Definition

Institutional Allowance is a type of funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of individual Fellowships on NIH “F” type awards.

An NIH Fellowship is a training program with funds provided to support pre-doctoral and postdoctoral training of individuals to undertake biomedical, behavioral, or clinical research.

In addition to providing a “stipend” for the trainee/fellow, the training program provides support in the form of an Institutional Allowance to help support the costs of training.  The Institutional Allowance is a fixed amount.  The information below includes references to NIH’s Grants Policy Statement (GPS).

NIH institutional or individual Training grants (“T” type awards) do not include an Institutional Allowance component.  For other sponsors, individual sponsor terms and conditions would apply.

 

Institutional Allowance Expenditures

The Institutional Allowance is intended to defray expenses for the individual fellow such as research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings, and health insurance and to otherwise offset, insofar as possible, appropriate administrative costs of training.

Institutional Allowance expenditures must, as with all sponsored award expenditures, meet all four Cost Principles (Reasonable, Allowable, Allocable, Consistently Treated) and be incurred between the start and end dates of the Award. 

Unused Institutional Allowance funds will be refunded to the sponsor upon Award close out.

The NIH’s Grant Policy Statement (GPS) provides detailed information on allowable costs on Institutional Allowance funds (NIH GPS 11.2.9.4) “Institutional Allowance”).

 

Funding Levels

The specific levels of Institutional Allowance are updated each federal fiscal year (October - September). Funding levels for pre- and post-doctoral support are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.  The notification of funding levels is typically included in the “Policy Notices” section.

Rebudgeting

Per NIH guidance, in the rare case when Institutional Allowance funds are unexpended, they can only be re-budgeted into the tuition and fees category when tuition and fees have been awarded (NIH GPS 11.2.9.8 "Rebudgeting of Funds").

 

Early Termination

If an individual Fellow is not in a training status (e.g., in receipt of the Award’s Fellowship trainee stipend) for more than six months out of a 12-month award year, the amount of Institutional Allowance is prorated accordingly (NIH GPS 11.2.13.2 "Termination").

 

Process

Refer to the GCA webpage for information on the establishment and closing of Institutional Allowance budgets.