Services and Benefits

Postdoctoral Fellows in the Whiting School are eligible for the following benefits (see below). Note that while most benefits are subsidized either in full or part for the postdoctoral fellow, there may be additional costs associated for the individual postdoctoral fellow and/or for any eligible dependents. These additional costs are usually the responsibility of the postdoctoral fellow. Please read each section and enrollment process carefully.

If you have any questions, please ask your program administrator or contact [email protected]. Office hours for Postdoc Benefits questions are held every Tuesday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm on the 5th floor of the Wyman Park Building (HR Suite). Other times (if required) can be scheduled by appointment only.

Health Insurance

All Whiting School postdoctoral fellows are eligible to use the Student Health and Wellness Center on the Homewood Campus. In order to do so, postdoctoral fellows are required to maintain adequate health insurance coverage to provide protection against unexpected accidents and illnesses, and will need to comply with all pre-entrance health requirements of the Student Health and Wellness Center.

Postdoctoral fellows are enrolled in individual coverage administered by the Student Health Plan (SHP), free of charge. Postdoctoral Fellows may not waive their individual coverage. If a postdoctoral fellow wishes to purchase additional coverage or waive coverage for family members, this must be done at his/her own expense, or with the financial assistance of their faculty advisor using non-sponsored sources.

Anyone with specific coverage concerns is encouraged to contact SHP/EHP directly at EHP customer services: 410-424-4450. Please contact [email protected] if you need your ID number sooner than when your card arrives in the mail (it takes about 3 weeks).

Enrollment Process

Postdoctoral fellows must submit completed enrollment or waiver forms to the WSE Office of Human Resources (form has complete contact information). A brief chart summary of benefits can be found above. Note that Homewood postdoctoral fellows do not have to pay the UHS fee.

Dental Insurance

Whiting School postdoctoral fellows are eligible for annual individual coverage in the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield dental insurance plan. There is no cost to the postdoctoral fellow for this insurance and new postdoctoral fellows are automatically enrolled.

This plan cannot be extended to spouses/same-sex domestic partners/dependents.

Enrollment Process

New postdoctoral fellows are automatically enrolled.

Long Term Disability and Life Insurance

Postdoctoral fellows are eligible for Long Term Disability and Life Insurance coverage.

Long Term Disability

JHU provides Long Term Disability Insurance at no cost to Postdoctoral Fellows:

Life Insurance

JHU provides a life insurance policy for the period of your fellowship appointment at no cost to you:

Services for Postdoctoral Fellows with Disabilities

Postdoctoral fellows with a disability who may need accommodations at Johns Hopkins University are urged to contact the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) and read this policy.

Accommodations Process

Please review the ADA Compliance and Disability Accommodations section of the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).

Short-Term Disability Insurance

Whiting School postdoctoral fellows will be automatically enrolled for short-term disability insurance provided by The Hartford. To activate this benefit, postdocs should contact their local departmental administrator or appropriate HR representative immediately; and contact The Hartford at 800-303-9744.

Enrollment Process

New postdoctoral fellows are automatically enrolled.

Access to O’Connor Athletic Center

Whiting School postdoctoral fellows are eligible to join the O’Connor Recreation Center and can gain entry by presenting their J-Card (Hopkins photo ID card) to the front desk. (Note: if the J-Card does not say “Postdoc”, it must be replaced and updated at the J-Card Office.)

Enrollment Process

Postdoctoral fellows are automatically eligible as long as they have an active JHU JHED ID; but must fill out a registration form in order to activate their membership. Forms for payment and registration must be done in-person at the Recreation Center Office during business hours. Membership fees can be paid through either a check or payroll deduction.

Travel Insurance

Any postdoctoral fellow going to another country for Johns Hopkins University business purposes is automatically eligible for ISOS travel insurance and the Johns Hopkins Travel Registry.

Enrollment Process

Postdoctoral fellows are automatically eligible as long as they have an active JHU JHED ID.

Employment and Tax Information

Fellows must check in with their departmental administrators upon arrival to have their electronic I-9 (Employment Authorization) completed along with forms W4 and MW507 for submission to the University Experiential Learning. Anyone with a valid SSN may fill in Section 1 of the I-9 online and must go to SES with their documentation to have there I-9 approved within the first three days of employment.

Anyone who does not have a SSN must have an authorized University representative at SES complete the I-9 on their behalf. Non-resident aliens need to complete the JHU Foreign National Information Form (FNIF) while US Permanent Residents are not required to complete the form. The FNIF is used by the JHU Tax Office to ensure that earnings are taxed appropriately and must be furnished to the JHU Tax Office upon arrival. A copy of the form also needs to be supplied to the departmental administrator for the purposes of making sure payroll is entered properly into the JHU payroll system.

Departments are responsible for submitting hours and pay rate information to Student Employment. Neither the department nor the Student Employment Office can answer any tax or tax withholding questions.

Payroll Process

Payroll for postdoctoral fellows is handled through the University Experiential Learning. Federal regulations prohibit the Student Employment Office from entering non-US Citizens into the payroll system before a person’s physical arrival on campus. Due to the length of time necessary to process payroll, it can take a few weeks before payroll disbursement becomes normal.

Tax Obligations for Graduate Students

Postdoctoral fellows are subject to specific tax filing guidelines by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and may also be subject to filing state taxes. As a guide through this process the IRS provides Publication 970, which spells out all tax obligations for students.

U.S. Citizens

At Johns Hopkins University, graduate students are supported by sources classified as “fellowships” or “wages.” Both “fellowships” and “wages” are subject to federal and state tax, but the University withholds funds only for “wages.” Graduate Students must pay quarterly estimated taxes if they receive funds as “fellowships.”

Funds provided to cover tuition and required fees and/or educational expenses are non-taxable for full- time students and need not be reported. This category includes student health insurance fees – a requirement of enrollment.

Nonresident Aliens

International students also receive financial support from the sources listed above. As such, these funds are taxable at the federal level unless the student’s country of origin has established an appropriate tax treaty with the U.S. government. Countries with tax treaties are tabulated at Typically, such countries provide tax exemptions for educational expenses for a period of 2-7 years. The specific benefits provided to students and trainees are documented at the website listed above. (At times, these tax treaties are honored at the state level, but not in Maryland.)

If a graduate student wishes to claim a treaty benefit he or she should visit the University Tax Office.

Fellowships & Wages

Fellowships, including:

  • Training grants
  • Individual NRSA fellowships
  • External fellowships (NSF, Ford, Samsung, Merck, etc.)
  • Departmental funds (usually first-year students only)

Wages, including:

  • Research grants or contracts from the NIH or other organizations
  • Departmental funds (second-year students and beyond)
  • Teaching assistantships

Other Educational Income

Graduate students may earn additional income from tutoring, leading small group discussions, or other activities, including the one-time ‘bonus’ provided to those earning external fellowships. This income is taxable according to the guidelines given above. For international graduate students, tax treaties (if present) may limit the dollar amount of non-taxable additional income, but the limit is generally above the amounts earned by students on this campus.

Life Design Lab

The Life Design Lab offers comprehensive confidential services to postdoctoral fellows. Services include: resume, CV, and cover letter critiques; assistance with interviewing, networking and searching for a job; career counseling for exploration of values, interests, and skills; workshops, employer information sessions, and a career resource library. Postdoctoral fellows have access to all of these services through Handshake, the Life Design Lab’s job-search database. Handshake has information on upcoming career fairs, on-campus recruiting, and can contact a life design educator.

Office of International Students and Scholars (OIS)

The Office of International Services supports international students, scholars, postdoctoral fellows and faculty associated with the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University. Through a variety of services and programs, OIS staff members work to ensure that the legal, cultural, and other special needs of our international communities are met so that these individuals can achieve their academic and personal goals. Postdoctoral fellows are responsible for maintaining valid visa status while employed at Johns Hopkins University, and are encouraged to communicate and meet with OIS representatives throughout their tenure to confirm compliance.

Campus Events

From movies to seminars to sports events to dance classes, there is always something going on at Homewood. Make sure you are on the list for Today’s Announcements and double check the calendar daily. Most activities are free and open to all.

Intramural Sports

Participants must be current Homewood and Peabody students, postdocs, faculty, staff, or Hopkins affiliate with a valid membership to the O’Connor Recreation Center and must show proper identification in order to participate. Participation may incur a fee/costs.

Spectator Sports

Johns Hopkins has over 20 competitive athletic men’s and women’s teams, ranging from fencing to lacrosse. Many games/matches are available and free to watch. Postdoctoral fellows can visit the Hopkins Sports website for the game/match schedules and for contact information for tickets. In addition, Baltimore is home to the Orioles and Ravens.

University Publications

There are a number of university-wide and divisional-specific publications. Postdoctoral fellows can visit the Johns Hopkins News Network website for a full listing of available publications.