The National Institutes of Health (NIH) ORISE Senior Fellow Program provides opportunities for experienced scientists who wish to make major changes in the direction of their research careers, or who wish to broaden their scientific background by acquiring new research capabilities. These awards will enable individuals with ten or more years of relevant research experience beyond the doctorate, who have progressed to an independent position, to take time from regular professional responsibilities for the purpose of receiving training to increase their scientific capabilities. In most cases, this award is used to support sabbatical experiences for established independent scientists (including Fogarty Scholars). This program is not designed for postdoctoral level investigators seeking to prove their research potential prior to independence. Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their plans with a contact from one of the Institutes
The ORISE Senior Fellow Program at NIH is administered through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) under an interagency agreement between NIH and the Oak Ridge Operations Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) under contract with DOE.
Intramural Professional Designation
The Intramural Professional Designation for Senior Fellows is "Postdoctoral Fellow (Senior Fellow/ORISE Senior Fellow)".
Program Objectives and Overview
The ORISE Senior Fellow Program at NIH is an advanced re-training program designed to provide faculty members and visiting scientists with opportunities to (1) continue their research training/education, (2) enhance their professional development in very specific research areas, (3) become familiar with the research areas of NIH, and (4) interest their students in future employment in fields related to the NIH mission. As a result of these training appointments, new knowledge and technology are introduced into programs at academic institutions and other research facilities.
The individuals selected for appointments do not become employees of ORISE, ORAU, DOE, NIH, or any other office or agency. Program participants are paid a monthly stipend. There are no salaries or fringe benefits paid.
Appointments are normally full-time, and the participant is expected to be in residence at the approved facility during the entire period of the appointment. The appointee's research participation must be conducted in a manner and according to a time schedule that meets the overall requirements of the sponsor. The participants are expected to be at the host facility during normal working hours and at all times observe and conform to all applicable rules, regulations, and requirements of the facility.
Legal Authority and References
1. The Director, NIH, may conduct and support research training for which fellowship support is not provided under Section 487 of the PHS Act and which is not residency training of physicians or other health professionals [42 U.S.C. 282(b)(13)];
2. The Directors of the national research institutes may conduct and support research training for which fellowship support is not provided under Section 487, and which is not residency training of physicians or other health professionals [42 U.S.C. 284(b)(1)(C)];
3. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, OD, NIH, may conduct research training as described in 42 U.S.C. 287c-21(a);
4. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) may conduct research training as described in 42 U.S.C. 286b-3 (NLM Traineeships limited to Post-baccalaureate students only);
5. 42 CFR Part 63, Public Health Service Regulations.
6. The Secretary may establish and maintain fellowships in the United States and in participating foreign countries [PHS Act Sec. 307 [242l] (b)(2)] .International cooperation .
Degree Requirements. Applicants for the Senior Fellowship must be at least ten years beyond the qualifying doctoral degree, which includes a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., N.D., D.C., Dr. P.H., D.N.S., Pharm. D., D.S.W., Psy.D., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution, and must have had ten or more subsequent years of relevant research or professional experience. The applicant will have established an independent research career and is now seeking support for retraining or additional career development.
Since the purpose of the Senior Fellowship is for re-training, individuals who have been at NIH as Postdoctoral Fellows (IRTAs or Visiting Fellows), or as Research or Clinical Fellows (Title 42), regardless of mechanism of support, are not eligible to apply or be appointed within two years of such previous appointment.
Sponsor. Before submitting an application, an individual must arrange for acceptance by an Intramural NIH sponsor. The applicant's sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's research during the period of the fellowship. The sponsor must document the availability of staff, research support, and facilities for high-quality research training.
Non-U.S. Citizens. Non-United States citizens with a valid visa status that allows them to participate in the program will be eligible for appointments. ORAU is designated by the U.S. Information Agency as sponsor of Exchange Visitor Program P-1-2822. ORAU can sponsor foreign nationals in the Exchange Visitor Program as Research Scholars (J-1 visa), who become subject to the 2-year home country residency requirement.
Stipends. Stipends for ORISE Senior Fellows are determined individually and should fall within the salary range for Senior Research Fellows (Title 42, Band II), at a level appropriate to experience and qualifications and taking into account any outside support (e.g, fellowship or sabbatical salary). Stipends can include an amount to help cover the costs of health insurance. Stipends are reported to the Internal Revenue Service as fellowship awards. However, no federal income taxes will be withheld by ORISE (except when required for certain foreign nationals).
Relocation/Travel Reimbursements. ORISE will reimburse participants for NIH-authorized relocation and/or other travel expenses according to the federally approved ORISE Travel Policy. NIH can authorize reimbursements for inbound travel and moving expenses or travel to conferences and meetings. Taxable relocation allowances in lieu of other travel reimbursements can also be made.
Length of Appointment. Senior Fellowship support may be requested for a period of up to 2 years, with renewal possible for a terminal third year. Approval by the OIR/DDIR is required for all appointments to the Senior Fellow Program and for exceptional extensions for a terminal third year. A second year renewal does not require OIR/DDIR approval - approval remains with the IC.
Conditions and Obligations
All contingencies of an appointment offer must be met before an awardee can begin an appointment. In cases where assignments require a security clearance, NIH will be responsible for obtaining any necessary clearances for participants. Additionally, participants who are not U.S. citizens may encounter delays if they have not completed their visa arrangements. ORAU is an approved sponsor of the Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa) Program and will provide assistance in obtaining visas for the participant and appropriate family members.
Participants become administratively associated with ORISE through a letter of appointment and the ORISE Terms of Appointment. They will receive Guest Researcher appointments at the host laboratory and will not enter into an employer/employee relationship with NIH, ORAU, ORISE, DOE, or any other office or agency. In addition, ORISE Senior Fellows are not eligible for future employment with NIH.
Participants are required to show proof of health/medical insurance. Participants on appointments of one year or longer are eligible to purchase group insurance through ORISE, and NIH can authorize a stipend increase to cover the costs of the insurance.
Participants are required to sign and abide by the appointment letter, the ORISE Terms of Appointment that include a disclaimer of liability, and other documents required by the sponsor or host laboratory. Pursuant to Title 35 U.S. Code, Section 212, no provision of the ORISE Terms of Appointment or any other document required by ORISE to be completed by a participant may contain any provision giving ORISE any rights to inventions made by the participant.
Procedures for Placing an ORISE Senior Fellow
Please note that ORISE-ORAU (Oak Ridge Associated Universities) also offers a mechanism to bring on more junior doctoral level scientists as contract workers - ORAU-NIH Research Associate/Research Specialist Program - see the Contract Policy for specific regulations regarding these appointments.