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Important Information for Current T32 Trainees

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) programs are designed to develop and/or enhance research training opportunities for individuals interested in careers in biomedical research. T32 Training Grants provide trainees with opportunities to travel to a conference, take additional coursework, and improve their career development training. This page contains resources for trainees who have been awarded a T32 training grant.

Timing of Payroll vs. Stipends

The University issues stipend payments on the first of each appointment month. Most banks process direct deposits within the same business day; however, with some banks/credit unions, it might take two to three business days to have stipend deposited to your account.

There will be a gap between a trainee’s final stipend payment and their first paycheck as they transition off the grant and return to standard payroll. For example, if their termination date is June 30, the final stipend payment will be issued on the first of the final month (June 1st) and the first payroll check for the period of July 1–15th will be received on July 22.

person holding money

Taxes on Stipends

Although stipends are not considered salaries, these payments are subject to federal and, sometimes, state income tax. There are no taxes withheld from stipend payments by the University of Utah, and the University does not issue 1099s. We recommend that trainees consider paying estimated taxes.

Unfortunately, the University does not provide individual tax liability guidance, so our only option is to refer trainees to their personal tax professional. NRSA trainees can ask their HR liaison for a copy of their NIH Statement of Appointment, the U of U Scholarship/Fellowship form, and their award letter, which includes references to the applicable tax codes. (Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 117) applies to the tax treatment of scholarships and fellowships.)


Travel & Training-Related Costs

Trainees are allotted grant funds to cover travel costs and training-related expenses. Exact amounts will always be outlined in your appointment/reappointment award letters. Prior approval by your program director may be required. 

  • Travel costs are provided to support travel expenses or virtual conferences.

    • Generally allowable training-related costs: one computer (iPad or laptop) per two-year appointment, software that directly benefits your research project, lab supplies, analysis, use of core services, professional development opportunities, some professional memberships, and the like. Generally unallowable costs: office equipment (chairs, desk, etc).

students celebrating

Healthcare, Childcare, & Tuition

Health insurance may be provided for use towards the cost of the employer-portion of your health benefits during the 12-month appointment. 

Childcare cost support is available from NIH to full-time predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees appointed on NRSA institutional training grant awards. Each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA-appointed trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider.

Tuition is provided as a benefit for trainees. Courses related to your training will be paid for by the grant. Prior approval by your program director or sponsor may be required.

mother and child gardening

NIH Payback Obligation (Postdoctoral Trainees Only)

Postdoctoral trainees will incur a payback obligation to NIH in the first 12 months of their NIH-supported postdoctoral research training period. However, if they continue their T32 training for a second year, that second year will fulfill the payback obligation of the first year. As an alternative, the first 12 months of payback obligation can be satisfied if they engage in a second 12 months of health-related research, health-related research training, or health-related teaching. 

Scientists working in lab

Have Questions About Your Training Grant?

Frequently Asked Questions

    Depending on the purchase the process may differ. Whether you are looking to order a computer, pay a professional membership fee, buy lab supplies, or run analysis please contact your NRSA administrator for questions and inquiries on your purchases and remaining funds. 

    In general, any computer equipment or other items of significant cost should be purchased early in your two-year appointment period to ensure that the purchases benefit the overall research project. It is understood that there will be exceptions to this timing, and those exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they are reasonable.

    NRSA stipend rates are set by NIH, as part of the annual Notice of Award (NOA). This means that the stipend being offered may be higher or lower than the trainees’s current salary. If the stipend is higher, then this is a win for the fellow. If the stipend is lower, the trainee’s home department may supplement the stipend to bring the fellow up to their University of Utah rate of pay so that the fellowship is not a penalty to them.

    It is common for new NRSA rates to be released in the middle of a trainee’s fellowship appointment year. Per NIH guidelines, once a trainee is appointed to an NRSA fellowship, the stipend rate will remain unchanged for the full 12- month appointment (unless a revised NOA is issued). Upon reappointment, the fellow will receive an increase.

    NRSA stipend rates for graduate students are standard for all trainees, regardless of their year in graduate school. 

    The NRSA stipend rate assigned to postdocs is determined by the postdoctoral experience they have at the time of appointment. It is important to understand that experience is different than PhD degree date. If there is a gap between when the postdoc earned their degree and then starts their first postdoc position, the experience will be calculated based on when the postdoc begins their position.

    The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) are a set of programs established by Congress and designed to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals into biomedical or biobehavioral research careers. The LRPs counteract that financial pressure by repaying up to $50,000 annually of a researcher's qualified educational debt in return for a commitment to engage in NIH mission-relevant research. Find information on eligibility, application guides, dates, deadlines, contact information, and the like.

    xTrain is an eRA Commons module that allows Program Directors, university administrators, and trainees to electronically prepare and submit PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment Forms and PHS 416-7 Termination Notices associated with institutional research training grants, institutional career development awards, individual fellowships, and research education awards.

    While the expectation is that you fulfill your appointed time on the grant, exceptions do arise. If your appointment is terminated early, it is imperative that you alert your NRSA administrator as soon as possible. Your NRSA administrator will work to prorate your stipend payment accordingly and arrange a payback if necessary. Depending on where you are in your appointment cycle, training related expenses and institutional allowances may also be prorated and adjusted.

    Childcare cost support is available from NIH to full-time predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees appointed on NRSA institutional training grant awards. Each full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA appointed trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.

    If trainees need evidence of their employment (for loan applications, for example) during their fellowship, standard HR forms will show a salary of $1. To circumvent this problem, we recommend asking your lender if these two documents are an acceptable substitute: 

    1. A letter from PI/mentor stating something like “_______ is employed as a full-time postdoctoral fellow (or graduate student) in the lab of ________ in the Department of _______ at the University of Utah. Her/his/their annual salary is $___.” 
    2. A notarized letter from the trainee’s home department administrative manager/director, including a copy of the Traineeship form and Vendor Summary report showing the trainee’s stipend payments. All pages included in item 2 included a notary stamp. Letter includes language like: “I am writing to verify that ________ has been paid on a stipend through the University of Utah on the (insert NRSA grant name) from _/_/_- _/_/ . Because stipend payments are processed through the Accounts Payable department rather than Payroll, awardees are not given a paystub or statement, the payments are simply deposited to their bank monthly. The university does not produce any tax forms such as a 1099 on stipends; for questions, please contact our Tax Services department at 801-581- 3428. We ask that you accept the following documents as proof of payment: Educational/Research Traineeship Grant Form - this is the form we use to set up payment with Accounts Payable, List of payments from _/_/    - _/_/    from our financial management system.”