PhD experience overall though. The perk with a post-doc I feel is I'm not locked in like you are for graduate school, with a PI being able to dangle your degree over you.


huh_phd

Except you're locked in. With your PI being able to dangle grant funding and a tenure track position over you. Spoiler: there are significantly (p < 0.001) more phds than there are tenure positions.


shorthomology

And references too!


The_Re_Face

I'd have to respectfully disagree that you're locked in as you are in grad school. But its worth noting that I'm 100% open to working in the industry, this is just research that I'm passionate about and think its worth the try.


ULenchilada

I agree with you OP. The leverage that PIs have over you in grad school is several fold what they have over you as a postdoc. I am currently a postdoc and know that I can move on to something different whenever I want.


turtle_flu

Agree. My first "mentor" in grad school nearly killed me holding the degree and funding over my head. After switching labs, forming a brand new committee, and graduating and finding a post-doc there isn't much for my current PI to hold above my head (even though I know he wouldn't). Helps that AAV gene therapy has been taking off, and virology experience is in high demand due to *gestures broadly*


[deleted]

Good luck OP. I've never met anyone successfully negotiate an academic post doc salary. Maybe it can happen!


[deleted]

I'm only familiar with the U.S. system, but your PI may not have a choice. Over here the postdoc salaries are driven by university policy and it's unusual for a professor to offer more, nor is there really any room for negotiation. That said $45000/year is a decent chunk above the U.S. NIH postdoc salary (~$42000/year Canadian converted) so my sense is you were offered a contract in line with (or even better than) typical postdoc salaries in North America. We should demand livable wages but I think academia is the wrong place if you expect generous financial compensation.


turtle_flu

Ordering 88ug of DNA that equated to more than my yearly salary as a post-doc was an experience. I literally spent more in 8hrs than I make in a year to expedite synthesis.


[deleted]

Tell me about it. I'm helping purchase equipment for a new lab and it's a effectively buying a new car here, a new car there, a new car everywhere. I'm numb to the life-changing amounts of money and it's just abstract numbers in a budgeting spreadsheet at this point. I remember as a first year graduate student spilling an $80 reagent bottle. I was freaking out and my mentor was like "what's the problem just clean it up and get another one". Insanity.


turtle_flu

After my boss told me "money is of no issue, speed is" in terms of designing fragments to make omicron, and I recently heard what our monthly budget was to spend my perspective has rapidly changed. We're talking a new house in monthly disposable income territory. I definitely went from "this would be nice to have but it's probably unnecessary" to "I desperately need this and I need it now". My current pet project is convincing my PI how much nicer life would be with an in-house DNA synthesizer which we've been waiting to get final funding on. It's just insane how the meaning of money changes so much between labs.


kinesinia

I think the typical post-doc salary is around 45K to 50K (40-45K for new post docs), at least that’s what I saw at the University of Toronto. Canadian universities just very unfortunately don’t pay grad students or post docs well at all :( But the research there is seriously amazing and Canada is just awesome!!!


flurpensmuffler

Well, your health care will be free.


[deleted]

Try living in Toronto on 45k CAD. If you have USA student loans or any debt, you will also get fucked on the conversion as the CAD is 0.78 to 1 USD.


The_Re_Face

Thankfully, I'm Canadian so my school debt is CAD and relatively low compared to some I've heard of. I still don't know how I'm going to find somewhere to live in Toronto (you guessed it) on 45k though


[deleted]

You will have roommates!


earthsea_wizard

I'd check out the average rate for postdocs in that region and perhaps reach and ask the postdoc association? I'd probably ask for accommodation options too. Good luck! I don't live in Canada but had to reject an offer due to the low salary, it is a very hard job to do while worrying about not having enough money each month.


The_Re_Face

Thanks, as far as some internet sources are concerned, it seems like I'm only 2k below the average, so being a first year post-doc I suppose it makes sense