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Frequently Asked Questions & Program Expectations

 How do I know what funds I have available to spend?

Each trainee receives up to $1,000 for travel and research supplies. Full details are outlined in the trainee’s appointment letter. Trainees will receive regular updates regarding the status of travel and supply funds.

 How may I spend my supply and travel budget?

As a general guide, allowable expenses include lab supplies (e.g., pipettes, test tubes), other research-related expenses (e.g., research subject costs), specific project-related software (e.g., statistical analysis software), annual memberships and license fees, and domestic travel to research conferences. Unallowable expenses include general office supplies (e.g., paper, pens), large equipment and computers (e.g., autoclave, laptop), general software (e.g., Microsoft programs, Adobe Acrobat), memberships and license fees of more than one year and international travel.

 May I travel to more than one conference a year?

Yes, you may travel to more than one conference or training workshop (e.g., The Endocrine Society’s Early Investigator’s Workshop) at the discretion of your mentor and providing you have sufficient funds to cover the cost. Trainees are encouraged to pursue outside travel grants to help defray the cost of attending conferences.

 What is a payback obligation, and how do I know if I incur one?

Any NRSA postdoctoral trainees or fellow incurs a payback obligation during their first year of support. Pre-doctoral NRSA trainees do not incur a payback obligation. Payback means that you will perform qualified research or teaching activities for a length of time equal to the period of NRSA support you received. Receiving 12 months of postdoctoral training support obligates you to perform 12 months of qualified research or teaching activities as payback. Only the first year of training incurs a payback obligation; the second year of training pays back the first year, with each month of qualifying payback activity paying back one month of NRSA support. If you receive two full years of NRSA training, you will have completed your payback obligation. In general, payback activity must involve at least 20 hours per week and be conducted over 12 consecutive months. Special exceptions to these requirements may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional resources on Payback Obligations can be found on the NIH website:

 What are the program expectations?

Responsible Conduct of Research

  • Predoctoral: "Colloquium on Integrity in Biomedical Research" course (part of DGP curriculum)
  • Postdoctoral: Taking "Responsibility for Responsible Conduct of Research" course offered by NUCATS

Scholarly Activities

  • Regular attendance at scientific seminars (e.g., Endo Seminar Series). Must provide documentation of attendance at least 40 seminars during each year of training.
  • Regular attendance at monthly Data Club meetings (equal to or more than 80 percent attendance). At least one presentation in Data Club annually with mentor in attendance.
  • Attendance at a national research conference as appropriate for your area of study (e.g., Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society or American Diabetes Association).
  • Oral presentation annually in endocrine seminar series or other forum approved by NUPEDHA program directors. Must provide documentation.

Career Development Activities

Participation in all NUPEDHA-sponsored career development activities. For example, presentation skills, time management, monthly Department of Medicine Career Development Seminars and selected NUCATS Programs.

Grant Submission

An NIH-format grant as appropriate for training level (e.g. F32, K08, K23 or R01) must be submitted to NUPEDHA program directors annually. This application must be a final document in a relevant NIH-grant format but does not need to be submitted to NIH. A grant must be received for review by the end of month 10 of each appointment year to qualify for reappointment. A substantially revised application can be submitted after the first year of appointment.

Progress Updates & Program Evaluation

  • Submit semi-annual progress reports
  • Create Individual Development Plan (IDP) and update every six months
  • Meet with associate director semi-annually to review progress and IDP
  • Participate in all evaluation activities and complete annual survey conducted by Searle Center for Teaching Excellence

Annual Research Symposium

Attendance is required by all trainees and their mentors at this annual symposium attended by NUPEDHA faculty and the advisory committee. Each trainee gives a formal presentation on their research project and career development plan.

Ongoing Program Obligations

    • NUPEDHA program must be updated annually in perpetuity of academic appointments and funding or current position
    • Provide citations for and copies of all NUPEDHA-supported abstracts, manuscripts and grants
    • Provide a current NIH-format biosketch and full CV annually

Publication Milestones


      • At least one abstract accepted for presentation at a scientific meeting by the end of their first year of support
      • At least one first-author original scientific publication by the end of their second year of training grant support
      • At least original scientific publications by the end of their third year of support


    • At least one abstract accepted for presentation at a scientific meeting by the end of their first year support
    • At least two original scientific publications, including one first-author report, submitted for publication by the end of 18 months of support
    • Two original scientific publications in press, at least one of which is a first-author report, by the end of their second year of support