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Post Award Tips and Compliance

Appointment to an institutional training grant provides an opportunity to expand and enhance your graduate or postdoctoral training. Once you receive a grant, there are a number of administrative tasks that need to be completed to ensure compliance with NIH and maintenance of benefits at the university. Explore the tips and resources below.

Create and ORCID ID (Open Researcher Contributor ID)

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.

All trainees supported by NIH, AHRQ, and CDC fellowships, research training/education, and career development awards must have an ORCID iD. 

1. Create your ORCID iD.

2. Visit the eRA website for instructions on how to associate your ORCID iD to your personal profile. 

Acknowledgement of NIH Support and Public Access Policy

NRSA trainees and their mentors must acknowledge NIH financial support in publications, presentations, and abstracts. “This research was supported by NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award [add grant number] from the [add name of NIH Institute funding the award].”

Trainees and their mentors must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy which requires that investigators submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH support to the PubMed Central archive, so these are accessible to the public within 12 months of publication. Some journals automatically deposit new publications with PubMed Central, but it is the responsibility of the trainee and their mentor to confirm.

Taxes

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 postdocs consider paying estimated taxes.

Unfortunately, the University does not provide individual tax liability guidance, so our only option is to refer postdocs to their personal tax professional. T32 trainees can ask their HR liaison for a copy of their NIH Statement of Appointment, the U of U Traineeship 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.)

Health Insurance

Fellows continue to be eligible for health insurance while they are on an NRSA fellowship. Their insurance coverage will not change, and there should be no lapse in coverage. What will change is the way that insurance is paid. Traditionally, the insurance is paid through the payroll system, so while the trainee is appointed to a grant their insurance will be moved to manual billing. This means that HR will send a monthly statement to the department administrator and the employer/department’s portion of insurance will be paid via journal entry. The employee/trainee’s portion of insurance will be paid directly from their checking account.

When the department communicates with HR to move the trainee to manual billing, they will also provide HR with an ACH form, which is the form that allows for the employee/trainee insurance to be paid from the postdocs checking account. This amount is equivalent to what was previously taken out of their payroll checks.

Most T32 grants offer some money towards the employer/department’s portion of insurance, though this will vary by grant and will need to be discussed on an individual basis.

Important: When the fellowship is terminated and the trainee returns to payroll, the department will need to move the trainees insurance back from manual billing, to payroll. The ACH will also need to be canceled.

NIH Payback Obligation

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. The payback agreement will be electronically generated upon completion of the Statement of Appointment Form, at the time of appointment to the NIH grant. An original copy of this document must be mailed, with the original signature, to NIH.

Stipend Rates

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 a graduate students stipend or postdoc’s current salary. If the stipend is higher, then this could a win for the fellow. If the stipend is lower, the graduate student or postdoc’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 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.

FOR POSTDOCS: The stipend rate assigned to the postdoc 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.

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 2-3 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 22nd.

Program Director and Admin Post-Award Resources

Office of the Associate VP for Research Training Grant Support

The OAVPR intends to provide resources to ensure that departments are incentivized to encourage faculty to apply for and administer training grants. These OAVPR resources would be in addition to funds provided through the SOM or other college/university funds flow allocation models. This mechanism of support is year-by-year and dependent upon available funds.  Ongoing support should not be assumed.

View specific program guidelines.

Resources

We have curated a variety of resources to help training grant administrators, training grant program directors, and faculty interested in developing a training grant.

For access, follow this Box link and login with your UNID and password. 

Contact Us

For specific questions related to training grant pre-award contact Jess Kieper and for training grant post-award contact SarahMay Case.

Contact Us

The Biomedical Training Programs team provides support for the health sciences training infrastructure at the U. Our team works closely with offices across campus to coordinate and support activities related to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees. We provide pre and post-award support for the 20+ institutional training grants on campus and stay current on national trends and evolving grant requirements to ensure compliance and enhance programs. Contact us with your questions about training programs and pre and post award support.

Sean Flynn, PhD
Associate Director, Training Programs
sean.flynn@hsc.utah.edu
SarahMay Case
Academic Programs Manager (Post-Award Support)
sarahmay.case@hsc.utah.edu
Jess Kieper, CRA
Research Manager, Institutional Training Programs
jessica.kieper@hsc.utah.edu
Jeanette Ducut-Sigala, PhD
Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Health Sciences Training Programs
j.ducutsigala@utah.edu