NIH Funding Support for Time Off for Family Needs

NIH supports researchers taking time off to care for a family member or in the event of a personal disability. NIH grant awards allow for reimbursement of actual, allowable costs incurred for child care, parental leave, or additional technical support provided such costs are incurred under formally-established institutional policies that are consistently applied regardless of the source of support. 

For more information on using grant funds, visit the NIH Family-Friendly policy page and read the Frequently Asked Questions: Policies Related to Parental Leave and Child Care.

If necessary, the grantee institution can request an administrative supplement to cover these types of costs. Administrative supplements are defined as, “A request for (or the award of) additional funds during a current project period to provide for an increase in costs due to unforeseen circumstances. All additional costs must be within the scope of the peer reviewed and approved project.”

Some programs offer specific exemptions and benefits:

National Research Service Awards

The Ruth L.Kirschstein National Research Service Awards provide specific exemptions and benefits: Trainees and fellows may receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days (equivalent to 8 work weeks) of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee organization have access to this level of paid leave for this purpose. Either parent is eligible for parental leave.

See the revised NIH Parental Leave Policy for the Ruth L.Kirschstein NRSA Awards for full information.

Career Development Awards (K) Awards

Awardees may request adjustments to their appointment status or percent effort for personal or family situations such as parental leave, child care, elder care, medical conditions, or a disability. For example, awardees may request to reduce their appointment to less than full-time (but not less than three-quarter time) for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months during the award project period.

See the NIH Policy Concerning Career Development (K) Awards: Leave, Temporary Adjustments to Percent Effort, and Part-Time Institutional Appointments for full information.

National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

The National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has highlighted this opportunity by issuing a Primary Caregiver Technical Assistance Supplements program.  These supplements provide additional funds for NIAID grantees to hire a mid-to-senior level technician to fill in when the caregiver needs to be away from the lab.

Visit Primary Caregiver Technical Assistance Supplements program announcement for full information.

Visit the the NIH Family-Friendly Initiative webpage for more information on these and other relevant NIH policies and programs.