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Panoramic photo of South Building on UNCʼs campus, Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill

Information on campus services for postdocs has moved.

Continuing Education

Credit Programs for Part-time Students: (800) 862-5669
Professional Development and Enrichment Programs: (800) 845-8640

All postdocs are eligible to take non-credit courses at The William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education as well as register for courses in the classroom or on-line as a Part-Time student. The full range of graduate and undergraduate courses is available. Admission to UNC-Chapel Hill is required for enrollment into the classroom courses. For graduate-level courses, you will need permission from the professor teaching the course to register for the class. Applications for Part-time studies can be found on the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education Website. Postdocs are not eligible for the employee tuition waiver, so the cost will be out of pocket for all courses at the university.

Please visit the William and Ida Friday Center website for more information (Follow the guidelines under For UNC employees).

Counseling Services

Career Coaching

Due to the current public health issue of Covid-19 and the best practice of social distancing to limit its spread, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has moved to a remote/virtual work status only. Accordingly, individual career coaching is now available via email and Zoom.

With individual career coaching, we can help you:

  • Clarify and define your career goals
  • Research and evaluate career options
  • Implement an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
  • Identify your strengths and develop an effective self-marketing strategy
  • Enhance your job search materials (e.g., CV, resume, cover letter)
  • Prepare for upcoming interviews

To schedule an appointment, email Dara Wilson-Grant, Associate Director at or Alan Farber, Career Counselor at

Conflict and Crisis Intervention

Individual consultations are available to all postdocs through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. The OPA director can provide resources, make referrals, and assist you in resolving a conflict or difficult situation. Appointments are available to discuss:

  • Your rights as a postdoc in the workplace
  • Conflicts or challenges that may arise in the postdoc/mentor relationship
  • Other matters of concern related to your postdoc appointment at UNC

To schedule an appointment, call 919-962-1319 or email

Personal Counseling

Counseling and Wellness Services at Campus Health
James A. Taylor Student Health Services Bldg, 3rd Floor

Counseling and Wellness Services (CWS) at Campus Health Services offers a variety of counseling, testing, developmental, and informational services.

Psychological/counseling services include:

  • Individual, couples, and group therapy
  • Urgent consultation and crisis intervention
  • Medication evaluation/management

Wellness services provide education and health promotion programs in the areas of:

  • Fitness and nutrition
  • Alcohol and substance use
  • Stress management
  • Massage therapy
  • Sexual behavior

For all new and first time Counseling appointments at CWS, eligible individuals should walk in to our service between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment or to contact us for any other reason, call 919-966-2281.

If you are having a psychological crisis, we encourage you to call or come in right away and speak to a CWS therapist for same day crisis intervention.

Leave Policies

Postdocs are eligible for a specified amount of paid vacation leave, paid sick leave and, when applicable, paid parental leave. Leave is granted based on appointment year (as opposed to calendar year) starting with the Postdoc’s appointment date. Unless otherwise stated, a Postdoc shall receive: (a) twelve (12) days of paid vacation leave per appointment year (in addition to recognized University holidays) and (b) twelve (12) days of paid sick leave per appointment year. Twelve days of vacation and twelve days of sick leave is a required minimum; a greater number of vacation days can be negotiated between the Postdoc and the Mentor. Use of vacation leave is subject to the Mentor’s prior approval. Leave is available in total on the first day of the appointment.

Vacation leave and sick leave cannot be carried over to the next appointment year and will be awarded annually for Postdocs who are appointed for more than one year. In other words, a Postdoc’s compensated leave expires one year from the date of appointment. Leave does not accrue. Tracking of Postdoc leave in TIMs is not required. However, a record of any leave taken by the Postdoc should be kept in the Postdoc’s departmental file.

Unused vacation leave and sick leave will not be paid out when an appointment ends.

Finally, Postdocs are also eligible for six (6) weeks of paid parental leave to care for a new biological, adopted or foster child, which includes exhausting all available paid vacation and sick leave. This leave must be taken within one year of the relevant birth, adoption or foster care placement of the child. Postdocs may also be eligible for Family and Medical Leave if they meet certain eligibility requirements set forth in the University’s Family and Medical Leave Policy. International Postdocs should consult with ISSS to confirm what leave is allowed under their current immigration statuses.

Dependent Care and Family Life

Work/Life Programs

UNC Human Resources
Tel. 919-843-2300

The Benefits Services Department of the UNC Office of Human Resources (HR) operates Work-Life programs, at no cost, designed to help meet the needs of students and postdocs who have responsibilities for children and elderly relatives or adults dependent on them for care. The office provides, at no cost, child care information, including an information network of local childcare resources, a directory of family daycare and in-home providers, a childcare assistance program and a summer recreation program. For more information contact Work/Life Programs, 919-962-6008.

Services offered by Benefits Services include:

  • Child and Elder Care Resource and Referral: The Work/Life Manager is available to provide individual assistance to families searching for dependent care related providers and information. (Please see Child Care and Elder Care sections below.)
  • Helping Heels Child and Elder Care Provider List: Published each semester, the directory lists UNC-Chapel Hill students and employees interested in providing short-term and occasional care for children and the elderly. You can download the most up-to-date version of this searchable list by going to the website and clicking on the “Helping Heels Provider list” link.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Child Care Financial Assistance Program: Limited funds are available to assist eligible students and employees with the costs of state-regulated child care. For more information, call 962-6008
  • Lactation/Breastfeeding Resources (see below)

Child Care Resources

HR Website: The Office of Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides information on a number of child care programs and resources.

UNC Child Care Scholarship Program: UNC-sponsored child care scholarships are available through Child Care Services Association (CCSA) for full-time UNC-Chapel Hill students and employees who meet maximum annual income guidelines.

Child Care Services Association, Inc. — offers child care resources and referrals
(919) 967-3272
(Orange County)

Chatham County Partnership for Children
(919) 542-7449
(Chatham County)

Durham Day Care Council
(919) 688-8661
(Durham County)

NC Division of Child Development

Search for Child Care Facility in North Carolina

Kids ROCK!: This program offers free recreational opportunities open to children of UNC faculty, staff and postdocs. Activities are selected to encourage fun interaction between parents and kids. Kids ROCK! also aids in the fight against a national rise in juvenile obesity and diabetes. Basketball, climbing, water sports, and fun runs are among the planned events.

Parents/guardians are asked to RSVP for events at least two days in advance, and are required to stay and participate. Children 5 and up are welcome to attend. For more information and the activity schedule.

The Carolina Women’s Center: The Carolina Women’s Center (CWC) is engaged in policy and advocacy work on behalf of all families at UNC. The Center is a member of the Chancellor’s Child Care Advisory Committee, which works to expand access to affordable and convenient child care. They work for equitable parental leave policies without barriers for all University employees. The Center also houses one of the lactation rooms on campus for nursing mothers and is a member of the Faculty Working Group on Infant and Young Child Feeding..

CHillKids: CHillKids (short for Chapel Hill Kids) is an online resource for families and kids of all ages in the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and greater Triangle area. If you are looking for something to do this weekend, or can’t remember when your favorite festival or holiday event will take place in the Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, just visit their website.

Parenting Resources

Positive Parenting: Positive Parenting is dedicated to providing resources and information to help make parenting more rewarding, effective and fun!

Elder Care Resources

HR Elder Care webpage: The Office of Human Resources at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides information on a number of elder care programs and resources.

A Helping Hand: Serves older adults (60 and older), and younger adults who need assistance because of a temporary or permanent disability, accident or injury in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, Durham, and surrounding communities. (919-969-7111)

Orange County, North Carolina
Department on Aging
Tel. 919-968-2087

Orange County Community Resource Guide for Seniors and Their Families

Lactation/Breastfeeding Resources

Lactation spaces on campus: If you are a breastfeeding mother attending school or working at the University, you’ll be glad to know about the many on-site lactation stations. The lactation stations provide privacy for mothers who have their own hand- or battery-operated pumps. Some of the lactation spaces also include hospital grade multi-user pumps.

Ameda Breast Pump Purchase Program: The Work/Life office in collaboration with Ameda is able to offer the sale of Purely Yours Breast Pumps at a significant discount. For current pumps available in the office or for current pricing contact 962-6008.

Financial Services

State Employees’ Credit Union

Postdocs are eligible for membership in the State Employees’ Credit Union. As a Credit Union member, you are eligible for all services, including several different types of loans, disability and credit life insurance, an automated Voice Response system, Funds Transfers, Wire Transfers, Direct Deposit, Payroll Deduction, Taxes Online, and a Debit Card.

Wells Fargo Unc Debit Card

If you are seeking to expand your payment and banking options, Wells Fargo Bank now offers a UNC Visa Debit card as part of its Wells Fargo Campus Card program, available to current students, faculty and staff and accepted anywhere VISA cards are accepted.

Visit the Wells Fargo Service Center on the second floor of Student Stores for an application and more information.

If your Debit Card is lost or stolen, contact Wells Fargo at 1-800-869-3557

Fitness/Gym Privileges

Campus Recreation
101 Student Recreation Center, CB #8610
919-843-PLAY (919-843-7529)

Campus Recreation can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. Find out how you can take advantage of our facilities and programs and stay or get fit and healthy, socialize with colleagues, make new friends, and engage in healthy competition. To participate in Campus Recreation activities, programs, and facilities, Postdocs may purchase Recreation Membership through the UNC One Card Office (UNC Student Stores) which is located on the basement/ground floor of the Daniels Building. Be sure to bring proper identification (UNC One Card) with payment for membership. Memberships can also be purchased for spouse, partner, and/or dependents.

Campus Recreation offers the following:

  • Intramural Sports offers more than 60 programs for men and women at varying levels of competition and skill.
  • Fitness Facilities and Group Fitness Classes, housed in the Student Recreation Center and Rams Head Recreation Center, offers many hours of recreational weight training, a variety of group fitness classes, and many special events and motivational programs.
  • Pool and gym privileges for postdocs and/or their spouse and dependent children age 18 and under (must be residing in home).
  • Walking Maps
  • Wellness Resources

Medical Insurance and Health Services

Please visit the Postdoc Health Coverage page.

Professional Development

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs offers access to a variety of resources to support Postdoctoral Scholars’ professional development.

MentorNet: The E-Mentoring Network For Diversity In Engineering & Science

MentorNet is a non-profit e-mentoring network that connects mentors and mentees in engineering, science, and mathematics. MentorNet was created to foster the retention and success of women and underrepresented minorities in particular, but welcomes anyone interested in connecting with peers and experienced professionals in their field. The MentorNet Community offers the One-on-One E-Mentoring Program, which pairs postdocs with professionals in an email based mentoring relationship, the E-Forum for web based discussion of issues like job searches and the work/life balance, as well as resources and a résumé database. To learn more and find a mentor (or become a mentor), visit MentorNet’s website. Membership is available on an individual basis.

UNC Postdocs Listserv

Messages are sent out on the listserv to provide information about events pertaining to postdoc career development, which may include seminars, workshops, conferences, internships, awards, and other opportunities. The listserv also informs postdocs of official university business, UNC postdoctoral policies, upcoming social events, and campus resources for postdocs. To subscribe to the listserv, please send an email to with “subscribe to postdoc listserv” in the subject line.

Faculty Mentors Listserv

Messages are sent out on the listserv to inform faculty mentors about official university business, UNC postdoctoral policies, events pertaining to postdoc career development and faculty mentorship, and resources for faculty mentors. To subscribe to the listserv, please send an email to with “subscribe to faculty mentors listserv” in the subject line.

Student Loan Deferment

Education-Related Student Loan Deferment
National Student Loan Program

Postdoctoral research associates may be eligible for deferment of Stafford, Perkins, and similar student loans because they are engaged in a full-time fellowship program at an institution of higher learning. As a postdoc, you may qualify under the condition of continuing your professional training at this institution. Education-related deferment forms may be obtained at the National Student Loan Program (NSLP) site, above.

Lending agencies may differ in their deferral requirements, and therefore will make the final determination of eligibility. You are, however, responsible for timely payment of any unsubsidized loans. Follow the guidelines on the website and refer to the Deferment Form Guide on the NSLP webpage (link above) to view a list of available deferments and links to other forms.

Who signs the document: Trainee-Director of Training Grant/Department Chair/Respective Dean

Retirement Plans: Enrollment in 403(b) and 457(b)

Postdoctoral scholars subject to FICA are eligible to participate in the UNC System Voluntary 403(b), the North Carolina 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan, or the UNC System 457(b) Retirement Plan. More information about these supplemental retirement plans is available.

Sports/Carolina Athletics

(ACC-Atlantic Coast Conference)

Visit for all UNC varsity sports information including schedules, and ticket purchases.

At Carolina, we educate and inspire through athletics. Follow our 28 varsity teams, the talented athletes who compete and the inspirational coaches who guide them. Whether it’s wrestling in Carmichael Auditorium or a track meet on the new Irwin Belk track at Fetzer Field, UNC has excellent facilities to partake in your favorite sporting events. Major basketball universities (N.C. State, Wake Forest, and Duke) are just down the road, so things heat up quite a bit during the regular basketball season when the Tar Heels play their local rivals, and sizzle even more during March Madness!

Faculty & Staff Athletics Program

As a member of UNC’s Faculty, be sure to join the UNC Athletics Faculty & Staff Program for various discounts, exclusive special athletics events, and more! The goal of UNC Athletics is to increase UNC faculty and staff knowledge, involvement, and interest in Carolina Athletics, and to do so in the context of informative newsletters and enjoyable family-oriented events.

To take advantage of all of these benefits and stay informed, be sure to join the FANS listserv by sending an email to with message “SUBSCRIBE FANS”.

Tickets For Sporting Events

Before planning to attend sporting events at UNC, become familiar with UNC Faculty and Staff Athletic Ticket Policies.

Postdoc Scholars are not eligible to participate in the student lottery.

UNC Athletic Ticket Office is located in the Ernie Williamson Athletic Center (two buildings to the left of the Dean E. Smith Center on Skipper Bowles Drive), 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday

Free Access Sports

UNC employees and postdocs gain free access for themselves and their immediate families to regular season home Olympic Sport* events, regular season home Women’s Basketball games, and regular season home Baseball games by displaying either their complimentary pass, UNC One Card or UNC Hospitals ID at the gate of the sporting facility, based on availability in all instances.

(*Olympic Sports include: Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball, Men’s Lacrosse and Baseball.)

NOTE: UNC One Cards, UNC Hospital IDs and complimentary passes are not valid for post-season ACC and NCAA Championship events.