I'll be receiving the details for a job offer in the next few days and I was wondering if there are any guidelines for negotiating or evaluating possible signing bonus amounts. Obviously, if they don't include a signing bonus in the offer and they don't indicate that one is negotiable, then it's probably just not in their budget.
But if it is negotiable, is there any way to determine a fair amount? I currently live in the same area where the job is located, so they won't have to pay any relocation fees for me. It's also somewhat of a niche style job (hybrid of scientific programming and financial analysis), so I expect employment options are competitive.
Are there guidelines for understanding how the signing bonus might relate to the other parameters of the offer (e.g. as percentage of salary or benefits, what if there is also a yearly performance bonus option, etc.)?