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FAQs

How many awards are available per year?

The Program has no set number of awards.

Can I submit my application late?

No, the Program will not accept late submissions.

What factors determine whether I will be selected for an award?

The application review process considers the Program's research priorities, the quality of applications, the availability of funding, and the scientific needs of the IC research community.

I am a current IC Postdoc and I have been informed that my Research Advisor will be leaving/retiring.  Is it possible to replace my Research Advisor, or must my appointment end?

You may identify a replacement for your Research Advisor and the date on which the transition will occur.  The individual will need to complete the "Research Advisor Confirmation of Commitment Form," a résumé/cv, and any other documentation required for participation.  The Program will notify you, the initial Research Advisor, and the replacement Research Advisor in writing to confirm this change.

If you are unable to identify a replacement Research Advisor, then your IC Postdoc appointment will end.

What are the guidelines regarding copyrights and patents?

Guidelines and procedures for publications, copyrights, and patents will be included in the "IC Postdoc Welcome Packet" ORISE sends at the start of your appointment.

What is the procedure for terminating my appointment early?  What impact does that have on my Research Advisor?

You must inform your Research Advisor, IC Advisor, and ORISE in writing as soon as possible of the early termination date.

If you terminate your initial appointment with fewer than twelve months of participation, you must repay in full any reimbursed relocation expenses you may have received. You must also submit a Final Report and settle any outstanding travel expense statements.

When you end your appointment with the IC Postdoc Program, your Research Advisor's participation and all related research will also come to an end.

Are Postdocs considered employees of ORISE, ODNI, or the host facility?

No. A Postdoc is not an employee of ORISE, ODNI, the host facility, or any other office or agency. The Postdoc is affiliated with ORISE for the administration of the appointment through the ORISE Offer Letter and Terms of Appointment and has a guest appointment at the designated research facility.

Does a Postdoc earn vacation or sick leave during the appointment?

Postdocs are not employees; therefore, they do not receive employment-related benefits, such as paid vacations, sick leave, or unemployment compensation. With the approval of the Research Advisor, a Postdoc may be excused from participation for brief periods due to illness, personal emergencies, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Are appointments or extensions of less than one year permissible?

All IC Postdoc appointments are for a two year period contingent upon an approved renewal at the conclusion of the first year.  Any IC Postdoc appointments or extensions with a duration of fewer than 12 months requires an exception to policy.  The exception may be considered when a special situation affects the Postdoc’s availability, but it must be clearly articulated in writing in the application, second year renewal, or request for a third year extension. 

What are the requirements for publication?

You are encouraged to publish your research findings in peer-reviewed open literature. Before you submit materials for publication, you must adhere to the host facility’s requirements for prior review and approval of all material, whether written or prepared for oral presentation. All publications should include appropriate acknowledgment of the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program appointment, the host facility, and ORISE. Sample text will be included in the "IC Postdoc Welcome Packet” ORISE sends at the start of your appointment.

Does the Program reimburse relocation expenses?

If a Postdoc resides more than 50 miles from the assigned research facility, limited reimbursement of expenses for relocating from the Postdoc's current residence address to the area of the assigned facility will be provided. Reimbursement of any allowable expenses must adhere to the Federal Travel Regulation. Postdocs should contact ORISE before any relocation plans are made.  All reimbursements will be funded from the Postdoc’s first year travel stipend.

What reports must Postdocs submit?

Each Postdoc must submit an Annual Research Report at the conclusion of their first year before continuing with their second year of research and a Final Report immediately prior to the end of the appointment. Both reports summarize the research accomplishments during the Fellowship appointment, including publications, papers presented, conference participation, and other aspects of the appointment. The release of the final stipend payment is contingent upon receipt of the Final Report by ORISE.

If a third year of research is funded, an additional Annual Research Report will be completed at the end of the second year and the Final Report will be submitted at the end of the third year.

Can I perform my research somewhere other than the location of my designated Research Advisor?

Each IC Postdoc Program appointment is tied to a specific host facility, which must be the location of the designated Research Advisor.  If you apply for an IC Postdoc Program research opportunity and are selected for an award, you must relocate to your Research Advisor's facility.

We understand there may be brief periods where your research may involve field work or visiting other laboratories to use specialized equipment.  Short absences from the host facility are permissible under these circumstances.

I understand that Postdocs may not perform inherently governmental functions or assume any position of authority.  Will I violate this Program policy if I ask a lab assistant to help with research related tasks?

Asking for assistance is not a violation of Program policy.  But if you infer that a specific activity could be contrary to the policy prohibiting Postdocs from performing inherently governmental functions, raise that concern to your Research Advisor.

How is my stipend determined?

All Postdocs receive an annual stipend award of $70,000, plus a locality supplement of up to $4,000 based on the 2015 OPM Locality Pay Tables.  Postdocs also receive a $5,000 stipend supplement to off-set the cost of health insurance, whether obtained through ORISE or another source.

How will I know if I qualify for a locality supplement?

The IC Postdoc Program uses the U.S. Office of Personnel Management General Schedule Locality Pay Tables to determine whether a Postdoc is eligible to receive a locality supplement. 

Postdocs located at research facilities with locality factors between 15 - 24.99% are eligible for an annual stipend supplement of $2,000. 

Postdocs located at research facilities with locality factors of 25% or higher are eligible for an annual stipend supplement of $4,000. 

When and how will I receive my stipend payment?

Stipends are paid on the last day of each month. ORISE arranges electronic deposit directly to the Fellow’s account, which ensures regular and timely deposits and documentation.

What if I participate in the Program only part of a month?

If your appointment begins after the first day of the month or terminates before the final day of the month, your stipend for that month will be prorated based on the number of days of participation in that month.

Does ORISE withhold federal and state income taxes for Postdocs?

The stipends that Postdocs receive from ORISE are reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by ORISE as “Miscellaneous Income—prizes and awards” as defined in IRS Code Section 74. All payments by ORISE should be reported on the Postdoc's federal income tax return, Form 1040, as "Other Income" and be identified as a "Fellowship Award."

Since Postdocs are not employees, and since they receive awards (not wages), ORISE does not withhold state or federal income taxes from award payments for U.S. citizens. Postdocs therefore should consider filing Form 1040-ES on a quarterly basis and pay estimated federal income taxes in order to avoid late payment penalties.

Postdocs should consult a tax accountant or other tax professional regarding state and federal income tax requirements.

Are Postdocs exempt from paying self-employment taxes?

Yes. Since Postdocs are not employees and since they receive awards (not wages), they are exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.

How long is an IC Postdoc appointment and what is the process for requesting an extension?

All IC Postdoc appointments are for a two year period with an evaluation at the conclusion of the first year. 

If the project warrants a third year of research and the Postdoc, Research Advisor, and IC Advisor concur, the Postdoc may submit a supplemental research proposal.  The proposal should not exceed three-pages and emailed to ORISE no later than January 1st of the second year of research.  This submission does not replace the annual reporting requirement from both the Postdoc and the Research Advisor.  Third year extensions will be based on the quality of the research proposed and the availability of funding.

Can unused travel funds from the previous year carry over when the appointment is renewed?

Yes, travel funds may be carried over from the previous year, but all IC Postdoc Program travel must be completed prior to the end of the appointment.

Are Postdocs authorized to use the IC Postdoc logo on posters, presentations, or business cards?

Postdocs may receive permission in writing from ORISE to use the Program logo.  The logo may be used in certain situations, such as posters or presentations, but requests to use the logo must be submitted in writing prior to use.  Distorting the logo (colors, etc.) is not permitted.

Can a Postdoc receive a monetary award or some other tangible award for professional recognition?

Postdocs can receive a plaque or certificate of appreciation or recognition, but may not accept monetary awards in any form for research being supported by the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program, including monetary awards conferred by the host facility for “research activities.”  Postdocs are not allowed to supplement their stipends through simultaneous employment, grants, or other sources of income that compete with the Fellowship activities.  The Program requires that the Postdoc to be fully involved in the research opportunity addressed in the original proposal. During the appointment, the Postdoc may not provide services for compensation to a third party.

The Postdoc may accept awards, prizes, review panel honoraria, scholarships, Veterans Administration benefits, and similar payments provided these payments do not represent dual payment for the research being supported by the IC Postdoc Program.

I was an IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program participant a few years ago.  May I apply for the Program again?

No, you may only receive one award from the IC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program.  The Program does not permit a second award no matter how long ago the first award was conferred.

Can I apply before I receive the Ph.D.?

You may apply for an award before you complete the Ph.D., but you must complete all requirements for a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctorate degree and provide proof of that qualification before beginning your appointment.

I will have had my Ph.D. for five years and one month prior to the application deadline.  Can I still apply?

No, you will not be eligible for an award.