NIH National Research Service Awards

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA): "Helps ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to carry out the Nation's biomedical and behavioral research agenda." These awards are designed to offer a training experience designed to get postdoctoral and predoctoral students interested in a career in research, while offering options for tuition or loan repayment assistance.

Training Grants and Fellowships are known as T and F awards because the activity type assigned by the NIH begins with a T or an F. Training Grants are awarded to OHSU for a predefined program. Fellowships are for an individual training experience.

SPA has put together a series of slide shows to outline the basic post award management of NRSA awards:


Stipends are issued to an individual under a fellowship or training grant to provide for the individual’s living expenses during the period of training. A stipend is not considered compensation for the services expected of an employee. Stipends should not be confused with Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) support which is compensation for services provided.

Since fellows cannot have an employer-employee relationship with OHSU, their stipends must be issued via Accounts Payable. A Scheduled Disbursements Memo must be issued with each annual appointment. A Residency Status Form must be submitted with the initial setup. Forms, instructions, including signing up for direct deposit can be found on the Accounts Payable Forms Page. NIH Stipend Levels are on the RGC webpage.

Health Insurance

Postdoctoral trainees are required to maintain the same minimum health care coverage as OHSU employees. Information regarding postdoctoral health insurance can be found on the OHSU Postdoc webpage and on the Employee Benefits page.

and Predoctoral trainees receive the same health coverage as other students. Information regarding predoctoral health insurance coverage can be found on the Student Health Services site.

Tuition and Fees

Predoctoral trainees receive funding for tuition and fees. In rare instances, tuition and fees may be awarded for a postdoctoral trainee. The NIH currently awards up to $16,000 per year per trainee.

For the 2010 school year, SOM requires that the department pay a minimum amount per student which includes the full cost of health insurance and fees, plus $2000 of tuition for each postdoctoral trainee and graduate research assistant. The minimum tuition that can be charged per student per term is $500. However, NRSA fellows can be charged additional tuition not to exceed a total of $16,000 per year for tuition and fees to the grant. Contact the Bursars’ office for information on charging tuition and fees to your grant.

The International Fee associated with international student fee schedules is included in the F&A rate and therefore, cannot be directly charged to a grant and must be charged to a department account.

Information on tuition and fees as well as current rate schedules can be found on the Registrar's webpage.

New Trainees

While Trainees are not employees, much of the same paperwork is required to be submitted so employees can obtain identification cards, network access, etc. This information, applicable to both predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees, can be found on the Manager Zone.

If a Postdoctoral Trainee is new to OHSU, a New Hire Personnel Action (PA) must be submitted to set the fellow up in HR. If a current OHSU fellow is moving on to or off of a fellowship or training grant, a Job Change PA must be submitted to change their job classification. PA forms can be found on Your Employee Records. View an example of how to complete the change change in HR Express.

Predoctoral trainees may be an HR Non-OHSU Employee ID Number in order to submit some grant applications and will need an HR Non-OHSU Employee ID Number and a Provider Code if they receive an NRSA fellowship. An ID number can be obtained by completing the OHSU Employee ID Request Form. A provider code can be obtained by submitting the G/L Account Segment Enable & Disable Form, located on Central Financial Services forms page under "COA Enabling."

OHSU Research Compliance Paperwork

Like others in Research, each Trainee must submit compliance paperwork annually and when training begins. Links to OHSU's compliance groups are listed below:

Federal Resources

The NIH has a wealth of information online regarding NRSA awards. Additional information can be found on the following pages:

Statement of Appointments, Payback Agreements, Termination Notices and Applications can be found on the NIH Forms Page.


xTrain is a module in the eRA Commons used to manage the submission of statement of appointments, payback agreements, and termination notices for Training Grants. OHSU participated in the pilot and the module is currently optional for use. Find more information on the internal process, or view an OHSU Quick Reference Guide..

Statement of Appointments

PI or PI-delegated departmental contact (ASST role in Commons) to initiate the following:

The NIH will perform a query based on social security and date of birth to verity the fellow doesn’t already have a Commons account. The search should be completed within 24 hours, but may take up to 48 hours. The NIH will then email the fellow with instructions to activate the account.

The trainee needs to log in and enter their personal profile information. A statement of appointment cannot be created if their personal information is incomplete. Be sure that any prior NRSA support is listed in the trainee's profile as this information is used to populate the Termination Notice (TN).

The PI/ASST will log into the Commons and complete the Statement of Appointment (Form 2271). The PI must certify the statement of appointment is correct. This function cannot be delegated. The ASST will work with the PI to ensure the certification is completed timely.

The PI will electronically route the statement of appointment to the agency:

  • For Predocs: The ASST will email/mail the PDF version to SPA for SPA's records.
  • For Postdocs: The ASST will print out the 2271, payback agreement, and applicable certification of residency status, obtain appropriate signatures, and mail the original(s) to NIH with a copy to SPA.
  • For House Officers, a PDF version of the 2271 will be emailed/mailed to OHSU Graduate Medical Education (GME).
  • A scheduled disbursements memo must be routed to SPA with the statement of appointment.

Termination Notices

ASST will log into Commons and initiate the Termination Notice. The system should recalculate the stipend level in the event of early termination. The form will be routed to the Trainee.

The Trainee will either type in their progress report, or upload a file which contains their progress report. They would also enter their mailing address after termination and their post award position. The form will be electronically routed to the Business Official (BO role in Commons) in SPA.

The BO will log into the Commons and email the Termination Notice (TN) to the SPA Analyst. The SPA Analyst will review the form to ensure the total stipends posted in OGA matches the TN. The Analyst will notify the BO if the form is okay to approve.

If the form is okay, the BO will electronically approve in the Commons. If the form is incorrect, it will be electronically returned to the PI.


The xTrain User's Manual and other reference guides can be found on the NIH website.

The NIH should be contacted directly if there are questions regarding the system. The NIH prefers the use of the online submission form so that comments can be routed to staff familiar with xTrain.

eRA Commons Help Desk
Web: (Preferred method of contact)

Toll-free: 1-866-504-9552
Phone: 301-402-7469
TTY: 301-451-5939
Hours: Mon-Fri, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time