POST building

SOEST Handbook for Postdoctoral Researchers

NOTE: This page is under development.

Post-doctoral Research Highlights

Who is a Postdoc?

In very general terms, a “postdoc” is anyone who has completed a doctorate degree (Ph.D., Sc.D.) and is continuing to carry out research in a university setting without a tenure track appointment. The term can refer to individuals who are formally employed or to individuals who receive their funds in the form of a stipend from a fellowship or traineeship, which means they are trainees rather than employees. There are significant differences in the two types of compensation, in terms of both benefits available to the postdoc and to the manner in which federal and state taxes are paid. Notably, the position titles applied to postdocs do not always clearly identify which form of appointment it is, thus it is important to clarify this prior to accepting an appointment.

In general, a “Postdoctoral Fellow” or “Postdoctoral Trainee” receives a stipend, and is not an employee. As a trainee or fellowship recipient, the compensation received is NOT directly associated with an hourly wage and no time sheets or record of hours is maintained. In addition, the benefits available to the postdoctoral fellow are generally limited to insurance (most commonly just health insurance) and the premiums are normally paid directly by the individual from their compensation. The compensation is fully taxable as income, but the institution providing the compensation does not withhold taxes as would be done for an employee, nor do Social Security nor Medicare taxes get taken out (and time as a fellow is not credited as employment for Social Security purposes).

Postdoctoral employees are most often classified as “Postdoctoral Researchers” or “Postdoctoral Associates,” but the terminology is not uniform everywhere. Within SOEST, there are true employees of the Research Corporation of the University of Hawai‘i (RCUH) with the position title “RCUH Postdoctoral Fellow.” Postdocs who are employees are eligible for a variety of benefits above and beyond health insurance, sometimes including retirement benefits (after 12 months at RCUH). Their pay is treated as normal income, and the paying entity (either UH or RCUH) withholds both federal and state taxes, as well as Social Security and Medicare taxes.

To be added to the SOEST postdoc email list, please send an email to  postdoc at

Changes to Support for Postdocs in SOEST

PowerPoint Presentation on changes to support for postdocs in SOEST, proposed to be implemented for proposals or supplements submitted on or after July 1, 2019. Presented for discussion on 5/22/19 by Sandy Shor and Chris Sabine, and the HR team from RCUH.

Tax Information

While we develop information specific to Hawai‘i residents, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a page with general information, including a PDF of fiscal information for postdocs, some of which is general enough to be applicable to you.

Please note that SOEST can only provide general information and cannot provide you with specific information about your individual tax situation.

Additional tax information for stipend postdocs

Dept of Oceanography Postdoctoral Scholar information

Download the 2019 Dept of Oceanography Postdoctoral Scholar orientation presentation as a screen-resolution PDF. In addition to containing information specifically for department members, it contains resources regarding conduction responsible research, UH and SOEST policies on sexual harassment and bullying, and general information about safety in the Islands.

Nature Careers Toolkit

Nature has published an early career researcher’s guide to the working world of science in a new toolkit filled with articles ranging from how to cultivate a resume to how to find funding.

A list of Postdoctoral Scholars and Postdoctoral Fellows

Unit Name Email Phone Number
ATMO Han-Ching Chen 808-670-7255
ATMO Thomas Dunn 808-358-5114
ATMO Lacey Holland 303-775-7269
ATMO Sunghun Kim NA
ATMO Hui Shi (808) 956-2574
ATMO Sen Zhao (808)956-7110
BO Laetitia Dadaglio NA
BO Jesse van der Grient NA
CIMAR Assaf Azouri NA
CIMAR Courtney Couch (808) 725-5507
CIMAR Adam Devlin NA
CIMAR Linta Rose (808) 956-7555
CMORE Dominique Boeuf 808-956-3413
CMORE Mathieu Caffin NA NA
CMORE Mathilde Dugenne 808-956-0564
CMORE Fernanda Henderikx Freitas (808) 956-0564
CMORE Andrew Hirzel NA
CMORE Andy Leu 808 956 0561
CMORE Carmen Burgos Martin  808-956-3446
CMORE Daniel Mende 808-233-8876
CMORE Uri Sheyn x6056114
ERTH Jana Schierjott NA
ERTH Chong Xu NA
HIGP Stephanie Barde-Cabusson NA
HIGP Patrick Donohue (808) 956-3136
HIGP Andrea Gabrieli (808) 956-3620
HIGP Kenta Ohtaki (808) 956-3160
HIGP Feng Zhu (808) 956-8760
HIMB Keisha Bahr (808)236-7440
HIMB Courtney Couch (808) 725-5507
HIMB Chelsie Counsell NA
HIMB Zac Forsman (808) 236-7493
HIMB Kelle Freel (808) 236-7465
HIMB Chris Jury (808) 236-7471
HIMB Ingrid Knapp (808) 393-3813
HIMB Eva Majerová (808) 854-4057
HIMB Lillian Raz (808) 956-6990
HIMB Sherril Leon Soon (808) 236-7497
HIMB Jan Vicente (808) 236-7471
HNEI Lei Wang (808) 956-6285
HNEI Quang-Vu Bach (808) 956-5397
HNEI George Bauer (808) 956-2343
HNEI Yan Chen (808) 956-7634
HNEI Wang Lei NA
HNEI Ganesh Mohan NA (808) 956-4207
HNEI M Arifur Rahman (808) 956-8890
HNEI Wilman Septina (808) 956-5229
HNEI Quynh Thi Tu Tran (808) 956-8096
IPRC Mingyu Bi NA
IPRC Genevieve Brett NA
IPRC Ziqiang Du NA
IPRC Rong Fei NA
IPRC Wei-Ching Hsu (808) 956-8749
IPRC Chunhan Jin NA
IPRC Sihua Huang NA NA
IPRC Yuanlong Li NA
IPRC Xiao Luo (808) 956-9158
IPRC Zhanhong Ma NA NA
IPRC Ryusuke Masunaga (808) 956-8749
IPRC Vasco Müller (808) 956-8749
IPRC Eitaro Oka NA
IPRC Shusaku Sugimoto NA
IPRC Ruifang Wang NA NA
IPRC Tianyi Wang NA
IPRC Yuxing Yang NA
IPRC Daling Li Yi NA
JIMAR Katharine Smith (808) 956-7633
OCN Assaf Azouri NA
OCN Dominique Boeuf  (808) 956-3413
OCN Mathieu Caffin NA NA
OCN Laetitia Dadaglio NA
OCN Mathilde Dugenne (808) 956-0564
OCN Fuyan Li NA
OCN Melissa Melendez Oyola (808) 956-6632
OCN Daniel Mende (808) 233-8876
OCN Qian Li (808) 956-7005
OCN Sonia Romero (808) 956-7633
OCN Christopher Schvarcz (808) 956-0577
OCN Joji Uchikawa (808) 956-3285
OCN Jesse van der Grient NA
OCN Lindsay Veazey NA
OCN Travis Washburn (417) 593-4887
ORE Pina Gruden NA
ORE Linyan Li (808) 956-7572
ORE Ning Li (808) 956-6448
PBRC Brittany Bennett (808) 539-7323
PBRC Clotilde Bongrande NA
PBRC Tara Essock-Burns (808) 539-7323
PBRC Marnie Freckelton (808) 539-7318
PBRC Katrina Gundlach (808) 539-7323
PBRC Eric Koch NA
PBRC Jeanette Niestroy (808) 956-6990
PBRC Melisandre Tefit (808) 539-7323
PBRC Christopher Wall NA
PBRC Sheree Watson NA

To be added to the SOEST postdoc email list, please send an email to  postdocs at

To be added to this list or to the SOEST Directory, to make changes to your listing, or to let us know about any errors, please email Brooks Bays at SOEST Publication Services.

If you have suggestions for additional content to this page, please contact Chris Sabine, SOEST Associate Dean for Research.