NIH proposes stipend increase for Kirschstein awards in late 2016 ?>

NIH proposes stipend increase for Kirschstein awards in late 2016


On Monday, the National Institutes of Health proposed increasing the Kirchstein postdoc fellowship stipend in late 2016.

As we previously reported here, the U.S. Department of Labor earlier this year revised its paid overtime rule.  The revision sets the new salary threshold for employees eligible for overtime at $47,476 per year, a much-needed increase in an economy where wages have not kept up with inflation.  Postdocs will be eligible for overtime when the rule goes into effect.

The NIH announced Monday that the Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award stipend will be raised to above the new overtime threshold. Those postdocs will be ineligible for overtime pay once the proposed pay raise kicks in.

The chart below shows the existing stipends for Kirchstein postdocs and the projected stipends after Dec. 1, 2016

Career Level Years of Experience Existing Stipend for FY 2016 Projected Stipend for FY 2017 Monthly Stipend
Postdoctoral 0 $43,692 $47,484 $3,957
1 $45,444 $47,844 $3,987
2 $47,268 $48,216 $4,018
3 $49,152 $50,316 $4,193
4 $51,120 $52,140 $4,345
5 $53,160 $54,228 $4,519
6 $55,296 $56,400 $4,700
7 or More $57,504 $58,560 $4,880


The policy NIH proposed Monday, however, does not come without caveats. The increased stipend amounts, “still to be finalized,” are not mandatory for postdocs outside of the Kirchstein awards. Additionally, the stipend levels are subject to the availability of fiscal 2017 appropriations. If the new overtime rule is blocked in Congress, Kirchstein stipends probably will not change.  .

Hopefully, as we move closer to the execution of the overtime rule, the NIH will extend this new policy to all postdoctoral fellows supported by NIH funding and provide guidance to principle investigators about meeting these new financial expectations.

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