Revised: Projected FY 2017 Stipend Levels for Postdoctoral Trainees and Fellows on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-134

Key Dates
Release Date:   August 10, 2016

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-17-002
NOT-OD-16-131 - Rescinded
NOT-OD-16-062

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA)

Purpose

This Notice revises NOT-OD-16-131 to correct an error in the effective date. The purpose of this Notice is to announce projected stipend levels for postdoctoral trainees and fellows supported by Kirschstein-NRSA awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.

These projected new stipend levels are planned to be effective December 1, 2016. The projected new stipend levels reflect recognition of the significant contributions of postdoctoral researchers to the NIH, AHRQ, and HRSA missions, and also align with the spirit of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) recently issued revisions to the rules on paid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

The exact stipend levels and the actual date of implementation are subject to the availability of FY 2017 appropriations and implementation of the new FLSA threshold for professional workers to be eligible for paid overtime. 

Projected Postdoctoral Stipend levels for FY2017



Career Level

Years of Experience

Actual Stipend for FY 2016

Projected Stipend for FY 2017

Monthly Stipend

Postdoctoral

0

$43,692

$47,484

$3,957

 

1

$45,444

$47,844

$3,987

 

2

$47,268

$48,216

$4,018

 

3

$49,152

$50,316

$4,193

 

4

$51,120

$52,140

$4,345

 

5

$53,160

$54,228

$4,519

 

6

$55,296

$56,400

$4,700

 

7 or More

$57,504

$58,560

$4,880

Background
The new FLSA paid overtime rule sets a salary level of $47,476 for professional employees to be exempt from paid overtime.

Current NRSA stipend levels at years 0, 1 and 2 years of postdoctoral experience are below $47,476.
Many universities, teaching hospitals, and other institutions that employ postdoctoral researchers use the NRSA stipend levels as a guide to set the salary or compensation levels for postdoctoral researchers funded on research project grants and grants other than the NRSA.

These institutions may choose to carefully track their employed postdoctoral researchers’ hours and pay overtime, or raise their salaries to levels above the new FLSA threshold and thereby qualify them for exemption from paid overtime.

NIH is fully supportive of increased pay for postdoctoral researchers and has proposed to increase the NRSA postdoctoral stipends to levels above the threshold: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/francis-s-collins-md-phd/fair-pay-for-postdocs-why_b_10011066.html

Stakeholders at many extramural institutions have requested information about projected NRSA stipends for FY 2017 to assist with planning for future postdoctoral researcher payscales.

This Notice is therefore provided to assist the extramural community in their planning.

It is important to note that the projected FY 2017 stipends listed here and the implementation date are still to be finalized.

Relevant NIH Policies
For institutional training grants (T32, T90, TL1) and individual fellowships (F32), the stipend level for the entire first year of support is determined by the number of full years of relevant postdoctoral experience when the award is issued. Relevant experience may include research experience (including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, clinical duties, or other time spent in a health-related field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral degree. 

Kirschstein-NRSA support for postdoctoral research training is limited to three years. The presence of eight discrete levels of experience does not constitute an endorsement of extended periods of postdoctoral research training. The NIH, HRSA and AHRQ provide eight postdoctoral stipend levels to accommodate individuals who complete other forms of health-related training prior to accepting a Kirschstein-NRSA supported position for research training. 

Additional guidance on NRSA stipend levels and implementation dates will be communicated in the coming months.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Biomedical Research Workforce
Office of Extramural Programs
Office of Extramural Research
Website: https://researchtraining.nih.gov
Email: NIHTrain@mail.nih.gov

Additional Information
Note that the interpretation and implementation of the FLSA and the DOL overtime regulations are under the authority of the DOL and the courts. While NIH plans to raise its NRSA stipends for consistency with spirit of the DOL’s support for increased pay, as reflected in its recent revisions to the overtime regulations, the NIH takes no position on the applicability of the overtime regulations to a particular worker supported by NIH grants. Institutions should consult their own counsel and/or local Department of Labor office about the applicability of the overtime regulations and for information on overtime obligations.