Increases for National Research Service Award Stipends and Childcare Subsidies


We are committed to sustaining the vitality of the future biomedical research workforce, including providing appropriate support and addressing the many challenges faced by postdoctoral scholars in biomedicine. As part of this commitment, we are pleased to announce stipend and childcare subsidy increases for the over 17,000 early career scholars supported on NIH Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) (NOT-OD-24-104). Stipends will be raised by 4% for predoctoral trainees and by 8% for postdoctoral scholars in fiscal year (FY) 2024 compared to last year), the most substantial year over year increase since FY 2017. Additionally, the childcare subsidy will be increased by an additional $500 (from $2500 to $3000) in FY24.

Appropriate support for early career researchers is something we take seriously. The Advisory Committee to the NIH director (ACD), following thoughtful deliberations on re-envisioning the NIH-supported postdoctoral experience, reiterated that financial concerns were a topmost challenge for postdoctoral scholars. Echoing sentiments made in their final report from last December (see recommendation 1.1), lack of appropriate support dissuades some individuals to pursue a research career because of the negative effects on financial security.

The new stipend levels begin at $61,008 and are upwardly adjusted based on years of experience. In addition to higher stipend levels, there is also a modest $200 increase in training-related expenses and institutional allowances. Tuition and Fees for all educational levels remain unchanged from last year.

This is a significant step given a relatively flat NIH budget (see this recent blog about the interplay between budgets and success rates). The approach allows for an immediate stipend increase without drastic cuts to the number of available awards. As appropriations and budget realities allow, our goal is to reach the ACD recommended stipend levels (around $70,000 per year for postdoctoral scholars) in the coming years.

As we move toward that goal, institutions should note that:

  • As noted in the NIH Grants Policy Statement (e.g.,, “Kirschstein-NRSA fellows receive stipends to defray living expenses. Stipends may be supplemented by an institution from non-Federal funds provided this supplementation is without any additional obligation for the fellow.”
  • Recipient institutions are reminded that they are not prohibited from hiring NRSA trainees and fellows as employees or provide them with benefits consistent with what the institution provides others at similar career stages.

Raising NRSA stipends and childcare subsidies are only two ways we are committed to fostering a strong and robust future workforce. We will continue to assess our policies and procedures. We anticipate releasing a request for information (RFI) in the near future to seek input on specific recommendations from the ACD.

Read the NIH press release for more.


  1. Another unfunded mandate by NIH. Great idea in theory but without also increasing funding this is another hit to an already stressed research climate.

  2. As far as I can tell, the child care subsidy (which is a great idea) is not available to trainees supported by other mechanisms (e.g., R01s). Is that correct? If so, why?

  3. Is this increase only for new awards, or will the new rates be applied to current awards? If applied to current awards, will it be done at the start of a new budget year, or will current awards be revised with the increase?

  4. NIH keeps ignoring the biggest problem facing NRSA F32/T32 recipients: their stipends cannot be used by host institutions as conditions for employment, preventing institutions from offering equal benefits to postdocs who receive these “prestigious” awards. Just change the rule, and if you refuse, then it would honestly be better to get rid of the funding mechanisms and create something new that didn’t have this one ridiculous clause ( that causes so much pain and frustration. Until this happens, then all other announcements on these awards are mere hand-waving and shadow play.

  5. I am an NIH postdoctoral scholar. However, I couldn’t see any increase for my April 2024 stipend. Will we see this stipend increase next month for May 2024 stipend payment.
    Thank you

  6. Meanwhile, NIAID is cutting all R01 and many other budgets by 10% and doesn’t allow a PI to budget for yearly salary increases, as far as I am aware. While many PI’s support the pay increases, how they are funded from fixed flat budgets is becoming a major challenge to research budgets. Ultimately, higher pay will also mean fewer positions and a big change in how we view postdoctoral research positions.

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