Benefits Overview

Employee Benefits

We understand that attracting the highest caliber talent means offering an exciting job and benefits that meet one’s personal needs. In order to attract a diverse group of talented, motivated, and innovative professionals, we offer benefits and resources designed to support you in creating the life and work style that brings your best to you, your family, and the Van Andel Institute (VAI).

We’ve Got You Covered!

Van Andel Institute offers a highly competitive compensation package which includes medical, dental and vision coverage, 401(k) with employer match, a flexible spending account, and more! In addition, the majority of our benefits become effective immediately on the date of hire.

Health Care Benefits

Medical Plans

Two PPO plan options with prescription coverage are offered which allow you to choose the plan that best serves the needs of your family.  Employees can choose between a pre-tax, minimal contribution plan option or a no cost contribution plan option.

Dental Plan

Our comprehensive Dental Plan pays up to $1,500 annually for each covered individual. We even offer orthodontic coverage up to a lifetime maximum of $1,500!

Vision Plan

Our VSP Vision Insurance is easy on the eyes and wallet!   Coverage includes eye exams, lenses, frames, contacts and network discounts and is available for employees and their dependents.

Flex Spending Accounts

Extend the purchasing power of your health and dependent care expenses by enrolling in one or both of our pre-tax flexible spending accounts.

Financial Protection 

Short-term and Long-term Disability

Short and Long-Term Disability (STD and LTD) coverage provides income protection should you become disabled due to a non-work related illness or injury.

Life & Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance

Employee basic life/AD&D Insurance provides core coverage for you and optional life and AD&D coverage may be purchased for you and your dependents

Long-term Insurance

Coverage that helps protect you and certain family members from the high costs associated with an extended nursing home stay and home health care services. VAI pays for a base policy and employees can purchase additional coverage for themselves and their spouses.

Future Planning

401 (k) PLAN
VAI offers a comprehensive 401(k) plan on a pre-tax contribution or post-tax (Roth) bases.  Employees may choose to make a contribution of up to 75% of their pay and VAI will match dollar for dollar up to 5% of eligible pay.

Work/Life Balance 

Continuing Education

In addition to weekly Research-In-Progress meetings, lunch and learn sessions, and VARI Seminar Series, professional development seminars, workshops or training are offered by the Van Andel Institute’s Graduate School, professional or accredited associations, societies, on-site programming and institutions. The Institute also supports and contributes to employees’ education, offering eligible full-time employees up to $5,250 per year for tuition reimbursement.

An on-site Library which focuses on developing collections and services that support VARI research and education initiatives and enhance the learning environment of VAI Graduate students.

Time Off

VAI provides 9 paid holidays that are recognized consistently each year.

PTO (Paid Time Off) allows employees additional time off up to the equivalent of 5 days per calendar year for personal illness, care for an ill family member, appointments, school events, or emergency situations.

Vacation is awarded on the date of hire and thereafter, on the anniversary of date of hire. The amount of vacation depends on years of eligible service.  Our program includes a one year carryover provision, providing you additional flexibility in how you use your vacation.  

Bereavement Leave of up to 3 days of paid time off for the loss of family members.

Social Activities 

The Institute holds annual employee events, TGIF – an employee social gathering every Friday – opportunities to support the community through Purple Community events, blood drives, Toys for Tots Drive, United Way, to name a few. Plus our downtown location provides easy access to restaurants, shopping, museums, Van Andel Arena, festivals and more!


The Institute is committed to helping our workforce lead an enriching and healthy life. After all, people are an organization’s greatest resources.

  • Employee Assistance Services Program
  • An on-site Café which is open for breakfast and lunch and offers various healthy eating options
  • An on-site work out facility open 24 hours a day, with showers and lockers available
  • Sponsored sports teams
  • Lactation Rooms
Additional Benefits 

Travel Benefits

VAI has several programs, from group travel accident coverage, medical benefits abroad, and Identity Theft 911, for employees who travel on official Institute business.

Rewards & Recognition Program

The Rewards & Recognition Award Program rewards individuals and teams who have made unique and outstanding contributions that are above and beyond the expectations of their position and that support the strategic objectives of VAI.

Relocation Support

Moving to a new city can be stressful. That’s why we pair up a relocated employee with a Relocation Coordinator to help with the transition. Additionally, VAI provides financial assistance to full-time employees who move more than 50 miles.


Parking access to a conveniently located parking garage.