NIH Announces Stipend and Benefit Increases for National Research Service Award Recipients

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. Continue reading

Additional Guidance Available on NRSA Stipends for Postdocs

We’d like to call your attention to a recently released NIH Guide notice that provides awardees with additional guidance related to the increases in postdoctoral NRSA stipends for postdoctoral researchers with 0,1 and 2 years of experience that go into effect December 1, 2016. As you may recall from earlier blog posts, under the Department of Labor’s revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as of December 1, 2016, US salaried, full-time professional workers will be entitled to overtime pay if they are paid below the new FLSA defined threshold. As described in an op-ed by NIH Director Francis Collins and Department of Labor Director Thomas Perez, “Fair Pay for Postdocs: Why We Support New Federal Overtime Rules,” NIH will increase postdoctoral NRSA stipends to start at levels above the new FLSA threshold, recognizing the contributions that postdoctoral researchers make to the NIH mission and that postdoctoral research activities – like most biomedical research careers – often exceed forty hours a week and do not neatly fall into hourly shifts. ….. Continue reading

How New US Overtime Provisions Will Affect Postdoctoral Researchers

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that contains overtime pay provisions for employees across the United States, entitling all US workers to overtime pay unless they are exempted because they are paid on fixed, preset salaries; are engaged in executive, administrative, or professional duties; and are paid at least $23,660 per year. Today, a historic change to this act has occurred – under the new rule, the overtime pay threshold will be increased to $47,476, effective December 1, 2016. …. Continue reading

Fiscal Policies for 2015

Happy 2015! Just a quick blog to let you know that last week, NIH announced policies for fiscal operations for fiscal year (FY) 2015, implementing the 2015 Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014. NIH has a budget of $30.31 billion, an increase of approximately $240 million over the FY 2014 final budget allocations of $30.07 billion. We also announced the stipend levels for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA), and salary limits …. Continue reading

Better Research Trainee Data through Streamlined Reporting Processes

Training of the next generation of biomedical scientists is a core responsibility of NIH and its partner grantee institutions.The NIH Advisory Council to the Director‘s Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group recommended that NIH should “develop a simple and comprehensive tracking system for trainees” as part of the broader challenge of gathering better biomedical workforce data. Unambiguous identification of NIH trainees was an absolutely critical first step in establishing the ability to examine contributing factors that lead to various post-training careers. Accordingly we started collecting information in this way by requiring that all post-doctorates and all graduate and undergraduate students listed in a grantee’s progress report have an eRA Commons ID (as of 2009 and 2013, respectively). The next important step is developing a system to automate the capture of trainee data that has long been provided by extramural institutions in their training grant applications. …. Continue reading