Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NRSA, institutional research training grants, period of support, training grants, trainees, Kirschstein-NRSA limitations

11.3.6 Period of Support

11.3.6.1 Training Grants

Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants may be made for competitive segments of up to 5 years and are renewable. Awards within an approved competitive segment normally are made in 12-month increments, referred to as budget periods; support for additional non-competitive years depends on satisfactory progress, submission of all required trainee-related documents, and availability of funds.

11.3.6.2 Trainees

Trainees under Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants generally are appointed for full-time 12-month continuous periods. An appointment or reappointment period may begin any time during a particular budget period but may not begin before the budget period start date of the grant year. An appointment or reappointment may not exceed 12 months without prior approvalWritten approval by an authorized HHS official, e.g., a designated IC GMO, evidencing prior consent before a recipient undertakes certain activities or incurs specific costs (see Administrative Requirements-Changes in Project and Budget-Prior Approval Requirements). by the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award.. All trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis. Full-time is generally defined as devoting at least 40 hours per week to the program or as specified by the recipient institution in accordance with its own policies. Unless the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. furnishes other instructions, the amount of the stipendA payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual's living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee., tuition, and fees for each full period of appointment must be obligated by the recipient from funds available when the individual begins training.

With the exception of specifically designated short-term research training positions, no trainee may be appointed under a regular Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grant for less than 9 months except with the prior written approval of the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. and then usually only to complete an ongoing program of training. An initial appointment of less than 9 months may be allowed as long as an assurance is included that the individual will be immediately reappointed in the subsequent year so that the cumulative continuous training period is at least 9 months.

Part-Time Training. While Kirschstein-NRSA trainees are required to pursue research training on a full-time basis, under certain circumstances, a written request may be submitted to the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. to change a trainee appointment to less than full time. All such requests must be signed by the trainee, the AOR and the training grant PD/PI. The request for part-time training must provide a justification of the need for a reduced level of effort and the expected duration of the period of part-time training. Such requests will be considered case-by-case and must be approved by the awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. before the applicable budget period. The circumstances requiring the part-time training might include medical conditions, disability, or personal or family situations such as a child or elder care. Part-time training will not be approved to accommodate use of other sources of funding, job opportunities, clinical practice, clinical training, or for other responsibilities associated with the trainee's position at the organization. In each case, the written request must be signed by an AOR and must include documentation supporting the need for part-time training. Countersignatures of the trainee and program director must be secured and retained by the recipient, but need not be submitted to NIH prior to submission to NIH. The written request also must include an estimate of the expected duration of the period of part-time training and assurances that the trainee intends to return to full-time training when that becomes possible and intends to complete the research training program.

The stipendA payment made to an individual under a fellowship or training grant in accordance with pre-established levels to provide for the individual's living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee. may be prorated in the grant award during the period of any approved part-time training. Part-time training also may affect the rate of accrual or repayment of the service obligation for postdoctoral trainees. In no case will it be permissible for the trainee to be engaged in Kirschstein-NRSA-supported research for less than 50 percent effort. Individuals who must reduce their commitment to less than 50 percent effort must take a leave-of-absence from a Kirschstein-NRSA training grant.

11.3.6.3 Kirschstein-NRSA Limitations

No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level and 3 years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants and individual fellowships.

Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. based on review of a justification from the individual and the recipient organization. The AOR must make the request in writing to the NIH awarding ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. on behalf of the trainee. The endorsement of the trainee's PD/PI certifying the need for additional support is retained by the recipient institution. The request must specify the amount and length of additional support for which approval is sought.

Some generally recognized categories under which NIH may grant exceptions include the following:

  • Physicians/Clinicians. Individuals requiring additional time to complete training, either as participants in a combined M.D./Ph.D. program or as clinicians (e.g., physicians, dentists, veterinarians) who are completing postdoctoral research training, may anticipate favorable consideration of a request for waiver of the time limitation. This action is contingent upon an assurance of the trainee's good academic standing and justified need for the exception to this policy.
  • Interruptions (Break in Service). Requests for additional time also will be considered if an event unavoidably has altered the planned course of the research training, if the interruption has significantly detracted from the nature or quality of the planned research training, and if a short extension would permit completion of the training as planned. Such events include sudden loss of the preceptor's services or an accident, illness, or other personal situation that prevents a trainee from effectively pursuing research training for a significant period of time. Requests for extension of support also will be considered if a short additional period would provide the trainee an opportunity to use an exceptional training resource directly related to the approved research training program.

Requests that arise from circumstances other than those described above will be considered only if they are accompanied by an exceptionally strong justification.