ORCCAMIND Postdoctoral Training Policy

T32 CAM Research Training in Neuroscience and Stress

Postdoctoral Training policy

I. Compensation and Benefits

T32 Postdoctoral Scholars are paid by stipend and appointed to gain research experience under the guidance of a faculty mentor/s.

I.1. Stipend

The minimum monthly stipend for Postdoctoral appointments is the NIH NRSA stipend level in effect on the starting date of the appointment. Payment of stipends at higher rates (or supplementation of stipends) is subject to policies of the funding source (e.g., NIH Grant Policy) and must be approved by the Department Chair (and Training Grant Director, if applicable).

This is a full-time research position. On average, post-docs should devote at least 75% of their time to research and up to 25% on coursework and/or clinical work that has been approved by the primary mentor and one of the T32 directors.

Stipend payments are issued twice a month through the OHSU payroll system. Please note that during months with 3 pay periods, you will not receive payment in the 3rd period to maintain the monthly NIH stipend rate.  Payroll will split the stipend equally between the first 2 pay periods. No taxes are withheld (see I.2).

To request direct deposit, complete and submit the following form:


I.2. Taxes

OHSU does not withhold taxes from or provide advice regarding taxes on T32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service awards. If the trainee plans on paying federal income tax on the stipend, then a quarterly estimated tax payment may be useful. In preparing your personal income tax return, please consult with your tax advisor because the issue of federal taxes on these awards is not always clear-cut and OHSU is not authorized to provide individual tax advice.

I.3. Health Care

Postdoctoral Scholars and their families shall have access to a comprehensive health care plan consistent with coverage provided to other individuals in similar training positions at OHSU.  Appointees have access to the same benefit plan made available to Unclassified Employees at the University. OHSU provides the same medical and dental benefits for postdoctoral scholars as they do for all employees. (Please review your benefits package for further details). Any additional premiums over the OHSU contribution will be paid by the Postdoctoral appointee via stipend reduction.

If postdocs choose to waive OHSU medical and dental options, funds of up to $1,000 may be available for project research-related expenses.

Benefits begin the first day of the month following the hire date.  Postdocs have 31 days from their start date to enroll.  If hired on the first day of the month, coverage will begin that day.

I.4. Retirement Benefits

Enrollment is offered to all Postdoctoral Scholars employed on June 30th of each fiscal year.  OHSU contributes 3% into a 457(b) plan offered by Fidelity Investments.

I.5. Holidays, Vacation and Sick Leave

Appointees receive the same paid holidays as OHSU. In addition, appointees may take up to 2 weeks of paid vacation days per appointment year (start date to end date). After use of sick time, vacation time may be used for approved medical leave. Scheduling of vacation days must be approved by the Faculty Mentor. Appointees and Mentors are expected to be both reasonable and flexible in making decisions about the student's commitment of time to laboratory work as well as other training-related activities when scheduling vacations. The time period between academic terms is considered to be active part of the training period. Unused vacation days may be carried over from one appointment period to the next. However, Appointees will not receive payment for unused vacation days when their appointments end.

Appointees may take up to 12 days of paid sick leave per appointment year. Sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 sick day per month. Additional sick leave is without pay. Whenever the number of days of sick leave in an appointment year exceeds 12, the Appointee must provide written notification to the Mentor and Training Program Coordinator (and Training Grant Director if applicable) and consideration must be given to whether the Appointee is able to maintain his/her training responsibilities. If it appears that continued leave will interfere with satisfactory completion of the training program, the Appointee may be terminated from the program. A period of terminal leave is not permitted, and payment will not be made for sick leave that is not taken.

Postdoctoral Appointees may take pregnancy, parental or family leave as these terms are defined by the OHSU Administrative Policy Manual. Up to 12 days of such leave may be taken each academic year as paid sick days in accord with the sick leave policy described above. Any additional leave is without pay, unless allowed by the granting agency or funding source. Postdoctoral appointees are entitled to take up to 12 consecutive calendar weeks of pregnancy, parental, or family leave per academic year. Individuals intending to take such leave must provide advance written notice of their intent to the Mentor and Training Program Coordinator (and Training Grant Director if applicable). Extended leave for Trainees is subject to final approval by the granting agency. Postdoctoral Appointees who return from pregnancy, parental, or family leave within 12 weeks will be reinstated at the same stipend level in effect when the leave began.

There may be additional restrictions or requirements for Trainees who receive stipend support from individual or institutional traineeship or fellowship awards from NIH or other sources. Students should consult their training program director and the awarding agency for additional information.

I.6. Travel and Research Expenses

Postdoctoral appointees are allowed up to $1,000 in travel funds to attend research-related conferences or events. There are generally no funds for study costs. If postdocs receive medical insurance outside of OHSU and wish to opt out of OHSU insurance, the T32 may be able to provide an additional $1,000 in research expenses.

Tuition for some courses are allowable expenses, e.g., the Human Investigation Program. Tuition for other courses and workshops may be allowable within the T32 but needs to be discussed with the mentor and one of the T32 co-PI’s. Some additional funding may be provided annually from the individual and/or the mentor’s research funds.

The T32 training program does not provide funds for moving expenses.

II. NIH Public Access Policy & T32 Acknowledgement

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication.  The policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication. For detailed instructions on how to comply with this policy, please refer to the NIH website: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/. Many journals automatically upload copies within the 12-month period, here is a list of those who submit: https://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm

Because this list isn’t always up-to-date, please also check the terms of your publishing agreement. If the journal does not submit on your behalf, NIH requires that you upload the final, peer-reviewed manuscript through the National Institutes of Health Manuscript Submission system (NIHMS) within 3 months of publication.  Through this process you will receive a temporary NIHMSID# which is eventually replaced by a PMCID#.

All publications made possible in whole or in part by the T32 grant have to acknowledge the grant number, NIH T32 AT002688.

III. Trainee Citizenship

At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected for research training supported by NRSA institutional training grants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident.  Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.

IV. Required Training and Education 

A minimum of 20 hours of formal CAM education must be undertaken per year, in addition to the monthly journal club and annual retreat. The HIP NCCIH sponsored course on Physiological Measures of Psychological Stress (IV.2) counts toward this 20 hours.

IV.1 Individual Development Plan (IDP)

All postdocs are required to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) within three months of their appointment. The IDP needs to be reviewed with your primary mentor and with your assigned T32 co-PI. In addition, your IDP will be presented at the annual retreat. For assistance in plan development, visit:


IV.2 Human Investigations Program (HIP)

Human subject researchers are expected to enroll in the Human Investigations Program (HIP). For Fall term, applications must be submitted by July 16th (this date may vary year to year) and applicants will be notified of admission decisions by mid-August. Human subject researchers are expected to enroll in the Human Investigations Program (HIP). All trainees must enroll once in the HIP NCCIH-sponsored course on Physiological Measures of Psychological Stress (HIP 536), as well as attend other lectures and courses relevant to your area of research.


IV.3 Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR)

Postdocs involved in clinical projects are recommended to take the HIP RCR 002 course. Those doing preclinical work have the option of taking HIP RCR 002, CONJ 650 (Practice and Ethics of Science) or RCR 003 (BSN Seminar in RCR/Bioethics). Not all RCR courses are offered every year, so it is recommended to take the course that best fits the appointee’s timeline while on the T32.

IV.4 Neuroscience Courses

All postdocs are also required to take the “Neurobiology of Disease” (NOD) course. 


IV.5 Research presentations

Research training expectations are that the trainees will present, in rotation, at the monthly journal club, attend and present at the annual half-day research retreat.  

V.   Award of a 3rd year of funding

Prior to a 3rd year appointment, postdocs should submit a cover letter along with the annual progress report and current NIH-formatted biosketch. These will be distributed to and carefully evaluated by the T32 Executive Committee. Criteria for appointment to the 3rd year will normally be: 1) publication of at least two 1st author papers related to the T32, 2) one submitted career development application for federal funding or a draft of the specific aims page for an imminent submission. The exact criteria will be reviewed on an individual basis.