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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
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An NRC Research Associate is neither an employee of the sponsoring laboratory nor the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. An NRC Research Associate is considered to be a guest investigator, who is awarded a stipend to conduct full-time research in residence at a sponsoring laboratory.

NRC Research Associates are expected to devote 100 percent of working time and intellectual effort to their research program. Therefore, additional compensation for services from another appointment, including part-time teaching, research, consulting, or outside work may not be accepted. Furthermore, an NRC Research Associate generally may not hold other fellowships or similar awards (e.g., honoraria) during their tenure.

This policy is intended to ensure that NRC Research Associates are not distracted from their research. It protects the fellowship status of the award, which carries certain tax implications for NRC Research Associates. It also avoids potential conflicts concerning ownership of intellectual property that might arise from research conducted by the NRC Research Associate.

Exceptions to this policy are as follows:

  • Awards or grants that are designated for support of research costs in the sponsoring laboratory or for professional travel may be accepted. Awards, grants or fellowships that provide any funds for personal (living) expenses of the NRC Research Associate may not be accepted.
  • An award from a professional society that includes a monetary component may be accepted if the award was unsolicited (the organization selected the awardee and the awardee was nominated by others). The award must be from a recognized professional organization and must be an established award.
  • A one-time monetary award from the federal sponsor given in accordance with agency awards policy (e.g., Special Act, Outstanding Performance, etc.)
  • A university faculty member on sabbatical leave may receive sabbatical leave pay under the existing regulations of the university, but may not participate in university grant or contract activities during tenure as an NRC Research Associate.

Questions regarding specific interpretation of this policy should be directed to the Program Administrator (for NRC Research Associates on tenure), or sent to the NRC Research Associateship Programs at