University of California

NIOSH Traineeships (FAQ)

Northern California Education and Research Center (ERC) Per Policies Interpreted by Suzanne Llewellyn

Updated Feb 2006

1. Who Is Eligible for a NIOSH Traineeship?
Students and Medical Residents enrolled in a teaching program funded by NIOSH are eligible.  The Northern California ERC is currently funded to support students in Industrial Hygiene and Ergonomics at UC Berkeley and Occupational Health Nursing and Occupational Medicine at UC San Francisco. 

2. Is There Any Advantage To Becoming a California Resident?

Yes.  Because of limited funding, the Northern California ERC will pay for out-of-state fees only for the first year.  Therefore, it is important for out-of-state students to begin establishing California residency as soon as possible in their first year.  It takes about one year to complete.  See the person who handles student affairs for your program for details.

3. When Are the NIOSH Traineeship Appointment Forms Due?
The Appointment of Trainee form (PHS # 2271) should be completed by each trainee and the program in which trainee is enrolled no later than 30 days after the beginning of the appointment.   This form is available from your program and on the Internet at: http://grants.nih.gov/training/phs2271.pdf.

4. For What Length and Period of Time Can Traineeship Appointments Be Made?

The minimum trainee appointment time is nine months and the maximum is twelve months.  Exceptions are possible--for example, when a trainee graduates mid-year.  The student's appointment period does not have to coincide with the time period of the grant.  It is possible to appoint a student for 12 months beginning in any month of the grant year as long as the appointment ends within the 5-year grant period.  Only the beginning date must fall within the grant period.

5. Is There a Maximum Number of Years Allowed for Receiving Federal Support?

Yes.  The maximum number of years an individual can receive NRSA (National Research Service Award) support (including NIOSH traineeships and NIH Fellowships from all schools attended) is:  five years pre-doctoral and three years post-doctoral (for both institutional and individual awards), unless a waiver is granted.

6. Can a Student Be Employed by the University While Receiving a Traineeship?

Yes, but students receiving a stipend (plus T&F) during the academic year may be limited to how much they can work.  In the summer, employment will be supplemented only up to a GSR appointment at 100% (Northern California ERC policy).

7. Can a student receive funding from two federal sources?

Generally, trainees cannot be supported simultaneously on two federal funding sources, except in certain instances.  The rule is:  "Compensation may not be paid from a (federal) research grant which supports the same research that is part of the trainee's planned training experience as approved in the training grant application. ( NIH Guide for Contracts and Grants, Vol. 13, No. 1, 1/6/84).  However, if both sources are federal training grants, and the combined support from both does not exceed the stipend ceiling, a student can receive funding from two federal sources (per NIOSH project officer Talty).

8. How Much Support Does a Student Receive from a NIOSH Traineeship?

It varies, depending upon how much money each NIOSH-approved program receives in a given year, and how many students are enrolled.  Support can include out-of-state tuition (first year only), fees, health insurance, travel, and a maximum stipend set by the federal government. Appointments for stipends can be made only to full-time students. 

9. Is Income from a NIOSH Traineeship Taxable?

The stipend portion of a traineeship award may be taxable, depending on trainee's tax situation and other school expenses.  It is advisable for trainees to obtain IRS Publication 4, "Student's Guide to Federal Income Tax" and IRS Publication 520 on gift aid and tax requirements. The IRS can be contacted at 510/839-1040. The University doesn't issue a W-2 or 1099 and does not withhold taxes on traineeships.

10. Is a Foreign Student Eligible for a NIOSH Traineeship?

No.  Foreigners are not eligible for federal training grant support, unless they have been admitted for permanent residence (I-551 or I-151 card).

11.  Will NIOSH pay the fees for adding and dropping courses?
No.  NIOSH only pay fees to which all students are subject

12. Can a part-time student receive NIOSH support?
Part-time students, as defined by the institution in which they are enrolled, can receive Tuition and Fees from a NIOSH traineeship, but not a stipend