The NIH has recognized how the high cost of childcare can create roadblocks for graduate students and postdocs on the way to completing their training. In order to help alleviate some of this burden, the agency announced that as of FY22 full time pre-doc and postdoc trainees supported either by NRSA fellowships (NT-OD-21-074) or training grants (NT-OD-21-177) may request up to $2,500 annually to defray childcare costs.

ELIGIBILITY

An NRSA fellow or trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for costs for childcare provided by a licensed childcare provider. If both parents are NRSA fellows, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500. (Each individual may receive $2500 maximum regardless of the number of children.) The costs are allowed for dependent children under 13 living in the parent’s home, or disabled children under 18. The funds do not apply for costs associated with eldercare or for care of non-dependent children.

POLICY DETAILS

The individual receiving funds for childcare must keep, and provide to NIH if requested, all documentation of related expenses and proof that the childcare provider is licensed. These costs are not tied to payback obligations.

HOW TO APPLY (FELLOWSHIPS)

So how do you request these funds? Fellows can request funds by submitting a new application, renewal (progress report), or administrative supplement. Below are highlighted instructions for each. And don’t fret. Reach out to your institutional grant administrator with any questions you may have or for assistance in submitting a request. They will be able to guide you.

New Applications

Request via field 28b on the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form for the first year using the information below.

  • Enter $2,500 for the Amount
  • Enter 12 for the Number of Months
  • Enter ‘Childcare Costs’ (without quotation marks) as the Type
  • Enter NIH as the Source.

For additional years, request the funds by including an “Other Attachment” document titled “Childcare_Cost_Request.pdf” (without quotation marks) on the R&R Other Project Information Form. The attachment must indicate the numbers of years and childcare cost amounts being requested. Applicants are not required to submit supporting documentation.

 Renewal

Current fellows may request childcare costs for future years via the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). In Section G.1 of the RPPR, fellows should upload a PDF titled “Childcare_Cost_Request.pdf” (without quotation marks). The attachment must indicate the numbers of years and childcare cost amounts being requested. Applicants are not required to submit supporting documentation.

Administrative Supplements

A fellow does not have to wait until their RPPR is due to submit a request for childcare cost support. Notice of Special Interest NOT-OD-21-070 allows current fellows to request an administrative supplement using the forms package with the Competition ID containing “ADMINSUPP-FELLOWSHIP”. The process follows the same instructions as a new application.

The request for the first year is made by entering the information below in field 28b on the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form.

  • Enter $2,500 for the Amount
  • Enter 12 for the Number of Months
  • Enter ‘Childcare Costs’ (without quotation marks) as the Type
  • Enter NIH as the Source.

For additional years, applicants should request the funds by including an “Other Attachment” document titled “Childcare_Cost_Request.pdf” (without quotation marks) on the R&R Other Project Information Form. The attachment must indicate the numbers of years and childcare cost amounts being requested. Applicants are not required to submit supporting documentation.

HOW TO APPLY (TRAINING GRANTS)

The process for NRSA training grants (T32, TL1, TU2 and T90) to receive funds is much simpler. Childcare costs will automatically be provided to new, renewal and continuing applications awarded in FY22 based on the number of trainee slots awarded, unless otherwise noted on the notice of award. With the submission of the annual progress report, recipients must upload an attachment specifying the number of trainees who used childcare costs in the reporting period. Update are being made to move this this process to xTrain in the future. A final note. Unused funds may not be rebudgeted.

FAQs

For additional information on this funding support, visit the NIH’s Frequently Asked Questions website on this topic.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

What the F? An Introduction to the NRSA Fellowship

What the F? When to Submit a NRSA Fellowship

What the F? Reference Letter vs Letter of Support

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1 Comment
Sara Myers says:

I am glad they are adding this to the amount of the fellowship. It would be great if grants could help pay for childcare costs at conference as well, whether the children travel with you or someone is paid to watch the kids at home while you are gone.

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