Postdocs as Teaching Fellows

Effort and Compensation Guidance for Postdocs Serving as Teaching Fellows

Teaching Fellow (TF) positions in FAS departments are expected to be filled by Yale Graduate Students in their teaching years and who have not yet met their teaching requirement. Such students have priority for TF openings. Should additional TF slots be available, graduate students who have already fulfilled their teaching requirement have the next order of priority and may also serve as TFs, followed by students in the professional schools.

Occasionally, the needed number of TFs exceeds the number of qualified students available to teach. In such cases, it may be permissible for postdoctoral researchers to perform the same duties to bridge this gap and provide sufficient teaching resources allowing a department’s courses to proceed. Permission of the cognizant dean or provost is required to allow postdocs to teach in a given semester.

Any postdoctoral appointee who is proposed to teach must meet the criteria outlined at

Postdocs who fill a teaching need due to a shortage of graduate student TFs commit the same level of effort and receive the same level of compensation as the graduate TFs. Based on the required 15 weeks of effort to serve as a TF for a semester, and the standard number of hours required for each TF designation, the following standard estimate of teaching effort (and accompanying salary) spread over four months has been determined for postdocs who serve in these TF-equivalent positions:

TF Level



TF10 (up to 10 hrs/week)



TF20 (up to 20 hrs/week)



Postdoctoral Associates must reduce the effort on their other activities accordingly from September-December for teaching in a Fall Semester course, and January-April for a Spring Semester course, with the teaching compensation paid over those intervals. Note: compensation and effort for the special introductory biology modules is handled differently. Please see Appendix A for specific instructions regarding those appointments.

Postdoctoral Associates serving in TF-equivalent positions will be paid using two different salary rates during the period in which they teach. The teaching compensation is based on the current TF salary rate (as indicated above) and corresponding effort, spread over four months. The remaining effort during that period will be paid at the postdoc’s usual Institutional Base Salary rate from the current source(s) of support in proportion to actual effort on those awards.

PLEASE NOTE: When a postdoctoral associate reduces effort on the primary source of funding and is paid at a different rate of pay for teaching, the following statement must be entered into the Note Box of the effort report for the effort reporting period in which the postdoctoral associate taught:

“Teaching is considered a separate position and is at a different rate of pay than the other activities indicated by this effort report. Therefore, the dollars charged to the teaching account do not necessarily correspond to the % of effort (approximately XX%) devoted to the teaching activity. At no time were sponsored funds used to fund teaching or other effort not consistent with the intent of those awards.”

Appendix A - Introductory Biology Modules

For postdocs teaching half-semester introductory biology modules, the half semester effort is equivalent to a full semester at the designated TF level (e.g., one TF10 module would represent two months of effort at 20 hours per week, rather than four months at 10 hours per week).