Trainees generally are supported for 12-month full-time training appointments for which they receive a stipend as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research training experience (per the NIH Grants Policy Statement – section 11.3.8.2). The stipend is not “salary” and is not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government or SDSU Research Foundation. Stipend levels are determined by NIH (fiscal year 2016 levels are used if (re)appointment start date is before 7/31/2017 and 2017 levels (predoc / postdoc) are used for appointments starting on or after 8/1/2017).

Stipends are distributed on a monthly basis and mailed directly to the individual’s home or directly deposited into the individual’s bank account. To receive stipends via direct deposit, the direct deposit authorization agreement form must be faxed or mailed (not scanned) to SDSU Research Foundation.

Taxability of Stipends (per the NIH Grants Policy Statement – section 11.3.10.6)

Although stipends are not considered salaries, they are still subject to Federal and, sometimes, State taxes. Taxes are not automatically deducted from the stipend and each individual must determine their own tax reporting obligations. SDSU Research Foundation’s taxation notice must be completed by each trainee per 12-month appointment.

Payback Requirement – Postdoctoral Trainees ONLY (per the NIH Grants Policy Statement – section 11.4)

Legislation requires postdoctoral recipients of support to pay back the Federal government by engaging in health-related biomedical or behavioral research, including the direct administration or review of health-related research, health-related teaching, or any combination of the activities listed in section 11.4.3.1.1.

For individuals receiving postdoctoral support under individual fellowships or institutional research training grants, a payback obligation is incurred for the first 12 months of Kirschstein-NRSA support. However, the 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA supported research training serves to pay back this obligation month by month. A Payback Agreement Form (example: PHS 6031) is required, but only for the initial 12-month postdoctoral support period. The Payback Agreement Form is generated in xTrain during the appointment process in eRA Commons.

For predoctoral trainees no payback obligation is incurred; therefore, a Payback Agreement Form is not required.