Predoctoral support, limited to 5 years, does not incur a payback obligation. This includes both individual predoctoral fellowships and training grant (T32) support, or any combination of the two.
Every postdoctoral NRSA fellow ( T32, F32, or any combination) incurs an obligation to ‘pay back’ the first 12 months of NRSA support. Months 13 and beyond are the usual ‘pay back’. This policy is in place because studies have shown that postdocs who engage in 2 or more years of research once they obtain their degree are more likely to pursue a research career.
At the time that you are appointed to a training grant, or activate your individual fellowship award, you will be required to sign a payback agreement. Should you not complete 24 months of NRSA support, you will have to verify that you are engaged in bona fide research or other specified activities, for a minimum of 20 hours a week for a period that completes your service obligation. Should you be unwilling to complete your payback service obligation, the government will expect to receive monetary compensation, with interest, for the NRSA support you have received.
Page last updated: November 25, 2008