The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has begun providing childcare cost support to recipients of full-time NRSA fellowships and predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees on NRSA institutional research training awards. See NIH Notices NOT-OD-21-074 and NOT-OD-21-177 for additional information. NIH has also issued FAQs with clarifying policy information.
Requesting Childcare Funds for NRSA Awards
For NRSA Fellowships, the NRSA childcare costs apply to full-time NIH-NRSA supported fellowship positions (F30, F31, F32, and F33). Applicants and recipients may request the NRSA childcare allowance as part of new applications (Type 1), continuation applications (Type 5), or as an administrative supplement request (Type 3).
For Institutional Training Grants, the NRSA childcare costs apply only to full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral trainees on NIH-NRSA-supported institutional research training awards. The institutional training grant programs that support full-time pre- and post-doctoral trainees under the NRSA authority are the T32, TL1, TU2 and T90. Childcare costs will generally be provided based on the number of trainee slots awarded. No additional action is needed on the part of the applicant at the time of application to request these funds.
For both NRSA Fellowships and NRSA Training awards, NIH will not award childcare costs retroactively.
The following criteria will determine eligibility for receiving reimbursement:
- Each fellow or trainee may receive a maximum of $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs.
- Short-term predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees are not eligible to receive childcare costs, nor are undergraduate trainees and fellows.
- Childcare costs are permitted for dependent children living in the eligible fellow or trainee’s home from birth under the age of 13, or children who are disabled and under age 18. This is inclusive of foster/adoption and part-time custody situations where the child is of appropriate age. The childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.
- Eligible childcare under the childcare cost is care that 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
The following reporting requirements apply:
For training grants, in Section G.1 of the RPPR, recipients must upload a PDF named “Childcare_Costs.pdf” (without quotation marks). The attachment must specify the number of trainees who received funds for childcare costs in the (prior) reporting period. System enhancements are forthcoming that will incorporate reporting via xTrain. Additional information and implementation guidance will be issued.
For the Federal Financial Report, similar to how NIH advises recipients to report on stipends and tuition for NRSA institutional training awards, recipients are advised to report childcare costs that cross over budget periods as unliquidated obligations. Unliquidated obligations are commitments of the recipient and are considered to be obligations and, therefore, should not be reported as unobligated balances. As a reminder, if the FFR report covers the final budget period of the project period, it must have no unliquidated obligations and must indicate the exact balance of unobligated funds.
For Fellowships, recipients must report on their annual RPPR if childcare costs continue to be needed or not. There are no additional reporting requirements for childcare costs regardless of the method by which they are awarded.
Process for Charging Expenses and Requesting Reimbursement
When childcare funds are awarded, Grant Accounting will establish a 01 subcomponent (unless a different subcomponent number is indicated on the AAAN) to track funds separately. Rebudgeting of funds for childcare costs is not allowed without prior written approval.
Reimbursement should be requested through an eVoucher using IACT 6235 with following information attached to the request:
- Completed NIH NRSA Childcare Reimbursement Request Form
- Daycare receipt showing amounts and dates of service (must be within the budget period funds were originally awarded)
Any questions regarding NIH policy or requesting reimbursement should be directed to your Grant Accounting Contact.