Adjustment to Stipend Levels for Postdoctoral Trainees and Fellows on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA)

Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-002

Key Dates
Release Date:  November 7, 2016

Related Announcements
NOT-OD-16-134
NOT-OD-16-062    

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to announce the process whereby recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA institutional training grant and individual fellowship awards supporting currently active postdoctoral trainees or fellows with 0, 1, or 2 years of experience as of December 1, 2016, will received increased stipends. The Notice also provides instructions for requesting one-time supplemental funding to cover the stipend increase.

As previously announced (NOT-OD-16-134), stipend levels for postdoctoral NRSA recipients with 0, 1 or 2 years of experience will be increased in furtherance of the NIH mission. This increase is distinct from a projected cost-of-living adjustment for postdoctoral stipends that is subject to the availability of FY 2017 appropriations.

Current NRSA stipend levels at years 0, 1 and 2 years of postdoctoral experience are shown below along with the amount of the increase for each career level. 


Career Level

 

Years of Experience

Actual Stipend for FY 2016

Projected Stipend Effective December 1, 2016

Projected Monthly Stipend, Effective December 1, 2016

Projected Monthly
Stipend Increase

Postdoctoral

0

$43,692

$47,484

$3,957

$316

 

1

$45,444

$47,844

$3,987

$200

 

2

$47,268

$48,216

$4,018

$79

Process

In order to acknowledge the significant contributions of postdoctoral researchers to our research mission, eligible NRSA awardees may request supplemental funds as outlined below.  Specifically, recipients of Kirschstein-NRSA institutional training grant and individual fellowship awards supporting currently active postdoctoral trainees and fellows at levels 0, 1, and 2, ending after December 1, 2016, may apply for one-time supplemental funding to support the stipend increase using the Parent Announcement for Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants, PA-16-287.

For Institutional Training Grants:

Applications may be submitted based only on the number of appointees at levels 0, 1, and 2. Applicants may not increase the number of appointees under the current award as a result of this supplemental funding notice.  Applications must remain consistent with the current experience level of each postdoctoral appointee, which cannot be adjusted as a result of this notice.

Applicants must be careful to accurately identify the number of postdocs at each level and request an accurate, corresponding supplemental dollar amount.  Applicants should only request funds to cover increases in stipends at these levels from December 1, 2016 up to the end date of the current period of appointment. 

Examples:

Institution A has 3 postdocs at Level 0, 1 at Level 1, and 2 at Level 2 with periods of appointment ending on January 31, 2017. Its supplemental funding request would be:

 

Level

Projected Monthly
Stipend Increase

# Postdoc Slots

Multiplied by # Postdoc Slots

Multiplied by # months (12/1/16 – 1/31/17)

 

Total

0

$316

3

$948

2

$1,896

1

$200

1

$200

2

$400

2

$79

2

$158

2

$316

 

$2,612

Institution B has 3 postdocs at Level 0, 1 postdoc at Level 1, and 2 postdocs at Level 2 with periods of appointment ending on August 31, 2017 for all except for the Level 1 postdoc, whose period of appointment ends earlier, on June 30, 2017. Its supplemental funding request would be:

 

Level

 

Projected Monthly Stipend Increase

 

# Postdoc Slots

 

Multiplied by # Postdoc Slots

Multiplied by # months from 12/1/2016 through end of period of appointment

 

TOTAL

Level 0

$316

3

$948

9

$8,532

Level 1

$200

1

$200

7

$1,400

Level 2

$79

2

$158

9

$1,422

 

 

 

 

 

$11,354

Note: For periods less than a whole month (i.e., days and weeks) stipends should be prorated as appropriate.

Additionally, in the interest of providing additional funds as quickly as possible, recipients should not propose within the supplemental funding application any change to the grant that would otherwise require prior approval from the awarding Institute/Center.  Once a supplement has been issued, it will not be revised to account for any errors within an application.

Current NRSA awardees that meet the criteria above wishing to apply for this one-time supplemental funding must submit an application to the awarding IC as soon as possible, and applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible in an effort to issue these awards expeditiously.

Appointments of postdoctoral trainees at the Levels 0, 1, and 2 made via xTrain as of December 1, 2016 will reflect these new stipend levels.  Additional guidance will be forthcoming about adjustments to appointment records for currently active trainees at those levels.   

For Individual NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowships:

Applications may be submitted to cover projected stipend increases for individual NRSA postdoctoral fellows at levels 0, 1, and 2. Applicants should only request funds to cover increases in stipends for postdoctoral fellows at levels 0, 1 or 2 from December 1, 2016 up to the end date of the current budget year of the award. The subsequent Notice of Award (NOA) for the next budget year will reflect the FY 2017 stipend levels. 

Examples:

Individual fellowship budget year ends June 30, 2017.  Supplemental funding requests for fellows at career levels 0, 1 or 2 would be as follows:

 

Level

Projected Monthly
Stipend Increase

 

Multiplied by # months (12/1/16 – 6/30/17)

 

Total

0

$316

7

$2,212

1

$200

7

$1,400

2

$79

7

$553

Individual fellowship budget year ends August 31, 2017.  Supplemental funding requests for fellows at career levels 0, 1 or 2 would be as follows:

 

Level

Projected Monthly
Stipend Increase

 

Multiplied by # months (12/1/16 – 8/31/17)

 

Total

0

$316

9

$2,844

1

$200

9

$1,800

2

$79

9

$711

* For periods less than a whole month (i.e., days and weeks) stipends should be prorated as appropriate.

Current NRSA awardees that meet the criteria above wishing to apply for this one-time supplemental funding must submit an application to the awarding IC as soon as possible, and applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible in an effort to issue these awards expeditiously.

Reminder of Other Relevant 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 provides 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. 

Inquiries

General inquiries about this notice may be directed to:

Division of Grants Policy
Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 350
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-435-0938
Email: GrantsPolicy@od.nih.gov

For any specific financial or grants management questions regarding the administrative supplement notice (PA-16-287) please contact the Grants Management Specialist or Grants Management Officer listed on the NoA of the most recent parent award.

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.