National Institutes of Health fellowship guidance (F30, F31 and F32)

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Under its Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (Kirschstein-NRSA) program, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports the training of biomedical, behavioral and clinical researchers through individual pre and postdoctoral fellowships.

Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship awards are made specifically to the individual graduate student (as Principal Investigator) rather than to the applicant institution. Although the graduate student is the Principal Investigator, an institution faculty member must serve as the fellowship sponsor.

Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship types


Ruth L. Kirschstein Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. and other Dual Degree Fellowships

Individual fellowships for predoctoral training which leads to the combined M.D./Ph.D. and other dual Clinical/Research degrees.


Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

To provide predoctoral individuals with supervised research training in specified health and health-related areas leading toward the research doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D.).


Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

To provide postdoctoral research training to individuals to broaden their scientific background and extend their potential for research in specified health-related areas.

Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship funding

Kirschstein-NRSA fellowship awards are very specific with regard to the funding amount and allowed expenditures. Awards include funding for an institutional allowance, stipend, and tuition and fees (if applicable). Below is guidance on the use of the award funding.

Institutional allowance

The institutional allowance is a fixed amount intended to defray individual fellow expenses such as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings and health insurance.

  • Health Insurance (fellows are not University employees, so health insurance must be purchased through the marketplace)
  • Fees (mandatory fees associated with University Enrollment)
  • Medical Liability and Other Special Insurance (when required for fellow's research training)
  • Supplies (books and other supplies necessary for fellow's research training)
  • Travel (travel to scientific meetings necessary for fellow's research training)
  • Equipment (an item $5,000 or more that is necessary for fellow's research training)


The stipend is essentially a subsistence allowance to support living expenses during the fellow's research training. Annual stipend levels are updated periodically by NIH with current rates posted in the Policy Notices section of the Kirschstein-NRSA Fellowships program page of the NIH website.

  • Predoctoral Stipends: For all predoctoral fellows, there is one stipend level.
  • Postdoctoral Stipends: For postdoctoral fellows, the initial stipend level for year one is determined by the fellow's level of relevant experience. The stipend level for each subsequent year of the fellowship is at the next level of the stipend structure.

Tuition and fees

Kirschstein-NRSA fellowships provide tuition and fees when requested by the sponsoring institution.

  • Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F30 and F31): Provides 60% of the amount requested by the sponsoring institution (up to $16,000 per year or $21,000 per year if fellow's program supports formally combined dual-degree training, e.g., M.D.-Ph.D., D.D.S.-Ph.D.).
  • Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (F32): Only allowable if fellow requires specific courses in support of their research training. Provides 60% of the amount requested by the sponsoring institution (up to $4,500 per year or up to $16,000 per year if fellow's program supports formal degree-granting training for postdoctoral individuals).