NBBTP/IRTA Stipends and Benefits

In addition to the intensive leadership development and professional growth that the Fellowship offers, the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP)/Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) Fellowship includes the following benefits. The NBBTP/IRTA arranges several logistical details on Fellows’ behalf with the expectation that Fellows will take ownership of their overall experience. Read on below to learn more about how these items apply:


The NBBTP/IRTA Fellowship is a two-year program. Fellowships are funded and offered in one-year increments. Fellows do not incur a service payback obligation to the NIH upon completing the Fellowship.


Stipend levels are based on the NIH IRTA scale for post-baccalaureate, pre-doctoral or post-doctoral students. Relevant experience and completed education levels are also considered to determine stipend amounts. Awards are for a period of one year, with the expectation of extension for a second year based on progress, mutual agreement with the program director(s), and continued availability of funds. A year two stipend increase may be granted within the framework of established NIH/Intramural Research Training Award Guidelines based on growth, development, and accomplishments as determined by NBBTP/IRTA leadership.

Stipends are paid on the first of the month. Payments are made by direct deposit.


All stipend and insurance benefits are managed by NIH IRTA.

Under the terms of your IRTA Traineeship, you are required to be covered by adequate health insurance in order to receive training in NIH facilities. This requirement may be satisfied by a policy held either in your name or in another’s name with you identified as a family member. One approved health insurance plan is available through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES). At your direction, the IC will provide funds in an amount not to exceed the cost of FAES fee- for-service health insurance, individual or family as appropriate, in addition to your regular stipend, for a policy issued in your name. Read more about the FAES insurance program.

Absences: Vacation, Sick Leave

Fellows do not earn annual or sick leave. However, they should be excused for federal holidays and any other time the government is closed. Trainees should be given 20 days per year for illness, personal emergencies, and vacations when awards are for more than 90 days. The Fellowship Program Director (or their designee) may, at their discretion, excuse a Fellow for reasonable cause such as ill health, personal emergencies, or vacations (generally up to two weeks per year). The Fellowship Program Director may exercise discretion in granting additional short absences (less than a week per year) as they deem appropriate.

Twelve weeks of excused absence will be granted for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child or other family health care. In addition, Fellows are authorized excused absences to accommodate a trainee’s military obligations, i.e., active duty, active duty training, and inactive duty training Not to Exceed (NTE) six weeks per year.

Relocation Costs

Travel costs to the NIH Bethesda, MD campus area for NBBTP/IRTA Fellows, their dependents, and movement of household goods and temporary storage of household goods not to exceed $3,000 are provided only at the discretion of the IC. No allowance for return travel is authorized.

Travel Costs Related to Training

The NBBTP/IRTA pays 100% of registration, material fees and reasonable and customary travel costs associated with attending scientific meetings or off-campus training programs required by the NBBTP/IRTA. All travel/training must be approved in advance and comply with federal travel regulations, and cost reimbursements are limited to amounts consistent with federal travel regulations.

Fellows seeking to attend non-required scientific meetings or off-campus training programs must submit a request in writing for consideration. Reimbursement, if any, is subject to the availability of funds and the discretion of the IC.

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