NIH Support

Postdoctoral fellows receive health benefits, vacation days and sick days. The postdoctoral fellow stipend amount is decided by the awarding unit, NIH, and is based on graduate status of the postdoctoral fellow. The stipend increases with the number of years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of the appointment. The annual stipend levels for all individuals receiving support through institutional or individual National Research Service Awards (NRSA) made under Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act are:

2022 Stipends


Years of Experience

Stipend for FY 2022















7 or More


Taxability of Stipends

Since the income tax reform bill of 1986, fellowship stipends are taxable.

Period of Appointment

While appointments are necessarily made for one-year periods, it is expected that training periods will ordinarily be for at least two years. Often, one or two second year postdoctoral fellows may continue into a third year of training. NIH allows a maximum of three years of training at the postdoctoral level.


A postdoctoral fellow must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment. To assure that this will not be a problem, we expect that postodoctoral fellows already meet eligibility requirements at the time their applications are submitted. A non-citizen national is a person who although not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the U.S. They are generally persons born in lands which are not States, but are under U.S. sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration, for example American Samoa. An individual lawfully admitted for permanent residence must submit a notarized statement upon activation of the award, indicating possession of the alien registration receipt card (I-151 or I-551). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for support from the NRSA.

Payback Provisions

Trainees in the first twelve months of postdoctoral NRSA support will incur one month of obligation for each month of support. Trainees in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA support will incur no further obligation. Furthermore, each month of training in the second year constitutes a month of payback. Consequently, completion of two years of training fulfills the one-year payback requirement and no other service is required. (If a postdoctoral fellow were to leave at the end of the first year of training he/she would have incurred one year of training payback requirement. This has ordinarily been satisfied by teaching or research activities that add up to a year's subsequent employment).