NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 31, September 20, 1996





National Institutes of Health


based on PA-94-055, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Vol. 23, No.

15, April 15, 1994  and Notice of New Policy on Tuition Costs on NIH

NRSA Training Grant and Fellowship Awards, ibid. Vol. 25, No. 2,

February 2, 1996




The Congress of the United States enacted the National Research

Service Act (NRSA) Program in 1974 to help ensure that highly trained

scientists would be available in adequate numbers and in appropriate

research areas to carry out the Nation's biomedical and behavioral

research agenda.  Under this congressional authority, the National

Institutes of Health (NIH) awards NRSA individual postdoctoral

fellowships (F32) to the most promising applicants to support full-

time research training related to the mission of the NIH constituent

institutes and centers.


Eligibility Requirements


Citizenship.  By the time of award, individuals must be citizens or

noncitizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully

admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess

a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other

legal verification of such status).  Noncitizen nationals are

generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States

(i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary

or student visas are not eligible.


Degree Requirements.  Before an NRSA award can be activated, the

individual must have received a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M.,

O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.S., Pharm.D., D.S.W.,

Psy.D., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or

foreign institution.  Certification by an authorized official of the

degree-granting institution that all degree requirements have been

met is also acceptable.


Sponsorship.  Before submitting a fellowship application, the

applicant must identify a sponsoring institution and an individual

who will serve as a sponsor and will supervise the training and

research experience.  The sponsoring institution may be private

(profit or nonprofit) or public, including the NIH Intramural

Programs and other Federal laboratories.


The applicant's sponsor should be an active investigator in the area

of the proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's

research.  The sponsor must document, in the application, the

availability of staff, research support, and facilities for high-

quality research training.  Applicants proposing training at their

doctorate institution or at the institution where they have been

training for more than a year must document thoroughly the

opportunity for new training experiences that would broaden their

scientific background.


Foreign Sponsorship.  Applicants requesting foreign training must

show in the application that the foreign institution and sponsor

offer special opportunities that are not currently available in the

United States.  Only if there is a clear scientific advantage will

foreign training be supported.


Period of Support


Individuals may receive up to 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at

the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from

institutional training grants and individual fellowship awards.

Exceptions to the 3-year limit require a waiver from NIH.

Individuals interested in a waiver should consult with staff of the

relevant NIH institute.


Characteristics of Programs


The proposed NRSA training must be within the scope of biomedical or

behavioral research and must offer an opportunity for individuals to

broaden their scientific background or to extend their potential for

research in health-related areas.  For those who have a health

professional degree, the proposed training may be part of a research

degree program.


Individuals are required to pursue their research training on a full-

time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the training

program.  Research clinicians must devote full-time to their proposed

research training and must restrict clinical duties within their

full-time research training experience to those that are part of the

research training experience.


The Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS),

is required by law, considering the Nation's overall needs for

biomedical personnel, to give special consideration to physicians who

agree to undertake a minimum of 2 years of biomedical or behavioral

research.  NIH recognizes the critical importance of training

clinicians to become researchers and encourages them to apply.

Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are also

encouraged to apply.


An NRSA fellowship (F32) may not be used to support studies leading

to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., or other similar health-

professional degrees.  Neither may these awards be used to support

the clinical years of residency training.




As required by the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, postdoctoral

fellows incur a service obligation of 1 month for each month of

support during the first 12 months of the NRSA postdoctoral support.

The 13th and subsequent months of NRSA support are acceptable

postdoctoral payback service.  Thus, individuals who continue under

the award for 2 years would have paid off their first year obligation

by the end of the second year.


Applicants accepting an award for the first 12 months of NRSA

postdoctoral support must sign a payback agreement (PHS Form 6031) in

which they agree to engage in health-related research training,

research, and/or teaching for 12 months.


Those who do not pay back their obligation through continued NRSA

support may satisfy their obligation by serving in a full-time

position in which health-related research, research training, or

teaching are the primary activities or by engaging in such research,

research training, or teaching in a position(s) for more than an

average of 20 hours per week of a full work-year.  Payback service

may be conducted in an academic, governmental, commercial, or

nonacademic environment, in the United States or in a foreign

country.  Examples of acceptable payback service include research

associateships/assistantships, postdoctoral research fellowships, and

college or high school science teaching positions.  Examples of

unacceptable payback service include clinical practice and

administrative responsibilities not directly related to scientific



Payback service positions are arranged by the individual, not by NIH.

The NIH institute supporting the fellowship will review and approve

the activity at the end of the year in which it occurs.  Service to

satisfy any outstanding obligation must be initiated within 2 years

after termination of NRSA support, and must be performed on a

continuous basis.  For individuals who fail to fulfill their service

obligation, the United States is entitled to recover the total amount

of NRSA funds paid to the individual for the obligated period plus

interest at a rate determined by the Secretary, U.S. Department of

Treasury.  Financial payback must be completed within 3 years,

beginning on the date the United States becomes entitled to recover

such amount.


Under certain conditions, the Secretary, DHHS, may extend the period

for starting service, permit breaks in service, extend the period of

repayment, or otherwise waive, in whole or in part, the payback

obligation of an individual.  Questions on payback should be directed

to the appropriate NIH institute contact.




Fellows may continue to receive stipends during periods of vacation

and holidays available to individuals in comparable training

positions at the sponsoring institution. Also, fellows may continue

to receive  stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per

year.  Sick leave may be used for the  medical conditions related to

pregnancy and childbirth pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

[42 USC 2000 e (k)].  Fellows may continue to receive stipends for up

to 30 calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or

the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at

the grantee or sponsoring institution have access to paid leave for

this purpose and the use of  parental leave is approved by the

sponsor. A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may

not be  made from grant funds for leave not taken. Individuals

requiring extended periods of time away from their research training

experience must seek approval from the NIH awarding component for an

unpaid leave of absence.




NRSA awards provide stipends to postdoctoral researchers as a

subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the

research training experience.  The awards are not provided as a

condition of employment with either the Federal government or the

sponsoring institution.


The stipend level for the first year of NRSA support is determined by

the number of years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time

the award is issued.  Relevant experience may include research

experience (including research in industry), teaching, internship,

residency, clinical duties, or other time spent in full-time studies

in a health-related field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral

degree.  Postdoctoral stipends are as follows:


Full Years of Relevant Experience                  Annual Amount


         <1                                        $19,608

          1                                         20,700

          2                                         25,600

          3                                         26,900

          4                                         28,200

          5                                         29,500

          6                                         30,800

        >7                                          32,300


The stipend for each subsequent year of NRSA support is the next

level in the stipend structure and begins on the anniversary date of

the award.  No departure from the standard stipend schedule may be

negotiated between the institution and the fellow.


For fellows sponsored by domestic nonfederal institutions, the

stipend will be paid through the sponsoring institution.  For fellows

sponsored by Federal or foreign institutions, the monthly stipend

payment will be deposited in the fellow's U.S. bank account or paid

directly to the fellow by U. S. Department of Treasury check.


Stipend Supplementation.  Supplementation or additional support to

offset the cost of living may be provided by the sponsoring

institution, but must not require any additional obligation from the

fellow.  Federal funds may not be used for supplementation unless

specifically authorized under the terms of both the program from

which such supplemental funds are to be received and the program

whose funds are to be supplemented.  Under no circumstances may

Public Health Service (PHS) funds be used for supplementation.


Compensation.  An institution may provide additional funds to a

fellow in the form of compensation (such as salary and/or tuition

remission) for services such as teaching or laboratory

assistantships.  A fellow may receive compensation for services as a

research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research

grant, including a PHS research grant.  However, compensated services

should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal

research training activities, which require a minimum of 40 hours per

week.  In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research

grant supporting research that is part of the research training



Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation

or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract

from, or prolong the fellow's approved NRSA training program.

Additionally, compensation must be in accordance with institutional

policies applied consistently to both federally and non-federally

supported activities and supported by acceptable accounting records

determined by the employer-employee relationship agreement.


Educational Loans or G.I. Bill.  An individual may make use of

Federal educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans

Readjustment Benefits Act (G.I. Bill).  Such funds are not considered

supplementation or compensation.


Concurrent Awards.  An NRSA fellowship may not be held concurrently

with another Federally sponsored fellowship or similar award that

provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.


Tax Liability


The Internal Revenue Code, Section 117, applies to the tax treatment

of all scholarships and fellowships.  Under that section, non-degree

candidates are required to report, as gross income, all stipends and

any monies paid on their behalf for course tuition and fees required

for attendance.  Degree candidates may exclude from gross income

reported for tax purposes any amount used for tuition and related

expenses, such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for

courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.


The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the

relationship between NRSA fellows and institutions.  NRSA stipends

are not considered salaries.  NRSA fellows are not considered to be

in an employee-employer relationship with NIH or with the institution

in which they are pursuing research training.


The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain

of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts.  NIH takes no

position on the status of a particular taxpayer, and it does not have

the authority to dispense tax advice.  Individuals should consult

their local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their

situations and for information on the proper steps to be taken

regarding their tax obligations.


The business office of the sponsoring institution is responsible for

the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS form 1099 (statement

of miscellaneous income) for fellows paid through the institution

(fellows at domestic nonfederal institutions).  NIH will issue the

form for all fellows training at Federal or foreign laboratories and

receiving a stipend check from the U.S. Treasury.


Other Training Costs


NIH will provide an institutional allowance of $3,000 per 12-month

period to nonfederal, nonprofit sponsoring institutions to help

defray such awardee expenses as research supplies, equipment, and

travel to scientific meetings.  This allowance is intended to cover

training-related expenses for the individual awardee.  The allowance

is not available until the fellow officially activates the award.  If

an individual fellow is not enrolled or engaged in training for more

than 6 months of the award year, only one-half of that year's

allowance may be charged to the grant.  The Notice of Research

Fellowship Award will be revised and the balance must be refunded to



Beginning in fiscal year 1997, NIH will provide up to $1,000 for

fellows sponsored by Federal laboratories or for-profit institutions

for expenses associated with travel to scientific meetings and books.

For fellows at for-profit institutions, the $1,000 will be paid to

the institution for disbursement to the fellow.  Funds for fellows at

Federal laboratories will be disbursed from the NIH awarding



Additional funds may be requested by the institution when the

training of a fellow involves extraordinary costs for: travel to

field sites remote from the sponsoring institution; or,

accommodations for fellows who are disabled, as defined by the

Americans With Disabilities Act.  The funds requested for

extraordinary costs must be reasonable in relationship to the total

dollars awarded under the fellowship and must be directly related to

the approved research training experience.  Such additional funds

shall be provided only in exceptional circumstances that are fully

justified and explained by the institution.


Tuition and Fees.  Beginning in Fiscal Year 1997, the NIH will offset

the combined cost of tuition, fees, and self-only health insurance at

the following rate: 100 percent of all costs up to $2,000 and 60

percent of costs above $2,000.  Costs associated with tuition and

fees are allowable only if they are required for specific courses in

support of the research training experience supported by the

fellowship.  Family medical insurance is not allowable under an NRSA

fellowship.  A description of this policy change appeared in the NIH

Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 25, No. 2, February 2, 1996.


Travel Expenses.  Awards for training at a foreign site include a

single economy or coach round-trip travel fare.  No allowance is

provided for dependents.  U.S. flag air carriers must be used to the

maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the

means of travel between the United States and a foreign country or

between foreign countries.


Funds are not provided to cover the cost of travel between the

fellow's place of residence and a domestic training institution.

However, in cases of extreme need or hardship, a one-way travel

allowance may be authorized by the sponsoring institution.  Such

travel must be paid from the institutional allowance. Indirect costs

are not allowed on individual fellowship awards.


Application Procedures


Individuals must submit the application form, PHS Individual National

Research Service Award (PHS 416-1, rev. 8/95), and include at least

three letters of reference.  If the applicant has been lawfully

admitted to the United States for permanent residence, the

appropriate item should be checked on the Face Page of the

application.  Applicants who have applied for and have not yet been

granted admission as a permanent resident should also check the

Permanent Resident block on the Face Page of the PHS 416-1

application, and also write in the word ~pending.~  A notarized

statement documenting legal admission for permanent residence must be

submitted prior to the issuance of an award.


Applicants and sponsoring institutions must comply with policies and

procedures governing the protection of human subjects, the humane

care and use of live vertebrate animals, and the inclusion of women

and minorities in study populations.


On the application face page, applicants should indicate in Item 3

the initials of the NIH institute (e.g., NIA, NIGMS) most appropriate

to the research area of the application.  The list of institutes at

the end of this announcement will be helpful in selecting the

appropriate initials.  Alternatively, if the application is submitted

in response to a Program Announcement (PA) or Request for Application

(RFA) from a particular NIH institute, the applicant should identify

the number of the PA or RFA in Item 3. This information will be used

as a guide in the application assignment process.


Applications kits and the brochure "Helpful Hints on Preparing a

Fellowship Application to the National Institutes of Health," are

available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may

be obtained from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural

Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health,

6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone

301/710-0267, email:


Concurrent Applications.  An individual may not have more than one

individual NRSA fellowship or comparable application pending

concurrently with the NIH or other DHHS agencies.


Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule


F32 applications undergo a review process that takes between 5 and 8

months.  The three annual review cycles are as follows:


Application        Initial          Secondary          Range of

Receipt            Review           Review             Likely

Date               Date             Date               Start Dates


Apr 5              Jun/Jul          Aug/Sep            Sep 1 - Dec 1

Aug 5              Oct/Nov          Dec/Jan            Jan 1 - Mar 1

Dec 5              Feb/Mar          Apr/May            May 1 - Jul 1


Review Considerations


Applications receive two sequential levels of review.  Initial review

groups (IRGs), composed primarily of nongovernment scientists who

have been selected for their competence in particular scientific

areas, evaluate applications for merit.  A scientific review

administrator (SRA), a designated Federal official, coordinates the

review of applications for each IRG.


After the initial review meeting, the SRA prepares the summary

statement for each application and forwards it to the appropriate NIH

institute.  There, a second level of review is provided by institute

staff members before a funding decision is made.


Review Criteria


The review criteria focus on three main components:


o  qualifications and potential of the applicant.

o  the scientific merit and training potential of the proposed


o  the training resources and environment, including the sponsor.


It is important to remember that the F32 program is a training award

and not a research award.  Major considerations in the review are the

applicant's potential for a productive scientific career, the

applicant's need for the proposed training, and the degree to which

the research training proposal, the sponsor, and the environment will

satisfy these needs.  For more details, see the Peer Review Process

in the PHS 416-1 application instructions.




Shortly after the initial review meeting, each candidate will be sent

a mailer that includes the IRG recommendation, the priority score,

and the name of a program official in one of the NIH institutes or

centers.  The institute automatically forwards a copy of the summary

statement to the applicant as soon as possible after receipt from the



Following the second-level review, the institute will notify each

applicant of the final disposition of the application.  Any questions

about initial review recommendations and funding possibilities should

be directed to the appropriate institute program official, not the

scientific review administrator of the IRG.


Award Criteria


The staff of the NIH institutes use the following criteria in making



o  IRG recommendation of the overall merit of the application

o  relevance of the application to institute research priorities and

program balance

o  availability of funds.


Activation.  An awardee has up to 6 months from the issue date on the

award notice to activate the award.  Under unusual circumstances, an

NIH institute may grant an extension of the activation period upon

receipt of a specific request from the fellow.


Terms and Conditions of Support


Fellowships must be administered in accordance with the current

National Research Service Award Guidelines for Individual Awards and

Institutional Grants, the current PHS Grants Policy Statement, and

any terms and conditions specified on the award notice. The following

policies are noted:


Certification and Reporting Procedures.  No application will be

accepted without the applicant signing the certification block, which

indicates, among other things, intent to meet the payback provisions

required under law.  Individuals admitted to the United States as

permanent residents must submit notarized evidence of legal admission

prior to the award.  No funds may be disbursed until the fellow has

started training under the award and an activation notice (PHS 416-5)

has been submitted to NIH, accompanied by a Payback Agreement (PHS

6031) when the award is for the individual's initial 12 months of

NRSA postdoctoral support.  When support ends, the fellow must submit

a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to the NIH, and if the fellow has a

payback obligation, he or she must notify the NIH of any change in

address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification forms (PHS

6031-1) until the payback service obligation is satisfied.


Inventions and Publications.  Fellowships made primarily for

educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention

requirements.  F32 awards will not contain any provision giving PHS

rights to inventions made by the awardee.


PHS policy is to make available to the public the results and

accomplishments of the activities that it funds.  Therefore, it is

incumbent upon fellows to make results and accomplishments of their

F32 activities available to the public.  There should be no

restrictions on the publication of results in a timely manner.


Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the

award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without

approval when publications, data, or other copyrightable works are

developed in the course of work under a PHS grant-supported project

or activity.  Any such copyrighted or copyrightable works shall be

subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable license to

the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use them, and to

authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes.


Nondiscrimination.  The NIH research training and career development

programs are conducted in compliance with applicable laws that

provide that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national

origin, handicap, or age, be excluded from participation in, be

denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any

program or activity (or, on the basis of sex, with respect to any

education program or activity) receiving Federal assistance.


Authority and Regulations


NRSA awards are made under the authority of Section 487 of the Public

Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288), and Title 42 of the Code

of Federal Regulations, Part 66.  The following Catalog of Federal

Domestic Assistance numbers are applicable to these awards: 93.121,

93.172, 93.173, 93.272, 93.278, 93.282, 93.306, 93.361, 93.398,

93.821, 93.837-93.839, 93.846-93.849, 93.853-93.856, 93.859, 93.862-

93.867, 93.880, 93.894, and 93.929.


This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review

requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency



Additional Information


For further information, contact the appropriate individual listed



National Institute of Aging (NIA)

Dr. Robin Barr

Telephone: (301) 496-9322



National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Dr. Ernestine Vanderveen

Telephone: (301) 443-1273



National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Dr. Milton Hernandez

Telephone: (301) 496-7291



National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases


Dr. Richard Lymn

Telephone: (301) 594-5128



National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Dr.Vincent Cairoli

Telephone: (301) 496-8580



National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Dr. Danuta Krotoski

Telephone: (301) 402-2242



National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders


Dr. Daniel Sklare

Telephone: (301) 496-1804



National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR)

Dr. James Lipton

Telephone: (301) 594-2618



National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases

Dr. Ronald Margolis

Telephone: (301) 594-8819



Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition

Dr. Judith Podskalny

Telephone: (301) 594-8876



Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases

Dr. Charles Rodgers

Telephone: (301) 594-7726



National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Division of Basic Research

Dr. Charles Sharp

Telephone: (301) 443-1887



Division of Clinical and Services Research

Dr. Arthur Horton

Telephone: (301) 443-4060



Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research

Ms. Ann Blanken

Telephone: (301) 443-6543



Medications Development Division

Dr. Jamie Biswas

Telephone: (301) 443-5280



National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Dr. Michael Galvin, Jr.

Telephone: (919) 541-7825



National Eye Institute (NEI)

Dr. Maria Giovanni

Telephone: (301) 496-0484



National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Dr. Michael Martin

Telephone: (301) 594-3910



National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Ms. Mary Reilly

Telephone: (301) 435-0222



National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Office on AIDS

Dr. Leonard  L. Mitnick

Telephone: (301) 443-7281



Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Science

Dr. Henry Khachaturian

Telephone: (301) 443-8033



Division of Clinical and Treatment Research

Dr. George T. Niederehe

Telephone: (301) 443-3264



Division of Epidemiology and Services Research

Dr. Kenneth G. Lutterman

Telephone: (301) 443-3373



National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Mr. Edward Donohue

Telephone: (301) 496-4188



National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)

Dr. Lynn Amende

Telephone: (301) 594-5965



National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR)

Dr. Bettie Graham

Telephone: (301) 496-7531



National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

Dr. Harriet Gordon

Telephone: (301) 435-0790



Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM)

Dr. Richard Nahin

Telephone: (301) 496-4792



Note: The Office of Alternative Medicine (announced in the NIH Guide

for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 1, January 7, 1994) will

provide funds for a limited number of postdoctoral fellowships in

fiscal year 1997.  The funds will be provided to the appropriate

institute identified above, which will award and administer the

fellowship.  Interested applicants should consult the program

announcement, PA-94-025, and if applicable, indicate the PA number in

item 3 on the face page of the application.


Other DHHS Organization Making F32 Awards:


Agency For Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR)

Training Officer

Office of Scientific Affairs

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

2101 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 400

Rockville, Maryland 20852

Telephone: (301) 594-1449

FAX: (301) 594-0154



Other NIH Programs That Support Research Training


For a complete description of NIH programs that provide research

training support at levels from high school to the senior

investigator level, at research institutions, colleges, and

universities around the United States, in other countries, and at the

NIH facilities, please refer to Research Training and Career

Development Programs Supported by the National Institutes of Health

(NIH Publication No. 93-2273), which can be obtained from the NIH

website at, and the Grants Information Office,

Extramural Outreach and Information Resources Office, Office of

Extramural Research, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6207, MSC 7910,

Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, 301-710-0267, ASKNIH@ODROCKM1.OD.NIH.GOV.



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