Full Text NOT-97-009
 
NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARDS GUIDELINES
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 21, June 20, 1997
 
P.T. 34

Keywords: 
  Grants Administration/Policy+ 

 
National Institutes of Health
 
I.  General
 
A.  Background
 
Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 288), provides
authority for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to award
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) to support predoctoral and
postdoctoral training.  This section states that the Secretary shall
provide National Research Service Awards for predoctoral and
postdoctoral training of individuals to undertake biomedical and
behavioral research at domestic and foreign, public and private
institutions (profit and non-profit).  Section 487 (a) (1) (B)
authorizes institutional NRSA grants limiting NRSA support to
training and research at public and nonprofit private entities.  The
National Research Service Award legislation requires recipients to
pay back to the Federal Government their initial 12 months of NRSA
postdoctoral support by engaging in health-related biomedical or
behavioral research, research training, health-related teaching, or
any combination of these activities (See Section IV). Title 42 of the
Code of Federal Regulations, Part 66, is applicable to these awards.
 
B.  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.  Applicant
organizations are required to have appropriate Assurance of
Compliance forms filed with the Office of Civil Rights, Office of the
Secretary, DHHS before a grant may be made to that institution.  The
NIH awarding component should be contacted if there are any questions
concerning compliance.
 
II.  Individual National Research Service Awards (Fellowships)
 
A.  General
 
The Congress of the United States enacted the National Research
Service Act 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 awarding
components.  Some specialized individual predoctoral fellowships
(F31s and F30s) and Senior Fellowships (F33s) are also provided under
the NRSA.  For individual predoctoral fellowships, NIH awarding
components have different requirements.  Thus specific program
announcements should be consulted for guidance.
 
National Research Service Awards (NRSA) are made to individual
fellowship applicants selected  for award as a result of national
competition for research training in specified health-related areas.
All NIH awarding components except the Fogarty International Center
(FIC) and the National  Library of Medicine (NLM) make individual
awards under NRSA.  FIC & NLM have unique funding authorities for
fellowships that are not under the NRSA.
 
1.  Eligibility
 
a.  Research Areas  National Research Service Awards may be made for
research training in  areas which fall within the mission of the NIH
awarding components.  Applications which do  not fit these areas will
be returned.  An increased emphasis has been placed on the research
training of physicians.  The Secretary, DHHS, is required by law, in
taking into account the  overall national needs for biomedical
research personnel, to give special consideration to  physicians who
agree to undertake a minimum of two consecutive years of biomedical
and  behavioral research training.
 
b.  Research Training Program  The NRSA fellowship must be used to
support a program of  research training.  It may not support studies
leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., or  other clinical, health
professional degrees; nor to support residencies, the primary purpose
of which is the attainment of a medical or nursing specialty.
Research trainees in clinical areas  are expected to devote full time
to the proposed research training and to confine clinical duties to
those which are part of the research training.
 
2.  Degree Requirements
 
a.  Predoctoral Individuals must have received, as of the activation
date of their NRSA award, a baccalaureate degree and must be enrolled
in and training at the post baccalaureate level in a program leading
to the award of a Doctor of Philosophy of Science (Ph.D. or Sc.D.) or
a combined clinical degree and Ph.D. degree such as M.D./Ph.D.
 
b.  Postdoctoral  Before an NRSA award can be activated, individuals
must have received a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M.,
Sc.D., D.Eng., D.N.S., 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.
 
c.  Senior Fellows  As of the beginning date of their award, senior
fellows must have received a doctoral degree (as in A.2.b. above) and
must have had at least seven subsequent years of relevant research
and professional experience.  The senior fellowship is awarded to
provide opportunities for experienced scientists to make major
changes in the direction of their research careers or to broaden
their scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities.
In addition, these awards will enable individuals beyond the new
investigator stage to take time from regular professional
responsibilities for the purpose of increasing their capabilities to
engage in health-related research.  Senior fellowships are made for
full-time research training.  Health professionals may utilize some
of their time in clinical duties which are part of their research
training.
 
3.  Citizenship  The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a
non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence at the time of  award.  A non-
citizen national is a person, who, although not a citizen of the
United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S.  They are
generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States
(e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals who have been
lawfully admitted for permanent residence must be in possession of a
currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551), or must be
in possession of other legal verification of such status.  For
example, if an individual is in possession of the proper validation
on his/her passport, a notarized photocopy of the passport could
suffice.  Since there is a six-month limitation on this validation,
it is the responsibility of the sponsoring institution to follow-up
and assure that the individual received the I-551 prior to the six
month expiration date.
 
An individual expecting to be admitted as a permanent resident by the
earliest possible award date listed in the fellowship program
announcement may submit an application for an individual NRSA
fellowship.  The submission of documentation concerning permanent
residency is not required as part of the initial application.  Any
applicant selected to receive an award must provide a notarized
statement of admission for permanent residence prior to award.
 
Applicants who have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence;
i.e., are in possession of an Alien Registration Receipt Card or
other legal verification of such status, should check the Permanent
Resident box in the citizenship section on the face page of the
fellowship application.  Applicants who have applied for and have not
yet been granted admission as a permanent resident should also check
the same box, but should write in the word "pending."
 
Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for
support from the NRSA.
 
4.  Sponsorship
 
a.  General  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 training plan for the applicant
as well as 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.
 
b.  Foreign Sponsorship  Under exceptional circumstances an
individual may request support for training abroad.  In such cases,
the applicant is required to provide detailed justification for the
foreign training and why the facilities, the mentor, or other aspects
of the proposed experience are more appropriate than training in a
domestic setting.  The justification is evaluated in terms of the
scientific advantages of the foreign training as compared to the
training available domestically.  Only in cases where there are clear
scientific advantages will the foreign training be considered for
funding.
 
5.  NIH Employees  Both Civil Service employees and PHS Commissioned
Officers at NIH are permitted to compete for predoctoral and
postdoctoral fellowships.  The proposed training should be primarily
for career development rather than for the immediate research needs
of NIH.  The employee's supervisor must disassociate him/herself from
the review and award process.
 
Successful NIH applicants for the predoctoral or postdoctoral
fellowship awards must either resign from NIH or take leave without
pay prior to activating the award.  (There is no obligation or
commitment by the NIH or the fellow for future employment at NIH upon
termination of the fellowship.)
 
6.  Individuals on Active Military Duty  The NIH has no restriction
against career military personnel applying for research fellowship
awards while on active military duty.  At the time of application, a
letter from the applicant's branch of the military service should be
submitted endorsing his/her application and indicating willingness to
continue normal active duty pay and allowance during the period of
the requested fellowship.  If an award is made, the institutional
allowance and necessary tuition and fees permitted on a postdoctoral
program will be paid.  However, stipends, health insurance, and
travel allowances will not be reimbursed.  Payment of concurrent
benefits by NIH to active duty career military awardees is not
allowed.
 
B.  Application and Receipt Dates
 
1.  Application  Each applicant must submit an application using the
Form PHS 416-1.  At least three letters of reference on his or her
behalf must also be submitted.  The major emphasis of the application
should be the research training experience and broadening of
scientific competence.  The application must include the sponsor's
Facilities and Commitment Statement.  By signing the face page of the
application, the applicant indicates that he or she has read the
payback information and will meet any payback provisions required
under the law as a condition for accepting the National Research
Service 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 the
Request for Applications section) the initials of the NIH Institute
most appropriate to the research area of the application.  If the
application is submitted in response to a Program Announcement (PA)
or Request for Application (RFA) from a particular Institute, the
applicant should identify the number of the PA or RFA on the face
page.  This information will be used as a guide in the application
assignment process.
 
2.  Concurrent Applications  An individual may not have two or more
competing NRSA applications pending review concurrently in the
National Research Service Award program.
 
3.  Application Availability  Application kits containing forms,
instructions, and related information may be obtained from:
 
The Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, OER,
NIH
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD  20892-7910
Phone:  (301)-435-0714
E-mail:  asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov
 
4.  Receipt Dates  Individual fellowship applications undergo a
review process that takes between five and eight months.  The annual
receipt dates and review cycle are found in Appendix 2.
 
C.  Review
 
Each initial and competing renewal application will be evaluated for
scientific merit by an NIH Scientific Review Group (SRG).  Review
criteria for this evaluation will include the applicant's past
academic and research record, the research training proposal, the
sponsor's general qualifications, the training environment,
publications, references, and the applicant's research goals.
Individual fellowship applications receive a secondary level of
review by Institute staff.
 
It is important to remember that the purpose of the fellowship
program is for research training.  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.
 
D.  Notification of Action
 
Shortly after the initial review meeting, each candidate receives a
mailer that includes the SRG recommendation/priority score and the
name of a program official in the assigned NIH awarding component.  A
copy of the summary statement is automatically forwarded to the
applicant as soon as possible.
 
The applicant will be notified by letter concerning the final review
recommendation.  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 SRG.  A Notice of Research Fellowship Award will be issued to
applicants selected for funding.
 
E.  Period of Support
 
All fellows are required to pursue their research training on a full-
time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by
the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.
 
No individual fellow may receive more than five years of aggregate
NRSA support at the predoctoral level and three years of aggregate
NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of
NRSA support from institutional and individual awards.  Any exception
to this requires a waiver from the Director of the NIH awarding
component or designee based on review of justification from the
individual and sponsoring institution.  The grounds for approving
extensions of support are as follows:
 
1.  Physicians/Clinicians  Individuals requiring additional time to
complete training, either as a participant 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 certification of the
recipient's good academic standing and justified need for the
exception to policy.
 
2.  Interruptions (Break-In-Service)  Requests for additional time
will also be considered if an event unavoidably has altered the
planned course of the research training; 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, which prevents a trainee or fellow from pursuing research
training in an effective manner for a significant period of time.
Requests for extension of support will also be considered if a short
additional period would provide the fellow an opportunity to use an
exceptional training resource directly related to the approved
research training program.
 
3.  Other Exceptions  Requests that do not arise from circumstances
considered in E.1 or E.2 above will be considered if they are
accompanied by an exceptionally strong justification.  Requests must
be made in writing to the NIH awarding component by the fellow.  The
fellow's sponsor and an authorized institutional business official,
must endorse the request certifying the need for additional support.
The request must include a sound justification and specify the amount
of additional support for which approval is sought.  Requests must be
approved by the Director of the awarding component or designee.
 
F.  Initiation of Support
 
1.  Process  The awarding component will notify the individual of the
intention to make an award and confirm the actual plans for the start
of the fellowship support.  The Notice of Research Fellowship Award
will be issued so that the individual may begin the fellowship
immediately on or after the issue date, or permit a period of up to
six months for the individual to finalize arrangements, such as the
completion of degree requirements, final coordination with the
sponsor, and, if necessary, a move to the sponsoring institution.
The fellow must start the period of training under the award by the
latest activation date as shown on the Notice of Research Fellowship
Award; i.e., six months from the award issue date.  Extensions of the
activation period may be granted in unusual circumstances.  Written
requests for extensions should be submitted by the fellow, and
countersigned by the sponsor and authorized institutional business
official.
 
The day the fellow begins training, the Activation Notice and the
Payback Agreement (only for postdoctoral fellows in their first 12
months of NRSA postdoctoral support) must be completed and submitted
to the awarding component (see Section H.1.a.(1) and (2)).  A stipend
may not be paid until these forms are submitted and the fellow begins
training.  If necessary for payroll purposes, the Activation Notice
and Payback Agreement may be submitted up to 30 days in advance of
the start date.  However, any change in this planned activation start
date must be reported immediately to the business office of the
institution and the awarding component.  If an award is conditioned
upon the completion of degree requirements, certification of
completion by the degree granting institution must be submitted with
the Activation Notice.
 
The initial award is usually for 12 months.  Subsequent periods of
approved fellowship training are consecutive with the first year of
support and are usually in 12-month increments.  If a fellow decides
not to activate the award, or to terminate early, he or she should
notify the institutional business office, the sponsor, and the
awarding component immediately in writing.
 
2.  Payment
 
a.  Domestic:
 
(1)  Domestic, non-Federal sponsoring institutions receive an award
for the stipend, institutional allowance, and tuition and fees (when
applicable).  The domestic institution directly pays the fellow and
disburses all other awarded costs.
 
(2)  Federal Laboratories  Fellows training at Federal laboratories
are paid stipends directly by the awarding component through the
Office of Financial Management (OFM), which also reimburses the
fellow for appropriate expenditures from the institutional allowance.
 
b.  Foreign:  Fellows training at foreign sites receive stipends
directly from OFM; however, the institutional allowance is awarded to
and disbursed by the sponsoring institution.
 
G.  Financial Provisions
 
Costs are normally provided based on a 12-month budget period.
Awards for less than 12 months will be prorated accordingly.
 
1.  Stipends
A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance for fellows to help
defray living expenses during the research training experience.  It
is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal
Government or the sponsoring institution.  Changes in stipend levels
are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.  Stipends
must be paid in accordance with stipend levels set by this policy.
No departure from the standard stipend schedule, as provided from the
fellowship, may be negotiated by the sponsoring institution with the
fellow.
 
a.  Levels  (Current annual stipend amounts are detailed in Appendix
1)
 
(1)  Predoctoral  One stipend level is used for all predoctoral
candidates, regardless of the level of experience.
 
(2)  Postdoctoral  The stipend level for the entire first year of
support is determined by the number of full years of relevant
postdoctoral experience at the time the award is issued.  Relevant
experience may include research experience (including industrial),
teaching assistantship, internship, residency, clinical duties, or
other time spent in a health-related field beyond that of the
qualifying doctoral degree.  Once the appropriate stipend level has
been determined, the fellow must be paid at that level for the entire
grant year.  The stipend for each additional year of NRSA support is
the next level in the stipend structure and does not change mid-year.
 
(3)  Senior Fellows  The amount of the NRSA stipend to be paid shall
be commensurate with the base salary or remuneration which the
individual receiving the award would have been paid by the
institution with which he or she has permanent affiliation on the
date of the fellowship award, but in no case shall the stipend award
exceed the current NRSA stipend limit set by NIH.  Fringe benefits
are not provided with this award.  The level of NRSA support will
take into account concurrent salary support provided by the
institution, and the policy of the sponsoring institution.
 
b.  Stipend Supplementation  Fellows are supported for 12-month full-
time training appointments for which they receive stipends to defray
living expenses.  Stipends may be supplemented by an institution from
non-Federal funds provided this supplementation does not require any
additional obligation from the fellow.  An institution 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 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.  Under no circumstances may Public Health Service
(PHS) funds be used for supplementation.
 
An individual may make use of Federal educational loan funds or V.A.
benefits when permitted by those programs as described in Section
G.1.e. below.
 
c.  Compensation  It is recognized that fellows may seek part-time
employment coincidental to their training program in order to further
offset their expenses.  In circumstances of actual employment, the
funds provided as compensation (salary or tuition remission) for
services rendered, such as teaching or laboratory assistance, are not
considered stipend supplementation.  Funds characterized as
compensation may be paid to fellows when there is an employer-
employee relationship, the payments are for services rendered, and
the situation otherwise meets the conditions of the compensation of
students as detailed in the PHS Grants Policy Statement.  Under these
conditions fellows may be compensated for actual employment on
Federal grants, including PHS research grants.  However, it is
expected that compensation from research grants will occur on a
limited part-time basis for employment apart from the normal training
activities.
 
Compensation may not be paid from a research grant which supports the
same research that is part of the fellow's planned training
experience as approved in the fellowship application.  Fellowship
sponsors must approve all instances of employment on research grants
in order to verify that the circumstances will not detract from or
prolong the approved training program.
 
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.
 
d.  Concurrent Benefits  A National Research Service Award may not be
held concurrently with another Federally-sponsored fellowship or
similar Federal award which provides a stipend or otherwise
duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
 
e.  Educational Loans or GI Bill  An individual may accept concurrent
educational remuneration from the Veterans Administration (GI Bill)
and Federal educational loan funds.  Such funds are not considered
supplementation or compensation.
 
f. Taxability of Stipends  Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code
applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships.  The
Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514, impacts on the tax
liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program.  New
statutory requirements were effective as of January 1, 1987.  Degree
candidates may now exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any
amount used for course tuition and related expenses such as fees,
books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction at
a qualified educational organization.  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.
 
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the
relationship between NRSA fellows and sponsoring institutions.  NRSA
stipends are not considered salaries.  In addition, fellows supported
under the NRSA are not considered to be in an employee-employer
relationship with the NIH or the sponsoring institution.
 
It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of
the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service and the
courts.  NIH takes no position on what the status may be for 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 situation and for information
on their tax obligations.
 
g.  Form 1099  Since stipends are not considered salaries, for the
purposes of income tax reporting, stipend payments should be reported
on the IRS Form 1099,  Statement of Miscellaneous Income.  The
business office of the sponsoring institution will be responsible for
the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS Form 1099 for fellows
paid through the institution. NIH will issue the subject form for all
fellows paid directly by them (e.g., fellows training at Federal or
foreign laboratories).
 
h.  Employee Benefits  Since NRSA awards are not provided as a
condition of employment with either the Federal government or the
sponsoring institution, it is inappropriate and unallowable for
institutions to seek funds for or to charge individual fellowship
awards for costs that would normally be associated with employee
benefits (for example, FICA, workman's compensation, and unemployment
insurance).
 
2.  Other Costs
 
a.  Institutional Allowance  An institutional allowance to help
support the costs of training is awarded.  Interested applicants
should consult the NIH program announcement(s) regarding the specific
level of allowance for predoctoral and postdoctoral support,
including those individuals training at Federal laboratories, for-
profit, or foreign institutions.  Allowance levels are published in
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.  Current institutional
allowance levels are found in Appendix 1.  Beginning in FY 1997, for
postdoctoral fellowships, costs for tuition and fees, where
appropriate, will be awarded independent from the institutional
allowance.  (See Section 2.b for details on tuition reimbursement.)
 
(1)  Allowable Costs for Sponsoring Institutions  The type of
sponsoring institution dictates what allowable costs may be charged
to this category and how the funds are administered.
 
(a)  Non-Federal public and private nonprofit institutions:  The
allowance is intended to defray such expenses for the individual
fellow as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific
meetings, health insurance and to otherwise offset, insofar as
possible, appropriate administrative costs of graduate training.
Funds are paid directly to and administered by the sponsoring
institution.
 
(b)  Federal laboratories:  The allowance is intended to cover the
costs of scientific meeting travel, health insurance, or books.
Funds are administered by the awarding component and disbursed from
OFM.
 
(c)  For-profit institutions:  The allowance is intended to cover the
costs of scientific meeting travel, health insurance, or books.
Funds are paid directly to and administered by the sponsoring
institution.
 
(d)  Foreign institutions:  The allowance is intended to defray such
expenses as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific
meetings, health insurance and to otherwise offset, insofar as
possible, appropriate administrative costs of graduate training.
Funds are paid directly to and administered by the sponsoring
institution.
 
(2)  Guidelines  The following are specific guidelines for the use of
the institutional allowance:
 
(a)  Health Insurance:  A fellow's health insurance is an allowable
cost only if required of all persons in a similar training status
regardless of the source of support.  Family health insurance is not
an appropriate charge; however, the individual may elect personally
to pay the differential between self-only and family health insurance
options.
 
(b)  Travel:  1) Payment for travel to scientific meetings is
appropriate when it is necessary to the individual's training.  2)
For fellows at Federal laboratories, reimbursement of travel costs is
in accordance with current Government regulations.  3) Funds may not
be expended to cover the costs of travel between the fellow's place
of  residence and the domestic training institution, except that the
grantee institution may authorize the cost of a one-way travel
allowance in an individual case of extreme hardship.
 
(c)  Extraordinary Costs:  Additional funds may be requested by the
institution when the training of a fellow involves extraordinary
costs for:  1) travel to field sites remote from the sponsoring
institution; or 2) 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 a fellowship and must be directly related
to the approved research training project.  Such additional funds
shall be provided only in exceptional circumstances which are fully
justified and explained by the institution.
 
(3)  Expenditure  Except for fellows at Federal training sites, the
sponsoring institution authorizes the expenditure of the allowance on
behalf of the fellow according to the institutional policy.  The
institution is entitled to expend up to the full institutional
allowance upon official activation of the award.  However, if an
individual fellow is not in a training status for more than six
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 the PHS.
 
For fellows at Federal training sites, the awarding component
authorizes the expenditure of the allowance.  Payment is made through
the OFM.
 
b.  Tuition and Fees  Tuition and fees for postdoctoral fellows are
limited to those for specific courses required by the training
program and must receive prior approval from the awarding component.
For the purposes of calculating this budget item, health insurance is
not included since it is still awarded as part of the institutional
allowance
 
For predoctoral fellows, reimbursement of tuition and fees (including
health insurance) varies depending on the policy of the NIH awarding
component.  Specific programmatic guidelines should be consulted for
reimbursement guidance.
 
Reimbursement of tuition and fees changed with awards competing in
FY97.  See Appendix 1 for details.
 
c.  Travel to Foreign Training Sites  For fellows at foreign training
sites, in addition to the institutional allowance, awards may 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. This requirement shall not be influenced
by factors of cost, convenience, or personal travel preference.
 
H.  Reporting Procedures
 
The following documents are critical to the process of establishing
the payment of stipends and other costs, as well as the determination
of possible payback service.
 
1.  Activation Notice (Form PHS 416-5, See Appendix 3)  Immediately
upon the initiation of training, the individual completes and signs
the Activation Notice, obtains the signature of the designated
sponsoring institution officials, and forwards the notice along with
the Payback Agreement (postdoctoral fellows in their first 12 months
of NRSA support only) to the NIH awarding component.  An Activation
Notice is enclosed with all competing awards.
 
For fellows paid directly by NIH, the Activation Notice is required
at the start of each award year. The forms should not be submitted
before he or she actually begins training.  Stipend checks are issued
when both the Activation Notice and the Payback Agreement
(postdoctoral fellows in their first 12 months of NRSA support only)
are received by the awarding component.
 
For fellows whose stipend is paid through the institution, the
Activation Notice is required for the initial year only.  The Notice
may be submitted up to 30 days before the individual begins training
if necessary for payroll purposes.  However, the institution must not
release any funds until the individual has actually started training.
Furthermore, if the individual does not begin research training on
the day indicated, the institution must notify the NIH awarding
component immediately.  Continuation awards must be activated on the
day following termination of the previous award period.
 
2.  Payback Agreement (Form PHS 6031, See  Appendix 5)  A National
Research Service Award Payback Agreement must be signed by each
person who is to receive an individual postdoctoral fellowship that
covers their initial 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support.  If the
individual has already received 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA
support under any grant or award, this form is not required.  For
detail on NRSA payback, see Section IV.
 
3.  Termination Notice (Form PHS 416-7, See Appendix 6)  The
Termination Notice (along with the Activation Notice and the Notice
of Research Fellowship Award) is the basis for establishing the
amount of payback obligation for each NRSA fellow.  For individual
fellowships, a Termination Notice is sent to the fellow by the
awarding component prior to the scheduled termination date.  For
early terminations, the forms will be issued immediately upon receipt
of notification from the fellow or an authorized institutional
official.  This form must be completed and returned to the awarding
component immediately.  The lack of timely and accurate information
on this form could adversely affect the payback process.
 
4.  Consecutive Support  If a fellow switches from one NRSA grant
mechanism to another, including from one awarding component to
another, the requirement for payback service incurred is deferred
until the total NRSA support is completed.  All fellowship
applications are reviewed to determine if previous NRSA support has
been provided.
 
I.  Progress Reports, Financial Status Reports, Changes in the
Project
 
1.  Progress Reports  Progress reports must be submitted with all
applications for non-competing continuation support in accordance
with the instructions accompanying the application forms.  Inadequate
or incomplete progress reports may be returned to the fellow for
revision and may result in a delay of continued support.  For
individual awards the final progress report is required as part of
the Termination Notice.
 
2.  Financial Status Report  An annual or final Financial Status
Report is not required on individual awards.  In the event of early
termination, the stipend will be prorated according to the amount of
time spent in training and the Notice of Research Fellowship Award
will be revised.  The balance of any institutional allowance (at
least 1/2) must be refunded if the training has been for six months
or less.
 
3.  Changes in the Project  Individual awards are made for training
at a specific institution under the guidance of a particular sponsor.
A transfer of the award to another institution or a change in sponsor
and/or project requires the approval of the NIH awarding component.
As part of that approval process, if a fellow sponsored by a domestic
non-Federal institution requests a transfer to another domestic non-
Federal institution before the end of the current award year, the
initial institution may be requested to continue to pay the stipend
until the end of the current year.  Disposition of the institutional
allowance is negotiable between the two sponsoring institutions.
 
Transfers involving Federal or Foreign sponsoring institutions
require unique administrative procedures and approvals.  Regardless
of the type of sponsoring institution involved, since each transfer
varies depending upon individual circumstances, the NIH awarding
component should be contacted for specific guidance.
 
Any proposed change in the individual's specified area of research
training must be reviewed and approved in writing by the awarding
component to assure that the training continues to be an area that
falls within the scientific area of the original peer reviewed
application.
 
An interim sponsor must be named by the institution and approved in
writing by the awarding component when the sponsor is going to be
absent for a period of more than three months.
 
J.  Other Terms and Conditions
 
1.  Leave
 
a.  Vacations and Holidays  Fellows may receive the same vacations
and holidays available to individuals in comparable training
positions at the grantee or sponsoring institution.  Fellows shall
continue to receive stipends during vacations and holidays.  At
academic institutions, the time between semesters or academic
quarters is generally considered an active part of the training
period.
 
b.  Sick Leave and Other Leave  Fellows may continue to receive
stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year.  Under
exceptional circumstances, this period may be extended by the
awarding component in response to a written request from the sponsor,
countersigned by an authorized institutional official.  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)).
 
c.  Parental Leave  Fellows may also 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.  Either parent is eligible for parental leave.  In the case
of individual fellowships, the use of parental leave requires
approval by the sponsor.
 
A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not be
made from grant funds for leave not taken.
 
d.  Unpaid Leave  Individuals requiring extended periods of time away
from their research training experience, which could include more
than 15 calendar days of sick leave or more than 30 calendar days of
parental leave must seek approval for an unpaid leave of absence.
Approval for a leave of absence must be requested in advance from the
awarding component.  Fellows must provide a letter of support from
the sponsor, countersigned by an authorized institutional official,
and must advise the awarding component of the dates of the leave of
absence.  Upon approval of the request, the awarding component will
issue a revised Notice of Research Fellowship Award extending the
termination date of the current budget period by the number of months
of the leave.  A restriction will be included in the Terms and
Conditions of the award precluding the expenditure of funds from the
fellowship during the period of the leave of absence.
 
During a leave of absence, documentation to suspend the award and/or
the accrual of service for calculating the payback obligation must be
completed.
 
2.  Termination  An individual award may be terminated prior to its
normal expiration date at the written request of the recipient, or by
the Director, NIH, if it is found that the recipient has materially
failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the award or to
carry out the purpose for which it was made.  In the event an award
is terminated for cause, the Director shall notify the awardee in
writing of this determination, the reasons therefore, the effective
date, and the right to appeal the decision.
 
3.  Publications   Fellows are encouraged to submit reports of their
findings for publication to the journals of their choice.
Responsibility for direction of the project should not be ascribed to
NIH.  Awarding component support must be acknowledged by a footnote
in language similar to the following: "This Investigation was
supported by National Institutes of Health, National Research Service
Award  (number)  from the    (awarding component)."  In addition, it
is now mandated that all grantees funded with Federal dollars, in
whole or in part, acknowledge Federal funding when issuing
statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations
and other documents.  Grantees are required to state (1) the
percentage and dollar amounts of the total program or project costs
financed with Federal money, and (2) the percentage and dollar amount
of the total costs financed by nongovernmental sources.
 
4.  Copyright  Except as otherwise provided in the conditions of the
award, when publications or similar copyrightable materials are
developed from work supported by NIH the author is free to arrange
for copyright without awarding component approval.  Any such
copyrighted material shall be subject to royalty-free, nonexclusive,
and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce them,
translate them, publish them, use and dispose of them, and to
authorize others to do so for Government purposes.
 
5.  Patents  No fellowship grant made by PHS primarily to an awardee
for educational purposes will contain any provision giving PHS any
rights to inventions made by the awardee.
 
6.  Disposition of Professional Fees  Fees resulting from clinical
practice, professional consultation, or other comparable activities
performed pursuant to the purpose of the award may not be retained by
the fellow.  Such fees will be assigned to the sponsoring institution
for disposition in accordance with PHS policy on grant related
income.  The term professional fees does not apply to honoraria, fees
for scholarly writing, delivery of occasional outside lectures, or
service in an advisory capacity to public or private nonprofit
organizations.  These fees, if within institutional policy, may be
retained by the awardee.
 
7.  Human Subjects/Animal Welfare/Recombinant DNA
 
a.  Human Subjects  The DHHS regulations for the protection of human
subjects provides a systematic means, based on established,
internationally recognized ethical principles, to safeguard the
rights and welfare of individuals who participate as subjects in
research activities supported or conducted by the DHHS.  The
regulations stipulate that the sponsoring institution, whether
domestic or foreign, bears responsibility for safeguarding the rights
and welfare of human subjects in DHHS-supported research activities.
The regulations require that the sponsoring institution file a
written Assurance of Compliance with the Office of Protection for
Research Risks (OPRR).  If a project involves nonexempt human
subjects, certification that an appropriate Institutional Review
board has reviewed and approved the proposed activity is also
required.
 
b. Vertebrate Animals  The PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of
Laboratory Animals requires that sponsoring institutions (foreign or
domestic) proposing to use vertebrate animals file a written Animal
Welfare Assurance with the OPRR, establishing appropriate policies
and procedures to ensure the humane care and use of live vertebrate
animals involved in research activities supported by PHS.
Verification of the date the Institutional Animal Care and Use
Committee approved the project is also required.
 
For additional information on either Human Subjects or Vertebrate
Animals please refer to the Individual NRSA application kit or
contact the Office for Protection from Research Risks, National
Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Blvd.,  Bethesda, Maryland
20892, Telephone:  (301)  496-7163.
 
c.  Recombinant DNA  The current NIH Guidelines for Research
Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules and announcements of
modifications and changes to the Guidelines are available from the
Office of Recombinant DNA Activities, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, Maryland  20892.  All research involving recombinant DNA
techniques that is supported by the DHHS must meet the requirements
of these Guidelines.
 
III.   Institutional National Research Service Awards (Training
Grants)
A.  General
 
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will award National Research
Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grants (T32s, T34s, &
T35s) to eligible institutions to develop or enhance research
training opportunities for individuals, selected by the institution,
who are training for careers in specified areas of biomedical and
behavioral research.  The purpose of the NRSA program is to help
ensure that highly trained scientists are available in adequate
numbers and in the appropriate research areas and fields to carry out
the Nation's biomedical and behavioral research agenda.  The NRSA
program supports both predoctoral and postdoctoral research training
as well as limited specialized support at the prebaccalaureate level.
Note, all NIH awarding components except the Fogarty International
Center (FIC) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) make
institutional awards under NRSA.  FIC & NLM have unique funding
authorities for training grants that are not under the NRSA.
 
1.  Eligibility
 
a.  Applicant Eligibility  A domestic, non-profit public or private
institution may apply for a grant to support a research training
program in a specified area(s) of research.  Support for predoctoral,
postdoctoral, or a combination of trainees may be requested.
(Specific program announcements should be referred to for awarding
component guidelines.)  Support for short-term training positions for
students in health-professional degree programs may also be requested
as indicated under 2.c. below.  Each applicant institution must
submit an application according to instructions, using the
appropriate forms (see Section B).
 
b.  Research Areas  National Research Service Awards may be made for
research training in areas which fall within the mission of the NIH
awarding components.  Applications which do not fit these areas will
be returned.  An increased emphasis has been placed on the research
training of physicians.  The Secretary, DHHS is required by law, in
taking into account the overall national needs for biomedical
research personnel, to give special consideration to physicians who
agree to undertake a minimum of two consecutive years of biomedical
and behavioral research training.
 
The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the
area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite
staff and facilities required to carry out the proposed program.  The
research training program director at the grantee institution will be
responsible for the selection and appointment of trainees and the
overall direction of the training program.  In selecting trainees,
the program director must make certain that individuals receiving
support meet the eligibility requirements set forth in these
guidelines.
 
Trainees appointed to the training program must have the opportunity
to carry out supervised biomedical or behavioral research with the
primary objective of developing or extending their research skills
and knowledge in preparation for a research career.
 
c.  Research Training Program  The National Research Service Award
must be used to support a program of research training.  The NRSA may
not support studies leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., or
other clinical, health professional degrees; nor to support
residencies, the primary purpose of which is the attainment of a
medical or nursing specialty.  Research trainees in clinical areas
are expected to devote full time to the proposed research training.
During the 40 hours per week required for research training, any
clinical duties should be confined to those which are part of the
research training.
 
2. Degree Requirements
 
a.  Predoctoral Training  Predoctoral research training is for
individuals who have a baccalaureate degree and are enrolled in a
doctoral program leading to the either the Ph.D. degree, a comparable
research doctoral degree, or the combined M.D./Ph.D.  Students
enrolled in health-professional programs that are not part of a
formal, combined program (i.e., M.D./Ph.D.) and who wish to postpone
their professional studies in order to gain research experience, may
also be appointed to a T32 grant.  Predoctoral research training must
emphasize fundamental training in areas of basic biomedical and
behavioral sciences.
 
b.  Postdoctoral Training  Postdoctoral research training is for
individuals who have received a Ph.D., an M.D., or comparable
doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution.
Research training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize
specialized training to meet national research priorities in the
biomedical and behavioral sciences.
 
Research training grants are a desirable mechanism for the
postdoctoral training of physicians and other health professionals
who may have had extensive clinical training but limited research
experience.  For such individuals, the training may be a part of a
research degree program.  In all cases, health-professional
postdoctoral trainees should agree to engage in at least 2 years of
research, research training, or comparable experiences beginning at
the time of appointment since the duration of training has been shown
to be strongly correlated with post-training research activity.
 
c.  Short-Term Research Training:  Students in Health Professional
Schools  NIH offers two short-term training programs; those which are
part of a traditional institutional training grant (T32) and those
which exclusively support short-term trainees (T35).  These short-
term research training experiences of two to three months are
available to students in health professional schools.  All short-term
training must be full-time.  Unless otherwise stated, provisions for
institutional training grants apply.  See Appendix 1 for current
stipend levels.
 
(1)  T32  T32 applications may include a request for short-term
positions reserved specifically to train medical or other health-
professional students on a full-time basis during the summer or other
"off-quarter" periods.  Short-term appointments are intended to
provide health-professional students with opportunities to
participate in biomedical and/or behavioral research in an effort to
attract these individuals into research careers.
 
To be eligible for short-term research training positions, health-
professional students must have completed at least one quarter at an
accredited health-professional school leading to a clinical doctorate
prior to participating in the program.  Trainees need not be enrolled
at the applicant institution.  Individuals matriculated in a formal
research degree program, or those holding an M.S., a Ph.D., an
M.D./Ph.D. or an equivalent graduate level research degree are not
eligible.  Within schools of pharmacy, only individuals who are
candidates for the Pharm. D. degree are eligible.
 
Short-term positions should be longer than 2 months but may not last
longer than 3 months.  Students should be encouraged to obtain two or
more periods of short-term research training during their studies
leading to a health-professional degree.  Such appointments may be
consecutive or may be reserved for summers or other "off-quarter"
periods.
 
Since some NIH institutes support short-term research training
positions on a limited basis, applicants are strongly urged to
contact the appropriate NIH awarding component before requesting
short-term research training positions as part of a T32 application.
 
(2)  T35  Several NIH awarding components provide short-term research
using a separate training grant mechanism (T35).  The program intent
and student eligibility requirements are similar to those indicated
above.  However, since this NRSA funding mechanism is used by only a
few NIH awarding components, interested applicants are encouraged to
contact specific awarding components for details.
 
d.  Prebaccalaureate Training  Under the auspices of the
institutional undergraduate NRSA (T34) two distinct programs for
prebaccalaureate training are offered.  Both programs are designed to
support students from institutions with a substantial minority
enrollment.
 
(1)  The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
administers The MARC Undergraduate Student Training and Research
(U*STAR) program.  Formerly know as Honors Undergraduate Research
Training Program (HURT), this training program is designed to support
selected junior/senior undergraduate honors students at baccalaureate
colleges and universities.
 
The NIGMS recognizes that because of the heterogeneity at minority
institutions there are differences in institutional missions.
Therefore, the emphasis of this program will be on the specific
objectives and measurable goals which the applicant institution sets
for itself as being achievable.  For more information on this
program, contact:
 
MARC Program, NIGMS
Room 2AS.37D
45 Center Drive  MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Phone:  (301) 594-3900
Fax:  (301) 480-2753
 
(2) The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) administers The
Career Opportunities in Research (COR) Education and Training
Program.  The intent of this program is to strengthen research and
research training experiences in scientific disciplines related to
mental health.  An applicant institution (a four-year college or
university) must propose a two-year COR Honors Undergraduate Program
for which six to ten highly talented third and fourth-year
undergraduate students will be selected.  Students will be provided
with special research training experiences designed to improve their
qualifications for entry into advanced research training programs
leading to the doctoral-level or M.D. research career degrees.  For
more information on this program contact:
 
COR Program
Office of Special Populations/NIMH
Parklawn Building, Room 17C14
Rockville, Maryland  20852
(301) 443-2847
 
3.  Citizenship   The individual to be trained must be a citizen or a
non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully
admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.  A non-
citizen national is a person, who, although not a citizen of the
United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S.  They are
generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States
(e.g.; American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals who have been
lawfully admitted for permanent residence must be in possession of a
currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551), or must be
in possession of other legal verification of such status.  For
example, if an individual is in possession of  the proper validation
on their passport, a notarized photocopy of the passport could
suffice.  Since there is a six-month limitation on this validation,
it is the responsibility of the grantee institution to follow-up and
assure that the individual received the I-551 prior to the six month
expiration date.
 
A notarized statement verifying possession of permanent residency
documentation must be submitted with the Statement of Appointment
Form (PHS Form 2271).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are
not eligible for support from the NRSA.
 
B.  Applications and Receipt Dates
 
1.  Application  The application for the institutional training grant
is Form PHS 398.  It contains special instructions for Institutional
National Research Service Awards.  Application kits containing forms,
instructions, and related information may be obtained from:
 
The Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, OER,
NIH
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD  20892-7910
Phone:  (301)-435-0714
E-mail:  asknih@odrockm1.od.nih.gov
 
2.  Receipt Dates  Many of the NIH awarding components receive
training grant applications three times each year.  Some awarding
components have only one or two receipt date(s).  Information on
receipt dates is available in the NIH-wide T32 Information Statement
or in RFAs issued by the individual awarding components. See Appendix
2 for a complete listing of the current receipt dates and review
cycle.
 
Applicants are encouraged to contact appropriate NIH staff before
preparing and submitting an application.
 
C.  Review
 
1.  Overall  Each initial and competing continuation application will
be evaluated for scientific merit by a NIH peer review group.
Institutional applications must also be reviewed by the appropriate
Council or Board of the awarding component whose activities relate to
the proposed research training.
 
Institutional applications will be evaluated using criteria such as:
a) past research training record of both the program and the
designated preceptors; b) objectives, design, and direction of the
research training program; c) caliber of preceptors as researchers
including successful competition for research support; d) recruitment
and selection plans for trainees and the availability of high quality
candidates; and  e) the institutional training environment including
the level of institutional commitment, quality of the facilities,
availability of appropriate courses, and the availability of research
support.
 
In addition, where appropriate, the record of the research training
program in retaining health-professional postdoctoral trainees for at
least two years in research training or other research activities;
and the concomitant training of health-professional postdoctorates
(e.g., individuals with the M.D., D.O., D.D.S.) with basic science
postdoctorates (e.g., individuals with a Ph.D., Sc.D.) or linkages
with basic science departments will receive special consideration.
 
While overall criteria are described above, applicants are encouraged
to consult the PHS 398 application kit, the NIH T32 program
announcement and/or specific awarding component program announcements
for specific details.
 
2.  Short-Term Research Training Positions  In addition to the
overall program criteria described above, applications that request
short-term research training positions in conjunction with full-time
positions will also be assessed using specific criteria.  The NIH T32
program announcement and/or specific awarding component program
announcements should be consulted for details.
 
3.  Minority Recruitment Plan  The NRSA institutional training grant
program must provide for the recruitment and retention of individuals
from underrepresented minority groups including, but not limited to,
African Americans, Hispanics Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan
Natives and Pacific Islanders.  All competing applications for
institutional NRSA research training grants must include a specific
plan to recruit minorities, and competing continuation applications
also must include a report on the recruitment and retention record
during the previous award period.  If an application is received
without a plan, or without a report on the previous award period, the
application will be considered incomplete and may be returned to the
applicant without review.  Additional information on this requirement
is available in the NIH T32 Program Announcement.
 
Competing continuation applications for research training grants must
include a detailed section on the outcomes of the minority
recruitment plan proposed in the previous competing application.
Information must be included on successful and unsuccessful
recruitment strategies.  The report should provide information on the
racial/ethnic distribution of:
 
students and/or postdoctorates in the department(s) relevant to the
training grant;
 
individuals who applied for research training;
 
individuals who were offered admission; and
 
individuals who were appointed to the research training grant.
 
For those trainees who were appointed to the grant, the report should
include information about the duration of research training and
whether those trainees have finished their training in good standing.
 
Peer reviewers will examine and evaluate the minority recruitment
plan and any record of recruitment and retention after the overall
educational and technical merit of an application has been assessed
so that the quality of the plan will not be a factor in determining
the priority score.  For competing continuation applications, the
reviewers will examine and evaluate the record of the program in
recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority trainees during
the previous award period.  The panel also will consider whether the
experience in recruitment during the previous award period has been
incorporated into the formulation of the recruitment plan for the
next award period.
 
The findings of the panel will be included in an administrative note
in the summary statement.  If the minority recruitment plan of the
application is judged to be unacceptable, funding will be withheld
until a revised plan that addresses the deficiencies is received.
Staff within the NIH awarding component, with guidance from the
appropriate national advisory committee or council, will determine
whether amended plans and reports submitted after the initial review
are acceptable.
 
Information on the recruitment and retention of underrepresented
minority trainees appointed during the previous period must also be
provided in progress reports included in all non-competing
applications.
 
4.  Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research Training  All
competing NRSA institutional training grant applications must include
a description of the formal and informal activities related to
instruction on the responsible conduct of research that will be
incorporated into the proposed research training program.
 
Every prebaccalaureate, pre and postdoctoral NRSA trainee must
receive instruction on the responsible conduct of research.
Applications must include a description of a program to provide
formal or informal instruction in scientific integrity and/or the
responsible conduct of research.  Applications without plans for
instruction in the responsible conduct of research will be considered
incomplete and may be returned to the applicant without review.
 
Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal
requirements, all programs are encouraged strongly to consider
instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible
authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding the
use of human and animal subjects, and data management.  Within the
context of training in scientific integrity it is also beneficial to
discuss the mutual responsibilities of the institution and the
trainees participating in the program.
 
Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format
of the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee
attendance requirements, and the frequency of instruction.
 
The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided.
 
Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered,
and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and
faculty participation, must be included in future competing
continuation and noncompeting applications.
 
The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the
responsible conduct of research to all individuals in a training
program or department, regardless of the source of support.
 
NIH initial review groups will assess the applicant's plans on the
basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of
faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction.
The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit,
so that the quality of the plan will not be a factor in the
determination of the priority score.  Plans will be judged as
acceptable or unacceptable.  The acceptability of the plan will be
described in an administrative note on the summary statement.
Regardless of the priority score, applications with unacceptable
plans will not be funded until a revised, acceptable plan is provided
by the applicant.  The acceptability of the revised plan will be
judged by staff within the NIH awarding component.
 
Following initial review, applications undergo a second level review
by the appropriate NIH institute or center council, board, or other
advisory group.  These advisory groups will consider, in addition to
the assessment of the scientific and educational merit of the
research training grant application, the initial review group's
comments on the recruitment of individuals from underrepresented
minority groups into the research training program and the plan for
instruction in the responsible conduct of research.
 
Information on the nature of the instructions in the responsible
conduct of science and the extent of trainee and faculty
participation must also be provided in progress reports included in
all non-competing applications.
 
D.  Notification of Action
 
Shortly after the initial review meeting, each applicant will be sent
a mailer that includes the SRG recommendation/priority score and the
name of a program official in the assigned NIH awarding component.
The awarding component automatically forwards a copy of the summary
statement to the applicant as soon as possible after receipt from the
SRG.  The applicant will be notified by letter concerning the final
review recommendation.  A Notice of Grant Award will be issued to
applicants selected for funding.  Any questions about initial review
recommendations and funding possibilities should be directed to the
appropriate awarding component  program official, not the scientific
review administrator of the SRG.
 
E.  Period of Support
 
1.  Institutional Grants  Grants may be made for competitive segments
of up to five years and are renewable.  Awards within an approved
competitive segment are normally made in 12-month increments with
support for additional non-competitive years dependent upon
satisfactory progress and availability of funds.
 
2.  Trainees
 
a.  Trainees are customarily appointed for full-time 12-month
continuous periods.  An appointment or reappointment may not exceed
12 months without prior approval by the NIH awarding component.  All
trainees are required to pursue their research training on a full-
time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by
the grantee institution in accordance with its own policies.  The
amount of the stipend, tuition and fees for each full period of
appointment must be obligated from funds available at the time the
individual begins training unless other instructions are furnished by
the awarding component.
 
b.  With the exception of specifically designated short-term research
training positions, no trainee may be appointed under a regular
institutional grant for a period of less than nine months except with
the prior written approval of the awarding component and then usually
only to complete a planned program of training.  An initial
appointment of less than nine 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 nine months.
 
3.  NRSA Limitations  No individual trainee may receive more than
five years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level and
three years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level,
including any combination of support from institutional and
individual awards.  Any exception to this requires a waiver from the
Director of the awarding component or designee based on review of
justification from the individual and grantee institution.  The
grounds for approving extensions of support are as follows:
 
a.  Physicians/Clinicians  Individuals requiring additional time to
complete training, either as a participant 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 certification of the
recipient's good academic standing and justified need for the
exception to policy.
 
b.  Interruptions (Break-in-Service)  Requests for additional time
will also be considered if an event unavoidably has altered the
planned course of the research training; 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 which prevents a trainee from pursuing research training in
an effective manner for a significant period of time.  Requests for
extension of support will also 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.
 
c.  Other Exceptions  Requests that do not arise from circumstances
considered in 3.a or 3.b above will be considered if they are
accompanied by an exceptionally strong justification.  Requests must
be made in writing to the NIH awarding component by the trainee.  The
trainee's program director and an authorized institutional official,
must endorse the request certifying the need for additional support.
The request must include a sound justification and specify the amount
of additional support for which approval is sought.  Requests must be
approved by the Director of the awarding component or designee.
 
F.  Initiation of Support
 
A Notice of Grant Award is issued to the grantee institution,
normally with a budget period of 12 months.  A predoctoral or
postdoctoral trainee may be appointed at any time during the course
of the budget period for an appointment period of 9 to 12 months,
without prior approval by the awarding component.
 
At the time of the initial appointment and subsequent reappointments,
the training program director must submit a Statement of Appointment
Form to the awarding component.  Additionally, a signed Payback
Agreement must be submitted for each postdoctoral trainee who is in
his/her first 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support. (See Sections
H.1. and 2 for specific information on required forms).  The
Statement of Appointment Form includes biographical data on the
trainee and the stipend level for the period of appointment.  The
stipend is paid by the grantee institution directly to the trainee.
 
G.  Financial Provisions
 
1.  Stipends  A stipend is provided as a subsistence allowance for
trainees and fellows to help defray living expenses during the
research training experience.  It is not provided as a condition of
employment with either the Federal Government or the grantee
institution.  Changes in stipend levels are published in the NIH
Guide for Grants and Contracts.  Stipends must be paid in accordance
with stipend levels set by this  policy.  No departure from the
standard stipend schedule, as provided from the grant, may be
negotiated by the grantee institution with the trainee.  For
appointments of less than 12 months, the stipend will be prorated.
 
a.  Levels  (Current annual stipend amounts are detailed in Appendix
1)
 
(1)  Prebaccalaureate  Two separate levels are provided for trainees:
Freshman/Sophomore or Junior/Senior.
 
(2)  Predoctoral  One stipend level is used for all predoctoral
individuals regardless of the level of experience.
 
(3)  Postdoctoral  The stipend level for the entire first year of
support is determined by the number of full years of relevant
postdoctoral experience at the time of appointment.  Relevant
experience may include research experience (including industrial),
teaching assistantship, internship, residency, clinical duties, or
other time spent in a health related field beyond that of the
qualifying doctoral degree.  Once the appropriate stipend level has
been determined, the trainee must be paid at that level for the
entire period of appointment.  The stipend for each additional year
of NRSA support is the next level in the stipend structure and does
not change mid-year.
 
b.  Stipend Supplementation  Trainees are supported for 12-month
full-time training appointments for which they receive stipends to
defray living expenses.  Stipends may be supplemented by an
institution from non-Federal funds provided this supplementation is
without obligation to the trainee.  An institution 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 make use of Federal educational loan
funds or V.A. benefits when permitted by those programs as described
below in Section G.1.d & e.  Under no circumstances may Public Health
Service (PHS) funds be used for supplementation.
 
c.  Student Compensation  It is recognized that trainees as students
may seek part-time employment coincidental to their training program
in order to further offset their expenses.  In circumstances of
actual employment, the funds provided as compensation (salary or
tuition remission) for services rendered, such as teaching or
laboratory assistance, are not considered stipend supplementation.
Funds characterized as compensation may be paid to trainees when
there is an employer-employee relationship, the payments are for
services rendered, and the situation otherwise meets the conditions
of the  compensation of students as detailed in the PHS Grants Policy
Statement.  Under these conditions trainees may be compensated for
actual employment on Federal grants, including PHS research grants.
However, it is expected that compensation from research grants will
occur on a limited part-time basis for employment apart from the
normal full-time training activities.
 
Compensation may not be paid from a research grant which supports the
same research that is part of the trainee's planned training
experience as approved in the training grant application.
Institutional training grant program directors must approve all
instances of employment on research grants in order to verify that
the circumstances will not detract from or prolong the approved
training program.
 
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.
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.
 
d.  Concurrent Benefits  A National Research Service Award may not be
held concurrently with another Federally-sponsored fellowship or
similar Federal award which provides a stipend or otherwise
duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
 
e.  Educational Loans or GI Bill  An individual may accept concurrent
educational remuneration from the Veterans Administration (GI Bill)
and Federal educational loan funds.  Such funds are not considered
supplementation or compensation.  In the case of the MARC-USTAR
program, funds from a PELL grant may be accepted as well.
 
f.  Taxability of Stipends  Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code
applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships.  The
Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514, impacts on the tax
liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program.  New
statutory requirements were effective as of January 1, 1987.  Degree
candidates may now exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any
amount used for course tuition and related expenses such as fees,
books, supplies and equipment required for courses of instruction at
a qualified educational organization.  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.
 
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the
relationship between NRSA trainees and institutions.  NRSA stipends
are not considered salaries.  In addition, trainees supported under
the NRSA are not considered to be in an employee-employer
relationship with the NIH or the grantee institution.
 
It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of
the tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service and the
courts.  NIH takes no position on what the status may be for 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 situation and for information
on their tax obligations.
 
g.  Form 1099  Since stipends are not considered salaries, for the
purposes of income tax reporting, stipend payments should be reported
on the IRS Form 1099,  Statement of Miscellaneous Income.  The
business office of the grantee institution will be responsible for
the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS Form 1099 for
trainees.
 
h.  Employee Benefits  Since NRSA awards are not provided as a
condition of employment with either the Federal government or the
grantee institution, it is inappropriate and unallowable for
institutions to seek funds for or to charge institutional training
grants awards for costs that would normally be associated with
employee benefits (for example, FICA, workman's compensation, and
unemployment insurance).
 
2.  Other Direct Costs
 
a.  Training Related Expenses  Funds are provided to defray such
training costs as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment,
research supplies, staff travel, 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.  Current levels are found in
Appendix 1.  Interested applicants should be advised to consult the
program announcement regarding the specific level for programs such
as the short-term training program, the MARC program, or the COR
program.
 
Under exceptional circumstances, which can include accommodating the
disabilities of a trainee, it is possible to request institutional
costs above the standard rate.  Requests for additional costs must be
explained in detail and carefully justified in the application.
Consultation with NIH program staff in advance of such requests is
strongly advised.
 
b.  Trainee Tuition and Fees  Tuition, fees, and health insurance are
allowable trainee costs only if such charges are required of all
persons in a similar training status at the institution, without
regard to their source of support.  Family health insurance is not an
appropriate charge.  However, the trainee may elect personally to pay
the differential between self and family health insurance options.
Tuition at the postdoctoral level is limited to that required for
specific courses in support of the approved training program and
requires prior approval of the awarding component.  For the purposes
of award, tuition, fees and health insurance are awarded together in
a single budget category.  Funds are awarded based on a formula
applied to the requested level.  The formula is described in Appendix
1.
 
c.  Trainee Travel Costs  If requested by the institution, the
awarding component may award grant funds to cover the costs of
trainee travel including attendance at scientific meetings which the
institution determines to be necessary to the individual's training.
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 institution 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 grantee institution may be permitted.  Research
training experiences away from the parent institution must be
justified considering the type of opportunities for training
available, how these opportunities differ from those offered at the
parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed experience
to the trainee's career stage and career goals.  This type of
research training requires prior approval from the awarding
component.  Letters requesting such training may be submitted to the
awarding component at any time during the award period.
 
d.  Short-term  The institution may receive up to $125 per month to
offset the costs of tuition, fees, travel, supplies, and other
expenses for each short-term, health-professional research training
position.
 
3.  Rebudgeting of Funds
 
a.  Trainee Related Expenses  Expenditure and rebudgeting of funds
awarded in lump sum for trainee related expenses do not require
awarding component prior approval.
 
b.  Trainee Costs  For the purposes of rebudgeting, trainee costs
include stipends and tuition and fees (including health insurance).
These costs may not be used for other purposes except under unusual
circumstances and then only with the prior written approval of the
awarding component.  Rebudgeting into or within the stipends and
tuition/fees categories is allowable without awarding component prior
approval.
 
c.  Trainee Travel  For the purposes of rebudgeting, trainee travel
is not considered a trainee cost and, therefore, may be rebudgeted
into any other budget category without prior approval.
 
4.  Expenditure of Funds  Policies governing expenditure of all
training grant funds are those permitted under the PHS Grants Policy
Statement and applicable cost principles, unless otherwise indicated
in the Notice of Grant Award.
 
5.  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs  Previously referred to
as indirect costs, in FY96 NIH received a deviation from DHHS policy
regarding the reimbursement of these costs for institutional training
grants.  The institution will receive F&A costs based solely on 8% of
total direct costs exclusive of tuition and fees and health
insurance, and expenditures for equipment.  Applications from State
and local government agencies, except State universities or
hospitals, may receive full F&A cost reimbursement.
 
6.  Program Income  Policy requires applicants for PHS research
grants, including training grants, to include in their grant
applications an estimate of the amount and source of program income
expected to be generated as a result of the project for which support
is being sought.  The specific policies that govern the treatment of
program income are set forth in the PHS Grants Policy Statement.
 
H.  Reporting Procedures
 
The following documents are critical to the process of establishing
the payment of stipends and other costs, as well as the determination
of possible payback service.  Failure to submit the required forms in
a timely manner may result in an expenditure disallowance or a delay
in any continuation funding for the award.
 
1.  Statement of Appointment (Form PHS 2271, See Appendix 4)
 
a.  Grantee Submission  The institution must submit this form to the
NIH awarding component prior to or at the start of each trainee's
appointment or reappointment.  No stipend or other allowance may be
paid until the appointment form has been submitted.  If the support
covers the individual's initial 12 months of postdoctoral support, a
signed Payback Agreement must also be submitted.  It is important to
note that the information on the Statement of Appointment and the
Termination Notice is the basis for determination of the length or
amount of an individual's payback requirement.  An accurate social
security number should be included on the Statement of Appointment
and all other documents.  The program director and the institutional
financial officials should coordinate the information reported on the
Statement of Appointment.  It should be treated as a financial
document for obligating costs (stipends) which later are reflected on
the Termination Notice and as part of the total costs in the
Financial Status Report.  A supply of Statement of Appointment Forms
(PHS 2271) is provided to the program director by the awarding
component.  In FY96, NIH began piloting the electronic receipt of the
information on the PHS 2271.  A number of grantee institutions are
currently testing this system.
 
b.  Interim Revisions  Any changes or corrections involving a trainee
appointment under an institutional grant, such as, name, permanent
mailing address, period of training, stipend support, must be
reported by the training program director to the awarding component
on an amended PHS-2271 at the time of the change.
 
2.  Payback Agreement (Form PHS 6031, See Appendix 5)  A National
Research Service Award Payback Agreement must be signed by each
postdoctoral individual for whom the appointment covers his/her
initial 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support.  If the individual
has already received 12 months of postdoctoral support under any NRSA
grant or award, this form is not required.  No Payback Agreement is
required for predoctoral or prebaccalaureate trainees. For detail on
NRSA payback, see Section IV.
 
3.  Termination Notice (Form PHS 416-7, See Appendix 6)  The
Termination Notice (Form 416-7) is the basis (along with the
Statement of Appointment Form) for validating the total period of
NRSA support and the amount of payback obligation (if any) for each
NRSA trainee.  For an institutional award, the awarding component
sends the program director a supply of Termination Notices on an
annual basis.  The program director is responsible for the submission
of a Termination Notice on each trainee immediately upon the
termination of his/her support.
 
4.  Consecutive Support  If a trainee switches from one NRSA grant
mechanism to another, including from one awarding component to
another, the requirement for payback service incurred is deferred
until the total NRSA support is completed.  All Statement of
Appointment forms are reviewed to determine if previous NRSA support
has been provided.
 
I.  Progress Reports, Financial Status Reports, and Changes in the
Project
 
1.  Progress Reports  Progress reports must be submitted with all
applications for non-competing continuation support in accordance
with the instructions accompanying the application forms.  Incomplete
or inadequate progress reports may be returned for revision and may
result in a delay of continued support.  In addition, a final
progress report must be submitted to the awarding component within 90
days after the end of a final competing segment of a project period.
 
2.  Financial Status Report (FSR)  A FSR is required for all
institutional grants no later than 90 days after the close of each
budget period.  This report will document the financial status of the
grant according to the official accounting records of the grantee
institution. Trainee stipends and tuition are obligated for the full
12-month appointment from the budget period in which the appointment
is initiated.  Portions of stipends and tuition that extend beyond
the budget period are carried over as unliquidated obligations.
However, the report for the final budget period must have no
unliquidated obligations and must indicate the exact balance of
unobligated funds.
 
3.  Changes in the Project
 
a.  Changes in the program objectives as they relate to the area of
research training for which the grant was approved require prior
approval from the NIH awarding component.
 
b.  Where absence of the program director is expected to exceed a
continuous period of more than three months, plans for the conduct of
the program during his or her absence must be approved in writing by
the awarding component.  Any proposed change of program director must
be requested by the grantee institution and be approved in writing by
the awarding component following review of the nominee's
qualifications and re-evaluation of the project in the light of the
proposed change.
 
c.  Institutional grants are not transferred from one domestic
institution to another except under most unusual circumstances.  Such
a change will generally be approved only if all of the major benefits
attributable to the original grant can be transferred and there is no
negative impact on trainees active in the program.
 
J.  Other Terms and Conditions
 
1.  Leave
 
a.  Vacations and Holidays  Trainees may receive the same vacations
and holidays available to individuals in comparable training
positions at the grantee or sponsoring institution.  Trainees shall
continue to receive stipends during vacations and holidays.  At
academic institutions, the time between semesters or academic
quarters is generally considered an active part of the training
period.
 
b.  Sick Leave and Other Leave Trainees may continue to receive
stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick leave per year.  Under
exceptional circumstances, this period may be extended by the
awarding component in response to a written request from the training
program director or the sponsor.  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)).
 
c.  Parental Leave  Trainees may also 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.  Either parent is eligible for parental leave. For trainees,
the use of parental leave must be approved by the training program
director.
 
A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not be
made from grant funds for leave not taken.
 
d.  Unpaid Leave  Individuals requiring extended periods of time away
from their research training experience, which could include more
than 15 calendar days of sick leave or more than 30 calendar days of
parental leave must seek approval from the awarding component for an
unpaid leave of absence.  Approval for a leave of absence must be
requested in advance by the training grant program director and be
countersigned by an authorized institutional official.
 
During a leave of absence, documentation to suspend the period of
appointment must be completed by submitting an amended Statement of
Appointment Form and a Termination Notice.  These forms should be
submitted to the awarding component at the beginning of the leave.
At the resumption of NRSA support, the reappointment must be
documented on another Statement of Appointment Form.
 
2.  Termination  A training grant may be terminated prior to its
normal expiration date at the written request of the recipient, or by
the Director, NIH, if it is found that the recipient has materially
failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the award or to
carry out the purpose for which it was made.  In the event an award
is terminated for cause, the Director shall notify the awardee in
writing of this determination, the reasons therefore, the effective
date, and the right to appeal the decision.
 
3.  Publications  Trainees are encouraged to submit reports of their
findings for publication to the journals of their choice.
Responsibility for direction of the project should not be ascribed to
NIH.  However, awarding component support must be acknowledged by a
footnote in language similar to the following:  "This Investigation
was supported by National Institutes of Health, National Research
Service Award  (number)   from the     (awarding component)    ."  In
addition, it is now mandated that all grantees funded with Federal
dollars, in whole or in part, acknowledge Federal funding when
issuing statements, press releases, requests for proposals, bid
solicitations and other documents.  Grantees are required to state
(1) the percentage and dollar amounts of the total program or project
costs financed with Federal money, and (2) the percentage and dollar
amount of the total costs financed by nongovernmental sources.
 
4.  Copyright  Except as otherwise provided in the conditions of the
award, when publications or similar copyrightable materials are
developed from work supported by NIH the author is free to arrange
for copyright without awarding component approval.  Any such
copyrighted material shall be subject to royalty-free, nonexclusive,
and irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce them,
translate them, publish them, use and dispose of them, and to
authorize others to do so for Government purposes.
 
5.  Patents  No training grant made by PHS primarily to an awardee
for educational purposes will contain any provision giving PHS any
rights to inventions made by the awardee.
 
6.  Disposition of Professional Fees  Fees resulting from clinical
practice, professional consultation, or other comparable activities
performed pursuant to the purpose of the award may not be retained by
the trainee/fellow.  Such fees will be assigned to the grantee
institution for disposition in accordance with PHS policy on grant
related income.  The term professional fees does not apply to
honoraria, fees for scholarly writing, delivery of occasional outside
lectures, or service in an advisory capacity to public or private
nonprofit organizations.  These fees, if within institutional policy,
may be retained by the awardee.
 
7.  Human Subjects/Animal Welfare/Recombinant DNA
 
a.  Human Subjects  The DHHS regulations for the protection of human
subjects provides a systematic means, based on established,
internationally recognized ethical principles, to safeguard the
rights and welfare of individuals who participate as subjects in
research activities supported or conducted by the DHHS.  If the
applicant organization has an approved Assurance of Compliance on
file with OPRR but, at the time of application, plans for the
involvement of human subjects are so indefinite that Institutional
Review Board (IRB) review and approval are not feasible, the grantee
should check "Yes" and insert "Indefinite" on the face page of the
application.  If an award is made, human subjects may not be involved
until a certification of IRB approval or designation of exemption has
been submitted.
 
In many instances, trainees supported by institutional training
grants will be participating in research supported by research
project grants for which the IRB review is already completed or an
exemption is already designated.  This review or exemption
designation is sufficient, providing the research would not be
substantially modified by the participation of a trainee.  The
appropriate grants must be identified along with their IRG review
dates or exemption designation.
 
b.  Vertebrate Animals  The PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of
Laboratory Animals  requires that grantee institutions (foreign or
domestic) proposing to use vertebrate animals file a written Animal
Welfare Assurance with the Office for Protection from Research Risks
(OPRR), establishing appropriate policies and procedures to ensure
the humane care and use of live vertebrate animals involved in
research activities supported by PHS.  If the applicant organization
has an approved Assurance of Compliance on file with OPRR but, at the
time of application, plans for the involvement of vertebrate animals
are so indefinite that Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
(IACUC) review and approval are not feasible, the grantee should
check "Yes" and insert "Indefinite" on the face page of the
application.  If an award is made, vertebrate animals may not be
involved until verification of the IACUC approval date has been
submitted to the NIH awarding component.
 
In many instances, trainees supported by institutional training
grants will be participating in research supported by research
project grants for which the IACUC review is already completed.  This
review is sufficient, providing the research would not be
substantially modified by the participation of a trainee.  The
appropriate grants must be identified along with their IACUC review
dates.
 
For additional information on either Human Subjects or Vertebrate
Animals please refer to the PHS 398 application kit or contact the
Office for Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of
Health, 6100 Executive Blvd.  Bethesda, Maryland  20892, Telephone:
(301)  496-7163.
 
c.  Recombinant DNA   The current NIH Guidelines for Research
Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules and announcements of
modifications and changes to the Guidelines are available from the
Office of Recombinant DNA Activities, National Institutes of Health,
Bethesda, Maryland  20892.  All research involving recombinant DNA
techniques that is supported by the DHHS must meet the requirements
of these Guidelines.
 
IV.  Payback Reporting Requirements for Recipients
A.  Purpose and Background
 
The National Research Service Award (NRSA) legislation requires some
recipients of support to pay back the Federal Government by engaging
in health-related biomedical or behavioral research including the
direct administration or review of health-related research, health-
related teaching, or any combination of these activities.   Recent
policy changes have significantly broadened the definition of
"health-related."  See Section C.1.a.(3)  for a complete
interpretation.
 
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act of 1993,
signed into law on June 10, 1993, includes provisions in Section 1602
that substantially modify the service payback requirement for
individuals supported by the NRSA.  For research training grants,
these new provisions are applicable to all new appointments or
reappointments on or after June 10, 1993. For individual fellowships,
these provisions apply to all fellowship awards beginning on or after
June 10, 1993.  For competing fellowships, the award beginning date
refers to the award activation date.
 
An individual who was appointed to a research training grant or who
had a fellowship award activated before June 10, 1993 would be
governed by the service payback provisions in effect at the time of
the appointment or award until the end of that appointment or budget
period.
 
B.  Implementation
 
The incurrence of a payback obligation for an NRSA recipient is
solely dependent upon when NRSA support was received.
 
1.  Prior to August 13, 1981 (enactment of the Omnibus Reconciliation
Act), a payback obligation existed for all prebaccalaureate,
predoctoral, and postdoctoral support received.
 
2.  Effective August 13, 1981, a 12-month legislative allowance
waiving payback obligation for the first 12 months of support was
enacted for all predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees/fellows.  This
legislation provided that all trainees/fellows who were not in
delinquent status on that date received the allowance (this was
retroactive to the beginning of the NRSA program).  Individuals in
delinquent status continued to have a payback obligation for all
support received.  This legislative change also eliminated the
payback obligation for prebaccalaureate recipients.
 
Historically, short-term trainees supported by the T35 mechanism
(NRSA Short-Term Training) incurred no payback obligation.  However,
for short-term trainees supported within a T32 program, the period(s)
of support accrued and ultimately counted toward the total NRSA
support.
 
3.  Effective June 10, 1993 (NIH Revitalization Act):
 
a.  Predoctoral Recipients   For predoctoral trainees beginning
appointments and for predoctoral fellows activating awards on or
after June 10, 1993, no payback obligation is incurred. Thus a
Payback Agreement Form (PHS 6031) is no longer required.
 
b.  Postdoctoral Recipients   For postdoctoral recipients, a payback
obligation is incurred for the first 12 months of NRSA support with
the 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral support serving to pay
back this obligation on a month by month basis. A Payback Agreement
Form (PHS 6031) is still required but only for the initial 12-month
postdoctoral support period.
 
The requirements established by the Revitalization Act also provide
that the 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA supported
research training will be used to discharge any PRIOR postdoctoral
NRSA service payback obligation.  See Section IV.C.1.c Initiation of
Payback Service for detailed changes effective with the Act.
 
c.  Short-term Training  Any predoctoral short-term training would
not incur a payback obligation.  Postdoctoral short-term training
would incur a payback obligation.  Any support would accrue along
with any subsequent postdoctoral support until the first twelve
months was established.  At that point, the 13th and subsequent
months of support would serve to offset the obligation on a month-by-
month basis.  In the event that subsequent postdoctoral support was
not received, the individual would have an obligation which would
have to be paid back in the traditional manner.
 
C. Payback
 
The NIH awarding component, generally assumes responsibility for
handling payback activities once the Termination Notice has been
submitted and accepted.  For some awarding components, the NIH NRSA
Payback Service Center assumes this responsibility.  Established in
the National Institute of General Medical Sciences effective October
1, 1995, the Payback Service Center personnel represent the NIH's
experts in the NRSA Payback arena.  For those awarding components
participating in the Center, the authorities normally delegated to
the awarding component are automatically delegated to the Chief, NRSA
Payback Service Center.
 
Most NRSA recipients eventually fulfill their payback obligation by
engaging in activities which are determined to be acceptable service.
Some recipients fulfill their obligation via financial payback.  On
rare occasions waivers of the payback obligation are granted.
 
As indicated in Section IV.B above, the amount of a payback
obligation incurred is solely dependent upon when NRSA support was
received.  Timing of NRSA support is also a factor on the type of
service that qualifies as acceptable payback.
 
1.  Service Payback
 
a.  Definitions  For the purpose of fulfilling the NRSA service
payback obligation, the following definitions apply:
 
(1)  Research:  Research is defined as an activity which involves the
design of experiments, development of protocols, and collection and
interpretation of data.  In addition, review of original research or
administration of original research which includes providing
scientific direction and guidance to research may be acceptable if a
doctoral degree and relevant research experience is required for
individuals filling such positions.  Such research can be conducted
in an academic, government, commercial or other environment in either
a foreign or domestic setting.
 
In addition, when consistent with the cumulative amount, type, and
frequency of research or research training experiences, functions
which involve analytic or other technical activities conducted in
direct support of research, as defined above, will also satisfy the
service payback obligation.
 
(2)  Teaching:  Teaching is an instructional activity that takes
place in an organized educational or other instructional environment.
Activities classified as teaching are generally carried out in a
formal didactic setting but other activities will be considered if
they are consistent with the certifying institution's policy on the
definition of teaching responsibilities.  Such teaching can be
conducted at universities, professional schools, research institutes,
teaching hospitals, primary schools, secondary schools or colleges.
When calculating hours of teaching per week, it is permissible to
include three hours of preparation time for each hour of direct
instruction.   Acceptable teaching activities must have a biomedical
or health-related relevance.
 
(3)  Health-Related:  This incorporates a broad range of activities
related to the description, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of
disease from the most basic biomedical or behavioral research to the
most applied or clinical research.  In addition to fields usually
considered to be directly related to human disease, activities in
other fields such as agriculture, environmental sciences,
biotechnology, and bioengineering will also be considered health
related.
 
b.  Time Commitment   All acceptable activities must be undertaken
for periods that average at least 20 hours per week.  Total
employment in such activities averaging less than 20 hours per week
cannot be counted towards fulfilling the obligation except in cases
of disability or other pressing personal or family circumstances such
as child care or elder care responsibilities.  It is not permissible
for individuals otherwise engaged in full-time employment to engage
in service payback activities at effort levels below 20 hours per
week.
 
If less than 20 hours commitment per week is permitted, the total
period of service obligation will be prorated.  For example, an
individual who owes 12 months of service and can devote only 10 hours
per week to service payback activities due to a disability will be
required to engage in such service for 24 months. These exceptions
are rare and must receive prior approval from the awarding component.
 
c.  Initiation of Payback Service
 
(1)  Support Received Prior to NIH Revitalization Act  For NRSA
recipients who incurred a payback obligation from support received
prior June 10, 1993, payback service must be performed following
completion of NRSA support. No amount or type of activity prior to or
during the period of NRSA support will satisfy the NRSA service
payback obligation.  However, payback service may be initiated
immediately after termination from NRSA if the research or teaching
activities meet the criteria cited above.
 
(2)  Support Received Post NIH Revitalization Act   Beginning with
awards operating under the NIH Revitalization Act (appointments on or
after June 10, 1993), service payback obligations for postdoctoral
recipients may be discharged in the following ways:
 
(a)  By receiving an equal number of months of postdoctoral NRSA
support beginning in the 13th month of such postdoctoral NRSA
support;
 
(b)  By engaging in an equal number of months of health-related
research, training and/or teaching averaging more than 20 hours per
week.
 
(c)  Trainees and fellows beginning appointments for the 13th and
subsequent month of POSTDOCTORAL NRSA support on or after June 10,
1993 will be engaging in service which will also satisfy prior
postdoctoral NRSA service payback obligation.  Post-award service in
non-NRSA supported health-related research, training, and/or
teaching, is creditable toward any NRSA service payback obligation.
(d)  Individuals who have completed their predoctoral NRSA training
and have an existing NRSA service payback obligation are still
required to engage in service payback or make financial repayment.
Postdoctoral NRSA support may not be used to satisfy an existing
predoctoral payback obligation.
 
d.  Source of Funding  The source of funds supporting an individual's
service payback activity is not restricted beyond the fact that for
predoctoral payback activities it must not be supported by NRSA.  An
individual could be supported by a PHS grant or from any non-NRSA
Federal or non-Federal source.  Unpaid service is also permitted.
 
e.  Timing of Service Obligation  An individual must begin to
undertake the payback service requirement within two years after the
termination date of the individual's NRSA support unless an extension
of time to begin payback has been approved by the awarding component
(see Section IV.C.4.a).
 
2.  Alternative Service  Alternative service in lieu of research and
teaching was deleted by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of
1981.  Individuals who entered the NRSA program on or after August
13, 1981, the date the Act was signed, are not eligible for
alternative service.   Individuals who entered the NRSA before August
13, 1981 are governed by the alternative service provisions in effect
when their appointment started.  Additional information concerning
alternative payback service is available from the awarding component.
 
3.  Financial Payback
 
a.  Policy and Principal Calculation   If any individual to whom the
requirement for service is applicable fails to undertake or perform
such services, the United States Government shall be entitled to
recover from the individual the amount determined in accordance with
the following formula plus interest:
 
A = O        (t-s)
               (t)
 
Where "A" is the amount the United States is entitled to recover, "O"
is the sum of total amount paid to the individual under the National
Research Service Award support; "t" is the total number of months in
service obligation, and "s" is the number of months of such
obligation served .
 
The total paid to the individual under institutional grants and
individual awards at domestic, non-federal sponsoring institutions is
considered to be the stipend only.  The total paid an individual
under a fellowship award at a foreign sponsoring institution includes
the payment for the round trip travel costs.  The total paid an
individual under a fellowship award at a Federal sponsoring
institution includes any money expended from the institutional
allowance provided for such purposes as health insurance, travel,
tuition, and fees.
 
b.  Interest & Interest Rate Calculation   NIH computes interest on
the principal amount beginning on the date the U.S. became entitled
to recover stipends.  The interest rate is the rate fixed by the
Secretary of the Treasury after taking into consideration prevailing
consumer rates of interest.   Accordingly, interest may be accruing
on any NRSA obligation if the two-year grace period has passed, or if
deferment has expired, or if service has terminated before completion
of the payback obligation. The Department of the Treasury certifies
NRSA interest rates on a quarterly basis.  Interest is computed on a
360 day-a-year basis and is applied through the date of receipt.  Any
outstanding amount will continue to bear interest at the initial rate
set by the Secretary of the Treasury until financial payback is
complete.
 
Determination of the "date" which sets the applicable rate of
interest is dependent upon the type of NRSA account received for
collection.  If Financial Payback is Voluntary, the signature date of
the notification of voluntary payback is the "date" that determines
the interest rate as well as the initiation of the three year
repayment period.  If Financial Payback is Involuntary, the "date"
which determines the interest rate and the three-year repayment
period is the date of expiration of the two-year period following the
termination of NRSA support.  For example, if during June 1991, the
OFM received an account reflecting January 31, 1989 as the
termination date of NRSA support, the Government, lacking any
documentation to the contrary, becomes entitled to financial payback
effective February 1, 1991.  The rate of interest applicable is
determined based on the February 1, 1991 date and the total NRSA
obligation is required to be fulfilled by January 31, 1994.
 
The amount to be recovered financially, as determined from the
Termination Notice plus applicable interest, shall be paid to the
United States within the three-year period following such date.
 
4.  Extensions of Payback   The National Research Service Award
legislation and the promulgating regulation (42 CFR Part 66)
authorize the Secretary to make exceptions to certain requirements
under the Act.
 
a.  Extensions of the Two-Year Period to Initiate Payback
Frequently, an APAC is returned requesting an extension of the two-
year period to initiate payback.  Indication of valid plans to
initiate payback soon after the two-year grace period may be good
reason to grant an extension.
 
b.  Basis for Extensions  The awarding component may extend the
period for undertaking payback service or permit breaks in continuous
service.  These determinations are based on the following criteria:
 
(1)  an extension or break in service is necessary so the individual
may complete his or her research or clinical training;
 
(2)  the individual is unable to complete the requirements within the
specified  period because of a temporary disability; or
 
(3)  completion by the individual of the requirement within the
specified  period would involve substantial hardship to the
individual and that failure to extend the period would be against
equity and good conscience.
 
Reasons for an extension or break in service include such things as
completing residency training, where clinical teaching or research
are not an integral part of their training, or individuals seeking
employment that would fulfill the payback requirements.
 
Requests must be made in writing (separate letter or Annual Payback
Activities Certification (APAC)) to the awarding component,
specifying the need for additional time and the length of the
required extension.
 
c.  Extension to Complete Payback Service  The awarding component may
approve or disapprove requests to extend the period of payback
service or permit breaks in continuous service.  Decisions to permit
breaks in service are based on the criteria described in Section
IV.C.4.b above.
 
5.  Waiver
 
a.  Policy  The National Research Service Award legislation and the
promulgating regulation (42 CFR Part 66) authorize the Secretary to
make exceptions to certain requirements under the Act.  For waiver
requests, NIH may waive, in whole or in part, the payback obligation,
upon determination that compliance by the individual is impossible,
or would involve substantial hardship, and enforcement of the
obligation to that individual would be against equity and good
conscience.
 
b.  Waiver Criteria  Requests for waivers should be made in writing
to the awarding component and explain the need for the waiver
according to the following criteria:
 
(1)  Compliance by an individual will be deemed impossible if the
individual is permanently and totally disabled;
 
(2)  In determining whether compliance would involve substantial
hardship to the individual and would be against equity, the Director,
NIH shall take into consideration:
 
(a)  the individual's financial resources and obligations at the time
of request for a waiver;
 
(b)  the individual's estimated future financial resources and
obligations;
 
In rare cases, the following might also be considered:
 
(c)  the reasons for the individual's failure to complete the
requirements within the  prescribed period, such as problems of a
personal nature;
 
(d)  the extent to which the individual has engaged in payback
activities;
 
(e)  whether the individual has received sufficient training to be
qualified to perform such activities;
 
(f)  the lack of employment opportunities appropriate to the
individual's education and training; and
 
(g)  any other extenuating circumstances.
 
(3)  Any obligation of any individual toward payback will be canceled
upon death of the individual.
 
D.  Certification of Payback Activities
 
1.  Annual Payback Activities Certification (Form PHS 6031-1, See
Appendix 7)
 
a.  Annual Certification  Payback service is certified through the
use of the Annual Payback Activities Certification (APAC) form (PHS
6031-1).  Individuals with an outstanding payback obligation, must
complete an APAC annually until their payback obligation is
fulfilled.
 
The APAC is sent by NIH approximately one year after the completion
of NRSA support, if an individual has incurred a payback obligation.
Payback service may be initiated within the first 12 months of
termination even though trainees/fellows have up to 24 months to
initiate payback.  There is no penalty to those individuals who do
not initiate payback within the first 12 months; however, it is
critical that they complete an APAC form to ensure contact is
maintained and addresses are current.
 
On this form, the individual will report the activity in which he or
she was engaged for the preceding 12 months, within the specified
"reporting period".  These forms are to be returned within 30 days of
the reporting period end date to:
 
Data Management Control Section, OER
National Institutes of Health
Rockledge II, Room 1010
6701 Rockledge Drive MSC 7715
Bethesda, MD  20817
 
Forms are then forwarded to the awarding component who will then
review the activity and make a decision on its acceptability and
inform the former trainee/fellow of the decision.  This process will
continue annually until the individual's total payback obligation is
satisfied.
 
b.  Change of Address  Any change in the mailing address of a NRSA
recipient must be reported promptly to the awarding component until
the service obligation is fully discharged.
 
2.  Breaks in NRSA Support  Sometimes a trainee/fellow will have a
period of non-NRSA support between two NRSA awards.  An appropriate
activity performed during this period of time may count for payback
purposes toward the first NRSA  award. If the non-support period is
six months or longer, the individual receives an Annual Payback
Activities Certification (APAC) form through the regular  mechanism.
However, if the break is less than six months, an APAC will not be
automatically mailed.  If acceptable payback service was performed
during the break, the individual may complete an APAC, which can be
obtained from the awarding component, to document the payback
service.
 
3.  National Health Service Corp  Occasionally, an NRSA recipient
will have previously been a National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
scholar.  Legislation provides authority for holders of both awards
to pay back the obligation of the two sources of support
concurrently.  Therefore, activities which qualify as NRSA payback
will also serve as payback for the NHSC obligation.  However, no
Legislative Allowance is provided  for NHSC service; e.g., 36 months
of NRSA support (prior to June 10, 1993) and 36 months of NHSC
support would require 24 months of NRSA payback service and 36 months
of NHSC service respectively.  The awarding component monitors both
obligations until they are both satisfactorily completed.
 
.

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