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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes that the high cost of childcare impacts graduate students and postdoctorates funded through National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowships or training grants. As part of ongoing efforts to support family-friendly work environments for the NIH-supported workforce, NIH began providing childcare support to recipients of NRSA awards:


Each NIH NRSA funded Fellow or Trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for costs for childcare provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are NRSA fellows, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500.

Childcare costs are permitted for dependent children living in the eligible Fellow’s or Trainee’s home from birth until the age of 13, or, for children who are disabled and under 18. Childcare costs do not apply to elder or non-child dependent care costs.

Process Overview

The process referenced below to reimburse childcare costs only applies for eligible fellows and trainees funded on NIH NRSA awards. For detailed process information, please visit the UNC NRSA Childcare Guidance webpage.

  • Submit applications or requests to include childcare allowance on a fellowship or training grant (on institutional training awards, funds will automatically be issued for the approved number of trainee slots).
  • If funded/approved, childcare costs will be included in Notice of Award
  • Project ID is set-up with specific budget for this allowance (or a revision is processed to include budget for this purpose)
  • Childcare costs are incurred by fellow or trainee – services must be received by a licensed childcare provider.
  • Annually, fellow or trainee requests reimbursement of awarded childcare costs, up to $2,500 via the NRSA Childcare Costs Payment Request Form
  • Department administrator receives and processes payment request.
  • Payments for graduate students will disperse from the Cashier’s Office and for postdocs via Payroll Services (similar treatement as stipends).
  • Fellow or trainee should maintain all documentation of payment, confirmation of costs, and childcare provider licensure.


Additional Resources


For assistance with proposing or obtaining sponsor prior approval for a NRSA childcare supplement, please contact your Sponsored Projects Specialist.

For payment processing status, please contact the Department Administrators listed in your payment submission form.

For technical assistance submitting the online payment request form or questions on this announcement, please contact

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