We are pleased to announce that stipends will be increased for those supported by Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSAs). As a result, approximately 15,000 NRSA training grant appointees and fellows spanning career stages from undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers will receive a two percent stipend increase for Fiscal Year 2018. Please see the recently released NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-18-175 for the specific new stipend levels.
Advisory groups at NIH, including those focused-on physician scientists, recommended that NIH adopt a practice of regular stipend increases. They also recognized that post-doctoral researchers on research project grants, such as those on R01 awards, for example, typically receive better benefits than postdoctoral trainees or fellows receiving NRSA support. It was also noted that inadequate benefits may deter postdocs from applying for fellowships or accepting a slot on a training grant.
In addition to the stipend increases for postdocs, NIH will support increases in Training Related Expenses provided with Institutional Training grants. Institutional Allowances awarded with fellowships will also be increased to support enhanced benefits, particularly health insurance.
To this end, we have noted recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine regarding NRSA stipend increases for post-docs. We are currently reviewing these and other recommendations from their recently released report which recommends ways in which NIH may continue enhancing the future of the biomedical workforce.
Please continue to monitor the NIH Research Training website for more information as it becomes available on this and related policies.