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Salary Cap, Stipends, & Training Funds

Consult the latest salary cap and stipend levels when you prepare your grant application or contract proposal budget. For fellowship and training awards, learn how you may spend funds.

Salary Cap

Congress restricts the amount of direct salary paid to an individual under an HHS grant, cooperative agreement, or applicable contract to a rate no greater than Executive Level II of the 2022 Executive Schedule Pay Table.

Effective January 2, 2022, the Executive Level II salary cap level is $203,700. NIH announced this level and provided example salary calculations in a February 10, 2022 Guide notice.

Your institution may pay you beyond the cap with non-grant funds. Note that for a nonmodular, noncompeting award, you may not get paid beyond the salary cap by rebudgeting from other categories.

For historic levels, see NIH’s Salary Cap Summary (FY 1990-Present).

NRSA Stipend Levels

The HHS Secretary sets National Research Service Awards (NRSA) stipend levels and adjusts them periodically to reflect increases in the cost of living, as specified in 42 U.S. Code § 288(b)(5). . NIH announced the corrected levels for 12 months shown below in a May 13, 2022 Guide notice.

Fellowship and Training Stipend Levels, in Dollars

Career Level 12 months 1 month
Predoc 26,352 2,196
Postdoc 0 54,840 4,570
Postdoc 1 55,224 4,602
Postdoc 2 55,632 4,636
Postdoc 3 57,852 4,821
Postdoc 4 59,784 4,982
Postdoc 5 61,992 5,166
Postdoc 6 64,296 5,358
Postdoc 7 or more 66,600 5,550

What Do Training Funds Pay For?

You may use funds from Training Grants (T) and Fellowship Grants (F) to pay for the following:

  • Stipends—follow the amounts shown in the Stipend Levels table above.
  • Facilities and administrative costs based on eight percent of modified total direct costs. State and local government agencies may request full reimbursement.
  • Tuition and fees for each trainee:
    • Predoctoral—60 percent of level requested by applicant institution, up to $16,000 per year. You may use 60 percent up to $21,000 for formally combined dual-degree training.
    • Postdoctoral—60 percent of level requested by applicant institution, up to $4,500 per year. You may use 60 percent up to $16,000 for formally combined dual-degree training.
  • Trainee travel, including attendance at vital scientific meetings. We do not set a limit on how much you can request, though the norm is $1,000 for each trainee.
  • Institutional allowance for training-related expenses (e.g., administrative support, health insurance, and research supplies) for each trainee:
    • Predoctoral—$4,400 per year at non-federal, public and private, non-profit institutions (domestic and foreign) and $3,300 per year for federal and for-profit institutions.
    • Postdoctoral—$11,950 per year at non-federal, public and private, non-profit institutions (domestic and foreign) and $10,850 per year for federal and for-profit institutions.
  • On a case-by-case basis, institutional costs for accommodating disabled trainees in addition to usual costs paid by training-related expenses. Check with your assigned grants management specialist.  

More Information

For news on salary and stipends, watch this page or NIAID Funding News. Find more Paylines & Funding information such as the Financial Management Plan and NIAID Paylines.

Questions & Answers

NIH caps the direct salary you can request using funds paid by a competing or noncompeting application, contract, or proposal.

No. If you're a PI on a grant or contract, you may not charge a higher salary than the current cap allows. If your institutional salary is higher than the NIH cap, you may use non-federal sources of funding to cover the difference.

Each year, NIH sets a maximum for PI salaries, though your institution can use its own money to pay beyond NIH's limit.

If the limit changes, you can rebudget funds to pay for a higher salary without prior approval, but you can't get more money from NIH.

When NIH announces the levels in its Guide, we notify you in the NIAID Funding News and post the salary levels on this page.

Yes, but we expect you to budget for salary at a level that matches your level of effort, up to the salary cap.

Keep in mind that if increasing your effort will alter the scope of your research, you need NIAID's permission for the change in scope.

Read Changes to Project or Budget to learn more.

Have Questions?

A program officer in your area of science can give you application advice, NIAID's perspective on your research, and confirmation that NIAID will accept your application.

Find contacts and instructions at When to Contact a NIAID Program Officer.

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