In April 2021, recognizing the high cost of childcare, NIH began allowing recipients of full-time National Research Service Awards (NRSA) fellowships to request support for childcare costs. Fellows could make these requests in new and continuation applications or as administrative supplements to existing awards. Each fellow is now eligible to receive up to $2,500 per budget period to defray childcare costs. Here, we share preliminary data on childcare cost requests and issuances.
NIH received 229 childcare requests in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and 357 requests in FY 2022 from NRSA fellows (Table 1). We issued 228 childcare cost awards in FY 2021, totaling $572,083, and 196 awards so far in FY 2022, for a total of $509,687. Table 1 shows additional data disaggregated by the specific fellowship grant type: F30, F31, and F32. Note, the FY 2022 data are as of July 22, 2022, and are likely to change before the end of the fiscal year.
|FY 2021||FY 2022|
|Fellowship Type||Application Count||Award Count||Awarded Dollars ($)||Application Count||Award Count||Awarded Dollars ($)|
This childcare cost benefit was also extended to all NRSA trainees last October, and we have plans to report similar data on its progress at a later date.
One of NIH’s main goals continues to be ensuring that early career researchers can successfully complete their training and fully participate in the extramural research workforce. These childcare cost awards, along with other family friendly policies, help to foster a well-trained and diverse biomedical research workforce. We encourage you to review the other available policies and initiatives (also discussed on this NIH All About Grants podcast) aimed at balancing work and family life for all biomedical researchers.