Summary of Salary Cap and Stipend Levels for Fiscal Year 2021

Funding News Edition: March 03, 2021
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Don’t worry if you missed the news that NIH published fiscal year 2021 salary cap and stipend levels for National Research Service Awards (NRSA) in January. You can catch up here.

Recapping the Salary Cap

As you may know, the salary cap is a legislatively mandated provision that limits the direct salary for people working on NIH grants, cooperative agreement awards, and extramural research and development contracts. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale.

Effective January 3, 2021, the Executive Level II salary cap level is $199,300, as announced in this January 29, 2021 Guide notice.

NRSA Stipends and More

Predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees and fellows receive stipends based on career level and years of experience. Undergraduates receive one set stipend amount.

See this January 27, 2021 Guide notice for current stipend levels as well as the amount of funds NIH provides for the following:

  • Tuition and Fees
  • Training-Related Expenses on Institutional Training Grants
  • Institutional Allowance for Individual Fellows

In a March 1, 2021 Guide notice, NIH announced its intent to provide support for childcare costs to graduate students and post-doctorates funded through NRSA fellowships. We will discuss the policy in greater detail in our next issue.

For Future Reference, Check Our Webpage

If you need to find salary cap information or stipend levels in the future, you can always check the relevant Guide notices. Another option: go to our Salary Cap, Stipends, & Training Funds webpage, which also has a helpful Questions & Answers section.

That said, if you can’t find the information you seek, contact our Office of Research Training and Special Programs; specifically, Diane Adger-Johnson for fellowship-related inquiries and Dr. Deborah Philp for those related to training grants.

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