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Training Grants Questions and Answers

Table of Contents



After Award


Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

Where can I find basic information about training grants?

Find information on our Training and Career portal, Advice on Research Training and Career Awards tutorial, and Research Training Grants SOP.

Do I need pre-approval to submit my application if I'm requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs?

Yes. For more information, see the Research Training Grants SOP.

Does NIH's public access policy apply to training grants?

Yes. For more information, read the Public Access of Publications SOP.

Do I need to include a plan for instruction in responsible research conduct?

Yes. Read the Responsible Conduct of Research: Training SOP for more information.

Must I address rigor and reproducibility in my application?

You will need to account for rigor and reproducibility beginning as early as FY 2017. Learn more at NIH's Rigor and Reproducibility page, and pay close attention to the Timeline.

Do PDs/PIs of T32 grants need to be certified or examined for human subjects research?

No. The NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) is not a research grant and does not necessitate human subjects certification. Instead it supports individual trainees who may work on human subjects research projects.

The projects that trainees work on during the training period should have already been cleared for human subjects research through their research grants.

Must I include IRB or IACUC information for the potential grants trainees will work on?

NIH is changing this policy. For applications due on or after January 25, 2016, you do not.

Instead, describe how your institution will ensure that trainees participate only in exempt human subjects research or non-exempt human subjects research that has institutional review board (IRB) approval and vertebrate animal research that has institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) approval.

How many trainee positions can I request?

Request the number of trainees that you can justify and the faculty can train. You must have adequate faculty and resources to provide an outstanding research and academic environment. It is better to apply with a carefully selected number of trainees. We discourage new applications with a large number of trainees.

Are trainee qualifications important?

Yes. You will need outstanding candidates to be your trainees.

Must trainees receive support at NRSA levels?

Stipends must be paid at the appropriate NRSA level, and all funds must come from the training grant. For stipend levels, see NRSA Stipend Levels. Check with the PI of the grant regarding items such as health insurance, scientific travel, and research supplies.

As PI, do I have to devote effort with no salary to a T32 grant?

Yes. PIs typically set aside 1.2 person months (or 10 percent effort) of a calendar year appointment towards overseeing the training program.

For more information on person months, see NIH's Frequently Asked Questions: Usage of Person Months.

What is allowable under the Training-Related Expenses category on a T32?

Training-related expenses can cover a variety of costs, including administrative support, health insurance, and research supplies. To check whether we will allow a particular expense, contact Philip Smith in our Grants Management Program.

For more information on training-related expenses, read What Do Training Funds Pay For? in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.

Can stipends be used to pay for tuition, books, and fees?

See Can stipends be used to pay for tuition, books, and fees? on Salaries and Stipends Questions and Answers.

To pay compensation for a trainee on a T32 grant, who verifies that a trainee's employment will not detract from or prolong the NRSA training?

The PI does this.

For more information about paying compensation to an NRSA trainee or fellow, see What's the difference between a supplement and compensation? in our Supplements to Grants—Administrative, Revision, and Research Questions and Answers.

What is the maximum number of years for which trainees can receive NRSA support?

NIH policy on combined NRSA support limits is the same for trainees and fellows. See What is the maximum number of years for which fellows can receive NRSA support? in our Fellowships Questions and Answers.

Can postdoctoral trainees end their T32 appointment early if awarded an F32?

Yes. Postdoctoral trainees can end their NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) appointment early to start on the NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32). However, the length of the F32 project period depends on how long trainees were on the T32.

This is because, according to the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS), "No individual may receive more than five years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level and three years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of Kirschstein-NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships."

Read Individual Fellowships in the GPS to learn more.

What are the guidelines for a trainee or postdoctoral fellow on a T32 training grant to take parental leave?

Kirschstein-NRSA trainees and fellows may receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days (equivalent to 8 work weeks) of parental leave a year for the adoption or birth of each child. Either parent is eligible for parental leave.

Before taking parental leave, Kirschstein-NRSA trainees and fellows must provide advance notice to the grantee institution. Notification of supervisors and others about using parental leave must be consistent with the organization's policy and consistently applied regardless of the source of funds.

Who needs to provide a personal statement as part of the biosketch?

Principal investigators and other key personnel must provide a personal statement. Faculty who participate in the training program but not the research projects do not.

Can I list a newly hired faculty member as a preceptor on a T32 grant if he or she is scheduled to start after the application due date but before the grant would be awarded?

Yes. Be sure to include the new preceptor's name and official start date to assure reviewers that the preceptor will be on board in time to assist any new trainees wanting to pursue that preceptor’s area of expertise.

Is there a limit on the amount I can budget for trainee travel?

We don't set a maximum amount, though the norm is $1,000 for each trainee. If you request more than this, the review committee may reduce it. You aren't required to spend the exact amount awarded; it may be more or less depending on travel needs.

Although we usually allow $1,000 per trainee for travel, be sure to request what you need. Include a strong justification, especially if you are requesting more than $1,000 for each trainee. For more information on what training funds pay for, visit Institutional Research Training Grants in the Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.

What if I don't have pre-enrollment data on people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, as required in the Data Tables?

Don't worry about it. See our Research Training Grants SOP for details.

How do you calculate program completion rates?

For more information, read How should training grant PD/PIs calculate their program completion rates for reporting within the Data Tables? in NIH's Frequently Asked Questions about NRSA Research Training Grants.

Can I send in materials post-submission?

Yes. Learn more at Sending Materials Post-Submission in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.

How are T32 applications evaluated?

See Writing a Training Grant Application in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.

When is NIAID's resubmission deadline for T32 applications?

T32 resubmissions for NIAID are due on the same single annual deadline as new applications: September 25 for non-AIDS and January 7 for AIDS-related.


Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

Does NIAID have instructions for renewals of training grants?

Follow the supplemental instructions for training grants in the SF 424 Application Guide. Get additional information from NIAID's Office of Research Training and Special Programs by calling 301-496-8697.

Does my renewal application need to be as detailed as my original application?

Yes. A renewal application should be as detailed as the initial one. Be sure to describe trainee track records: highlight trainees who have been promoted to good positions, have been honored, or have obtained independent funding and include minority recruitment.

Address any changes in faculty, staff, or funding, and describe improvements to your program. Find additional information in the supplemental instructions for training grants in part 8 of the SF 424 Application Guide.

Does the progress report section of a renewal application have a page limit?

No. However, to help peer reviewers, we advise you to be concise and summarize the most important information.

Note that for a renewal application, the progress report does not fall within the 25-page limit for Background, Program Plan, and Recruitment and Retention Plan to Enhance Diversity.

Can I ask for more trainee slots in my renewal application?

Yes. You may request more slots, but justify them well.

Should I include a list of publications for trainees in my renewal application?

No. For applications due on or after January 25, 2016, you do not need to report publications that arose from work conducted by trainees supported by the training grant. Instead you will do so during the just-in-time process.

In my renewal, should I list all trainees in the program or only those supported by the T32?

List all trainees in the program.

Does NIH require completion rates and time to degree for graduate students in a renewal?

Yes, see Does NIH require completion rates and time to degree for graduate students supported by NIH training awards?

Do I need to submit a final progress report if I am applying for a renewal?

No. If you submit a renewal application before the due date of your progress report, you do not need to submit a final progress report since you 1) must document progress in your renewal application, and 2) are planning to continue your program and thus not closing out your grant.

If you were closing out your grant, you would need to submit a final progress report as well as a final Federal Financial Report. Read File Your Final Reports at Award End in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

After Award

Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

Can I automatically carry over funds?

It depends when NIAID funded your T32 or T35. Read the Research Training Grants SOP for more details.

When are training grant forms and reports due?

Our Research Training Grants SOP gives you due dates for progress reports, Federal Financial Reports, payback agreements, and trainee appointments and terminations.

Where does the grantee send NRSA forms?

Go to the Research Training Grants SOP for where you should send NRSA forms for appointment, payback, and termination. If a trainee has a payback obligation, he or she will be contacted by the NIH Payback Service Center.

Is there a way to submit NRSA forms online?

Yes. With xTrain, you can create and submit appointments, re-appointments, amendments, and terminations. Read more at Submitting Your Training Grant Forms, Contacting NIAID.

Should I include a budget in the noncompeting grant progress report?

Yes. Training grants are required to submit a detailed budget.

Do I need to submit a cumulative PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report in my progress report?

You must provide a cumulative PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report only if you participated in research involving human subjects not reported in the progress report of another PHS-supported project.

If you are conducting clinical research, you must report the annual cumulative enrollment of subjects and their distribution by sex/gender and ethnicity/race using the PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report. The PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report is not included in the two-page summary limit.

Where do I send my annual noncompeting grant progress report?

Send your Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) through the eRA Commons.

Does NIH require completion rates and time to degree for graduate students supported by NIH training awards?

Yes. You must provide details in T32 renewal applications and progress reports. See our Research Training Grants SOP to learn where this information should go.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Our Training and Career has many resources including:

If you still need help, email with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base. ​

Last Updated June 29, 2016

Last Reviewed December 10, 2015