Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NRSA, institutional research training grants, training grants, allowable and unallowable costs, pre-award costs, stipends, trainee tuition and fees, training-related expenses, trainee travel costs, short-term training costs, employee benefits, facilities and administrative costs

11.3.8 Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Policies included in the applicable cost principlesThe government-wide principles, issued by OMB (or, in the case of commercial organizations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation [48 CFR 21], or, in the case of hospitals, 45 CFR 75, Appendix IX, "Principles For Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts with Hospitals"), on allowability and unallowability of costs under federally sponsored agreements. See Cost Considerations-The Cost Principles for additional details. in 45 CFR 75, Subpart E and the NIHGPS govern the expenditure of all training grant funds, unless otherwise indicated in the NoANotice of Award: The official, legally binding document, signed (or the electronic equivalent of signature) by a Grants Management Officer that: (1) notifies the recipient of the award of a grant; (2) contains or references all the terms and conditions of the grant and Federal funding limits and obligations; and, (3) provides the documentary basis for recording the obligation of Federal funds in the NIH accounting system..

11.3.8.1 Pre-Award Costs

While some pre-award costs are allowable to a training grant, recipients should note that stipendsA 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. and tuition and fees may not be charged to a grant until a trainee has been officially appointed and the appropriate paperwork submitted to the NIH. Therefore, these costs may not be charged as pre-award to an institutional training grant. There are rare occasions when costs associated with training related expenses and/or trainee travel may be allowable as pre-award costs. Recipient institutions should consult with 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. when considering a pre-award cost.

11.3.8.2 Stipends

Trainees generally are supported for 12-month full-time training appointments for which they receive a 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. as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experience. 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. is not "salary" and is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or the recipient organization. StipendsA 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. must be paid in accordance with established 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. levels. No departure from the standard 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. provided by NIH under the grant may be negotiated by the recipient organization with the trainee. NIH 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. amounts may be adjusted only at the time of appointment or reappointment. For appointments of less than 12 months, 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. will be prorated.

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. levels are updated almost every fiscal year. When increases are approved, they are published in NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Current levels also are posted at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.

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. levels are as follows:

11.3.8.3 Trainee Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees are allowable trainee costs only if such charges are applied consistently to all individuals in a similar training status at the organization, without regard to their source of support.

Tuition at the postdoctoral level is limited to that required for specific courses in support of the approved training program and requires 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. 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)..

Tuition and fees are provided under the following policy:

  • For Predoctoral Trainees. An amount equal to 60% of the level requested by the sponsoring institution, up to $16,000 per year, will be provided. If the program supports formally combined dual-degree training (e.g., M.D.-Ph.D, D.D.S.-Ph.D.), the amount provided will be up to $21,000 per year.
  • For Postdoctoral Trainees. An amount equal to 60% of the level requested by the applicant institution, up to $4,500 per year, will be provided. If the program supports postdoctoral individuals in formal degree-granting training, the amount provided will be up to $16,000 per year.

Tuition and fees are awarded as a lump sum that can be allocated (without the 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). 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.) based on recipient needs.

11.3.8.4 Training-Related Expenses

Funds are provided to defray costs such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, staff travel, trainee health insurance (self-only or family as applicable), and other expenses directly related to the training program. Funds are requested and awarded as a lump sum on the basis of the predetermined amount per predoctoral and postdoctoral trainee approved for support. Levels are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Interested applicants should consult the program announcement regarding the specific level for programs such as the short-term training program, the MARC U*STAR program, or the COR program. Many of the costs allowable under Training-Related Expenses may cover global costs for an institutional training program where the Kirschstein-NRSA support covers only some of the participating trainees. For these types of global costs, institutions should allocate the appropriate portion of such costs to the training grant. Institutions are reminded that this budget category is a finite amount of money available to cover a variety of allowable costs. Institutions should be particularly mindful to apply core cost principlesThe government-wide principles, issued by OMB (or, in the case of commercial organizations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation [48 CFR 21], or, in the case of hospitals, 45 CFR 75, Appendix IX, "Principles For Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts with Hospitals"), on allowability and unallowability of costs under federally sponsored agreements. See Cost Considerations-The Cost Principles for additional details. of allocation and consistent treatment.

Health Insurance. Health Insurance (self-only or family) are allowable trainee related expenses only if such charges are applied consistently to all individuals in a similar training status at the organization, without regard to their source of support. Health insurance can include coverage for costs such as vision and/or dental care if consistent with organizational policy. Historically health insurance was awarded as part of the tuition and fees category. This is no longer the policy. For any training grant that competed and was awarded in FY2006 and beyond, health insurance is awarded as part of the Training Related Expenses category.

Medical Liability and Other Special Insurance. Medical liability (malpractice) insurance or other special insurance is an allowable cost to NRSA grants only if nature of the research training requires such special insurance. For instance, medical liability would be allowable if the research training experience involves direct contact with patients or human subjects. In all cases, for the cost to be charged to the NRSA grant, it must be consistently required for all in a similar training status, regardless of the source of support. Special insurances that are routinely offered as optional employee benefits (such as disability insurance, life insurance, or workman's compensation insurance), are not normally allowable charges (see separate section on Employee Benefits) unless the nature of the research training requires such special insurance.

Staff Salaries. Institutions are reminded that applicable cost principlesThe government-wide principles, issued by OMB (or, in the case of commercial organizations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation [48 CFR 21], or, in the case of hospitals, 45 CFR 75, Appendix IX, "Principles For Determining Costs Applicable to Research and Development Under Grants and Contracts with Hospitals"), on allowability and unallowability of costs under federally sponsored agreements. See Cost Considerations-The Cost Principles for additional details. apply. Training programs may qualify as a "major project" where administrative salaries are allowable as a training-related expense.

Speaker Fees. When speakers are part of program required for NSRA-supported trainees, a portion of such a cost could be charged as Training-related expenses.

Meals. As stated in IIA, the cost of meals may be allowable if they are provided in conjunction with a meeting considered an ancillary activity to the training grant. A portion of such a cost could be charged as Training-related expenses. See Cost Considerations-The Cost Principles in IIA for specific guidance on the need institutional policies on consistent treatment and reasonableness.

Extraordinary Costs. Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request organizational costs 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.

11.3.8.5 Trainee Travel Costs

If requested by the recipient, 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. may provide grant funds to cover the costs of trainee travel, including attendance at scientific meetings, which the organization determines is necessary to the individual's training. Trainees must be appointed to the training grants at time of the actual travel for this to be an allowable cost. 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 recipient organization may authorize a one-way travel allowance in an individual case of extreme hardship.

In addition, support for travel to a research training experience away from the recipient organization may be permitted. Research training experiences away from the parent organization must be justified on the basis of the type of opportunities for training available, the opportunities offered that are different from those at the parent organization, and the relationship of the proposed experience to the trainee's career stage and career goals. This type of research training requires 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). 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.. Letters requesting such training 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. at any time during the appointment period.

11.3.8.6 Short-Term Training Costs

The recipient may receive up to one-twelfth of the annual amount designated for training-related expenses each month to offset the costs of tuition, fees, travel, supplies, and other expenses for each short-term, health-professional research training position.

11.3.8.7 Employee Benefits

Because Kirschstein-NRSA awards are not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or the recipient, it is inappropriate and unallowable for organizations to seek funds, or to charge Kirschstein-NRSA institutional research training grants, for costs that normally would be associated with employee benefits (for example, FICA, workers compensation, life insurance, union dues, and unemployment insurance). Concerning union dues or other similar costs otherwise paid personally by the trainee, if a trainee requests the institution deduct such a cost from 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. amount, the institution can provide the trainee such a service. However, in no case can such a deduction from 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. be made automatically without the approval of the trainee.

11.3.8.8 Facilities and Administrative Costs

Recipients, other than State, local, or Indian tribes (or ‘‘federally recognized Indian tribes"), will receive F&A costsNecessary costs incurred by a recipient for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. To facilitate equitable distribution of indirect expenses to the cost objectives served, it may be necessary to establish a number of pools of F&A (indirect) costs. F&A (indirect) cost pools must be distributed to benefitted cost objectives on bases that will produce an equitable result in consideration of relative benefits derived. at 8 percent of modified total direct costsCosts that can be identified specifically with a particular sponsored project, an instructional activity, or any other institutional activity, or that can be directly assigned to such activities relatively easily with a high degree of accuracy. (exclusive of tuition and fees, consortiums in excess of $25, 000, and expenditures for equipment) rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement. State, local, and Indian tribe (or ‘‘federally recognized Indian tribes") are eligible for full F&A costNecessary costs incurred by a recipient for a common or joint purpose benefitting more than one cost objective, and not readily assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without effort disproportionate to the results achieved. To facilitate equitable distribution of indirect expenses to the cost objectives served, it may be necessary to establish a number of pools of F&A (indirect) costs. F&A (indirect) cost pools must be distributed to benefitted cost objectives on bases that will produce an equitable result in consideration of relative benefits derived. reimbursement. For this policy, State universities or hospitals are not considered governmental agencies.