September 23, 2021
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
In April 2021, NIH began providing childcare cost support to recipients of full-time NRSA fellowships in recognition that the high cost of childcare impacts graduate students and post-doctorates funded through NRSA fellowships, and hinders their ability to successfully complete their training and fully participate in the extramural research workforce (NOT-OD-21-074). As Phase 2 of this initiative, anticipated for awards made beginning in Fiscal Year 2022, NIH will begin providing childcare cost support to full-time predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees appointed on NRSA institutional research training awards.
The NRSA childcare costs apply to each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NIH-NRSA-supported institutional research training award appointment; undergraduate appointees are not eligible. Each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA appointed trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.
Childcare costs are permitted for dependent children living in the eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainee’s home from birth until the age of 13, or, for children who are disabled [i], until age 18. Childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.
NIH will provide an annual $2,500 per each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainee appointment slot at the time the new, renewal, or continuation award is made. NIH will not provide childcare support for short-term predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees regardless of the activity code. For active awards, NIH anticipates beginning to award the additional $2,500 in childcare costs per trainee slot at the time of the next continuation award starting in Fiscal Year 2022.
For childcare costs to be considered allowable, eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees must be appointed to the NRSA institutional research training award prior to use of the childcare costs.
The NRSA childcare costs are not tied to payback obligations, nor should it be reported as such.
Childcare must be provided by a licensed childcare provider. Recipients must maintain all supporting documentation (e.g., proof provider is licensed) and make it available to NIH officials upon request. NIH does not require recipients to submit this supporting documentation except when specifically requested.
When childcare costs are awarded, they are restricted. Only eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees may use the costs and they must be used for childcare expenses; any unused funds cannot be rebudgeted and must be reported as an unobligated balance on the Federal Financial Report (FFR). The awarding IC will offset any unused funds in future years or will adjust the amount as a part of the closeout process.
New, Renewal, and Continuation Applications
Childcare costs will be provided, unless otherwise specified on the notice of award, based on the number of trainee slots awarded. No additional action is needed on the part of the applicant at the time of application to request these funds.
Reporting for Continuation Applications
In Section G.1 of the RPPR, recipients must upload a PDF named “Childcare_Costs.pdf” (without quotation marks). The attachment must specify the number of trainees who used childcare costs in the reporting period. System enhancements are forthcoming that will incorporate reporting via xTrain. Additional information and implementation guidance will be issued.
Frequently Asked Questions are available here: FAQs Link
[i] Defined as those with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.
Please direct all grants policy inquiries regarding this guide notice from your institution’s Authorized Organizational Official to:
NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Division of Grants Policy
For general inquiries about fellowships and career development programs please contact: