Frequently Asked Questions - NRSA Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance Policy: NOT-OD-10-047
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Frequently Asked Questions
NRSA Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance Policies
Initial Posting: September 8, 2006
Last Revised: February 10, 2012

  A. Table of Contents

  1. Who do I contact for questions about my specific application or grant?
  2. Explain what fiscal year means. Our institution’s fiscal year is different, starting July 1. What are the NIH fiscal year dates?
  3. I was appointed to a training grant in July, and the NIH announced a stipend increase the following January. When can I expect my own stipend payments to increase?
  4. What should training grant PD/PIs do if NIH announces a stipend increase after appointments to the training grant have already been made?
  5. How does the applicant determine the budget for an application?
  6. If I have an unused stipend, can I use the money awarded for the stipend and the attendant tuition to pay for the health insurance since the funds allowed in the award was not enough for the health insurance?
  7. What kinds of health insurance will NIH pay for? Can I find my own, and how do I let the NIH know how much it costs? Will I get reimbursed if I pay for it?
  8. Since health insurance is directly tied to the trainee/fellow (the same as the stipend and tuition), can dollars remaining in the Training Related Expenses category at the end of a budget period be considered as “unliquidated obligations” on the FSR?
  9. What should I do if I am submitting a competing application before the new FY stipend levels are announced?
  10. I have a grant with a subcontract. Does the F&A rate base include or exclude the contract amount when it exceeds $25,000?
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  A. Table of Contents

  1. Who do I contact for questions about my specific application or grant?
    Applicants and grantees are strongly encouraged to contact the NIH staff persons named in the most recent Notice of Award or the staff person in the NIH awarding Institute or Center identified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).
  2. Explain what fiscal year means. Our institution’s fiscal year is different, starting July 1. What are the NIH fiscal year dates?
    The Federal Government's fiscal year (FY) begins on October 1. So, FY 2012 is from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. All applications that will be awarded during this period are considered to be FY 2012 awards. For example, an award made on July 1, 2012 (Budget start date: 7/1/2012 – Budget end date: 6/30/2013 ) is considered to be an FY 2012 award.
  3. I was appointed to a training grant in July, and the NIH announced a stipend increase the following January. When can I expect my own stipend payments to increase?
    Probably not right away.  Your appointment was made in the previous fiscal year and falls under that year’s stipend policy.  If you remain on the training grant for another year, you will receive the higher stipend amount when you are reappointed in July.
  4. What should training grant PD/PIs do if NIH announces a stipend increase after appointments to the training grant have already been made?
    Wait to hear from the awarding Institute or Center.  The grants management official assigned to your grant will revise the Notice of Award (NOA) to incorporate the new stipend levels.  Once you receive the revised NOA, you must use xTrain in the eRA Commons to amend any previously accepted appointments to reflect the new stipend levels.
  5. How does the applicant determine the budget for an application?
    The applicant should not calculate costs of tuition, fees, or health insurance at the time of application submission. The applicant should request full costs of tuition and fees. The NIH contribution to health insurance is built into the lump sum award for Training Related Expenses, and will be calculated by the grants management specialists at the awarding Institute or Center at the time of award.
  6. If I have an unused stipend, can I use the money awarded for the stipend and the attendant tuition to pay for the health insurance since the funds allowed in the award was not enough for the health insurance?
    No. Funds awarded in the stipends or tuition and fees (excluding health insurance) categories may not be used for other purposes except under unusual circumstances and then only with the prior approval of the NIH awarding office. Therefore, funds from the stipend or tuition and fees categories may not be used to provide additional funding for health insurance, unless prior approval is given by the NIH awarding component.
  7. What kinds of health insurance will NIH pay for? Can I find my own, and how do I let the NIH know how much it costs? Will I get reimbursed if I pay for it?
    The NIH does not set health insurance policy for awardee institutions. The NIH provides funds to offset a portion of the costs associated with health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) at the rate in place at the time of the award. Health insurance costs are allowable only if they are applied consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution regardless of the source of support. Individuals should seek advice from the grantee institution regarding institutional policies and procedures.
  8. Since health insurance is directly tied to the trainee/fellow (the same as the stipend and tuition), can dollars remaining in the Training Related Expenses category at the end of a budget period be considered as “unliquidated obligations” on the FSR?
    Health insurance costs incurred by the institution, but not yet paid or recorded, can be treated as an unliquidated obligation on the Financial Status Report (FSR).
  9. What should I do if I am submitting a competing application before the new FY stipend levels are announced?
    Use the existing stipend levels for applications submitted until the new stipend policy is announced. Awarding components of NIH will make appropriate stipend adjustments at the time of award.
  10. I have a grant with a subcontract. Does the F&A rate base include or exclude the contract amount when it exceeds $25,000?
    F&A costs for all research training awards will be budgeted and reimbursed at 8% of modified total direct costs, exclusive of tuition and fees, expenditures for equipment and subgrants and contracts in excess of $25,000.
Comments or Questions?
  • For question about policies governing NRSA programs, please send email to NIHTrain@mail.nih.gov
  • For questions about specific NRSA budgetary items, please consult the Grants Management Specialist identified on the Notice of Award for the training grant or fellowship award.

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This page last updated on February 10, 2012
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