This is a strange statement. Many training arrangements have some sort of service requirement and post-docs are considered temporary arrangements for training/education. Teach for America pays for additional education and has a teaching service requirement. Rotc pays for students who need military service. These are well-known programs that have service needs. And do not mince your words, "salary" is just an unusual word for service fees, do not do the service, make the "fee". Companies` signature bonuses tend to have a similar language. "You will receive $###### when you sign this employment contract. If you quit your job 24 months ago, you must get this bonus back" (and the amount to be repaid may or may not be prorated).
National Research Service Award Payback Center Division of Loan Repayment OER/OD/NIH 6700B Rockledge Drive, Suite 2300 Bethesda, MD 20892 866/298-9371 efax: 301/451-5702 email@example.com However, I disagree with the title of the original poster of this thread, with words like "crazy" and "indentured servitude." Yes, we should review the fine print on NIH grants. Yes, it`s shameful that institutions don`t provide all the facts in advance (I think that reflects how low they think about postdocs). But a simple networking conversation with a few postdocs would have revealed all this to the job seeker of the article, and probably more. While it is obvious that this type of agreement is what you are signing up for, it is of course up to the country/state/university/people involved to find an agreement. As I said here, this type of agreement would not be legal and any type of employment contract that would be paid in advance and that would require the repayment of the money is difficult to implement. On the contrary, the agreements are written in the form of a bonus of x for joining the company (x can be cash or more common stock options or something else) and this will be paid to you once you have worked for two years for the company, i.e. a holdback option and no refund if you do not deliver. For most grant applications and progress reports, information on other financial staff support is required. Any other assistance includes all financial resources, federal, non-federal, commercial or institutional, that are available to directly support an individual`s search efforts….