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ASSOCIATE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS            
 


Starting Tenure

If I am offered an award, when can I start? 
In the event an award is offered, the date on which tenure may begin is negotiated on an individual basis, normally within six months of the award. The starting date may be delayed by mutual agreement of sponsoring federal laboratory, the Associate, and the Fellowships Office, but cannot be later than one year from the offer date. If this condition cannot be met, a new application, including a newly approved research proposal, must be submitted to the Fellowships Office and will be judged without prejudice in the next competition.
 


How do I initiate my relocation to the lab?

You should submit your online Relocation request with your Movement of Household Goods request at least three weeks prior to your proposed move date. Your request will be sent to our contracted moving company, Azar Storage, and they will contact you directly to arrange your move.

Under no circumstances should a move be initiated or expenses incurred prior to approval from RAP Travel. In some cases, you will be required to obtain security clearance from the sponsoring laboratory prior to initiating relocation.

For detailed information on the relocation process, refer to the Relocation section of the RAP Travel Guide
 

Insurance and Stipend Payments

When will my stipend begin? 
Your stipend will begin once your Research Adviser confirms your official start date. Stipends are paid at the end of the month and your first payment will be for the number of days you were on tenure during that initial month.

When can I expect my health insurance identification card?
The Fellowships Office will process your health insurance application once we have received confirmation that you have officially started tenure. The Fellowships Office will process your application with the current address listed in your online Associate profile. You will receive your ID card directly from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield within 2 weeks.
 
I will be traveling abroad this month and I was wondering what to do about health insurance. Does the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plan cover me while I am overseas?
As long as you are on professional or programmatic travel for your Associateship and enrolled in our plan, you are covered by health insurance. If medical costs are incurred while on travel, you will have to pay out of pocket and submit a claim to CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield when you return home.
 

Travel

Am I required to use the Fellowships Office Travel Agency to book my travel?
All airline travel must be booked through Omega World Travel to ensure that federal travel regulations are met. Costs of travel not booked through Omega may not be reimbursed.
 
If I want to request a travel advance when should I send my Travel Authorization to RAP Travel?
Travel Authorizations need to be received no later than 30 days before the departure date.
 
Will my travel reimbursement be issued via check or direct deposit?
Reimbursements will be issued through direct deposit and will be included in your monthly stipend disbursement.
 
For detailed information on travel refer to the RAP Travel Guide

Taxes

My taxes are due soon and I haven’t received a 1099-MISC or W-2. What does this mean?
As an Associate with the NRC Research Associateships Program, you will not receive a 1099-MISC or W-2 from the Fellowships Office.  If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will receive a Statement of Stipends Paid Memorandum through email at the end of February.  This memo will state your stipend, travel, and sponsor-paid health insurance amounts for the tax year. If you are a nonresident alien, you will receive a Form 1042-S through the mail in mid-March.
 
Do I need to pay social security tax?
No. Fellowship awards to postdoctoral researchers under the NRC Research Associateship Program are classified as non-compensatory grants. Since you do not perform services in return for your award, you are not considered an employee and do not pay social security tax.
 
When is my tax return due?
Your filing deadline is dependent on your residency for tax purposes. If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your filing date will be April 17th. If you are a nonresident alien, your due date will generally be June 15th. However, if you meet the Substantial Presence Test, you are considered a resident for tax purposes and must file by April 17th. Guidance on the Substantial Presence Test can be found on the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov.
 
I’m a nonresident alien. Why did you withhold tax on my award?
The Academies are required to withhold at 14% on all payments made to you, or on your behalf. This includes stipend, travel, relocation and sponsor paid health insurance premiums. We encourage you to consult a tax professional for specific regulations regarding tax requirements for nonresident aliens. 

 

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