NIH NRSA Childcare Stipend Guidance & Reimbursement Request Form

To encourage family-friendly work environments, NIH has released guidance related to Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for both individual fellows and institutional training grant appointees. NIH policy notice NIH-OD-21-074 announces the availability of childcare support to recipients of NRSA fellowships, and notice NIH-OD-21-177 provides the same for training grants. At this time, only NRSA recipients are eligible, whether pre- or post-doctorate fellows (e.g., F31 or F32), or pre- or post-doctorate trainees (e.g., T32).

NIH Policy Overview

The NRSA childcare costs apply to full-time NIH-NRSA-supported fellowship or trainee positions. Each individual is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are NRSA fellows or trainees, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.

Childcare costs are permitted if:

  • Individual is in a full-time NIH-NRSA-supported fellowship or trainee position
  • Dependent children are living in the eligible individual’s home AND under the age of 13, or dependent children living in the home who are disabled and under age 18
  • Provider is licensed and/or regulated by state and/or local authorities, including, but not limited to:
    • Childcare at a day camp, nursery school, or by a private sitter before- or after-school care, pre-schools
    • Licensed day care centers
    • Summer or holiday day camps

Important notes: 

  • Childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.
  • In cases of early termination, fellows may not use any unused portion of the childcare costs. It will remain unobligated and will be adjusted by the agency as part of the closeout process.

Applicants and recipients may request the NRSA childcare costs as part of new applications, continuation applications (Type 5), or for fellows, as an administrative supplement request (Type 3). See Applications section below for details.

When childcare costs are awarded, they are restricted; unused childcare budgeted dollars can be re-budgeted with prior written approval from the NIH awarding IC. Unused dollars on training grants cannot be rebudgeted and must be reported as an unobligated balance on the next FFR.

NIH Resources

  • NIH policy notice NIH-OD-21-074: Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellows
  • NIH policy notice NOT-OD-21-070: Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Administrative Supplements for Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Fellows
  • NOT-OD-21-075 - Notice of Correction to NOT-OD-21-070 Application and Submission Information
  • NIH policy notice NOT-OD-21-177: Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Awards
  • NIH FAQs related to childcare costs

Application Process

New Applications: Fellowships (e.g., F31 or F32)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to request childcare costs for all applicable years that the project will be funded based on the dependent(s)’ age eligibility factor.

SPS proposal submissions for Fellowships requesting support for childcare costs must include a line item for childcare costs in the budget.

Example budget line item

Important notes:

  • Supporting documentation should be maintained in department (e.g., proof provider is licensed). NIH may request additional documentation at any time.
  • If awarded, TBS will set up a separate subcode for the restricted amount allowed for the childcare expenses. The plan will be allocated in a 63xx GL since the payment will be delivered to the fellow via non-comp payroll.
New Applications: Training Grants (e.g., T32)

Training grants will automatically receive the $2,500 per budget period allotment for each trainee appointment slot.

New applications for T32s do not require additional details or attachments in SPS record or application.

T32s should report # of trainees who used childcare costs during the reporting period in Section G.1 of the RPPR for non-competing renewals.

Important notes:

  • Supporting documentation should be maintained in department (e.g., proof provider is licensed). NIH may request additional documentation at any time.
  • If awarded, TBS will set up a separate subcode for the restricted amount allowed for the childcare expenses. The plan will be allocated in a 63xx GL since the payment will be delivered to the fellow via non-comp payroll.
Continuation Applications: Fellowships (e.g., F31 or F32)

Current fellows may request childcare costs for future years via the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR).

Requests for childcare costs should be submitted along with budget details in the continuation year SPS record. Justification should include a comment with the number of years of childcare support being requested. This does not need to be included in the RPPR.

Include an attachment to specify the requested childcare costs that provides in Section G.1 of the RPPR

  1. Amount of childcare costs requested
  2. Number of years childcare support requested  

Per NIH Guidance, file must be named: Childcare_Cost_Request.pdf

Important notes:

  • Supporting documentation should be included in SPS record or maintained in department (e.g., proof provider is licensed). NIH may request additional documentation at any time.
  • If awarded, TBS will set up a separate subcode for the restricted amount allowed for the childcare expenses. The plan will be allocated in a 63xx GL since the payment will be delivered to the fellow via non-comp payroll.
Continuation Applications: Training Grants (e.g., T32)

Training grants will automatically receive the $2,500 per budget period allotment for each trainee appointment slot.

  • Continuation applications for T32s do not require additional budget  details or attachments in SPS record.
  • In Section G.1 of the RPPR, recipients must upload a PDF named Childcare_Costs.pdf 
  • The attachment must specify the number of trainees who received funds for childcare costs in the (prior) reporting period.

Important notes:

  • Supporting documentation should be maintained in department (e.g., proof provider is licensed). NIH may request additional documentation at any time.
  • If awarded, TBS will set up a separate subcode for the restricted amount allowed for the childcare expenses. The plan will be allocated in a 63xx GL since the payment will be delivered to the fellow via non-comp payroll.
Existing Applications

Current fellows may request an administrative supplement to provide childcare costs on an existing award. Applications must be submitted using Notice of Special Interest NOT-OD-21-070.

Requests for childcare costs should be submitted via SPS:

  1. Initiate a new SPS record using “copy as a supplement” option
  2. Enter same budget details as noted above

Reimbursement Procedure

Once a childcare stipend is awarded by NIH, Duke will issue payments for reimbursement of childcare expenses up to the awarded amount via Duke’s Payroll system. The payment request will be routed through the standard Non-Comp iForm workflow review and approval process. Payroll will issue payment to the Fellow or Trainee once all steps below are completed. 

1. Fellow or Trainee submits items listed below to departmental payroll representative or designee

A. Request for Reimbursement of Childcare Costs form

B. Statement and cost confirmation of childcare

  1. Must include the eligible child’s name and the cost (of at least the amount of the stipend)
  2. Statement format may vary by provider; any current invoice, agreement or letter from the childcare provider is acceptable as long as it includes the provider’s name, child’s name and cost

C. Provider license verification obtained from NCDHHS search site (see example below)

  1. Download or print results as a PDF

Example PDF

NOTE: If there’s not a positive result to the search, the cost is not allowable and an alternate provider would be needed in order to qualify for the stipend.

2. Department completes the Non-Comp Award iForm to request a one-time payment of the stipend, including all three required documents listed above as attachments on the iForm.

A. Childcare stipend payment must be listed on an individual line of the iForm separate from the standard monthly payment and (if applicable) health insurance stipend, and must use the WBSE subcode created for this stipend’s activity.

3. Approvers review the iForm for accuracy, completeness and compliance.

4. Payroll processes the iForm and includes the childcare payment to the fellow or trainee with the next monthly non-comp payment.

Requests for assistance should be submitted via the myRESEARCHhome Research Help widget.