Please read carefully the information below regarding various requirements of the National Institutes of Health. Please sign the last page to verify that you understand these guidelines will apply to you if you are accepted into the Osher Center’s IHEAR Program.
The Osher Center’s IHEAR eight-week summer research program, co-directed by Shelley R. Adler, PhD, and Maria T. Chao, DrPH, provides:
Instruction in the science of social health and healthcare disparities and enhancing the under-developed role of complementary and integrative health approaches in advancing health equity;
Development of foundational research skills (e.g., formulating research questions, selecting research methods, interpreting evidence);
Participation in mentored, applied research projects; and
Monthly stipend of $2110, plus additional funds for tuition and travel.
The IHEAR predoctoral fellowship program is funded by a T35 Training Grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Programs receiving training funds from the NIH (http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm) must comply with various guidelines and requirements. Participants in the IHEAR program need to be aware of the following important information.
Educational Requirements: Trainees must be enrolled in a qualifying PhD or MD/DO program, or in a doctoral degree program in a designated integrative health field. Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the following: DACM, DAOM, DC, DMD, DNSc, DO, DPM, DrPH, DSW, DVM, EngD, ND, OD, PharmD, PsyD, ScD, as well as a doctoral degree in nursing research or practice.
Trainee Citizenship: At the time of appointment to the training program, individuals selected for research training supported by NRSA institutional training grants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or some other legal verification of legal admission as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains Island). Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for Kirschstein-NRSA support. In addition, trainees must be able to commit full-time effort in the program at the time of appointment.
Trainee Appointments: All trainees are required to pursue their research training full time, normally defined as 40 hours per week, or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies.
No individual trainee may receive more than 5 years of aggregate NRSA support at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training and individual fellowship awards. Any exception to the maximum period of support requires a waiver from the NIH awarding office based on a review of the written justification from the individual trainee and endorsed by the Program Director and the sponsoring grantee institution. Trainees seeking additional support are strongly advised to consult with the NIH awarding office.
Stipends: The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine is required to compensate post-doctoral participants in the IHEAR program according to the stipend levels approved by the NIH. https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-036.html
Taxability of Stipends: Internal Revenue Code Section 117 applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, Public Law 99-514, impacts on the tax liability of all individuals supported under the NRSA program. Under that section, non-degree candidates are now required to report as gross income all stipends and any monies paid on their behalf for course tuition and fees required for attendance. Degree candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.
The IRS and Treasury Department released regulations in January 2005 (Revenue Procedure 2005-11) clarifying the student exception to the FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes for students employed by a school, college, or university where the student is pursuing a course of study. Our understanding is that these final regulations do not apply to or impact Kirschstein-NRSA programs or awards. An NRSA stipend is provided by the NIH as a subsistence allowance for Kirschstein-NRSA fellows and trainees to help defray living expenses during the research training experience. NRSA recipients are not considered employees of the Federal government or the grantee institution for purposes of the award. We must note that NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, nor does it have the authority to dispense tax advice. The interpretation and implementation of the tax laws are the domain of the IRS.
Individuals should consult their local IRS office about the applicability of the tax laws to their situation and for information on their tax obligations.
Enhancing Diversity in Training Programs: In accordance with NIH goals, the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine seeks to diversify student and faculty populations and thus to increase the participation of individuals currently underrepresented in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences such as: individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds that have inhibited their ability to pursue a career in health-related research. Applicants will be asked to voluntarily provide information regarding their biographical circumstances that might be relevant to these recruitment goals. For more detailed information describing these underrepresented populations, please visit this NIH web page: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-468.html#SectionVIII and view the section pertinent to recruitment (IV.6).
Evaluation and Tracking: Trainees will be asked to remain “in touch” with program coordinators and the NIH for a 10-year period following completion of the program to aid in determining the success or failure of the program. The program will be deemed successful (by the NIH) based on numbers of people who remain in a research-related profession, especially those actively conducting research in complementary and alternative medicine.