Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Aging (NIA), (
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA),
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), (
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), (
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), (
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), (
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), (
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), (
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), (
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), (
National Eye Institute (NEI), (
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), (
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), (
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), (
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), (
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), (
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), (
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), (
Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), (

Title: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32)

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of PA-02-109 which was previously released May 16, 2002.

Update: The following updates relating to this announcement have been issued:

Looking ahead: As part of the Department of Health and Human Services' implementation of e-Government, during FY 2006 the NIH will gradually transition each research grant mechanism to electronic submission through and the use of the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) forms. Therefore, once the transition is made for a specific grant mechanism, investigators and institutions will be required to submit applications electronically using For more information and an initial timeline, see NIH will announce each grant mechanism change in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts ( Specific funding opportunity announcements will also clearly indicate if submission and the use of the SF424 (R&R) is required. Investigators should consult the NIH Forms and Applications Web site ( for the most current information when preparing a grant application.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-06-468

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s) 93.172, 93.173, 93.173, 93.213, 93.233, 93.272, 93.279, 93.282, 93.286, 93.361, 93.389, 93.398, 93.846, 93.847, 93,848, 93,849, 93.853, 93.859, 93.866, 93.867, 93.894, 93.865

Key Dates
Standard dates apply, please see for details. Please note that some participating NIH Institutes and Center (ICs) do not accept T32 applications for all three receipt dates. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the NIH T32 Web site ( associated with this funding opportunity announcement to determine IC specific submission dates. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to contact appropriate NIH Institute and Center staff listed there prior to preparing an application to discuss IC specific provisions of this award.

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism(s) of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2.Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Sending an Application to the NIH
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Sharing Research Data
D. Sharing Research Resources
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Training Objectives

The objective of the NRSA program is to provide predoctoral and postdoctoral research training opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical research. Each NIH Institute and Center has a unique scientific purview and different program goals and initiatives that evolve over time. It is therefore critical that all applicants consult with the scientific/research contact at the relevant NIH Institute or Center for current information about program priorities and policies before preparing an application (see Section VII). This action is of utmost importance because applications with marginal or no relevance to the NIH awarding components participating in this funding opportunity announcement will not be accepted for review or considered for funding.

Purpose and Background Information

The purpose of the NRSA research training program is to help ensure that a diverse and highly trained workforce is available to assume leadership roles related to the Nation’s biomedical and behavioral research agenda. The NRSA program has been the primary means of supporting graduate and postdoctoral research training programs since enactment of the NRSA legislation in 1974. More information about NRSA programs may be found at

Training activities can be in basic biomedical or clinical sciences, in behavioral or social sciences, in health services research, or in any other discipline relevant to the NIH mission. Applicants should refer to Section VII.1. for IC-specific program areas of research training interest and contact information.

Research training programs are designed to allow the Training Program Director (TPD) to select the trainees and develop a curriculum of study and research experiences necessary to provide high quality research training. The grant offsets the cost of stipends and tuition (which includes fees and health insurance) support for the appointed trainees in accordance with the approved NIH support levels (see Section II, Allowable Costs ).

Special Program Objectives and Considerations

Within the framework of the NRSA program’s longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given to recruiting trainees from racial or ethnic groups underrepresented in the biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. (see Section IV)

Another consideration relates to the duration of training and the transition of trainees to individual support mechanisms. Training grant Program Directors should limit appointments to individuals who are committed to a career in research and who plan to remain on the training grant or in a non-NRSA research experience for a cumulative minimum of 2 years. Program Directors should also encourage and provide training in the skills necessary for trainees to apply for subsequent support through individual fellowship, mentored career development award ( K ) programs, or independent research project grants.

Program Directors are encouraged to develop methods for ongoing evaluation of the quality of the training program and develop plans to obtain feedback from former trainees to help identify weaknesses in the program and provide suggestions for program improvements. All applications must describe an evaluation and tracking plan that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program.

Past studies have shown that health professional trainees, who train in combined programs with postdoctoral researchers with an intensive research background, are more likely to apply for and receive research grant support. Programs located in clinical departments that focus on research training for individuals with the M.D. or other health-professional degrees should consider developing ties to basic science departments or modifying their program to include individuals with research doctorates when this approach is consistent with the goals of the program. Applications should describe the basic science department’s contribution to the research training experience and also indicate whether both health professional trainees and trainees with research doctorates will be included in the program.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism(s) of Support

This funding opportunity will use the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 award mechanism. Awards may be made for periods up to 5 years and are renewable.

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed research training program.

This funding opportunity uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see A detailed categorical budget for the "Initial Budget Period" and the "Entire Proposed Period of Support" is to be submitted with the application
, following the Instructions for preparing an NRSA application.

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research training programs will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Grantees are expected to be familiar with and comply with applicable costs policies and the NRSA Guidelines ( Funds may be used only for those expenses that are directly related and necessary to the research training not otherwise available and must be expended in conformance with OMB Cost Principles, the NIH Grants Policy Statement (rev. 12/01/03), and the NRSA regulations, policies, guidelines, and conditions set forth in this document.

Allowable Costs:

A. Stipends:

Stipends are provided as a subsistence allowance for trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience and are based on a 12-month appointment period. The stipend is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal Government or the grantee institution nor is it to be considered a payment for services performed. Stipends will be based on the annual NIH stipend levels at the time of award. The fiscal year (FY) 2006 annual stipend level for a predoctoral trainee is $20,772. For postdoctoral trainees, the annual stipend is based on the number of full years of prior relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of the trainee’s appointment. The FY 2006 range of annual postdoctoral stipend levels is $36,996 to $51,036. Stipends may be adjusted only at the time of appointment or reappointment and may not be changed in the middle of an appointment period. For appointments of less than a full year, the stipend will be based on a monthly or daily pro-ration of the annual amount. No departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated by the institution with the trainee. (see for specific information).

B. Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance

The NIH will offset the combined costs of tuition, fees and health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) at the rate in place at the time of the award. The NIH is currently considering a revised policy for offsetting the costs of tuition and health insurance, and will publish a notice highlighting any modifications in the near future. The rate currently provides 100% of all costs up to $3,000 and 60% of costs in excess of $3,000 per trainee. Costs associated with this category are allowable only if they are required for specific courses as part of the approved research training program and are applied consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at the institution regardless of the source of support. Tuition at the postdoctoral level is limited to that required for specific courses in support of the approved training program which should be identified in the application. A full description of the NIH tuition policy is in the NIH Grants Policy Statement and on the NIH website at:

C. Trainee Travel

Trainee travel to attend scientific meetings and workshops that the institution determines to be necessary for the individual’s research training experience is an allowable trainee expense. Funds may not be expended to cover the costs of travel between the trainee’s place of residence and the training institution, except that the grantee organization may authorize a one-way travel allowance in an individual case of extreme hardship. Amounts for trainee travel are not uniform throughout the NIH.

Additionally, support for travel to a research training experience away from the institution may be permitted. Research training experiences away from the parent organization must be justified considering the type of opportunities available for training, and how the opportunities differ from and complement those offered at the parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed training experience to the trainee’s career stage and goals. This type of travel and research training requires prior approval from the NIH awarding component, and, if not known at the time of application, may be submitted at any time during the award period.

D. Trainee Related Expenses (TRE)

The applicant institution may request the NIH standard NRSA Training Related Expenses (FY 2006, $2,200 annually for each predoctoral trainee and $3,850 annually for each postdoctoral trainee) to help defray other research training expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and faculty/staff travel directly related to the research training program (see for additional information). Funds are provided as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount per predoctoral and postdoctoral trainee approved for support.

Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request training related expenses above the standard level. Requests for additional costs must be explained in detail and justified in the application. Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is strongly advised.

When short-term training is included in the research training program, the applicant institution may request the proportion of the NIH standard annual NRSA Training Related Expenses to help defray other costs of the short-term training experience. Since some NIH ICs do not support short-term research training positions under the T32 or support them on a limited basis only, applicants are urged to contact the appropriate NIH IC before requesting short-term research training positions as part of a T32 application.

E. Facilities and Administrative Allowance

A facilities and administrative allowance based on 8% of modified total direct costs (exclusive of tuition and fees, health insurance, and expenditures for equipment) may be requested.

F. Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income

The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in addition to the stipends paid by the NIH. Such additional amounts either may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in the form of compensation, such as salary or tuition remission for services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant, provided the conditions described below are met. Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's approved NRSA training program.

Grantees may supplement stipends from non-Federal funds provided the supplementation is without obligation to the trainee. An organization can determine what amount of stipend supplementation, if any, will be provided according to its own formally established policies governing stipend support. These policies must be consistently applied to all individuals in a similar training status regardless of the source of funds. Federal funds may not be used for stipend supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of the program from which funds are derived. An individual may use Federal educational loan funds or VA benefits when permitted by those programs. Under no circumstances may PHS funds be used for supplementation.

Compensation: Funds characterized as compensation may be paid to trainees only when there is an employer-employee relationship, the payments are for services rendered, and the situation otherwise meets all of the conditions and policies in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Additionally, compensation must be in accordance with organizational policies consistently applied to both federally and non-federally supported activities and must be supported by acceptable accounting records that reflect the employer-employee relationship. An institution may provide additional funds to a trainee in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services performed outside of the responsibilities of the full-time NRSA-supported training such as teaching or serving as a research assistant. A trainee may receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant. However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart from the normal full-time research training activities. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research grant that supports the same research that is part of the trainee’s planned training experience as approved in the institutional training grant application. Training Program Directors must approve all instances of employment on research grants to verify that the circumstances will not detract from or prolong the approved training program.

A full description of the NIH policy regarding NRSA supplementation and compensation can be found in the NIH Grants Policy Statement at:

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. Postdoctoral trainees in their first and third years of training may also be eligible to participate in the NIH Extramural Loan Repayment Program. Information about this program is available at:

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply. The applicant institution must have a strong and high quality research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities on site to conduct the proposed research training program.

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research training program is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

The Program Director should be an established basic, behavioral, and/or clinical researcher with a successful past training record, and available resources to conduct the proposed research training program at the institution. The Program Director will be responsible for the selection and appointment of eligible trainees to the NRSA training grant, for the overall direction, management and administration of the research training program, program evaluation, and the submission of all required forms in a timely manner.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost sharing is not required.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Training Program

Trainees appointed to the research training program must have the opportunity to carry out supervised biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research with the primary objective of developing or enhancing their research skills and knowledge in preparation for a health-related research career. Trainees must be able to commit full-time effort, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies, to the program and its related research activities, consonant with NRSA guidelines. Within the full-time training period, research trainees who are also training as clinicians must devote their time to the proposed research training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research training experience.

A Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant must be used to support a program of full-time research training. It may not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other clinical, health-professional training except when those studies are part of a formal combined research degree program, such as the M.D./Ph.D. Similarly, trainees may not accept NRSA support for clinical training that is part of residency training leading to clinical certification in a medical or dental specialty or subspecialty. It is permissible and encouraged, however, for clinicians to engage in NRSA supported full-time postdoctoral research training even when that experience is creditable toward certification by a clinical specialty or subspecialty board.

Trainee Citizenship

At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected for research training supported by NRSA institutional training grants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.

Predoctoral Trainees

Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the beginning date of their NRSA appointment, must be training at the post-baccalaureate level, and be enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in science or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program. Health-professional students, graduate students in the quantitative sciences, or individuals in postgraduate clinical training who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time research training before competing their formal training programs are also eligible.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Postdoctoral trainees must have received, as of the beginning date of the NRSA appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: D.M.D., D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. P.H., D.N.Sc., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), D.S.W., Psy.D, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice. Documentation by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements have been met prior to the beginning date of the training appointment is acceptable. Research training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize specialized training to meet national research priorities in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences that are within the scientific purview of the NIH awarding components participating in this research training program.

Short-Term Health-Professional Trainees

A Kirschstein NRSA-Institutional Research training application may include a request for short-term positions reserved specifically to provide full-time health-related research training experiences during the summer or other off-quarter period. Such positions are limited to medical students, dental students, students in other health-professional programs, and graduate students in the physical or quantitative sciences. Short-term appointments under T32 research training programs are intended to provide such students with opportunities to participate in biomedical or behavioral research in an effort to attract these individuals into research careers. To be eligible for short-term predoctoral research training positions, students must be enrolled and in good standing and must have completed at least one quarter in a program leading to a clinical doctorate or a masters or doctorate in a quantitative science such as physics, mathematics, or engineering prior to participating in the program. Individuals already matriculated in a formal research degree program in the health sciences, or those holding a research doctorate or master’s degree or a combined health-professional/research doctorate normally are not eligible for short-term training positions. Within schools of pharmacy only individuals who are candidates for the Pharm.D. degree are eligible for short-term research training positions.

Short -term positions can support individuals for a period at least 8, but no more than 12 weeks in a grant year, and must involve full-time research training, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.

Funding for short-term training is prorated, based on the allowed annual amounts for stipends and training related expenses. Individuals currently supported by other Federal funds are not eligible for duplicative trainee support from this program at the same time.

Applicants considering requesting short-term research training positions as part of the T32 application are urged to contact the appropriate NIH IC since some ICs do not support short-term positions under the T32 or support them on a limited basis only.

Note: Research training programs solely for short-term research training should not apply to this announcement, but rather the separate T35 NRSA at:

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 710-0267, Email:

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms ( Applicants must use the T32 guidelines and the specific instructions for Institutional NRSA Applications, PHS 398, Section IV, which begins on page 54. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

3. Submission Dates and Times

See Section IV.3.A for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Letters of Intent Submission Date(s): A letter of intent is not required for this funding opportunity.

Application Submission Date(s): Standard dates apply, however, some participating NIH Institutes and Center (ICs) do not accept T32 applications for all three receipt dates. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the NIH T32 Web site ( associated with this funding opportunity announcement to determine IC specific submission dates.

Peer Review Date(s): Standard Institutional NRSA dates apply, except as noted by participating NIH Institutes and Centers, see ( for IC specific information.

Council Review Date(s): Standard Institutional NRSA dates apply, except as noted by participating NIH Institutes and Centers, see ( for IC specific information.

Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): Standard Institutional NRSA dates apply, except as noted by participating NIH Institutes and Centers, see ( for IC specific information.

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms and the specific NRSA institutional grant application instructions that begin on page 54 of the PHS 398. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and five signed photocopies in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be submitted on or before the application receipt/submission dates described above (Section IV.3.A.) and at

Upon receipt applications will be evaluated for completeness by CSR. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The NIH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

Information on the status of an application should be checked by the Program Director in the eRA Commons at:

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at

Pre-Award Costs are not allowable charges for either stipends or tuition on institutional training grants since stipends and tuition costs may not be charged to the grant before the trainee appointment is actually made. However, the policies governing the pre-award cost authority for the expenditure of the other funds provided in a training grant are those permitted in the NIH Grants Policy Statement as follows:

A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement

The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. Awards are contingent upon availability of funds. Furthermore, the duration of the award and the number of funded training positions may be less than the levels recommended by the peer review group, based on programmatic and budgetary considerations.

Funds for continuation support beyond the initial year are determined by the success as described in the annual progress report, the timely submission of required forms, and the availability of funds for continuation programs.

Concurrent awards: An NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Taxability of Stipends: Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-154, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program. Under that section, non-degree candidates are now 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 (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 IRS and Treasury Department released regulations in January 2005 (Revenue Procedure 2005-11) clarifying the student exception to the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study. Our understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards. An NRSA stipend is provided by the NIH as a subsistence allowance for Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience. NRSA recipients are not considered employees of the Federal government or the grantee institution for purposes of the award. We must note that NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice. The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.

Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the tax laws to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.

Service Payback: As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Additionally, the Act specifies that the second year of postdoctoral Kirschstein-NRSA training support will serve to pay back a postdoctoral service payback obligation. (See Section VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements for further details.)

6. Other Submission Requirements

Specific Instructions for Applications Requesting $500,000 (direct costs) or More per Year.

Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year must carry out the following steps:

1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study;

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your application for consideration for award; and,

3) Include a cover letter with the application that identifies the staff member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended or revised version of these grant application types. Additional information on this policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, October 19, 2001 at

NOTE: A few ICs have exceptions to the above policy; applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year should refer to the IC web-table ( for any exceptions to the policy.

Special Requirements

Research Training Program: The program should plan to provide didactic training as well as laboratory or clinical research experience. This should include a plan for determining trainee experience and needs and monitoring progress to accomplish desired goals. The program should develop trainee skills in understanding research, applying their critical abilities to conduct research, identify problems in the process of conducting research, raise questions and propose solutions to resolving problems. Trainees should be prepared to utilize their research findings as they pursue future research. Programs should provide all NRSA trainees with additional professional development skills and career guidance including instruction and training in grant writing in order to apply successfully for future career development and independent research support. All postdoctoral NRSA trainees should also be provided with instruction in laboratory and project management.

Program Director: The Program Director must possess the scientific background and leadership and administrative capabilities required to coordinate, supervise, and direct the proposed research training program. The Program Director will be responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees to the approved research training program, and for the overall direction, management, administration, and evaluation of the program. Program Directors must provide potential trainees information associated with NRSA programs and submit all required trainee forms in a timely manner.

Past Training Record: This should describe the past research training record of the program, the Program Director, and designated preceptors/mentors. The information should describe the success of former trainees of the designated preceptors/mentors in seeking further career development and in establishing productive scientific careers. Evidence can include successful completion of programs, further career advancement of former trainees such as receipt of fellowships, careers awards, further training appointments and similar accomplishments. Evidence of a productive scientific career can include a record of successful competition for research grants, receipt of special honors or awards, a record of publications, receipt of patents, promotion to scientific positions, and any other accepted measures of success consistent with the nature and duration of the training period.

Trainee Appointments: All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Appointments are normally made in 12-month increments, and no trainee may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial period of appointment, except with prior approval of the NIH awarding unit, or when trainees are appointed to approved, short-term training positions.

No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards. Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding office based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee, and endorsed by the Program Director and the sponsoring grantee institution. Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH awarding office.

Research Environment/resources: The applicant institution must have a strong and high-quality research program in the area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.

Institutional Commitment: The applicant institution should include information that documents a commitment to the proposed research training program’s goals, and provide assurance that the institution intends the program to be an integral part of its research and research training endeavor. The application should include a description of support (financial or otherwise) to be provided to the program, which could include, for example, space, shared laboratory facilities and equipment, funds for curriculum development, release time for the Program Director and participating faculty, support for additional trainees in the program, or any other creative ways to improve and enhance the growth of the research training program.

Evaluation and Tracking Component: The application must describe a strong evaluation and tracking component that will review and determine the effectiveness of all aspects of the program. This should include a system for tracking trainees for a 10-year period following their completion of the program completion to determine success or failure of the program. The follow up tracking would include information on program publications, grant proposals, and awards, and career trajectory of trainees who were supported by the program. The application should provide a prospective evaluation plan for process and outcome measures. Outcome measures may include relevant positions obtained, current activities related to research, publication record, and the success rate of applying for and obtaining Federal and non-Federal research grant support. The evaluation and tracking report should be included annually as part of the Progress Report, in future competing continuation applications, and as part of the Final Progress Report.

Recruitment Plan: Applicants must submit a recruitment plan for recruiting trainees from both outside and inside their sponsoring institutions. The application should describe any recruitment and outreach plan to increase the depth and diversity of the applicant pool including those underrepresented in the current scientific research workforce in the area of the proposed research training.

Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity:

The NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences workforce. The NIH expects efforts to diversify the workforce to lead to the recruitment of the most talented researchers from all groups; to improve the quality of the educational and training environment; to balance and broaden the perspective in setting research priorities; to improve the ability to recruit subjects from diverse backgrounds into clinical research protocols; and to improve the Nation’s capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.

Accordingly the NIH continues to encourage institutions to diversify their student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Institutions are encouraged to identify candidates who will increase diversity on a national or institutional basis. The NIH is particularly interested in encouraging the recruitment and retention of the following classes of candidates:

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