POLICIES, PRACTICES, AND PROCEDURES
1 - Definitions
2 - Accepting an Award and Beginning Tenure
3 - Stipend
4 - Visas
5 - Insurance
6 - Taxes
7 - Travel
8 - Six-Month Progress Report and Final Report
9 - Renewing/Extending an Associateship Award
10 - Termination and Early Departure
11 - Publications, Copyrights, and Patents
As an NRC Research Associateship awardee, you join the ranks of distinguished scholars who have been chosen to participate in the NRC Research Associateship Programs. Since the Programs began in 1954, the exceptional research of Associates has contributed greatly to the scientific efforts of federal laboratories and to the body of scientific knowledge as a whole.
The objectives of the Programs are (1) to provide postdoctoral and senior scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability with opportunities for research on projects, largely of their own choice, which are compatible with the research interests of the sponsoring laboratories, and (2) to contribute thereby to the overall research efforts of the federal laboratories.
NRC Research Associateship awards are administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies), located in Washington, DC. The mailing address and contact information are as follows:
NRC Research Associateship Programs
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Telephone (202) 334-2760
This Policies, Practices, and Procedures (PPP) document states the conditions of your award, your responsibilities as an Associate, and the procedures observed by the NRC Research Associateship Programs.
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1.1 Research Associate
1.1.1 As an NRC Research Associate, you are a scientist or engineer at the doctoral level, chosen for an award in a national competition. You have been offered the award to perform scholarly research on a problem of your own choice at a federal laboratory approved for participation in the NRC Research Associateship Programs.
1.1.2 You enjoy the status and privileges of a guest investigator at the laboratory. You are not an employee of the Academies or the sponsoring laboratory and do not perform personal services for either organization.
1.2 NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate
1.2.1 An NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate has held the doctoral degree for less than five years at the time of application.
1.3 NRC Senior Research Associate
1.3.1 An NRC Senior Research Associate has held the doctoral degree for five or more years at the time of application or holds a permanent appointment in academia, government, or industry and has research experience that has resulted in significant contributions and recognition as an established investigator in his or her specialized field.
1.4 Laboratory and Center
1.4.1 For the purposes of the NRC Research Associateship Programs, the term “laboratory” is used to refer to any agency or facility, or division of such an agency or facility, which is currently participating in the Programs. The terms “center” and “institute” are sometimes used instead of “laboratory.” In some cases, federal laboratories partner with non-federal centers. These centers may be located in universities or other non-federal research facilities. In all cases, these affiliated centers have been approved for participation in the NRC Research Associateship Programs.
1.5 Laboratory Program Representative
1.5.1 A Laboratory Program Representative (LPR) is a professional staff member of a laboratory who is responsible for managing its NRC Research Associateship Program. A Laboratory Program Representative assists you with all administrative aspects of your tenure.
1.6 Research Adviser
1.6.1 A Research Adviser is the scientist or engineer at a laboratory with whom you will work most closely and who has been approved for participation in the Programs.
1.6.2 During tenure, your Research Adviser provides you with assistance in conducting your research program but does not act as a supervisor.
1.6.3 For an NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate, a Research Adviser serves as the Associate’s mentor. All matters relating to your research program will fall under his or her purview.
1.6.4 For an NRC Senior Research Associate, a Research Adviser usually functions in a more collegial relationship and assists as needed in securing space, equipment, or technical and clerical support.
1.7 Program Administrator
1.7.1 A Program Administrator is a Fellowships Office staff member who is responsible for the proper conduct of programs at his or her assigned laboratories.
1.8 Program Coordinator
1.8.1 A Program Coordinator is a Fellowships Office staff member who is assigned to work with a Program Administrator to assist you and the laboratory staff in administering the NRC Research Associateship Programs. Your designated Program Coordinator will answer questions related to award acceptance, contingencies, renewal, early resignation, termination, and changes in address or Adviser during your tenure.
1.9.1 Throughout this document, procedures are cited which require the approval of the Research Adviser, the Laboratory Program Representative, and/or the Program Administrator. The use of the word “approval” means written approval, and any actions taken on the basis of verbal concurrence are not binding unless followed by appropriate written authorization.
1.10.1 Tenure is considered the inclusive dates during which an NRC Research Associate is in residence at a sponsoring federal laboratory, from the start date through the last date in residence at the laboratory.
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2 Accepting an Award and Beginning Tenure
2.1 Notification of an Award
Your official award notification includes a link to log in to the NRC Research Associateship Programs website to view the details of your awards (Award Info. Tab), to accept or decline the award (Associate Pre-Start Tasks tab), and to view the list of actions that you will need to complete prior to beginning your award (Associate Pre-Start Tasks tab and--if applicable--Lab Requirements tab).
2.2 Award Response
2.2.1 An awardee must accept or decline the award by following these steps:
(a) Log in to the online Associate module by clicking the link in the award notification.
(b) Select Edit under the Actions column.
(c) Select the Associate Pre-Start Tasks tab.
(d) Select Accept or Decline.
(e) Indicate your decision by checking the I Accept or I Decline box
2.2.2 Submit the online award response no later than 14 days after you receive your award notification.
2.2.3 If you cannot accept the award within 14 days, please contact the Fellowships Office Program Coordinator and your Research Adviser at the laboratory.
2.2.4 Once you have accepted the award, you may enter your proposed start date and request a stipend advance, if desired. See section below, 3.4 Stipend Advance.
2.3 Change of Address for Relocation
2.3.1 To maintain your eligibility for relocation reimbursement, you must obtain advanced, written approval for a change of address from the Program Administrator if different from that shown on your application. Notify the Program Administrator or Program Coordinator immediately, in writing, of any change in your address.
2.4 Beginning Tenure and/or Changing the Start Date
2.4.1 Your tenure should normally begin within six months after you accept an award unless special arrangements are made.
2.4.2 If you cannot begin tenure as originally scheduled, immediately notify the Program Administrator or Program Coordinator, and your Research Adviser at the laboratory.
2.5 Contingencies for Beginning Tenure
In order to begin tenure as an NRC Research Associate and relocate (if eligible), you must meet the following three requirements:
(a) Completion of the Doctoral Degree -- You must have completed all requirements for a Ph.D., Sc.D., M.D., D.V.M., or academically equivalent research doctorate before you can begin tenure. You must request that your university send an official copy of your transcript documenting degree completion directly to the attention of your Program Coordinator. If you have not yet received the degree or if it is not documented in your transcript, the graduate dean, registrar, or recorder (not the department chairman or major professor) must certify in writing that you have met all requirements for the degree, including date. This certification must be sent directly from your institution to the attention of your Program Coordinator. If this certification is not in English, you must provide an official translation. This will serve as initial documentation of degree attainment but does not replace the transcript requirement. Once an official transcript is available, you must request that your university send an official copy of your transcript directly to the attention of your Program Coordinator.
(b) Visa Requirement for Non-United States Citizens -- If you are not a United States citizen or permanent resident, you must provide evidence of an acceptable visa before you begin tenure. Further information on visas can be found in Section 4.
(c) Security Review or Visitation Clearance -- Certain laboratories require a security review or visitation clearance. You should not attempt to begin tenure until the conditions for this requirement have been satisfied. Procedures for meeting this requirement should be discussed in advance with the Laboratory Program Representative.
Until the above requirements are met, no advance stipend payments will be issued, no stipend payments will be made, no travel costs will be reimbursed, no medical insurance coverage will be available, and, for Associates who are relocating, no relocation travel or movement of household goods can be approved.
Prior to beginning tenure, you must also meet two additional requirements by submitting information in the online Associates module:
(a) Insurance Coverage -- All NRC Research Associates must show proof of health insurance or enroll in the CareFirst Blue Cross/Blue Shield Insurance program.
(b) Payroll Information -- You must submit your U.S. bank account number and routing number for the electronic funds transfer (EFT) of your stipend payments. You must also submit either an IRS W-9 (U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident) or IRS W-8 BEN (Nonresident Alien) form.
2.6 Arriving at the Laboratory
2.6.1 The Program Administrator or Program Coordinator, the Laboratory Program Representative, and the Research Adviser should be kept informed of your expected time of arrival at the laboratory.
2.6.2 Confirm your first day at the laboratory. See Section 3.2 below.
2.7 Contacting the Laboratory Program Representative
2.7.1 Contact the Laboratory Program Representative or NRC Research Associateship Program Manager when you arrive at the laboratory. He or she may be of assistance with logistical arrangements.
2.8 Contacting the NRC Research Associateship Programs Office
It is important to keep the NRC Research Associateship Programs Office informed of your status during your tenure. The following are some of the events that should be communicated:
2.8.1 Leave of Absence from the Lab – You must notify your Program Coordinator using a Leave of Absence Approval Form if you will be absent from the lab for an extended period of time (see Section 2.12).
2.8.2 Change of Residence – If you move to a new residence while on tenure, you must update your address in the online Associate module by clicking the Contact Information link and entering your new address. If you are sponsored on a J-1 visa, you must inform the NRC Research Associateship Programs Visa Officer within 10 days of any change of address (see Section 4.1.3).
2.8.3 Health Insurance – Report any changes in marital or dependent status to your Program Coordinator immediately (see Section 5, Insurance).
2.8.4 Early Resignation - If you decide to resign your award before your tenure officially ends, you must notify your Program Coordinator as soon as possible (see Section 10, Resignation and Early Departure).
2.9 Working with the Research Adviser
2.9.1 Maintain close contact with your Research Adviser. He or she will serve as a mentor and professional colleague. A Research Adviser will guide you in all aspects of your research activities and help you to acquire research support such as office space, a computer, equipment, etc.
2.10 Change of Research Adviser or Research Program
2.10.1 Approval by the Laboratory Program Representative and the Program Administrator is required to change your Research Adviser.
2.10.2 The Research Adviser, the Laboratory Program Representative, and the Program Administrator must approve a major change in an approved research program.
2.11 Status of an NRC Research Associate
2.11.1 As an NRC Research Associate, you are a guest investigator in the federal laboratory, affiliated center, or institute. You are not an employee of the laboratory or of the National Academies and do not perform personal services for either organization.
2.11.2 In view of this special status, you are expected to devote your full effort to research, to publish in the open scientific literature, and to participate in all appropriate scientific meetings and technical activities of the sponsoring laboratory.
2.12 Residency and Full-Time Requirements
2.12.1 An NRC Research Associateship award provides you with an opportunity to perform research without distracting diversions or other duties. While on tenure, you are required to devote 100% of your working time and intellectual effort to your approved research program.
2.12.2 The NRC Research Associateship Programs require NRC Research Associates to conduct research in residence at the sponsoring federal laboratory or affiliated center. You are not an employee of the lab, and therefore are not required to report hours as an employee would. However, you should discuss and agree upon a schedule with your Research Adviser that demonstrates a full-time commitment to your research.
2.12.3 Because you are not an employee, you are not entitled to leave. You should discuss, with your Adviser, plans for time away from the lab for personal matters, vacation, etc. Time away from the laboratory for meetings, professional development, field work or other off-site research activities must be approved by the Research Adviser and the Laboratory Program Representative generally using a Travel Authorization form.
2.12.4 Periods of extended time away from the laboratory due to illness, maternity, or other family reasons must be authorized in writing by your Research Adviser in advance. A determination will be made whether an unpaid break in tenure is appropriate. NRC Research Associates who will be absent from the lab for an extended period of time, as described above, must notify the Program Coordinator using a Leave of Absence Approval Form, signed by the Research Adviser and the Laboratory Program Representative.
2.12.5 Failure to comply with the requirements in Section 2.12 could result in termination of your award or a reduction in your stipend for unapproved absences from your assigned laboratory or other designated research facility.
2.13 Receiving Outside Compensation
2.13.1 You may not accept additional compensation for services from another appointment, including part-time teaching, research, consulting, or outside work. During your tenure, you may not hold fellowships or similar awards that provide any funds for personal (living) expenses.
2.13.2 Awards may be accepted if they meet the following criteria:
(a) An award or grant that is designated for support of research costs in the sponsoring laboratory or for professional travel.
(b) An award from a professional society that includes a monetary component. The award must be from a recognized professional organization and must be an established award.
(c) A one-time monetary award from the federal sponsor given in accordance with agency awards policy (e.g., Special Act, Outstanding Performance).
2.13.3 If you are a university faculty member on sabbatical leave, you may receive sabbatical leave pay under the existing regulations of the university, but you may not participate in university grant or contract activities during your tenure as an NRC Research Associate. Consult the Program Administrator with any questions.
2.13.4 If you hold J-1 status, you must request written authorization from the NRC Research Associateship Programs Visa Officer before you undertake any outside consultation or give a talk for which you will be paid expenses. This requirement is based on federal J-1 regulations.
2.14 Conforming to Laboratory Policies
2.14.1 As a guest investigator, you are expected to conform to all established policies and procedures of the sponsoring laboratory as they pertain to professional guest investigators.
2.14.2 The Laboratory Program Representative and your Research Adviser will assist you with established guidelines for the safety and health of individuals working in the laboratory, including working hours for the conduct of research.
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3.1 Stipend Amount
The amount of your annual stipend is shown in your award notification. Stipend payments are issued at the end of each month.
3.2 Start Date Confirmation
3.2.1 Confirming your start date certifies the date your tenure begins. Log in to your online Associate account, select the Confirm Start Date tab, update your contact information, confirm your mailing address, and select Request Confirmation. A notification will then be sent to your Research Adviser to confirm the date. Your start date must be confirmed by your Research Adviser on your first day of tenure before stipend payments or insurance enrollment can begin.
3.2.2 Your start date confirmation may not be completed in advance of the actual start date.
3.3 Social Security Number (SSN)
3.3.1 You must report a United States Social Security Number (SSN) to the Fellowships Office. If you do not have an assigned SSN, you must apply for one in person at the nearest U.S. Social Security Administration office.
3.3.2 If you are a nonresident alien in J-1 or F-1 status, you should wait at least 10 days after entering the United States before applying for a SSN. Take with you your SSN application form, passport, I-94 admission form printout, and either Form DS-2019 (for J-1s) or Form I-20 and your EAD (for F-1s). Your SSN card will be mailed to you in a few weeks. After you have received your Social Security Card by mail, complete the IRS For W-8BEN (instructions can be found at (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/iw8ben.pdf), adding your SSN, and email the completed Form W-8BEN to the Payroll Specialist Barbara Kneebone (email@example.com).
3.4 Stipend Advance
3.4.1 A stipend advance is an advance payment of a portion of a monthly stipend payment. It can be requested in the Proposed Start Date section under the Associate Pre-Start Tasks tab. You will receive a direct deposit of your advance once you have started at the lab and are entered in payroll.
3.4.2 You may request an advance of up to one month of your gross stipend.
3.5 Repaying a Stipend Advance
3.5.1 Advance stipend payments are repaid by equal monthly deductions from your stipend until the total advance is repaid. Note: the repayment period must be greater than one month and no longer than one month less than the total period of tenure. For example, if your tenure is one year, your advance will be recovered over a maximum of 11 months.
3.6 Receiving Stipend Payments
3.6.1 Your monthly stipend payment will be deposited electronically in your banking account. We recommend that you arrange to have your stipend payment deposited electronically in order to avoid delays.
3.6.2 Please complete the online Payroll Information section of award initialization. This must be done before your start date can be confirmed.
3.6.3 Your monthly stipend advice will be sent to your tenure address on file.
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The NRC Research Associateship Programs sponsors J-1 exchange visitor visas, and accepts F-1, J-2, L-2 and immigrant (permanent resident) visas, as well as individuals in asylee and refugee status, and those awaiting issuance of a green card. Postdoctoral F-1 students must be authorized for optional practical training (OPT) by their university and USCIS. No other visa classes may be held during tenure.
4.1 General Information
4.1.1 If you are not a United States citizen, you may begin tenure only when you have provided evidence to the Fellowships Office that you are in valid immigrant or nonimmigrant status.
4.1.2 The Fellowships Office can provide information regarding nonimmigrant visas. However, the Fellowships Office cannot apply for a visa or permanent residency on your behalf. All costs in connection with your passport or U.S. visa are your responsibility.
4.1.3 Resident aliens and nonresident aliens who move to a new home address must notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within ten (10) days on Form AR-11 to maintain legal status. Under Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) regulations, F-1 and J-1 visa holders may satisfy this requirement by notifying their visa sponsor (the NRC Research Associateship Programs Visa Officer) within 10 days.
4.2 J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
Full information regarding J-1 visa requirements is available separately from the Fellowships Office. Following are general remarks.
4.2.1 An NRC Research Associateship awardee may apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa under the sponsorship of the Fellowships Office, as designated by the U.S. Department of State. To be eligible for J-1 research scholar sponsorship,
(a) you must not have been in any J status during 6 out of the past 12 months (exception: short term scholars and those here for less than 6 months) and
(b) you must not have held J-1 or J-2 research scholar or professor status within the last 24 months.
4.2.2 Upon written request, a DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status) will be issued by the Fellowships Office if all other outstanding contingencies have been met, including evidence of the doctorate.
4.2.3 If you reside outside the United States at the time of the award, you may apply for a J-1 visa at the nearest United States embassy or consulate.
4.2.4 If you reside in the United States on any other visa, you may apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change of nonimmigrant status. You may begin tenure at the laboratory only after written USCIS approval has been received. F-1 students authorized for optional practical training may begin tenure in F-1 OPT status while their change of status is being processed by USCIS.
4.2.5 If you reside in the United States on a J-1 research scholar visa under other sponsorship, you must transfer to NRC Research Associateship Programs sponsorship. Your research field must remain the same and you must obtain the agreement of your current J-1 sponsor. Once requested, the Fellowships Office and your current sponsor complete the transfer process electronically through SEVIS. When the transfer is effective, the Fellowships Office will issue a new DS-2019 form to you.
4.2.6 If you reside in the United States on a J-1 student visa, you may hold tenure using postdoctoral academic training with the authorization of your university international office.
4.2.7 Under federal regulations, all J-1 exchange visitors are subject to certain requirements:
(a) strict legal limitations on the maximum period of stay in the United States: research scholars may stay up to 60 months; J-l short-term scholars may stay up to 6 months; and J-2 dependents’ stay is determined by their J-1 spouse sponsorship.
(b) the two-year home country physical presence requirement before changing to H, L, or permanent resident status because of
(1) the use of United States government funds for support of the NRC Research Associateship Programs awards and/or
(2) the research skills needed in the country of nationality or last legal residence (the Skills List).
(c) continuous enrollment in health insurance coverage for themselves and accompanying family members throughout the period they are in J-1 status. The NRC Research Associateship Programs provides this insurance. (See Section 5.) J-2 family members may hold other health insurance, as long as it meets U.S. Department of State requirements for exchange visitors. Accompanying dependents of Associates who are sponsored on a J-2 visa are required to maintain uninterrupted health insurance coverage while in J status even if they spend substantial periods of time abroad.
4.3 Immigrant Visa
4.3.1 If you are currently in the United States as a Permanent Resident (immigrant visa), and hold an alien registration number without restrictions on length of stay and employment, you may continue in that status.
4.3.2 If you have applied for and expect to receive an immigrant visa, you must provide the Fellowships Office with evidence of authorization for employment before you may begin tenure.
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For additional information on health and medical insurance, refer to the health insurance information posted on the RAP website on the Associate Information and Forms page.
5.1 Health and Medical Insurance
5.1.1 A group health insurance program, which provides coverage for major medical expenses, is available to you and your qualifying dependents in the United States. The cost of this program is shared by you and the sponsoring agency. Your insurance enrollment form must be submitted before the beginning of your tenure.
5.1.2 Health and medical coverage begins on the official Start Date of tenure and ends on the last day of the month in which tenure officially ends, as shown on the Associate Award Information page.
5.1.3 CareFirst Blue Cross/Blue Shield enrollment forms and insurance information are located on the RAP website on the Associate Information and Forms page. The enrollment form indicating your insurance decision should be returned to the Fellowships Office on or before you first day at the host laboratory. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will send you an insurance identification card within a month.
5.1.4 Report any changes in marital or dependent status to your Program Coordinator immediately. Any updates to coverage (i.e., marriage, birth of baby) must be submitted to your Program Coordinator within 30 days of their occurrence, in order to be a qualifying life event that can be executed during a non-open enrollment period.
5.1.5 Insurance Coverage for Nonresident Aliens -- Nonresident aliens (e.g., those in J-1, F-1, adjustment status, etc.) and their accompanying dependents are eligible to be covered by the health insurance policy offered by the Fellowships Office once they are in the United States and the Associate has begun tenure. When a dependent family member does not relocate with the Associate, or if they relocate at a later time, they will not be eligible for health insurance through the Fellowships Office until they arrive in the United States and are under J-2 sponsorship. The U.S. Department of State requires J-1 exchange visitors and their eligible dependents to carry health insurance continuously during their J program. (See Section 4.2.7[c].)
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6.1 Tax Information for NRC Research Associates
NRC Research Associates are not employees of the Academies or the laboratories to which they are assigned. They are guest investigators residing in host laboratories and conduct research on issues of their own choice. Accordingly, fellowship awards to postdoctoral researchers under the NRC Research Associateship Programs are characterized as non-compensatory grants. We strongly suggest that you review your individual tax situation with your tax advisor or an IRS representative to determine the proper tax treatment for your specific award and any obligation for payment of quarterly estimated taxes.
6.2 Federal Tax Liability for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
If you are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien, the Fellowships Office will send you a Statement of Stipends Paid Memorandum by mid-February of the following year. This memo includes an end-of-year summary of stipend payments, contributions to health insurance made on your behalf, and all relocation and professional travel expenses. The amount of the fellowship award that is subject to tax reporting will include stipends, the sponsor paid portion of health insurance, and all travel and relocation expenses, including airfare and moving expenses paid directly by the Fellowships Office. The Fellowships Office will not report fellowship award payments made to U.S. citizens and permanent residents for tax purposes on IRS form 1099-MISC, as this is not required for non-compensatory scholarship or fellowship payments.
6.3 Federal Tax Liability of Nonresident Aliens
6.3.1 If you are a nonresident alien in J-1 or F-1 status, the Fellowships Office is required to withhold 14% from your monthly stipend and benefits and report this deduction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of each tax year. In addition to your stipend payment, the amount subject to reporting and income tax withholding includes payments made by the NRC Research Associateship Programs on your behalf for health insurance premiums, relocation expenses, and travel in connection with your fellowship award.
6.3.2 Taxes will be withheld at the 14% level regardless of any country tax treaties that may be in effect. Actual tax liability is determined when you file a federal income tax return.
6.3.3 As a nonresident alien, you should file Form 1040-NR no later than the 15th day of June following the close of the tax (calendar) year. For other filing options, you should consult a tax professional and/or the IRS.
6.4 State Tax Liability
6.4.1 You may be liable for state income taxes and should file the appropriate tax return in compliance with the laws of the state in which you reside. You should consult a local government tax authority at the beginning of tenure for further details concerning this liability.
6.5 Tax Reporting Forms
6.5.1 For U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and resident aliens, the Fellowships Office will provide you with a Statement of Stipends Paid memo in mid-February. This memo includes an end-of-year summary of stipend payments, contributions to health insurance, and relocation and professional travel reimbursements.
6.5.2 For nonresident aliens, Form 1042-S (Foreign Person’s United States Source Income Subject to Withholding) will be mailed to you in mid-March.
6.6 Social Security
6.6.1 Since you are a guest investigator, and not an employee of the Academies or the sponsoring laboratory, the Fellowships Office does not withhold Social Security taxes from your stipend payments. You should study the pertinent publications on Social Security taxes to determine whether you have incurred any tax obligation.
6.6.2 Although Social Security taxes are not withheld from stipend payments, you are still required to have an assigned Social Security Number, as explained in section 3.3.
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As part of the NRC Research Associateship Programs award, you may have a budget for professional and programmatic travel and you may be eligible for relocation. Use of travel and relocation funds is governed by both federal regulations (Federal Travel Regulations and Defense Travel Regulations) as well as Fellowships Office Travel Policy. Please refer to the NRC Research Associateship Programs Travel Guide for information about travel associated with your award. The Travel Guide describes these travel policies and processes in detail.
All professional, programmatic, and relocation travel undertaken during your tenure as an NRC Research Associate requires submission of a Travel Authorization form prior to travel. An approved Travel Authorization authorizes you to travel and incur necessary expenses in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. All expenses that are approved on the Travel Authorization and require reimbursement must adhere to program, institutional, and federal government policies, regulations, and laws.
Omega World Travel (OWT), a full-service travel agency, has been designated by the Fellowships Office to serve Associates’ travel needs. The Fellowships Office requires that you use Omega World Travel for both domestic and international travel. This will assure that your itinerary conforms to Federal Travel Regulations and will avoid the possibility of unallowable expenses.
All NRC Research Associateship Programs sponsored travel must be accounted for by submitting a Travel Expense Report, whether or not reimbursement is due to you. Government regulations require that all airline tickets and/or rental cars provided by Omega World Travel must be accounted for on a Travel Expense Report. Associates must submit a web-based Travel Expense Report as directed by Fellowships Office Travel staff. A Travel Expense Report must be submitted no later than 10 days following the completion of travel.
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8 Six-Month Progress Report and Final Report
8.1 Six-Month Progress Report
8.1.1 An interim report on the progress of your research is required six months following the start of your tenure. At the appropriate time, you will receive a reminder about completing a Six-Month Progress Report, requesting a summary of your research program.
8.2 Final Report
8.2.1 Submission of a final report is a requirement of the NRC Research Associateship Programs. You should submit your report to the Fellowships Office no later than 15 days before the date on which your tenure ends. A Certificate of Completion will be mailed when this report is received. The final report may be accessed from the online Associate module (login required).
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9 Renewing/Extending an Associateship Award
NRC Research Associateship awards are made for one or two years depending on the policy of the federal laboratory. Awards may be renewed for a second and possibly a third year, upon mutual agreement of the Laboratory Program Representative, Research Adviser, and NRC Research Associate, and pending the availability of funds. Renewals are generally for 12 months, but may be granted for shorter periods.
9.1 At least three months before the end of your tenure, you will receive a notification regarding the renewal or extension of your Associateship Award.
9.2 Two online forms are required to renew or extend your award.
(a) The Associate must first complete the online application form. Once this form has been submitted, the Research Adviser will receive an automatic notification requesting him or her to complete the second online form, which is an assessment of the Associate and recommendation for renewal or extension.
(b) Once the Research Adviser submits his or her assessment of the Associate, the LPR will receive an automatic notification to approve the renewal or extension.
9.3 Renewal or extension is neither automatic nor guaranteed. The period of the requested renewal should be discussed with your Research Adviser.
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10 Termination and Early Departure
Most Associates will end their tenure on the scheduled end date according to the terms of their award. There are specific procedures if you decide to end your tenure before the scheduled end date.
10.1.1 You must notify your Research Adviser and your Program Coordinator in writing at least 30 days in advance, including the date when you will end your tenure.
10.1.2 If you indicate that you are terminating early, you will receive an automatic notification with a link to enter the date when you will end your tenure. You must click on this link to enter the date when you will end your tenure. The date must be on a weekday (not a weekend or a holiday).
10.1.3 Exchange Visitors -- The Fellowships Office is required to notify the U.S. Department of State through SEVIS when an exchange visitor leaves the program earlier than 30 days before the ending date on the current DS-2019 Form. You must inform the NRC Research Associateship Programs Visa Officer directly about your early departure.
10.2.1 If early termination results in tenure of less than six successive months, expenses previously reimbursed for initial relocation must be repaid.
10.2.2 All outstanding travel and stipend advances must be reconciled before the last day of tenure.
10.3 Final Report
See Section 8.2 for procedures regarding the Final Report.
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11 Publications, Copyrights, and Patents
Each sponsoring laboratory has specific policies regarding publications, copyright, and patents. The information provided here is general information, which is intended to provide an overview of intellectual property issues. This information may be superseded by laboratory policy. Therefore, it is important that a new Associate discuss laboratory guidelines and procedures for publications, copyrights, and patents with his or her Research Adviser at the start of tenure.
11.1.1 The NRC Research Associateship Programs and the sponsoring laboratory encourage you to publish all scientific results.
11.1.2 You must conform to the laboratory’s requirements for prior review and approval of all material, whether written or prepared for oral presentation.
11.1.3 All publications should include appropriate acknowledgment of the NRC Research Associateship Programs and the laboratory as follows:
This research was performed while the author held an NRC Research Associateship award at (laboratory name).
11.1.4 Publication charges are not a part of your NRC Research Associateship Programs award budget. Although the NRC Research Associateship Programs does not pay publication charges, many of the sponsor laboratories will pay these charges. You should discuss your laboratory’s publication policy with your Research Adviser and your Laboratory Program Representative.
11.2.1 If you assert copyright in the written works that arise from your research activities, the federal government and others acting on the government’s behalf will be granted a license to reproduce the copyrighted work, distribute copies, prepare derivative works, perform publicly the copyrighted work, and display publicly the copyrighted work.
11.2.2 The NRC Research Associate and the federal government will hold joint ownership.
11.2.3 In the case of copyright agreements for journal publications, you must conform to the laboratory’s procedures for review and approval.
11.3.1 You are required to report all inventions made as a consequence of research conducted during your tenure promptly to the director of the laboratory or its patent counsel and also to your Program Coordinator. The notice to the NRC Research Associateship Programs must include the title of the invention, the assigned case number, if any, the date of filing, the names of any co-inventors, and the name of any patent counsel at the sponsoring laboratory.
11.3.2 Neither the Academies nor the NRC Research Associateship Programs will exercise any rights to inventions made during your tenure.
11.3.3 Your rights to retain title in any invention made during your tenure may depend on the provisions of the applicable contract or grant awarded by each sponsoring agency to the NRC Research Associateship Programs and/or the policies and procedures of that agency. The NRC Research Associateship Programs will not take a position on the relative intellectual property ownership rights between an NRC Research Associate and the sponsoring agency.
11.3.4 In cases where an invention is made jointly with a government employee, the sponsoring agency may ask you to assign ownership rights to the agency. In some cases, in consideration for your assignment of rights, you may be offered a share of any royalties that may result from use or licensing of the invention.
11.3.5 For each invention to which an Associate retains title, the federal Government will be granted, at a minimum, a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, worldwide license to practice, or to have practiced for or on behalf of the United States.
11.3.6 This information will be superseded by any requirements for individual sponsoring agencies and will also be subject to applicable federal laws. It is important that you discuss the laboratory’s patent policies and procedures with the appropriate laboratory personnel before you begin research.
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